The Ballad of Cable Hogue, like Ride the High Country (1962) and The Wild Bunch before it, and Junior Bonner and Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid(1973)after, is an elegiac work symbolising the end of an era... While [it] may be a bittersweet love story, it is still perhaps Peckinpah’s most tender film.
No cameo film this one, but rather if not a full blooded or throttled picture by Sam, then a beautiful, repulsive lark, the irrepressible and irresistible The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970). What a pleasure, to begin this retrospective not with The Wild Bunch or Straw Dogs but rather with a Peckinpah comedy, with all the cynicism, grit, boozing, and grossness, and coming complete with a great deal of soul.
The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970) is a cranky-tender cracker-barrel fable starring Jason Robards at the peak of his powers.