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Peter Fonda’s The Hired Hand, A Timeless Classic

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    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock (5871098d)
    Peter Fonda
    The Hired Hand – 1971
    Director: Peter Fonda
    Universal
    USA
    Scene Still
    Western
    L’Homme sans frontière

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    Fonda was drawn to a scenario by Alan Sharp (Night Moves, Ulzana’s Raid), which he read in one sitting during a restless night while promoting Easy Rider in Italy. “I felt I had to do this one,” he said, “because there were no clichés in this script, just western mythology.”

    Martin Scorsese personally selected the 1971 western for a revival screening at the inaugural Tribeca Film Festival in Manhattan. Clint Eastwood has acknowledged its “gritty realism” as a major influence on his own Unforgiven. Quentin Tarantino treasures his copy of the movie’s original theatrical trailer.

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  • (Verna Bloom played a strong, independent woman brilliantly)

  • Japanese Poster

  • A “Western” Masterpiece Hollywood couldn’t sell

    On Vilmos Zigmond

    Fonda had gotten to know his chosen cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond during the filming of Easy Rider, as Zsigmond had been a close friend of that feature’s cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs. Upon receiving the green light to make The Hired Hand, the young director knew exactly who he wanted to be his cinematographer.

    The same year he shot The Hired Hand, Zsigmond had also been employed by Robert Altman to create the gorgeous photography on his own unorthodox western, the aforementioned McCabe and Mrs. Miller. Early in his amazing career, Zsigmond proved far more than capable of producing painterly images through his camera lens.

    Peter Fonda (Feb 23, 1940-Aug 16,2019)
    Peter Fonda (previous post)

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