Read full review Olde Review: The Wild Bunch This was part of a series of reviews of the ASUW Film series back in the '70's. Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4 I suppose "The Wild Bunch" is the most violent movie ever made. And what is that code? And at the end, after the bloodshed, when the Robert Ryan character sits for hours outside the gate of the compound, just thinking, there is the … The undercurrent of the action in "The Wild Bunch" is the sheer meaninglessness of it all. It makes all the difference in the world. The quiet moments, with the firelight and the sad songs on the guitar and the sweet tender prostitutes, are like daydreams, with no standing in the bunch's real world. Italian director Carlo Carlei summed up the debt owed to the film and its director when he said, "There is a chain of inspiration like The Bible... Everything comes from Peckinpah.". The first bank robbery nets only a bag of iron washers--"a dollar's worth of steel holes." “We're not gonna get rid of anybody! Film at 145 minutes is far over-length, and should be tightened extensively, particularly in first half. He forces us to confront our own voyeuristic ambivalence; we're alternately horrified by the butchery and exhilarated by the orgiastic energy his balletic spectacles stir up. It's not very pleasant. It's a road picture and a morality tale and another ode to the sunsetting of the western and to some of its top stars. When you side with a man, you stay with him! A man is dragged behind a horse. Their chief hideouts were Hole in the Wall, a nearly inaccessible grassy canyon and rocky retreat in north-central Wyoming; Brown’s Hole (now Brown’s And it's Peckinpah at his finest. Peckinpah possibly identified with the wild bunch. Every actor was perfectly cast to play exactly what he could play; even the small roles need no explanation. With a wry smile he gets up to join them. The movie takes place in 1913, on the eve of World War I. The Wild Bunch still retains its sorrowful, fatal power because of the complexity of Peckinpah's attitudes about violence. Directed by: Sam Peckinpah. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. They agree to … The Wild Bunch (1969) In the decades before Bullitt, before modern action movies grew into something like maturity, Westerns served a lot of the same functions. A free inside look at company reviews and salaries posted anonymously by employees. The Wild Bunch is beautifully shot by Lucien Ballard, but unlike John Ford, Peckinpah isn’t interested in spectacular landscapes (although there are some here). But no one saw the 144-minute version for many years. He captures a dirty, chaotic time in gritty detail, from the opening shots of a scorpion consumed by a mountain of ants to Angel’s impoverished village and the debauched, besieged town from which Mapache runs his military campaign against insurgent … © 2021 METACRITIC, A RED VENTURES COMPANY. Directed by Sam Peckinpah. They have trapped some scorpions and are watching them being tortured by ants. The video versions of "The Wild Bunch," restored to its original running time of 144 minutes, include several scenes not widely seen since the movie had its world premiere in 1969. “ The Wild Bunch ”–not to be associated with Butch Cassidy and his Wyoming outlaw gang–is the type of action-western that meets with favorable b.o. Wyoming State Museum: The Wild Bunch - See 463 traveler reviews, 195 candid photos, and great deals for Cheyenne, WY, at Tripadvisor. Like action movies, they were two-fisted tales of (stereotypically male) heroism. Treborus. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 April 2012 . With William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O'Brien. It’s a towering achievement that grows more riveting and resonant with the years. The men provided to him by a railroad mogul are shifty and unreliable; they don't understand the code of the bunch. I met him twice, once on the set of "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid" (1973), once in a hotel room when he was touring to publicize "Alfredo Garcia," which then and now was not seen as the great film it is. I saw the original version at the world premiere in 1969, during the golden age of the junket, when Warner Bros. screened five of its new films in the Bahamas for 450 critics and reporters. Fairly entertaining and well made western with good acting and writing. The wild bunch is maybe of the edgiest westerns ever made. The Wild Bunch. He forces us to confront our own voyeuristic ambivalence; we're alternately horrified by the butchery and exhilarated by the orgiastic energy his balletic spectacles stir up. The second disc is filled with interesting documentaries on Sam Peckinpah,and the making of The Wild Bunch. The Wild Bunch is gory and violent and masochistic and legendary in scope. Certainly that is a theme of "The Wild Bunch.". The train robbery is well-planned, but the bunch cannot hold onto their takings. “The Wild Bunch is about men who don’t relate to women very well,” Stratton says. In an era when body-count films mirror the mounting body count offscreen, The Wild Bunch dissects death rather than glorifying it. It’s no accident that you feel a sense of loss for each killer of the Bunch: Peckinpah has made them seem heroically, mythically alive on the screen. The Wild Bunch Reviews Click here if this is your business. Throats are slit, broken, strangled. It is that the mantle of violence is passing from the old professionals like Pike and his bunch, who operate according to a code, into the hands of a new generation that learns to kill more impersonally, as a game, or with machines. The Wild Bunch still retains its sorrowful, fatal power because of the complexity of Peckinpah's attitudes about violence. In an early scene of "The Wild Bunch," the bunch rides into town past a crowd of children who are gathered with excitement around their game. 3 people found this helpful. After a bang-up and exciting opening, it appears that scripters lost sight of their narrative to drag in Mexican songs, dancing and way of life, plus an overage of dialog, to the detriment of action. Thanks to recent advances in special effects, the blood actually spurts when somebody gets shot; there are geysers of blood everywhere. Genres: Revisionist Western, New Hollywood. Most of them fill in details from the earlier life of Pike, including his guilt over betraying Thornton (Robert Ryan), who was once a member of the bunch but is now leading the posse of bounty hunters on their trail. Sam Peckinpah (1925-1984) was a Marine in World War II, apprenticed in Hollywood under the action director Don Siegel, and did more than anyone else to bring the traditional Western into the gloom of a modern, ironic age. And another, looking at the newfangled auto, says, "they're gonna use them in the war, they say." WRITE A REVIEW ★★★★★ 5 / 5. Filmed in Mexico with the cream of the Mexican industry’s action experts, it has several big directors (Emilio Fernandez, Chano Urueta, Alfonso Arau, Fernando Wagner) as actors. And it's Peckinpah at his finest. 11 Wild Bunch reviews. But their focus was different. It's a bullet festival and a love letter to the genre and a big middle finger to the Hollywood rule book. Children run after the car, laughing. When it comes to the action scenes though, the wild bunch is not a 1969 action film, it's eternal action film. An aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the "traditional" American West is disappearing around them. And if you can't do that, you're like some animal, you're finished! Report abuse. The movie was photographed by Lucien Ballard, in dusty reds and golds and browns and shadows. It's a bullet festival and a love letter to the genre and a big middle finger to the Hollywood rule book. And at the end, after the bloodshed, when the Robert Ryan character sits for hours outside the gate of the compound, just thinking, there is the payoff: A new gang is getting together, to see what jobs might be left to do. I stood up and called it a masterpiece; I felt, then and now, that "The Wild Bunch" is one of the great defining moments of modern movies. The movie is, first of all, about old and worn men. At a press conference the morning after the premiere, Holden and Peckinpah hid behind dark glasses and deep scowls; it was rumored that Holden had been appalled when he saw the film. They have trapped some scorpions and are watching them being tortured by ants. This information about The Wild Bunch shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. The missing pieces flesh out the characters. Rivetingly realistic, edited in a gripping and exciting style unseen up to that time, and marvelously scripted. The word "classic" tends to get overused now,but this film absolutely deserves that title. The Wild Bunch rests at the center of a dynamic group of films about armed Americans taking violent ‘expeditions’ across the border. Read 1 customer review of the The Wild Bunch & compare with other Westerns at Review Centre. He was an iconoclast, warred with the studios, was often drunk, fought even with his actors, but achieved in "The Wild Bunch" and "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia" (1974) a fusion of the Western myth and the existential hero. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. It is all there: Why Pike limps, what passed between Pike and Thornton in the old days, why Pike seems tortured by his thoughts and memories. He forces us to confront our own voyeuristic ambivalence; we're alternately horrified by the butchery and exhilarated by the orgiastic energy his balletic spectacles stir up. Here's our final list of the 50 highest-scoring films released (in one... Music title data, credits, and images provided by, Movie title data, credits, and poster art provided by. Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. The undercurrent of the action in "The Wild Bunch" is the sheer meaninglessness of it all. From 1 review … The on-screen carnage established a new level in American movies, but few of the films that followed in its wake could duplicate Peckinpah's depth of feeling. The Wild Bunch was made soon after the release of the groundbreaking, violent Bonnie and Clyde, and at a time when news footage of the Vietnam War's carnage was broadcast into American living rooms every night. One comes through a botched bank robbery at the beginning of the film, and the other comes at the end, where Pike looks at Angel's body being dragged through the square, and says "God, I hate to see that," and then later walks into a bordello and says "Let's go," and everybody knows what he means, and they walk out and begin the suicidal showdown with the heavily-armed rebels. It was successful, but it was read as a celebration of compulsive, mindless violence; see the uncut version, and you get a better idea of what Peckinpah was driving at. 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