What a western. It touches upon, relates too and reminds us of so many other great westerns. Like True Grit and Lonesome Dove, so many! The cast fantastic, cinematography crisp, clear and perfect, the quirky, yet so realistic aspects of the storytelling. The same for us in many ways, yet then so different than anything else.
I wanted to remind folks of this movie, and it is a bit of a cult film, but I am torn here to remind people just as much of the one and only Sam Peckinpah – the director and writer/director of many interesting films. I was and still am somewhat fascinated by Peckinpah and his Hemingway-esque writings and his life-issue-grapplings. I have read two books about Sam and his career as a result. No doubt booze killed him and his brain off slowly. All depriving us of some major, superlative film. Something like,…oh…the Unforgiven, Shane or something when all his ideas, ideals of manliness, and the West, and the gun, might have forged together, the stars aligned for massive epic. Some say The Wild Bunch was the pinnacle. But if he could have kept working…?
Sam drank to work, the drink slowly stifling his brain and his work, then drank more due to the frustrations of his expectations – caused by the drink. Then he burned a hole in his guts. What a cycle. What a shame.
Anyway, here’s to Ride the High Country. And to Sam.