The Ballad of Cable Hogue, written by John Crawford and Edmund Penney
A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:
- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEVa4_CsRStSBBDo4uJWT8BSWtTTn0N1E and http://realini.blogspot.ro/
This is a very good comedy- drama
It is included on The New York Times’ Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made List:
The director is Sam Peckinpah.
And he has been involved with a classic- The Wild Bunch- and a number of other motion pictures that are remarkable
- Straw Dogs- twice, with two different versions- Junior Bonner- also included on The New York Times’ Best Movies list
Jason Robards has the leading role of Cable Hogue.
And he is one of the best actors I have seen…
- All the President’s Men, Julia, Once Upon a Time in the West are just a few examples…
At the start of the film, we have the dirty, bad looking hero in the middle of the desert, looking at a reptile.
He talks to it, saying something about the fact that it is its bad luck that it is made up of half meat and half water.
And then the poor creature is blown to bits by a shot gun that was used from a short distance by a cowboy.
Two men are nearby and the hero addresses them as Taggart and Bowen and Cable Hogue has a moment of superiority.
But instead of using it to disarm or even blow away people that he knew and stated that are villains, he loses the upper hand.
When the two scoundrels have their guns in their hand, they disarm Hogue and force him to remain in the desert.
This looks not only like murder, but torture on top of it, because with no water and the horse taken from him, the poor man will suffer and die.
Only he finds a hole with water, that means he is saved and then he is next to the path of the diligence.
When it comes by, the men driving it offer a bottle with what I presume is whiskey and a ride to town, which is twenty miles away.
Cable Hogue understands that he is half way between two small cities, twenty miles each way and there is no water in between.
So instead of taking up the offer, he quickly understands the value of what he has found and returns to dig the water out.
His first customer is quickly dead, because he not only refused to pay the 10 cents asked for the water, but also pulls a gun at Hogue.
Preacher Joshua is the next to come and they will remain close throughout the narrative and suggests that the land should be registered with the authorities so that other claimants could not take it away.
When Cable Hogue goes to town and in other moments, there are humorous exchanges, one of which reveals that the hero does not know how to read or write and furthermore, he does not even know how to spell his name…with le or el is the question to which the man has no answer…
In this town he meets the woman that he will eventually become infatuated with, Hildy, who is selling her body.
The start of their relationship is not under the best auspices, seeing as Cable takes a bath, a massage and when they are supposed to consummate their initial client –sex worker arrangement, the man gets out the door.
On top of that, he does not pay and makes Hildy mad, with a series of objects being thrown towards the insolent, bad customer.
Cable Hogue becomes rather rich, after he invests $ 100 – which could be the equivalent of half a million dollars in today’s money- into his two acres of land, on which he builds a sort of eatery, at each he says when asked that he serves snake combined with prairie rat and other unusual meats that disgust customers.
The Ballad of Cable Hogue is a pleasant entertainment.