Combustible Celluloid
Get the Poster
Stream it:
Download at i-tunes iTunes
Own it:
Download at i-tunes Download on iTunes
Search for streaming:
NetflixHuluGoogle PlayGooglePlayCan I
With: Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, Mariette Hartley, Ron Starr, Edgar Buchanan, R.G. Armstrong, Jenie Jackson, James Drury, L.Q. Jones, John Anderson, John Davis Chandler, Warren Oates
Written by: N.B. Stone Jr.
Directed by: Sam Peckinpah
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 94
Date: 20/06/1962

Ride the High Country (1962)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Old Timers

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Buy Ride the High Country on DVD

Sam Peckinpah's early feature, Ride the High Country (1962) has become as rare as gold, and so its new DVD debut is cause for hootin' and hollerin.' It's the ironically sprightly and funny tale of two old-time cowboys on what could be their last adventure. Hired to transport gold from a mining camp to a bank, Steve Judd (Joel McCrea) enlists the help of his old partner, Gil Westrum (Randolph Scott). Westrum brings along a whippersnapper sidekick (Ron Starr), who adds trouble to the mix when he falls for a young woman (Elsa Knudsen). Warren Oates co-stars in an early role as the unshaven, beady-eyed psychotic villain, one of a family of whooping, drunken redneck miners. With brilliant economy Peckinpah maneuvers many themes, using groundbreaking editing techniques along with his full-color, Cinemascope frame, and raises the film to a level far beyond a mere entry in an old genre. Using everything that came before and predicting everything that came after (notably McCabe & Mrs. Miller and Unforgiven), Ride the High Country can now be seen as the lynchpin in the history of the entire Western genre. The seemingly old-fashioned film has been unfairly overshadowed by the more spectacular, modern The Wild Bunch, but now its place in the canon can be rightfully restored. The DVD comes with a commentary track by a quartet of Peckinpah scholars: Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons and David Weddle, moderated by Nick Redman. (These four have also provided tracks for most of the other Peckinpah DVDs in release.)

Movies Unlimtied