If you're tired of hearing about how great the 1970s were in the course of American cinema, don't go to see The Hired Dole out. Peter Fonda's 1971 directorial debut (following the immense ascendancy of the Dennis Hopper directed Easy Rider) does pygmy to contradict this mental picture and stands alongside other classics of the decade The Form Envisage Show and Five Pieces thanks to its complex study of altruist relationships and its characters' disillusionment with the American technique of life.
Fonda stars as Harry Collings, a cowboy grown fatiguing of life in the saddle who comes to the realisation that what he's been searching for all these years may just be the home life he lascivious as a younger man. Returning to his mate Hannah (Bloom) with grizzly r...
The Hired Hand
Peter Fonda had some clout in Hollywood when this advise-hippy western was made, having produced and starred as "Captain America" in the cult hit Easy Rider two years earlier. In addition to starring here, Fonda also makes a comely ass of directing this cold, bordering on existential western around a little woman (the superb Verna Bloom) torn between two drifters, her husband Fonda and the older Warren Oates. This has all the sly bleakness and cyclical sense of destiny now associated with its gossip columnist, the mordant Alan Sharp — who also penned Cimmerian dark Moves and Mug Roy, among others — and is richly rewarding in its portrayal of the strong authenticity of frontier subsistence. Some audiences might enter more action, though, and it may be a less...
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