The old saying 'you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear' rings true for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's artistic western Ride the High Country. It remains a standard story, albeit with an interesting gimmick and some excellent production values.

The old saying ‘you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear’ rings true for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s artistic western Ride the High Country. It remains a standard story, albeit with an interesting gimmick and some excellent production values.

Scott and McCrea play their ages in roles that could well be extensions of characters they have each played in countless earlier films. They are quick-triggered ex-lawmen, former famed ‘town-tamers’ whom life has passed by and who are now reduced to taking jobs as guards for a gold shipment. They engage in one last battle – over a woman and involving a youth who epitomizes their own youth.

It is Sam Peckinpah’s direction, however, that gives the film greatest artistry. He gives N. B. Stone Jr.’s script a measure beyond its adequacy, instilling bright moments of sharp humor and an overall significant empathetic flavor.

Ride the High Country

Production

M-G-M. Director Sam Peckinpah; Producer Richard E. Lyons; Screenplay N.B. Stone Jr; Camera Lucien Ballard; Editor Frank Santillo; Music George Bassman; Art Director George W. Davis, Leroy Coleman

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1962. Running time: 94 MIN.

With

Randolph Scott Joel McCrea Mariette Hartley Edgar Buchanan Ron Starr Warren Oates

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