Ride the high country


(davidf) #1

second of sam peckinpah’s westerns after “the deadly companions”. this is a vast improvement over that film.yes it is rather slow moving and is really for the “older western fan” with two aged stars in joel mccrea and randolph scott both western veterens from the 30’s 40’s & 50’s. joel mccrea was in my opinon very underated and bought dignity to his roles and none more so than in this film.this was randolph scott’s last film as he went into retirement after this. i’m not such a fan of his films as he came over rather wooden and one dimiensial in a lot of his films but a lot of his films are easily watchable to good and he certainly gives a good performance here.the teaming here is excellent as they work so well together and film has a good supporting cast especially the villains “the hammond brothers” john anderson, warren oates, l q jones, james drury and john davis chandler.not much action for the most part but stay with it for the last 30 minutes which is great cinema. the climax is very memorable and rousing and moving. the final scene is one of the best and moving ever.the icing on the cake is a great main soundtrack from a composer i’ve never heard of george bussman.this is an under rated sam peckinpah movie and you can see the germination of the later " the wild bunch" and " the ballad of cable hogue" in it. not his best film that in my opinon is " the wild bunch" and “cross of iron” but it is very high on the list. hadn’t seen this for a while but it’s still a classic.


(Phil H) #2

George Bassman is not well known for his movie scores for a very good reason. He didn’t write many and the only other film of any real note whose score he provided was ‘Marty’ the 1955 drama that saw Ernest Borgnine win an academy award. Bassman worked on a lot of movies but predominantly as an orchestrator and composer of incidental music. A function he served on a handful of Marx Brothers films while they were at MGM so he’s an ok guy by me. His back ground was in dance bands and Broadway so most of his work was on those kind of movies but, I agree, his work on Ride the High Country is first rate.

When you said ‘older western fan’ I wasn’t sure if you meant ‘fans of older westerns’ or ‘western fans who are older’ but seeing as though I qualify on both counts it’s not surprising that I am a big fan of Ride the High Country. ‘The Wild Bunch’ is on a grander scale but RTHC is a beautifully made film that is a lot more low key and personal. More character than action driven and it features possibly the best career performances from McCrea and Scott.

Glad you liked it MWAN. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to explore the better westerns beyond spaghettiland.


(davidf) #3

[quote=“Phil H, post:2, topic:1185”]George Bassman is not well known for his movie scores for a very good reason. He didn’t write many and the only other film of any real note whose score he provided was ‘Marty’ the 1955 drama that saw Ernest Borgnine win an academy award. Bassman worked on a lot of movies but predominantly as an orchestrator and composer of incidental music. A function he served on a handful of Marx Brothers films while they were at MGM so he’s an ok guy by me. His back ground was in dance bands and Broadway so most of his work was on those kind of movies but, I agree, his work on Ride the High Country is first rate.

When you said ‘older western fan’ I wasn’t sure if you meant ‘fans of older westerns’ or ‘western fans who are older’ but seeing as though I qualify on both counts it’s not surprising that I am a big fan of Ride the High Country. ‘The Wild Bunch’ is on a grander scale but RTHC is a beautifully made film that is a lot more low key and personal. More character than action driven and it features possibly the best career performances from McCrea and Scott.

Glad you liked it MWAN. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to explore the better westerns beyond spaghettiland.[/quote]cheers for the info on george bassman phil. i’m not that well up on film composers but know a good soundtrack when i hear it.yes i qualify in both categories and i did mean both meanings although i didn’t make it clear.all the best to everyone and to quote the last line in RTHC “i’ll see you later”.


(korano) #4

I was a little disappointed. I felt it was missing something. Maybe too much character development and not enough plot. Not to mention it was very short and the characters seemed more fit for and epic not a low budget “art” western like this.