Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Ride the High Country


Sam Peckinpah’s second movie, and Randolph Scott’s last. It is also Mariette Hartley’s first movie and near the end of Joel McCrea’s career. In addition there are Peckinpah regulars L.Q. Jones and Warren Oates, as well as Edgar Buchanan (Judge Roy Bean). Sam Peckinpah revolutionized the western movie in the 1960s, and this one shows a lot of his trademarks, with over-the-hill heroes, moral ambiguity, and a re-imagining of the whole look of westerns. An example: the opening sequence is of a race between some horses and a camel. About all it lacks is the ultra-violent and slow-motion sequences he introduced in the classic The Wild Bunch. Good performances by both the iconic western actors.