The Hired Hand (1971)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Peter Fonda directed and stars in this moody, realistic western drama, concerning a man who tries to return to a family he has abandoned years ago and the loyalty to a friend that compels him to leave once again. Fonda plays Harry Collings, who had abandoned his wife Hannah (Verna Bloom) years ago to travel the trail with his friend Arch Harris (Warren Oates). When their mutual friend, Dan Griffin (Robert Pratt) is killed by a gang of bushwhackers, led by a man named McVey (Severn Darden), Harry … More

Rating: R (violence)
Genre: Western, Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Alan Sharp
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 28, 2003
Sundance Channel Home Entertainment



as Harry Collings

as Arch Harris

as Hannah Collings

as Dan Griffen

as Mexican Woman

as Mrs. Sorenson

as Janey Collings

as Bartender
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Hired Hand

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (5)

A touching and absurd example of the hippie western.

Full Review… | October 14, 2003
Village Voice
Top Critic

This groundbreaking 1971 western nimbly upsets most of our expectations about cowboy movies.

Full Review… | August 7, 2003
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

If Dennis Hopper dismantles revisionist-Western ennui in The Last Movie, Fonda embellishes it with poetic muddiness

Full Review… | September 6, 2009

Audience Reviews for The Hired Hand


[font=Century Gothic][color=sienna] "The Hired Hand" is a 1971 western directed by Peter Fonda(his first, and perhaps only noticeable effort) about a man who after several years wandering aimlessly with his pal through the West, decides to return to the wife he left several years before. The movie is deliberately paced and occasionally artsy. It is worthwhile because of the spotlight on the relationships between the characters and for one notable speech given by Verna Bloom who plays the abandoned wife. And Warren Oates has another very good performance in this movie.[/color][/font]

Walter M.

Super Reviewer


there are a number of things i really liked about this, but too much time was spent on "cinema trickery" that was unnecessary. Fonda's performance was maybe the weakest out of the entire cast.

chase _

Super Reviewer

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