Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jason Robards, Stella Stevens, David Warner, Strother Martin, Slim Pickens, L.Q. Jones, Peter Whitney, R.G. Armstrong, Gene Evans, William Mims, Kathleen Freeman, Susan O'Connell, Vaughn Taylor, Max Evans, James Anderson
Written by: John Crawford, Edmund Penney
Directed by: Sam Peckinpah
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 121
Date: 13/05/1970

The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Water Sillies

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Buy The Ballad of Cable Hogue on DVD

Coming as it does just a year after The Wild Bunch, the silly comedy The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970) is an oddity in the Sam Peckinpah canon. Jason Robards stars as a cowboy robbed and left for dead in the desert -- until he stumbles upon a water hole and turns entrepreneur, setting up a waystation for travelers stuck between two dirt-water towns. Hogue meets several odd characters, including a cute prostitute (Stella Stevens) and a randy preacher (David Warner), while waiting to take revenge. Slim Pickens co-stars as a stage driver. Like John Ford, Peckinpah prefers bawdy, rather obvious humor accompanied by dopey music; the "jokes" don't always work. But Robards' warm performance makes the film into a casual delight. The DVD includes an interview with Stella Stevens today, at age 69.

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