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Ride the High Country (1962)

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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 0

audience

79

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 3,936

My Rating

Movie Info

This Sam Peckinpah-directed feature outing was intended as the cinematic swan song for both Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea; while McCrea would unexpectedly emerge from retirement, this 1961 western serves as an excellent valedictory for both men. The time is the early 1900s, when the Old West was slowly and stubbornly giving way to the new. McCrea plays Steve Judd, an ex-lawman living on the fringes of poverty but maintaining his dignity and honesty. Hired to escort a gold shipment from the

Unrated,

Western, Classics

Jan 10, 2006

MGM Home Entertainment

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All Critics (19) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (1) | DVD (8)

Symbols of a waning era who eventually clash over right and wrong, Messrs. McCrea and Scott mesh perfectly, with the latter getting the drollest lines -- and there are plenty.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Using everything that came before and predicting everything that came after, Ride the High Country can now be seen as the lynchpin in the history of the entire Western genre.

September 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

...great entertainment: humorous, adventurous, inventive, and enthralling.

April 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Ride the High Country vigorously and colorfully brings alive the Old West of cinematic myth.

December 20, 2005 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

A film of abundant visual beauty through whose heart blows a chill valedictory breeze.

March 23, 2001 Full Review Source: culturevulture.net
culturevulture.net

A much-loved revisionist Western, director Peckinpah's second feature film proved to be a bittersweet swan song for the Old West and a classy farewell to the screen for actors Scott and -- for some years -- McCrea.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A superior Western featuring two of that genre's greats, Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott, who were both in their 60s at the time...

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Ride the High Country

Peckinpah's debut is one kickass western. Highlights include a stunning death scene and a truly moving "The End" final shot. Features some beautiful crane cinematography and some neat editing. Slightly marred by an occasionally intrusive score. Great memorable performances all around.
June 26, 2010
brooklynspo

Super Reviewer

Beautifully shot western with performances by Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott that distill their personas perfectly.
September 18, 2013
jjnxn
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

This early effort by "Bloody Sam" is one of many elegiac westerns the lauded director helmed. Hmm, now that I think about it, pretty much every western he did was an elegy...interesting.

The setting is the early 1900s: the twilight for the Old West. Joel McCrea is an ex-lawman living on the fringes of society. When he gets hired to escort a shipment of gold, he decides to enlist the help of his old pal played by Randolph Scott. Unlike McCrea's character, Scott's doesn't have much remaining integrity, and thus is easily tempted, along with his young saddle mate to convince McCrea's Steve Judd to steal the gold for themselves instead of delivering it as expected.

This film come out during a transition period for the western genre. It was after the heyday of the classic era, but a few years before the revisionist epics that started in the late 60s, perhaps best exemplified by Peckinpah's own bloody masterpiece The Wild Bunch. As a result, this film is a bit of a mix between the old period, what with being a send off of sorts, as well as a forerunner for what would soon come, though the violence here, while fairly strong for the time, isn't quite to the level that it would be in the aforementioned The Wild Bunch.

The leads are pretty good, and they have a nice rapport with one another. Their costars likewise do pretty decently with the material. The film is rough around the edges, and you can tell it's before Peckinpah hit his stride, but it's still got some great location shooting and decent cinematography.

Give this one a watch. It's pretty solid.
January 17, 2013
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

I think this is actually a pretty cool movie and I enjoyed it as much as I possibly could. However, I'm not a big fan of Joel McCrea or Randolph Scott. Therefore, the nostalgia factor really didn't hit home to me. Even with that handicap, Sam Peckinpah's debut is pretty incredible. It's wonderfully shot, moody and fun. I think my favorite shot of the entire movie is the scene where one of the bad guys is shot in the gut and the camera just stays on him while he slowly dies.
July 7, 2010
ythelastman89

Super Reviewer

    1. Steve Judd: All I want is to enter my house justified.
    – Submitted by Rodney M (2 years ago)
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