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The Ballad Of Cable Hogue Blu-ray Review

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“The Ballad Of Cable Hogue” is another gem from Sam Peckinpah.

Left for dead by 2 former partners, Cable Hogue finds himself in the middle of the barren desert without water. With death seemingly imminent, Cable miraculously finds a water hole. Not only does the water hole obviously save his left, but it also changes his life as he decides to build a home and business around it. Amidst his new venture, Cable falls for a prostitute named Hildy, befriends a perverted and sage Reverend (Joshua) and plots revenge against the 2 men who left him for dead.

From the above plot synopsis, one would think “The Ballad Of Cable Hogue” is not a very plot heavy movie and it really isn’t. The plot of writers John Crawford and Edmund Penney’s script is secondary to the characters and the themes presented here. In fact, there’s a lot more going on in this movie than the plot suggests as it delves into concepts about love, friendship, the end of an era, time passing you by, making something of yourself, living life, and being left behind (in more ways than one). Sure, the film has familiar western film tropes ala revenge, but “The Ballad of Cable Hogue” defies expectations in that you generally don’t know where it’s going. It’s also rather comedic which, again, you may not expect. Cable himself is a bit of a sarcastic scoundrel/screw-up who is often talking to himself (or the heavens). Of course, it’s not the script alone that brings the film to life as Sam Peckinpah handles everything with grace. He really is one of the kings of the genre because he can tell a variety of stories within it. His westerns always feel personal, offbeat, and wholly unique.

In terms of the cast, Jason Robards is excellent in the title role. Robards was always an underrated actor and this was easily one of the best characters he played. Not to be forgotten here as Stella Stevens as the prostitute with a heart of gold Hildy and a young David Warner as the complex Reverend Joshua.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? An impressive transfer with colors that really pop.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? Better (and more high quality) than your average 2.0 track.

Extras: “The Ballad Of Cable Hogue” trailer, a 27 minute extra titled “The Ladiest Damn’d Lady: An Afternoon With Actress Stella Stevens” in which she talks about her life and career, and a deep dive commentary by Nick Redman and authors Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons and David Weddle.

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February 19, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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