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The Hired Hand (1971)

R | | Drama, Western | 17 July 1971 (USA)
Trailer
1:20 | Trailer
Harry returns home to his wife and farm after drifting with his friend Arch and has to make a difficult decision regarding his loyalties.

Director:

Peter Fonda

Writer:

Alan Sharp
Reviews
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Peter Fonda ... Harry Collings
Warren Oates ... Arch Harris
Verna Bloom ... Hannah Collings
Robert Pratt Robert Pratt ... Dan Griffen
Severn Darden ... McVey
Rita Rogers Rita Rogers ... Mexican Woman
Ann Doran ... Mrs. Sorenson
Ted Markland ... Luke
Owen Orr ... Mace
Al Hopson Al Hopson ... Bartender
Megan Denver Megan Denver ... Janey Collings
Michael McClure Michael McClure ... Plummer
Gray Johnson Gray Johnson ... Will
Len Marsal Len Marsal ... (as Len Marcel)
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Storyline

Harry Collings returns home to his farm after drifting with his friend, Arch. His wife, who had given up on him, reluctantly allows him to stay, and soon believes that all will be well again. But then Harry has to make a difficult decision regarding his loyalties and priorities. Written by Steve Harkins <sharkins@ti.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Peter Fonda is riding again... To the woman he lost... for the revenge he craves! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for western violence and some sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 July 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hired Hand See more »

Filming Locations:

Espanola, New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$820,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (original version)| Dolby Digital (restored version)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jane Fonda suggested Lee Grant for the role of Hannah. See more »

Quotes

Arch Harris: [to an insistently insinuating stranger in a bar] You can always tell a man who's got something on his mind. He keeps talkin' to people he don't know. Now what is it you're tryin' to tell me?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The version of the film prepared for US television cuts several scenes involving nudity violence and bad language, but restores 17 minutes of footage from the cutting room floor. Added scenes include Larry Hagman's entire role as a sheriff who runs Warren Oates out of town. See more »

Connections

Featured in Close Encounters with Vilmos Zsigmond (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Practically the definition of "neglected masterpiece"...
22 April 2004 | by JDWalleySee all my reviews

I saw the last half or so of this film many years ago, on a small black-and-white television. Even then, I was impressed by a film I had only heard described as a commercial flop and a come-down after "Easy Rider." Maybe people were expecting another "counter-cultural" demythologizing of America's past, as was common in those days, and didn't know what to make of a surprisingly traditional and sensitive drama about loyalty, love, and the desire for new horizons versus the call of home.

Finally, thanks to the 30th Anniversary restoration, I was able to see the entire work, and was not disappointed. Not only is this a well-told and -acted drama, it's easily one of the most stunning-looking films I've ever seen. Nor is it merely "pretty photography," but key to the inner life of the characters, in that you can see how one could be drawn by such beauty into either wandering off through the world in search of new wonders, or returning to those which you've already known.

It's a shame, to me, that Peter Fonda only went on to direct two more (relatively obscure) films. In a decade now recognized as one of the greatest in American filmmaking, "The Hired Hand" is worthy of being considered among the classics.


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