Kenneth R. Brown
After viewing Ride the High Country, Jean Renoir remarked that "Mr. Peckinpah knows much about the music of the soul." But this could have been said even more accurately about The Ballad of Cable Hogue, because "the music of the soul" is really what it's all about. What Sam Peckinpah tried to do in this film was illuminate the essence, the soul of his characters—not through the realistic rendering of character and event, but by "objectifying" their various states of inner reality. This is indicated not merely by Peckinpah's "artifice,"… but by the film's entire style and content, which are more closely unified than in almost any movie one could mention….
(The entire section is 876 words.)