Original Australian Daybill movie poster.The Hired Hand is a 1971 American western film directed by Peter Fonda, with a screenplay by Alan Sharp. The film stars Fonda, Warren Oates, and Verna Bloom. The cinematography was by Vilmos Zsigmond, Bruce Langhorne provided the moody film score. The story is about a man returning to his abandoned wife after seven years of drifting from job to job throughout the southwest. The embittered woman will only let him stay if he agrees to move in as a hired hand.Upon release, the film received a mixed critical response and was a financial failure. In 1973, the film was shown on NBC-TV in an expanded version, but soon drifted into obscurity. In 2001, a fully restored version was shown at various film festivals, gaining strong critical praise, and it was released by the Sundance Channel on DVD. It is now considered a classic Western of the period.