“If they move”, hisses stern-eyed William Holden, “kill ’em”. So begins The Wild Bunch (1969), Sam Peckinpah’s bloody, high-body-count eulogy to the mythologized Old West. “Pouring new wine into the bottle of the Western, Peckinpah explodes the bottle”, observed critic Pauline Kael. That exploding bottle also christened the director with the nickname that would forever define his films and reputation: “Bloody Sam”.
David Samuel Peckinpah was born and grew up in Fresno, California, when it was still a sleepy town. Young Sam was a loner. The child’s greatest influence was grandfather Denver Church Peckinpah, a judge, congressman and one of the best shots in the Sierra Nevadas. Sam served in the Marine Corps during World War II but – to his disappointment – did not see combat. He married Marie Selland in Las Vegas in 1947 and enrolled as a theater graduate student at the University of Southern California the next year.
After drifting through several jobs—including a stint… read more
Though it barely rates a mention when Peckinpah's career is discussed, this tough guy thriller from near the end of his career has much to recommend it. Reuniting Godfather stars Caan and Duvall as operatives for a mysterious organisation was a masterstroke as they have great chemistry in their scenes together. Handsomely shot in iconic San Francisco locations, this is a slow burner that is well worth checking out..
São Francisco parece ser mesmo a cidade certa para disparar uns tiros e rebentar com carros, que o digam Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood, e aqui, James Caan. Antes do esteróides anabolizantes da era Reagan, dos importados de Hong Kong, e das lutas com acrobacias aéreas e câmaras de alta velocidade, Sam Peckinpah escrevia o cinema macho com uma bala na culatra e o pé no acelerador.