Sam Peckinpah’s ‘Ride the High Country’ according to dirty rat James Drury

Nefarious gold miner Billy Hammond [James Drury] and guileless bride-to-be Elsa Knudsen [Mariette Hartley] on location in the Santa Monica Mountains for “Ride the High Country,” Sam Peckinpah’s second film behind the camera following the little-seen “Deadly Companions.” Shot on a tight 26-day budget where soap suds were substituted for snow, the elegiac western served as Randolph Scott’s swansong and Joel McCrea’s last great role. Earning the top honor at Cannes, “Ride the High Country” was regrettably treated apathetically in the USA and lost money upon its May 9, 1962, issue. The matter was belatedly rectified with its 1992 preservation in the National Film Registry housed within the Library of Congress, although Peckinpah, Scott, and McCrea had sadly already passed away. Image Credit: screengrab / Cinematographer Lucien Ballard / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / IMDB

Cowboy James Drury, a mainstay of 1960s television as the titular hero of NBC’s The Virginian, participated in another legendary project — albeit as the villain in the 1962 western Ride the High Country. A previously unexcavated interview finds Drury reminiscing on nonconformist director Sam Peckinpah, charming scene stealer Warren Oates, the principled Joel…

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Retro pop culture interviews & lovin’ something fierce sustain this University of Georgia Master of Agricultural Leadership alum. Email: jeremylr@windstream.net

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Jeremy Roberts

Jeremy Roberts

Retro pop culture interviews & lovin’ something fierce sustain this University of Georgia Master of Agricultural Leadership alum. Email: jeremylr@windstream.net

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