The Hired Hand

Director: Peter Fonda
Year Released: 1971
Rating: 3.0

Harry (Fonda), who's been wandering around the American Southwest for seven long years doing odd jobs with his best friend Arch (the inimitable Warren Oates), finally decides to return home to his wife Hannah (Verna Bloom) and daughter only to find his wife hasn't been faithful to him (she can't really be faulted there) and isn't sure he wants to stay in one place.  For being Fonda's directorial debut, it's surprisingly well-made and self-assured - although perhaps a little too low-key (and tries a bit hard to be poetic) - with Vilmos Zsigmond's cinematography and Bruce Langhorne's score helping out in the ambience department.  The ending, in which the men are separated (which concludes in tragedy), suggests that once you settle down you better stay there ... although, based on what Hannah tells Arch, it doesn't matter who's sleeping with her.