The Hi-Lo Country

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The Hi-Lo Country
Poster of the movie The Hi-Lo Country.jpg
Directed byStephen Frears
Produced byTim Bevan
Barbara De Fina
Eric Fellner
Martin Scorsese
Written byWalon Green (screenplay)
Max Evans (novel)
StarringBilly Crudup
Penélope Cruz
Woody Harrelson
Patricia Arquette
Music byCarter Burwell
CinematographyOliver Stapleton
Editing byMasahiro Hirakubo
StudioWorking Title Films
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Gramercy Pictures
Release dates
  • December 30, 1998 (1998-12-30) (Limited)
  • January 22, 1999 (1999-01-22)
Running time114 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$166,082
 
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The Hi-Lo Country
Poster of the movie The Hi-Lo Country.jpg
Directed byStephen Frears
Produced byTim Bevan
Barbara De Fina
Eric Fellner
Martin Scorsese
Written byWalon Green (screenplay)
Max Evans (novel)
StarringBilly Crudup
Penélope Cruz
Woody Harrelson
Patricia Arquette
Music byCarter Burwell
CinematographyOliver Stapleton
Editing byMasahiro Hirakubo
StudioWorking Title Films
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Gramercy Pictures
Release dates
  • December 30, 1998 (1998-12-30) (Limited)
  • January 22, 1999 (1999-01-22)
Running time114 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$166,082

The Hi-Lo Country is a 1998 classic American Western-drama film directed by Stephen Frears, starring Billy Crudup, Penélope Cruz, Woody Harrelson, Cole Hauser, Sam Elliott, Patricia Arquette, Enrique Castillo, and Katy Jurado. It is set in post-WWII New Mexico and is based on the novel by Western author Max Evans.

Don Walser appears in a rodeo dance sequence and sings a memorable Western swing, honky tonk rendition of "I'll Hold You in My Heart." Rodeo announcer Bob Tallman appears as himself in the film.

Plot[edit]

Just after World War II best friends Big Boy Matson (Woody Harrelson) and Pete Calder (Billy Crudup) return home to find half of their town employed by cattle baron Jim Ed Love (Sam Elliott). Hanging on to the mythic ideals of the American West Big Boy and Pete team up with an old time rancher Hoover Young (James Gammon) to raise cattle the cowboy way and life in Hi-Lo, New Mexico becomes a volatile powder keg.

The fuse is lit when Mona (Patricia Arquette), the wife of Jim Ed's foreman, begins a heated affair with Big Boy. Pete's past longings for Mona resurface with his discovery of the affair and the bond of friendship becomes sorely tested. Ultimately, Pete and Big Boy's friendship will be decided by the extent of their yearnings for the same woman, while Hi-Lo awaits the outcome of the explosive run-ins between Jim Ed Love and two proud cowboys.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The movie was filmed on location in Bernal, New Mexico, Cerrillos, New Mexico, Galisteo, New Mexico, Espanola, New Mexico, Las Vegas, New Mexico, San Jose, New Mexico, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Pritchett, Colorado.

Reception[edit]

The film was regarded by critics and film festivals as an example of the "classic" Western movie genre.[1][2] Bob Graham of the San Francisco Chronicle said, "The traditional settings of Westerns are honored: the saloon, the dance hall, the rodeo, the cattle drive, the snowstorm. Hi-Lo is not only the name of the high-country flatlands where the story takes place, it is also a poker game, and that Western cliche is given a good spin, too."[3]

Stephen Holden of the New York Times said, "In its best moments the movie feels like an epic hybrid of Red River and The Last Picture Show."[4]

The sweeping score by Carter Burwell, and the Western swing songs of Floyd Tillman, Vaughn Monroe, Eddie Arnold, Merle Travis, Tex Williams, Hank Williams and sequence performances by Don Walser and Leon Rausch, were very highly regarded.[5]

Awards[edit]

Home media[edit]

On December 18, 2012, Shout! Factory released the film on DVD.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Charles Champlin, "Max Evans: Lone Writer of The Hi-Lo Country" Los Angeles Times, Jan. 1, 1999. http://articles.latimes.com/1999/jan/01/entertainment/ca-59415
  2. ^ Bob Graham, "Hi-Lo Cowboys at Home on the Range" San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 15, 1999. http://www.sfgate.com/movies/article/Hi-Lo-Cowboys-at-Home-on-the-Range-Harrelson-2951762.php
  3. ^ Bob Graham "Hi-Lo Cowboys at Home on the Range" San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 15, 1999. http://www.sfgate.com/movies/article/Hi-Lo-Cowboys-at-Home-on-the-Range-Harrelson-2951762.php
  4. ^ Stephen Holden, "Hi-Lo Country: Even Cowboys Get the Blues" Dec. 30, 1998 New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/library/film/123098country-film-review.html
  5. ^ Bob Graham "Hi-Lo Cowboys at Home on the Range" San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 15, 1999. http://www.sfgate.com/movies/article/Hi-Lo-Cowboys-at-Home-on-the-Range-Harrelson-2951762.php
  6. ^ "Berlinale: 1999 Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  7. ^ http://www.amazon.com/The-Hi-Lo-Country-Billy-Crudup/dp/B0096W46SK

External links[edit]