Search icon

Movies & TV

31st May 2024

A beloved Western movie is airing on TV tonight

Stephen Porzio

Holding a 94% score on Rotten Tomatoes, it comes from the director of The Wild Bunch and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia.

Our TV movie pick for tonight (Friday, 31 May) is The Ballad of Cable Hogue, the 1970 Western from director Sam Peckinpah (Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, Straw Dogs, The Wild Bunch).

Set around 1905, it tells the story of Cable Hogue (two-time Oscar-winner Jason Robards, All the President’s Men) – who begins the film abandoned in the desert without water.

Wandering for days, he eventually finds a supply of water in a muddy ditch. Upon determining that the spot is the only spring in the area, Cable decides to start a business offering water to passing stagecoaches.

“Aided by his new reverend friend, Joshua (David Warner), and a sex worker named Hildy (Stella Stevens), Cable builds a successful business. However, when motorcars start to pass, Cable realises his trade is down to its last days,” the plot synopsis reads.

Holding a 94% score on Rotten Tomatoes, The Ballad of Cable Hogue has been praised for its lighter, more comedic tone than most of Peckinpah’s other movies – which often tend to be hyper-violent.

Its fine performances and its depiction of the transition between the old West and modern civilisation have also earned it glowing reviews.

As part of the channel’s Western Friday nights, The Ballad of Cable Hogue is airing on TG4 at 9.50pm.

It is also available to rent on Apple TV and Google Play.

Here are the other movies on TV this evening:

Logan – E4 – 9pm

It’s also secretly a Western.

Jack Reacher – Film4 – 9pm

Tom Cruise’s first outing as author Lee Child’s most famous creation is immensely watchable.

Double Team – Legend – 9pm

A ’90s buddy action comedy with Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Last Passenger – Legend Xtra – 9pm

In this breakneck UK thriller, a group of passengers – including a doctor (Dougray Scott) and his son – on a night train from London gradually come to realise that the driver of the vehicle has a dark plan for everyone onboard.

The Report – RTÉ One – 9.35pm

This excellently taut drama details an FBI agent (Adam Driver) performing an exhaustive investigation into the CIA’s use of torture on suspected terrorists.

The Hangover Part II – RTÉ2 – 10pm

The lads go to Bangkok.

Circle of Friends – Virgin Media One – 10pm

Chris O’Donnell and Minnie Driver star in this adaptation of a Maeve Binchy novel.

Jack’s Back – Legend Xtra – 10.55pm

James Spader has a dual role in this ’80s crime thriller horror about a serial killer in Los Angeles who celebrates Jack the Ripper’s 100th birthday by committing similar murders.

Team America: World Police – Channel 4 – 11.05pm

The beloved action comedy satire made with puppets.

Dunkirk – BBC One – 11.10pm

This ambitious and tense retelling of the Dunkirk evacuation of World War II comes from acclaimed writer-director Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight trilogy, Oppenheimer).

Kung Pow! Enter the Fist – Comedy Central – 11.20pm

The cult martial arts comedy.

Hancock – Film4 – 11.40pm

In this decent action comedy, a vigilante superhero (Will Smith) tries to improve his image as his reckless actions routinely cost his city millions.

Scent of a Woman – RTÉ One – 11.55pm

The ’90s drama that earned Al Pacino his overdue Oscar.

Read more:

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge