Ride The High Country
Ex-lawman Steve Judd is hired by a bank to escort a gold shipment from a mining town. To help him, he hires his old friend and colleague, Gil Westrum, along with the latter’s young saddle pal, Heck. But Westrum and Heck only accept the job in order to hijack the gold. En route to pick up the gold, they spend the night at the farm of a Quaker whose daughter, Elsa, defying her father’s wishes, joins them with plans to elope with her boyfriend, Billy, at the mining camp. (in « Sam Peckinpah » de Gérard Camy, L’Harmattan, 1997)
Born in Fresno, California in 1925, Sam Peckinpah joined the Marines in 1943. After the war, he obtained a master’s degree in drama and worked in the theater as director and actor before working as assistant to Don Siegel, especially on The Invasion of the Body Snatchers?he contributed to the script and also had a bit part. He directed a number of episodes for such TV series as The Rifleman and The Westerner. He began to direct features with the western, New Mexico (1961), whose script he was unable to change to suit his own tastes. But he made a name for himself with his second film, Ride the High Country. It was the start of a defiant career characterized by a series of clashes with the Hollywood studio system. His most famous film, The Wild Bunch, was an international hit but his subsequent masterpieces, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garica were mutilated by his distrustful producers, who re-cut them and sabotaged their release. If Peckinpah revolutionized the western in the 60s with his baroque style and study of the decline of the great American myths, he also directed a contemporary thriller based on a Jim Thompson novel The Getaway and major films on his favorite themes of violence Straw Dogs and war Cross of Iron. Sam Peckinpah died in Inglewood, California, in 1984.
N.B. Stone Jr
Leroy Coleman, George W. Davis
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