The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • A hobo accidentally stumbles onto a water spring, and creates a profitable way station in the middle of the desert.

  • Double-crossed and left without water in the desert, Cable Hogue is saved when he finds a spring. It is in just the right spot for a much needed rest stop on the local stagecoach line, and Hogue uses this to his advantage. He builds a house and makes money off the stagecoach passengers. Hildy, a sex worker from the nearest town, moves in with him. Hogue has everything going his way until the advent of the automobile ends the era of the stagecoach.

  • Nevada, early-1900s. Cable Hogue (played by Jason Robards) is double-crossed and robbed by his two partners. he is left for dead, wandering the desert without water. However, Hogue manages to survive and sets about restoring his fortunes. He finds water near a main road, buys a small plot of land around it and sells water to passing travelers. He also falls in love, with Hildy (Stella Stevens).

  • Cable Hogue is a prospector who is abandoned in the desert, with no water, by his so-called partners. Nearing death, he discovers a natural spring and he's soon at the nearest town to register a land claim. There he meets a pretty local prostitute, Hildy. Back at his claim site, he christens it Cable Springs and opens a stagecoach station where the horses can be watered and the passengers fed. Hildy soon joins him but only temporarily as she has dreams of moving to San Francisco and setting herself up there in her own popular line of business. Things are going well for Cable when, to his delight, his former partners show up. This time he's prepared for them. When Hildy returns after a long absence he's ready to pack it in and make his life with her but as is so often the case, fate intervenes.

  • When Cable Hogue is left in the desert without any water, double-crossed by his partners Taggart and Bowen, he prays for God. Four days later he finds a spring on the stagecoach line en route to Deaddog City. Cable meets the preacher Joshua Sloane, who advises him to claim for the land. He rides to Deaddog, where he has an encounter with the prostitute Hildy. Also, financed by the local banker, he builds a stagecoach stop helped by Reverend Joshua. Later, Hildy is expelled by the dwellers of Deaddog and she moves to Cable's place, becoming his lover. She invites Cable to move with her to San Francisco, but Cable wants to revenge first against Taggart and Bowen.


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