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: LEONE and PECKINPAH  ( 23991 )
dave jenkins
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« #15 : March 08, 2004, 12:52:41 AM »


In comparing Leone and Peckinpah, I view their films as being very different.  They both breathed new life into the western film, but did so in very different manners.  Leone films are more painterly and visual, while Peckinpah's film are more literary and cerebral.  Before anyone jumps on me, yes, Peckinpah is very visual too and, yes, Leone and also intellectual, but I do not believe that was the main emphasis of their efforts or necessarily what we remember them for.
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Of course, these two filmmakers were very different, but what makes this discussion interesting is finding areas in common. Although the two were sylistically different, I submit that they were exercised by similar themes. One of those themes, perhaps, was an exploration of machismo: how does a heterosexual male demonstrate his masculinity when there are no women around, when that masculinity can only be expressed in the presence of other men? What are the hallmarks of friendship? What do words like "loyalty" and "betrayal" really mean? These worthy questions, raised by both P and L, are too often ignored by most Anglo-saxon filmmakers.



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« #16 : March 08, 2004, 06:21:31 AM »

interesting that a peckinpah biography does not mention leone once...wondered if it mentioned spaghetti westerns at all???

In Frayling's book Leone claimed that Peckinpah admitted to him that without Leones westerns he could never have made the Wild Bunch or Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Though we should be careful as Leone was known to fabricate.
Leone also tried to get Peckinpah to direct Fistful of Dynamite with Leone as producer but Peckinpah chose not to, perhaps wary of leone trying to dominate him. ;D


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« #17 : June 12, 2007, 03:53:42 AM »

One of the major differences between these two great directors is definitely personality. Peckinpah was the loosest of cannons in Hollywood, and if not for the success of Wild Bunch, would probably have been shuffled back down to the minor leagues(TV). Leone, on the other hand, was quite revered, after only 3 films, in Italian cinema.

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« #18 : June 12, 2007, 06:55:58 AM »

Yes, but then, SL had a long history with the Italian film industry before he started making his own films. And he was a show biz brat. The ultimate insider. SP, of course, was the ultimate outsider.



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« #19 : June 12, 2007, 09:09:42 AM »

Well, Peckinpah may have been the ultimate outsider, but by his own choice. I mean he started out as a 'wunderkind'. After he spent some time as assistant to Siegel & Tourneur, he become one of the hottest writers in Hollywood at the age of 30.
The main difference between the two of them is that Leone grew up on movies and learned about the west from Ford, Anthony Mann and what have you. Peckinpah on the other hand was the youngest male in a famous Californian family of Western Pioneers, Lawyers, Judges & Congressmen. He was the only creative type so he became a loner pretty soon. And this feeling that he would never be never as good as 'the others' never left him. Be it his ancestors or Ford / Kurosawa / Fellini. Peckinpah studied drama and was a huge fan of Tennesse Williams. Watch JUNIOR BONNER.

It's true, to some his name is linked together with violence, people getting killed in slow-motion etc. etc.
But by now, film fans - those who care - should have discovered the real Peckinpah. He was much much deeper than Leone of course. Peckinpah was very much into the human condition, psychological stuff... Of course he had his favorites themes, the given word, betrayal, loyalty, politics, sell-out, individuals... And most of it was autobiographical (NO, he didn't kill people). Like his wife had an affair (shortly before they were divorced anyway). So you find that in almost every Peckinpah-Film! And many many others things.
Leone started out with almost comic-style films. Mysthical but never deep. He got a bit bored by it and deepened his characters from GIU LA TESTA on. Maybe because of that I think OUATIA might be his best work. Although I ADORE the previous five too, even more :)

One reason why you won't hear quotes from Peckinpah about Leone: You won't hear quotes of Peckinpah about ANY film maker of his generation. Famous Peckinpah quote: 'I don't want anybody beside me making great films'.
He talked about his heroes and like Leone never was ashamed of quoting his inspirations (WAGES OF FEAR, 7 SAMOURAI in terms of Slow-motion for instance).

Leone & Peckinpah knew each other well. I guess I wrote about them in a NOBODY-thread here on the board.
It is pretty obvious that they loved each others work: Just take this board. A Leone board, yet the most writing besides Leone is done on Peckinpah. Because even with all their differences they made the most powerful classic work in the 60's/70's (and Kubrick, Polanski and some others).

 They both started out with westerns and then went on. Also interesting: in terms of directing features they worked at the same time: 1961/62 - 1984! They both had approx 8-10 years where they didn't direct - about Leone you know, Peckinpah was inofficially blacklisted.
Peckinpah was a paranoid westerner from the 19th century, incredibly talented as well as troubled - with his private life, his past, his addiction to all substances.
Leone was an arrogant roman who hated the idea other talents supported his career.

ONE HAS TO ADORE THEM. I do.

By the way, I wrote a book on Peckinpah..
But it is in German. 1050 photos though. (PASSION & POETRY - SAM PECKINPAH IN PICTURES)

In two weeks a production of mine will be released: STRAW DOGS 2-disc Special Edition DVD with
all new documentaries & stuff.
It may appear as a film 'rape my wife and I'll kill you'. But of course it is not. It is one of the most complex work
of the 70's. Peckinpah was able the create a psychological masterpiece based on a lousy actioner.
It has many lines and themes.

Here's your proof (as some here always seem to mistrust certain informations) that Sam & Serge met:


(& Rotunno & Hellman in Rome)



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« #20 : June 12, 2007, 11:16:09 AM »

I found it interesting on background interviews that Peckinpah's daughter felt that William Holden reminded her most of her dad, especially when he smiled. Holden died in his home from an alcohol related injury. Leone, in some ways, died of his excesses, namely an addiction to food.

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« #21 : June 12, 2007, 11:38:17 AM »

Not that difficult. When I co-organized the 2000 Retrospective on Peckinpah in Padua/Italy, I gained 4 kilos in 10 days. I also had serious health problems afterwards. Not because of bad food, but because of great food! It is so fantastic I could sit and eat for half the day, which we did for most of the time...

Here's part of our gang (september 2000). Next to the Italian are Peckinpah-experts Paul Seydor, Jeff Slater, Umberto Berlenghini, Michael Bliss, Gerard Camy & myself, Ali MacGraw, David Warner, Jim Coburn, Katy Haber, R.G.Armstrong, Fern Lea Peter (Peckinpah), Walter Peter. Susan George, Walon Green didn't make it for the picture..



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« #22 : June 12, 2007, 07:16:29 PM »

thanks again Mike  O0


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« #23 : June 12, 2007, 07:20:53 PM »



(& Rotunno & Hellman in Rome)



I believe that photo was taken during the shooting of Monty Hellman's shitty  western "China 9, Liberty 37" which Peckinpah has a short part in (he's in costume).

« : June 12, 2007, 07:23:04 PM The Firecracker »



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« #24 : June 12, 2007, 07:31:43 PM »


I believe that photo was taken during the shooting of Monty Hellman's shitty  western "China 9, Liberty 37" which Peckinpah has a short part in (he's in costume).
A rather bold statement FC, was the film really that bad? :-\

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« #25 : June 12, 2007, 07:33:40 PM »

A rather bold statement FC, was the film really that bad? :-\


Yes. Without a doubt.

And what's worse is my copy is cut so all of the nudity that is in the film (which there is quite a lot) is missing.

Grrrrrrr.






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« #26 : June 12, 2007, 07:52:43 PM »


Yes. Without a doubt.

And what's worse is my copy is cut so all of the nudity that is in the film (which there is quite a lot) is missing.

Grrrrrrr.



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« #27 : June 12, 2007, 10:36:39 PM »


I believe that photo was taken during the shooting of Monty Hellman's shitty  western "China 9, Liberty 37" which Peckinpah has a short part in (he's in costume).

Wow, that's a fantastic looking picture. Anything with Leone and Peckinpah in the same shot is a great collectors item in my opinion. I'd love to get my hands on that.




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« #28 : June 13, 2007, 02:16:48 AM »

Yep. The only one I ever saw.
And they both wouldn't direct for 5 more years. Except commercials.


Sam's Ex Katy Haber showed me a letter from Fellini to Peckinpah, that's a priceless item too. Fellini was one of Sam's heroes and on a day off from shooting CROSS OF IRON when they visited Rome (Sam & Katy), she saw il Maestro in the Hotel lobby. Stopped him, 'Senore Fellini, scusa me, but I have to introduce you to somebody!'. Together with Coburn she took Fellini up to Peckinpah's room and knocked: a flood of curses followed 'Fucking leave me alone...Piss off' and what have you. Finally he opened anyway, hang-over and half-naked. 'SAm, may I introduce you to Federico Fellini! Senore Fellini, this is Sam Peckinpah..'. Sam happily went back to bed, Fellini sat beside him for an hour and the other two quietly left them alone...

I would trade my Computer for that photograph. If it would exist.



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« #29 : June 13, 2007, 06:37:01 AM »

Yep. The only one I ever saw.
And they both wouldn't direct for 5 more years. Except commercials.


Sam's Ex Katy Haber showed me a letter from Fellini to Peckinpah, that's a priceless item too. Fellini was one of Sam's heroes and on a day off from shooting CROSS OF IRON when they visited Rome (Sam & Katy), she saw il Maestro in the Hotel lobby. Stopped him, 'Senore Fellini, scusa me, but I have to introduce you to somebody!'. Together with Coburn she took Fellini up to Peckinpah's room and knocked: a flood of curses followed 'Fucking leave me alone...Piss off' and what have you. Finally he opened anyway, hang-over and half-naked. 'SAm, may I introduce you to Federico Fellini! Senore Fellini, this is Sam Peckinpah..'. Sam happily went back to bed, Fellini sat beside him for an hour and the other two quietly left them alone...

I would trade my Computer for that photograph. If it would exist.
  I hope you have that shot well-protected?

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