Had the director gone to a monastery instead of pursuing filmmaking, the world would have been deprived of critically acclaimed—albeit controversial—masterpieces such as 1969 and Straw Dogs 1971 , as well as many other feature films Peckinpah would come to direct in the years to come, before ultimately dying of heart failure in 1984 at the age of 59. People that are very familiar with western film in particular and the work of Peckinpah in general, probably already know how good this movie is. He and Peckinpah put this to its most memorable use in the scene where McCrea rides ahead, leaving Scott and Starr behind to speculate on the possibility of stealing the gold. His ancestors were true Westerners, and there was a mountain named for the Peckinpahs near Coarse Gold, the real-life town where the two lawmen in the movie ride to retrieve a shipment of gold. Audiences with only a glancing familiarity with his work think of such films as The Wild Bunch 1969 and Straw Dogs 1971 as having been influential primarily for the way violence is used and depicted on film.
His principal employer, Columbia Pictures, may have been on Poverty Row, but it afforded Ballard the perfect place to learn to shoot Hollywood films quickly and efficiently. This film is part of the Sam Pechinpah collection box set that Warner released a few months back. Cinematography: Lucien Ballard Editing: Frank Santillo Art Direction: Leroy Coleman, George W. The Peckinpah interview was conducted in his living quarters at Burbank Studios. Armstrong and his lovely daughter Elsa Mariette Hartley.
He also cast newcomer Mariette Hartley as Elsa Knudsen, the young woman who accompanies them on their journey to the mining town of Course Gold. When Elsa's wedding to one of the miners goes awry at a drunken celebration, she flees with the two aging lawmen and their hotheaded young companion, bringing the wrath of the miners down on them. My granddad, Denver Church, had a 4100-acre cattle ranch in the foothills of the Sierras, about 25 miles east of Fresno, and the whole family, the Peckinpahs and the Churches, had been wandering in that country since moving out from the Midwest in the middle of the 19th Century. . Dialogue and music are clear but not especially dynamic, there's modest depth at times, and the higher end feels more than a bit harsh on occasion. He hires his old friend Gill Westrum and a young kid by the name of Heck Ron Starr to help him.
The issue is that he did it. Consequently, the scenery is beautiful. The players acted it out and the audience got in there and kind of lived it with them. The whole thing is built into the fabric of their lives, as it was for those cats in The Wild Bunch. Everything important in my life has been linked to Mexico one way or another.
Ross Hunter is my idol. Many have pointed to Ride the High Country as the film that initiated Peckinpah's great theme, the decline of the West. When it reached New York last week, Ride, a modest, meaningful and faultlessly crafted film, was dumped carelessly as the bottom half of neighborhood double bills, playing in the abysmal company of The Tartars. This is one of my favourite Peckinpah films. I wish I could make a film that good. After Ride the High Country, Peckinpah made 14 more features.
But by giving in, you lose your independence as a human being. Most if his westerns are filmed in the southwestern U. Directed by Sam Peckinpah, this movie has an old-time narrative involving gold, thieves and damsels in distress. The temptation to steal the shipment gets the better of Gil during their journey, resulting in a bitter riff between the two former friends. One, maybe two, and even then not much.
As critics and film festivals realized, Peckinpah had created an enduring classic of the genre, an elegy for an Old West that may never have existed outside the hearts of idealists like McCrea's Steve Judd, the former lawman who accepts a hazardous job because he's down on his luck, and Scott's Gil Westrum, Judd's former comrade who joins him with ulterior motives. If he couldn't do that, he would settle for playing one on screen. How much and where and how secure. The part of Heck, the brash young sidekick, went to Ron Starr, a former car salesman with only two movies to his credit. My basic job is dealing with talent in terms of a story and getting it on.
What Steve doesn't know is that Gil and Heck are intent on making off with the gold, whether Steve helps or not. He was equally at home in dramas, comedies, and adventure films, and played opposite some of the screen's most glamorous actresses. The Lord's bounty may not be for sale but the devil's is. This movie does have some violence but nothing compared to The wild Bunch. But it was a way to break in. Mexico was the nearest place to go, and it was a time of going. Major Dundee, which had a good man in it, Chuck Heston, and could have been something, was butchered by the studio and the producer turned out to be a weasel whose real talent was for poisoning wells.
Well, there are two kinds of women. They had a relationship that was truer and more tender than that between most husbands and wives. A woman is a partner. I had five pictures in the can, not one of which was visible anywhere in this country either at all or in anything like the form I wanted it to be in. At least he knew who he was. Gill and Huck have other ideas. You see, David Sumner gets the blinkers pulled off.