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The Hi-Lo Country

The movie The Hi-Lo Country was based on the book The Hi-Lo Country.

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Movie details for The Hi-Lo Country

The movie was released in 1998 and directed by Stephen Frears, who also directed The Grifters (1990), The Snapper (1993) and Mary Reilly (1996). The Hi-Lo Country was produced by Polygram USA Video. More information on the movie is available on Amazon.com and also IMDb.

Actors on this movie include Billy Crudup, Woody Harrelson, Cole Hauser, Enrique Castillo, Darren E. Burrows, Jacob Vargas, Robert Knott, Sam Elliott, Sandy Baron, Patricia Arquette, John Diehl, Craig Carter (II), Penélope Cruz, Walter C. Hall, James Gammon, Will Cascio, Richard Purdy, Lane Smith, Keith Walters and Sarge McGraw.

 

Read More About This Movie

Based on the novel by Max Evans and directed by Stephen Frears, The Hi-Lo Country charted a long and circuitous route to the big screen, and the final result proves that the material posed a major--and perhaps insurmountable--challenge for screen adap... Read More
Based on the novel by Max Evans and directed by Stephen Frears, The Hi-Lo Country charted a long and circuitous route to the big screen, and the final result proves that the material posed a major--and perhaps insurmountable--challenge for screen adaptation. It's easy to see why this contemporary Western was once a coveted project of director Sam Peckinpah; its codes of honor, male bonding, and hardened morality would've played nicely into Peckinpah's artistic legacy. There are clear echoes of Peckinpah in the screenplay by Walon Green (who wrote The Wild Bunch), and while the movie is blessed by Woody Harrelson's vivid performance as a reckless latter-day cowboy, Frears fails to maintain a compelling tone and the rest of the cast nearly fades into the background.

Billy Crudup (Without Limits) plays Harrelson's best pal, just returned to New Mexico from service in World War II with hopes of starting a cattle ranch free from the greedy clutches of a local rancher (Sam Elliott) who dominates the town of Hi-Lo like a bootclad kingpin. Harrelson joins in the effort, but tensions rise when he connects with the sultry seductress (Patricia Arquette) with whom Crudup has fallen inexplicably in love. Harrelson has provoked others as well, and he seems primed for a fall, but The Hi-Lo Country is a film out of balance. Memorable moments are found in abundance, and the film's period detail is impeccable, but Crudup's character is so underwritten and underplayed that his role as narrator and ostensible hero has minimal dramatic impact. By the time fate deals its inevitable blow, it's too late to care. Frears has suffered from similar missteps before (remember Mary Reilly?), and The Hi-Lo Country leaves you wondering what Peckinpah might have done with the novel he so dearly admired. --Jeff Shannon

Book details for The Hi-Lo Country

The Hi-Lo Country was written by Max Evans. The book was published in 1961 by University of New Mexico Press. More information on the book is available on Amazon.com.

 

Read More About This Book

The northeastern quadrant of New Mexico, with a slice of Colorado, Oklahoma, and West Texas, is the area Max Evans has dubbed the Hi Lo Country. He bought a ranch there when he was seventeen, he painted it as a young artist, and has used the land as the s... Read More
The northeastern quadrant of New Mexico, with a slice of Colorado, Oklahoma, and West Texas, is the area Max Evans has dubbed the Hi Lo Country. He bought a ranch there when he was seventeen, he painted it as a young artist, and has used the land as the setting for most of his well-known writings. His novels The Rounders and The Hi Lo Country were made into Hollywood movies.

Jan Haley is also from the heart of Hi Lo Country, where she has documented in her photography the vanishing homesteads and ranches in this region anchored by four mountains: Eagle Tail, Sierra Grande, Capulin, and Rabbit Ears. Her pictures of the spectacular landscapes will enthrall not just fans of Max Evans but anyone who wants to see the True West that still exists within a day's drive of the big cities that are now the population centers of the country.

The Max Evans text written specifically for this book is in his unmatched storytelling style and full of entertaining anecdotes. His writing is rich in heartfelt emotion and, coupled with Haley's photos, is a tribute to a neglected part of the world we can now treasure forever.