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: What is your favorite Sam Peckinpah film?
Ride The High Country   -3 (7.5%)
Major Dundee   -3 (7.5%)
The Wild Bunch   -15 (37.5%)
The Ballad of Cable Hogue   -1 (2.5%)
Junior Bonner   -0 (0%)
Straw Dogs   -1 (2.5%)
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid   -6 (15%)
Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia   -9 (22.5%)
The Osterman Weekend   -0 (0%)
Other   -2 (5%)
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: Favorite Peckinpah Film  ( 44503 )
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« : August 01, 2005, 03:31:39 PM »

I know some of you don't like Peckinpah. . . but you silly sods can just ignore this poll.  :P For the rest of us, feel free to answer the above.

My pick is easily "The Wild Bunch".  A perfect film in almost every way if you ask me.

BTW, the "others" include:
The Deadly Companions
Noon Wine
The Getaway
The Killer Elite
Cross of Iron
Convoy (don't think anyone will vote for that!  :P)

Maybe some I've forgotten?  :-\

Edit: Obviously I'd forgotten "Cross of Iron". . . some Peckinpah fan I am!  :P

« : August 02, 2005, 04:02:36 AM Groggy »


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« #1 : August 01, 2005, 04:25:03 PM »

the wild bunch is NOTHING compared to the directors cut of pat garrett and billy the kid... i would say it's not even as good as alfredo, getaway, or ride the high country... i just don't get it... i mean i love it as much as the next guy... but why is it undoubtedly the best peckinpah among most?


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« #2 : August 01, 2005, 09:14:43 PM »

Well of the List I've only completely seen

Wild Bunch
The Deadly Companions
The Getaway
Pat Garret & Billy The Kid

and just parts of

Ballad of Cable Houge
Alfredo Garcia

So I'll hold off until I can watch RTHC before voting


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« #3 : August 02, 2005, 02:31:01 AM »

My favorite Peckinpah film is CROSS OF IRON. The most horrible war film I have ever seen. Not the film wich is horrible, but it really makes feel what war is in reality: horrible. Every war films since haven't made better in this way.

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« #4 : August 02, 2005, 02:45:19 AM »

Make that 2 votes for Cross of Iron - the battle of wills between James Coburn and Maximilian Schell is captivating,although do you agree Dlanor that the ending is rather bizarre.Why does Coburn allow Schell to live ?

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« #5 : August 02, 2005, 03:59:12 AM »

Alfredo Garcia

that film has balls you wouldnt beleive, it would make such a great spaghetti western


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« #6 : August 02, 2005, 07:26:29 AM »

Make that 2 votes for Cross of Iron - the battle of wills between James Coburn and Maximilian Schell is captivating,although do you agree Dlanor that the ending is rather bizarre.Why does Coburn allow Schell to live ?

The rather manic 'laughin' ending supposidly was to do with running out of film and funding. On a certain day Peckinpah was told to stop filming. The last act was filmed as crew and equipment was being taken away.

Put me down for Cross Of Iron.


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« #7 : August 02, 2005, 08:25:46 AM »

Make that 2 votes for Cross of Iron - the battle of wills between James Coburn and Maximilian Schell is captivating,although do you agree Dlanor that the ending is rather bizarre.Why does Coburn allow Schell to live ?

Cross Of Iron does have a somewhat anti-climactic ending. This is probably due to the low-budget nature of the production. For instance, Peckinpah was promised thirty tanks, but was only given three. Towards the end of shooting the producers told Peckinpah to pack it in, that it was finished. They had basically ran out of money. Naturally, Peckinpah freaked out and started to weep. Coburn then went and told the producers something to the effect of "fuck off, we're going to shoot it the way we want to." He consoled Sam to get it together, and they shot the end sequence in one day.

Personally, I think the end makes sense. Throughout the film, Steiner (Coburn) makes a point of showing Stransky how much of a coward he is. For instance, the scene where Stransky orders him to execute a Russian boy prisoner. Steiner hands him a pistol and tells him to do it. One of Steiner's men intervenes and says that he'll take care of it, and ushers the boy away. Stransky thinks the boy will be executed, but he is eventually set free only to be killed by his own people.

My point is, Steiner was willing to let Stransky murder the boy just to prove a point to him. At the end he could've killed Stransky, but instead he leads him into battle. He wants Stransky to experience the things that he orders others to do for him, thus exposing his own hypocrisy and cowardice.

If I MUST vote for a favorite Peckinpah film, then I pick The Wild Bunch. That's really a tough one though, I like all of them and love most of them. I decline to comment on Convoy unless pressed.


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« #8 : August 02, 2005, 08:28:16 AM »

The rather manic 'laughin' ending supposidly was to do with running out of film and funding. On a certain day Peckinpah was told to stop filming. The last act was filmed as crew and equipment was being taken away.

Put me down for Cross Of Iron.

You could take it from this guy, or my long-winded explanation.

And can I vote for more than one? This is cruel.


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« #9 : August 02, 2005, 11:49:09 AM »

Make that 2 votes for Cross of Iron - the battle of wills between James Coburn and Maximilian Schell is captivating,although do you agree Dlanor that the ending is rather bizarre.Why does Coburn allow Schell to live ?

Because he wants to show him how to win an Iron cross, and that's worth than death, that what we understood in all the movie. And The smoker made a very good explanation.
 Concerning the end, I don't think it was bad. For me the end is when the "ticket for Biarritz man"is killed by Steiner, and the climax is when Steiner men are killed. Even if there is one or two events after that, the film is finished.
 Not only the film shows the violence but also its absurdity because Steiner men are killed by their own side. As the Russian boy. And he let us think the boy is saved only to kill him after the absurdest way. Traumatizing.
 It doesn't make things pretty: As for Steiner's men, we fear for such a misunderstanding to happen, but we were so used to Hollywood movie were all was pretty, we couldn't believe it would happen. I don't think today they could make a film like that, with a boy killed, the rapt temptative, and a US war movie with Germans and not American as main charcaters. Today everything is polliticaly correct, they don't want to speak about these things but about comics superheroes.
The slow down and the blood wich wasn't red but sort of purple: this was the more disgusting, purple, blood, purple sky.

« : August 02, 2005, 11:54:29 AM Dlanor »
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« #10 : August 02, 2005, 01:24:47 PM »

but why is it undoubtedly the best peckinpah among most?
THE WILD BUNCH is far and away the best film Peckinpah ever made for the following reasons:

He had a brilliant and coherent script.

He was sober and the studio left him alone during the shooting.

He had the best cast he would ever have, and Holden gives a career best performance.

He was experimenting for the first time, with a clear idea of how he was going to combine multi speed cinematography with multi camera set ups, because he now knew how he could edit the material. This subsequent, unique style would be his lasting signature.

He has one of his best musical scores (I think only STRAW DOGS comes close, in any of his other films).

Namely, it was a perfect combination of talents in front of and behind the camera, and he had never had it so good before or after.

All the other films are flawed and compromised. CROSS OF IRON because the production stalled due to lack of money, and every other film because Sam was himself out of controle. PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID has some fine sequences, but as a whole film it never works due partly to Kris Kristofferson, who is appaling in this, and is incapable of supporting a feature film.

Michael Cimino should have watched this before casting him in HEAVEN'S GATE. Kristofferson in good in the British horror film THE SAILOR WHO FELL FROM GRACE WITH THE SEA, as his personality is used well (he is no actor) and he is only a supporting character and not asked to carry the thing.

Another fault in PAT GARRETT in the casting and scoring departments is Bob Dylan. In terms of acting, he makes Kristofferson look like Lawrence Olivier in compareson. I've seen more animated performances from well built tables, and what the hell were they thinking with that scene where he reads the lables on bean cans?

I think even drug and drink addled Peckinpah also realised the extreme limitations of Dylan's performance in post production, as his appearence seems cut down to a minimum.

I can not abide the man's music either, and his whining, constipated voice is something I have to block out whenever I watch this movie, although taste in music is a very personal thing, and this can't really be an objective opinion.

Its major fault though is its utter lack of narrative drive, unlike THE WILD BUNCH. It meaders from one would be set piece to another, to little point. And it still feels as though huge chunks are missing.

On a final, subjective note, I can not abide watching chickens have their heads blown off in slow motion in the name of art. People have gone crazy over films like CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST becuase animals are killed in them, but I find Pekinpah's use of them here utterly exploitative. I'm probabaly being a hypocrite, as I'll gladly eat the critters (my Thai red chicken curry is legendary). I just don't to watch that.

I truly believe that THE WILD BUNCH is one of those films you can never say you have "seen" unless you have watched it at a cinema. During the fight sequences, the point of action often cuts from the extreme left of frame to extreme right of frame to extreme left of frame and back again. On a big screen, with a 'scope format this makes these sequences even more powerful and viscreal, and is an effect utterly lost on television.

Just to go back to CROSS OF IRON, yes, its a great war film, but the most traumatic and brutal (fictional feature) war film ever made was the Soviet movie COME AND SEE. Made by Elim Klimov, it makes all other war pictures look like Disney films.

« : August 02, 2005, 04:32:45 PM Juan Miranda »

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« #11 : August 02, 2005, 02:35:44 PM »

Cross of Iron is the only Peckinpah film I have seen I think...So it's difficult for me to place it in his whole work. :-\

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« #12 : August 02, 2005, 04:39:52 PM »

Just to add. After reading and writing about PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID, I just watched it again. It has one sequence in it where Peckinpah almost seems to be trying to shoot a Leone like homage.

The bit where Billy surrenders to Pat at a small bunkhouse is utterly Leone like in its pacing, placing of actors within the frame, use of zooms and angles, right down to the way the actors perform, with big gestures and exaggerated grins all round.

The only thing spoiling it is Dylan's gawdawful music.


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« #13 : August 02, 2005, 05:11:09 PM »


first of all about bob dylan, I love the pg+btk music, and i actually didn't mind his performance, again it wasn't that big... also not many have had the oppurtunity to see the director's cut, which is much much different than the long seen version, except on full screen vhs... i happen to have a widescreen bootleg directors cut dvd made from some laserdisc, so i have to admit i've seen a different version than most... actually, when i first saw the cut up version on television(which was before I bought the widescreen directors cut), I HATED IT, the version I love has a whole different feel to it, and a whole different beginning and ending to boot, people who have seen the directors cut vhs know what i'm talking about... so if you've seen anything but the director's cut that is now on vhs and you love peckinpah, i urge you to see it again, the way peckinpah wanted it, not the way he sued to get his name taken out of the credits.

THE WILD BUNCH is far and away the best film Peckinpah ever made for the following reasons:

He had a brilliant and coherent script.

He was sober and the studio left him alone during the shooting.


about the quote, alfredo garcia, which is better than wild bunch in my opinion, was, according to peckinpahhimself, the only film he had complete freedom of from beginning to end, and personally i like him less when he's sober, probably why i love pat garret and btk so much.

« : August 02, 2005, 05:24:01 PM grandpa_chum »

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« #14 : August 02, 2005, 05:31:19 PM »

I have only ever seen Peckinpah's directors cut of PAT GARRETT, and never any butchered version.


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