The Hired Hand
- Original title
The Hired Hand
- Running time
- 90 min.
- United States
- Synopsis / Plot
- Peter Fonda's superb yet little-seen directorial debut subverts the machismo of the Western genre with a quiet, understated tale of relationships and loyalty in the Wild West. Fonda stars as Harry Collings, a drifter who has been roaming from town to town with his close friend and fellow wanderer Arch Harris (Warren Oates). Collings is haunted by memories of the wife (Verna Bloom) and daughter he abandoned and decides to make amends and return to them, offering penance by working on the family farmstead as a hired hand. But his newfound domesticity is threatened when Arch is taken hostage by an enemy they affronted in their travels, and Collings must choose between family responsibility or loyalty to his friend. Beautifully shot by Oscar-winning cinematographer Vilmos Szigmond (DELIVERANCE, MCCABE & MRS. MILLER) and hauntingly scored by acclaimed composer Bruce Langhorne, THE HIRED HAND is a sensitive drama that prompted Jane Fonda to declare that her brother had made "the first feminist Western."
: New York Film Critics Circle: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor (Oates)
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