Without these scenes, the movie seems more empty and existential, as if Pike and his men seek death after reaching the end of the trail. “ 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. It's a bullet festival and a love letter to the genre and a big middle finger to the Hollywood rule book. And if you can't do that, you're like some animal, you're finished! Witty, violent, dark. The Wild Bunch rests at the center of a dynamic group of films about armed Americans taking violent ‘expeditions’ across the border. A friend of mine describes "The Wild Bunch" as being … Like them, he was an obsolete, violent, hard-drinking misfit with his own code, and did not fit easily into the new world of automobiles, and Hollywood studios. Wild Bunch, a collection of cowboy-outlaws who flourished in the 1880s and ’90s in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and surrounding states and territories. “Whatever kind of affection they have, they can feel really only for each other. 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. 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. They have trapped some scorpions and are watching them being tortured by ants. “The Wild Bunch is about men who don’t relate to women very well,” Stratton says. Thanks to recent advances in special effects, the blood actually spurts when somebody gets shot; there are geysers of blood everywhere. The Wild Bunch. Now, when we watch Ryan, as Thornton, sitting outside the gate and thinking, we know what he is remembering. Read full review Like action movies, they were two-fisted tales of (stereotypically male) heroism. Wild Bunch, The; The Wild Bunch Review. Except for some punctuation, I haven't changed anything from the way it was presented, giving the kid I was back in the '70's a break. 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. Narrated by Nick Redman, several of the surviving cast and crew members return to lend voiceovers to the aging … Movies: Wild Bunch, The; A band of outlaws find themselves hiding away in Mexico under the influence of a megolomaniac Mexican general. With them, Pike's actions are more motivated: He feels unsure of himself and the role he plays. It's a bullet festival and a love letter to the genre and a big middle finger to the Hollywood rule book. It was party time, and not the right venue for what became one of the most controversial films of its time--praised and condemned with equal vehemence, like "Pulp Fiction." Children run after the car, laughing. A man is dragged behind a horse. Genres: Revisionist Western, New Hollywood. 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.". It follows a group of your usual outlaw cowboys, but unlike most films of the genre, this one is serviced by a violent world where it's protagonist will do whatever it takes to survive. And what is that code? Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4 WRITE A REVIEW ★★★★★ 5 / 5. Certainly that is a theme of "The Wild Bunch.". Olde Review: The Wild Bunch This was part of a series of reviews of the ASUW Film series back in the '70's. In between the action sequences (which also include the famous scene where a bridge is bombed out from beneath mounted soldiers), there is time for the male bonding that Peckinpah celebrated in most of his films. 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. The eyes of Pike (, Visions of Friendship: Michael Angelo Covino and Kyle Marvin on The Climb, The Lynchian Aspirations of Losing Alice Underwhelm Rather Than Intrigue, CW Reboots Walker but Forgets to Give Him a Personality, Something as Extraordinary as Birth Itself: Kornél Mundruczó and Kata Wéber on Pieces of a Woman. 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. The wild bunch is simply the best the … The movie was photographed by Lucien Ballard, in dusty reds and golds and browns and shadows. Ab jetzt wirds einfach nur noch edgy und ist auch eher was für "Fans" der Reihe, falls es so etwas geben sollte. The editing, by Lou Lombardo, uses slow motion to draw the violent scenes out into meditations on themselves. Read full review It's not very pleasant. Starring: William Holden, Jaime Sánchez, Edmond O'Brien, Ben Johnson, Warren Oates, Robert Ryan, Ernest Borgnine. The wild bunch is maybe of the edgiest westerns ever made. We're gonna stick together, just like it used to be! The undercurrent of the action in "The Wild Bunch" is the sheer meaninglessness of it all. The missing pieces flesh out the characters. 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. 11 Wild Bunch reviews. From 1 review … 5.0 out of 5 stars My first X film. "We gotta start thinking beyond our guns," one of the bunch observes. Directed by Sam Peckinpah. 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. And another, looking at the newfangled auto, says, "they're gonna use them in the war, they say." Directed by: Sam Peckinpah. The first bank robbery nets only a bag of iron washers--"a dollar's worth of steel holes." 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 Read 1 customer review of the The Wild Bunch & compare with other Westerns at Review Centre. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. The Wild Bunch is gory and violent and masochistic and legendary in scope. The deaths in this film are neither sterile nor heroic. 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. Near the end of the film, Pike is shot by a little boy who gets his hands on a gun. Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. After a reporter from the Reader's Digest got up to ask "Why was this film ever made?" It is not a war that would have meaning within his intensely individual frame of reference; he knows loyalty to his bunch, and senses it is the end of his era. It makes all the difference in the world. A movie review by James Berardinelli Violence comes in many shapes, sizes, and forms. But their focus was different. All of us!”. The Wild Bunch still retains its sorrowful, fatal power because of the complexity of Peckinpah's attitudes about violence. I cannot pretend to know what he was thinking, but I look at the films and I surmise that they represent a continuing parable about a professional doing what he does well in the face of personal and professional agony. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game - Complete Edition. His men shoot, screw, drink, and ride horses. "Those days are closing fast." “We're not gonna get rid of anybody! In an era when body-count films mirror the mounting body count offscreen, The Wild Bunch dissects death rather than glorifying it. 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 … They agree to … Film at 145 minutes is far over-length, and should be tightened extensively, particularly in first half. The second disc is filled with interesting documentaries on Sam Peckinpah,and the making of The Wild Bunch. 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. Reviews of The Wild Soccer Bunch 3. The movie takes place in 1913, on the eve of World War I. The undercurrent of the action in "The Wild Bunch" is the sheer meaninglessness of it all. It says that you stand by your friends and against the world, that you wrest a criminal living from the banks, the railroads and the other places where the money is, and that while you don't shoot at civilians unnecessarily, it is best if they don't get in the way. Peckinpah possibly identified with the wild bunch. And it's Peckinpah at his finest. Any stray thoughts and updates I've included with the inevitable asterisked post-scripts. 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. An aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the "traditional" American West is disappearing around them. They have trapped some scorpions and are watching them being tortured by ants. Check box if your review contains spoilers. Twenty-six years ago, when Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch was first released, it caused a stir because of its gritty, uncompromising style. 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. It was cut, not because of violence (only quiet scenes were removed), but because it was too long to be shown three times in an evening. © 2021 METACRITIC, A RED VENTURES COMPANY. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism. The word "classic" tends to get overused now,but this film absolutely deserves that title. 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. 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. Quite good. 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 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. 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. The eyes of Pike (William Holden), leader of the bunch, briefly meet the eyes of one of the children. 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. Hundreds of men, women and horses are slaughtered. And it's Peckinpah at his finest. Throats are slit, broken, strangled. There is nothing else to do, not for a man with his background. 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. 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. Later in the film, a member of the bunch named Angel is captured by Mexican rebels, and dragged around the town square behind one of the first automobiles anyone there has seen. The problem with this film is that a great deal of time is spent showing the protagonists laughing, drinking, and wenching, and riding horses here and there, and after ten or fifteen minutes of this it starts getting very old. The train robbery is well-planned, but the bunch cannot hold onto their takings. 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. 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. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 April 2012 . Report abuse. Please enter your birth date to watch this video: You are not allowed to view this material at this time. 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 movie is, first of all, about old and worn men. "The Wild Bunch, An Album in Montage" is also very well made and kept my attention throughout its 33 minute running time, combining a generous helping of behind-the-scenes footage (shot in black-and-white with a handheld camera) with finalized scenes from the film. Peckinpah’s script, direction and cutting (a marvelous, adventurous job by Louis … It’s a towering achievement that grows more riveting and resonant with the years. The message here is not subtle, but then Sam Peckinpah was not a subtle director, preferring bold images to small points. 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 … Treborus. Seeing this restored version is like understanding the film at last. Rivetingly realistic, edited in a gripping and exciting style unseen up to that time, and marvelously scripted. The Wild Bunch still retains its sorrowful, fatal power because of the complexity of Peckinpah's attitudes about violence. The hard action, bracing wit and mournful grace of Peckinpah’s cowboy classic shames every new movie around. 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. But no one saw the 144-minute version for many years. The men provided to him by a railroad mogul are shifty and unreliable; they don't understand the code of the bunch. The Wild Bunch still retains its sorrowful, fatal power because of the complexity of Peckinpah's attitudes about violence. The two great violent set-pieces in the movie involve a lot of civilians. Lots of bystanders are killed in both sequences (one of the bunch picks a scrap from a woman's dress off of his boot), but there is also cheap sentimentality, as when Pike gives gold to a prostitute with a child, before walking out to die. It’s a traumatic poem of violence, with imagery as ambivalent as Goya’s. Read reviews and ratings of The Wild Bunch from our experts, and see what our community says, too! The first bank robbery nets only a bag of iron washers--"a dollar's worth of steel holes." This is not the kind of film that would likely be made today, but it represents its set of sad, empty values with real poetry. Wyoming State Museum: The Wild Bunch - See 463 traveler reviews, 195 candid photos, and great deals for Cheyenne, WY, at Tripadvisor. The Wild Bunch Reviews Click here if this is your business. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. With William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O'Brien. Both times he seemed tremulous, and I had the impression of almost uncontrollable discomfort. An aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the "traditional" American West is disappearing around them. Every actor was perfectly cast to play exactly what he could play; even the small roles need no explanation. Holden and his fellow actors (Ernest Borgnine, Warren Oates, Edmond O'Brien, Ben Johnson and the wonderful Robert Ryan) look lined and bone-tired. Blood flows in an unending stream. Verified Purchase. When it comes to the action scenes though, the wild bunch is not a 1969 action film, it's eternal action film. Fairly entertaining and well made western with good acting and writing. 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 been making a living by crime for many years, and although Ryan is now hired by the law, it is only under threat that he will return to jail if he doesn't capture the bunch. I suppose "The Wild Bunch" is the most violent movie ever made. When you side with a man, you stay with him! Notable Video Game Releases: New and Upcoming, From The Godfather to Heat, the stamp of The Wild Bunch is self-evident. 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. He was clearly drunk (on the set in Mexico, he sat on a chair in the sun, shielded by an umbrellas, hat, dark glasses, relaying instructions to his assistant director). 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. 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. With a wry smile he gets up to join them. 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. 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. 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). A free inside look at company reviews and salaries posted anonymously by employees. *We're* finished! 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