Ride the High Country

1962

Western

7
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 93%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 83%
IMDb Rating 7.6 10 9780

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
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Director

Cast

Mariette Hartley as Elsa Knudsen
L.Q. Jones as Sylvus Hammond
Warren Oates as Henry Hammond
Edgar Buchanan as Judge Tolliver
720p 1080p
672.89 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 34 min
P/S 7 / 27
1.41 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 34 min
P/S 3 / 52

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ragosaal 8 / 10

An "A" Farewell for Two "B" Western Stars

Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea will probably be remembered as the top "B" western stars in movies. But their last film "Ride the High Country" stands as an "A" western and a very good one too.

Perhaps they owe this final chance to director Sam Peckinpah who turns the story into a splendid film in its genre shot in beautiful outdoor sceneries, with very well managed action scenes, a credible script, great settings and a fine musical score too.

Two moments are particularly outstanding in my opinion: the sort of "Fellinesc" sequence at the wedding with all those bizarre characters and the final showdown where Scott and McCrea face the mean Hammond brothers (John Anderson, James Drury and Warren Oates) in the "old fashioned way".

A well deserved "A" product for both actors -that amused and thrilled us western fans- through their long careers in the genre.

Reviewed by jpdoherty 8 / 10

Exceptional Late Western.

Made in 1962 MGM's RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY is not only one of the last of the great classic westerns but is significant in the respect that it was the one and only time that two of Hollywood's most iconic western stars Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea would appear together in the same film. Also, unlike McCrea it turned out to be Scott's final movie. McCrea, on the other hand, went on to appear in three or four more movies all of little account and finishing with a thing called "Mustang Country" in 1970. Both actors were very wealthy men by the time they started filming RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY in 1961 especially McCrea who by 1950 had become a multi-millionaire through shrewd investments and business interests. He would say of himself "I'm a businessman - acting in motion pictures is my hobby". He also laid claim to having the longest marriage in Hollywood. He was married to the actress Francis Dee for 57 years until his death in 1990.

Also known as "Guns In The Afternoon" RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY is again significant for being the first movie that brought notice, from critics and public alike, on a young director called Sam Peckinpah. Produced by Richard E. Lions for Metro RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY was nicely written for the screen by N.B. Stone Jr. and stunningly photographed in Cinemascope and Metrocolor by the great Lucien Ballard. The story concerns two retired lawmen (Scott & McCrea) who take on the job of transporting gold from a mining camp to the bank in town some distance away but one of them isn't too keen on bringing it to the bank which causes great tension and enmity between them. Then at the mining camp, with the gold all packed and ready to go, trouble erupts when they save a young bride (the resistible Mariette Hartley) from her ne'er do well husband (James Drury) and take her with them. But with his four errant brothers the irate husband sets out after them to retrieve his wife by any and every means. The picture comes to an explosive finish when the two old timers reconcile with each other and take on the gang in a well staged traditional style shootout in which the brothers perish along with one of the protagonists.

RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY has become something of a cult western and has awoken in a new generation an interest in past classics that starred either Scott or McCrea. Beautifully directed by Peckinpah it is regarded by many to be his finest western. With wonderful characterisations throughout the picture is notable for some outstanding portrayals from an excellent supporting cast particularly Edgar Buchanan as the perpetually hammered preacher, R.G. Armstrong (a perennial Peckinpah favourite) as the irascible father of the girl and Warren Oates in one of his early roles as the leering and creepy brother of the groom. And complimenting the proceedings is the engaging score by the little known composer George Bassman featuring a lingering and beguiling main theme that adds greatly to the lovely outdoor locations.

With splendid performances, a creditable screenplay, excellent production values and a memorable score RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY remains an unforgettable classic western. And lest we forget it also bids a fond farewell to two of the screens mightiest western icons - Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea.

Classic exchange from RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY:

Towards the end and just before the final confrontation with the gang McCrea suggests to Scott "Let's meet them head on - just like always". To which Scott, with a wry smile, responds "My sentiments exactly".

Reviewed by José Luis Rivera Mendoza (jluis1984) 9 / 10

Sam Peckinpah is here to stay...

After a time working as director and writer of Western TV Series, Sam Peckinpah started his career on film with "The Deadly Companions",a romantic Western that seemed like an extension of his work on TV; however, his next film, "Ride the High Country", was an completely different beast, it was a deep meditation on the long-lived Western genre that introduced themes that would become Peckinpah's obsessions and signature: the end of an era and the quest for redemption and meaning in life. This raw masterpiece faced a cold reception when it premiered, but gained a tremendous success overseas (winning the Belgium Film Festival), demonstrating to the world that this newcomer was here to stay.

Former lawman Steve Judd (Joel McCrea) is now an aging man, and is hired to transport gold from a mining community through a dangerous territory. As he has the need to hire assistants, he finds his old friend and former partner Gil Westrum (Randolph Scott) and hires him and Westrum's young protegé, Heck Longtree (Ron Starr) to assist him. However, Steve doesn't know that his two assistants are planning to steal the gold, with or without Steve's help. Things will get complicated when the trio is forced to help a young woman named Elsa (Mariette Hartley) to escape from her fianceé and his criminal brothers.

Written by another veteran of Western TV series, N.B. Stone Jr. (who without a doubt worked with Peckinpah in "The Rifleman"), "Ride The High Country" is a clear step forward in the evolution of the Western as a film genre. As one of the first "revisionist" westerns, it shows a meditation on the genre and how two aging men become outdated by their world and suddenly obsolete. Through powerful lines of dialog and a slowly and carefully constructed plot, the film shows Peckinpah's favorite themes like honor, loyalty, redemption and the destruction of the West (both the historical one and the Western genre) for the first time in one of the most moving Westerns ever. As many have pointed out, one doesn't need to like Westerns to appreciate this film, as it's basic theme of humanity facing change is an immortal one.

Peckinpah's love for the genre is quite obvious and lead to an awesome use of the genre's elements. Starting with a great camera-work that stands as a heir of John Ford's, exchanging Ford's Monument Valley for the beauty nature of Inyo National Forest in California. Forecasting the Spaghetti Western revolution, Peckinpah's realistic Western makes its first appearance, and even when it's considerably less raw than the violent world of "The Wild Bunch", it's a step ahead of the classic Western. In many ways this was not only the beginning of Peckinpah's career, but also of the revisionism in Westerns and the evolution that would change the genre forever.

The inspired casting of Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea in the lead roles is simply brilliant, as no one else but this former legends of classic Western films could embody the meaning of their characters, two old men that easily could had been the future of the many lawmen these two actor played in their lives. It was Scott's last film before retiring, and really it couldn't been a better closure for a career. Newcomers Mariette Hartley and Ron Starr represent the new West, too naive and ignorant of the past that precedes them; and both actor's performances are top-notch, although Starr is definitely the weakest link in the cast.

It's hard to believe that this movie almost was a failure in the U.S., but fortunately now it is receiving the attention it rightfully deserves. The natural landscape and the contrast of the new and the old make a great visual composition, almost as the missing link between the classic golden age of Ford and Wayne, and its modern counterparts. The film has few minor flaws, such as the average performance of some members of the cast, but nothing really annoying. Modern viewers may feel it moves too slow, but that slow pace actually enhances the feeling of that slow but steady change that suddenly caught the characters.

"Ride the High Country" is not a very famous film, but it really deserves a wider audience, not only because it introduced us to Peckinpah's film-making, but also because of its deep meditation on the Western genre and its wonderful immortal theme of mankind facing change. All in all, this film is a very recommended one, and I dare to say it's Peckinpah's first raw masterpiece. 9/10

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