The Hired Hand: Collector's Edition Captain America set out to prove he had more mettle than the chopper-cruisin' anti-hero he portrayed in 1969's "Easy Rider," and that's just what Peter… The Hired Hand: Collector's Edition Captain America set out to prove he had more mettle than the chopper-cruisin' anti-hero he portrayed in 1969's "Easy Rider," and that's just what Peter…
Movie on DVD Review

The Hired Hand: Collector's Edition (2003)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Oct 28, 2003; DVD Release Date: Oct 28, 2003; Movie Rated: R; Genre: Western; With: Peter Fonda and Warren Oates

Captain America set out to prove he had more mettle than the chopper-cruisin' anti-hero he portrayed in 1969's ''Easy Rider,'' and that's just what Peter Fonda did with his hardly seen 1971 directorial debut -- a simple, lyrical tale of loyalty, revenge, and redemption in the rugged 1880s West. A stoic drifter (Fonda, embodying ''ambiguity,'' as he notes in the commentary) returns home after seven years, with his sidekick (Warren Oates), hoping to regain the favor of his emboldened wife (Verna Bloom). Despite its poetic use of montage and lush lens work by Vilmos Zsigmond (who later won an Oscar for ''Close Encounters of the Third Kind''), Hand was initially marketed as a jazzy actioner and played in U.S. theaters for only two weeks. But in Hamish McAlpine and original editor Frank Mazzola's glorious restoration, Zsigmond's New Mexican sunsets glow, Bruce Langhorne's period soundtrack mesmerizes, and the cast's raw performances prove Hand worthy of an encore. A EXTRAS Mostly the requisite stills and ads. Fonda gives a production breakdown in his commentary, but repeats some stories in a making-of doc. The most worthy feature is a deleted scene of young Larry ''J.R. Ewing'' Hagman, playing a well-meaning sheriff.

Originally posted Oct 31, 2003 Published in issue #735 Oct 31, 2003 Order article reprints
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