Outlaws on the Mexican-U.S. frontier face the march of progress, the Mexican army and a gang of bounty hunters led by a former member while they plan a robbery of a U.S. army train. No one is innocent in this gritty tale of of desperation against changing times. Pump shotguns, machine guns and automobiles mix with horses and winchesters in this ultraviolent western. —IMDb
“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
I thought this film was oddly poetic, the direction, editing and overall mood combined to make an almost 'beautiful' film (?) . The way the bodies fell, the way the glass smashed in slow motion was just, poetic.
An appreciation of the great American actor Robert Ryan on the occasion of a New York retrospective.
Happy birthday, Al Pacino. He's 70 today, an occasion for a 60 Minutes sit-down with Katie Couric — and a few clips here. The Observer
The ultimate deconstruction of the Western came with Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch. Even today the violence is shockingly grim, almost as if Peckinpah intended to make a lasting statement. In some… read review