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Author Topic: Junior Bonner (1972)  (Read 6075 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2011, 07:20:01 AM »

One of the reasons why Sam is my favorite, he could bring out the best in actors. I never understood why certain critics & viewers never really got the fact that he was one of the best Actor-Directors in the business. HOlden- never better than in WILD BUNCH. Robards as Cable, Preston, Oates in GARCIA (or any other Sam performance), McQueen as Junior (he named it as one of his two favorite performances), McCrea/Scott - countless films, their last performance it their best. Susan George ... No coincindences here. Sam had a talent to transform his own feelings, condition, thoughts into his chosen screen characters. And force the other actors to give equally great performances to balance everything out. Living & interesting characters, so real I'm still looking for better or equal performances all these years Smiley
Did find (thank God) many great ones - not better ones though.
This is a point worth making, and one I don't remember seeing in print before (although maybe someone has said the same thing elsewhere and I've missed it). People focus so much on P's idiosyncratic direction and/or the controversial nature of his subjects that maybe appreciation for the performances gets lost. But yeah--P probably does deserve to be known as an actor's director.

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« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2011, 08:25:18 AM »

This is a point worth making, and one I don't remember seeing in print before (although maybe someone has said the same thing elsewhere and I've missed it). People focus so much on P's idiosyncratic direction and/or the controversial nature of his subjects that maybe appreciation for the performances gets lost. But yeah--P probably does deserve to be known as an actor's director.

Very good point agreed.

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« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2011, 10:28:25 AM »

Sam was very well read and a fan of poetry. He studied drama, his thesis was to film a Tennessee Williams play as a live TV recording.  He just had the right taste when it come to performances. That cupled with his visual, storytelling & editing talents made him one of the best. Even in his early TV shows there's a lot of great acting (Keith delivering a memorable, real and almost tormented 'Westerner').
I'm surely not the first who mentioned this. It's just that the power of his films overshadows their real qualities very often. When you talk to the right people you'll find out that a lot of actors (not only those who worked with him) discovered his directorial brilliance over the years just by getting sucked in while watching his films. It's the difference that separates the man from the boys. There were a number of great directors when it came to directing talented actors, but only very few also made such powerful films. THat is the main reason why WILD BUNCH is on the TOP list of many creative movie people. There's nothing like it. TAXI DRIVER & LAWRENCE are among the few that have brilliant direction, acting, editing and a strong visual impact incl. movement, timeless compositions, violence and significance regarding their theme & content.

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« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2011, 04:41:44 PM »

One of the reasons why Sam is my favorite, he could bring out the best in actors. I never understood why certain critics & viewers never really got the fact that he was one of the best Actor-Directors in the business. HOlden- never better than in WILD BUNCH. Robards as Cable, Preston, Oates in GARCIA (or any other Sam performance), McQueen as Junior (he named it as one of his two favorite performances), McCrea/Scott - countless films, their last performance it their best. Susan George ... No coincindences here. Sam had a talent to transform his own feelings, condition, thoughts into his chosen screen characters. And force the other actors to give equally great performances to balance everything out. Living & interesting characters, so real I'm still looking for better or equal performances all these years Smiley
Did find (thank God) many great ones - not better ones though.

Well-observed. I think David Weddle made a similar point in his Peckinpah biography, that Peckinpah could get performances out of actors they often weren't capable of.

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« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2011, 10:29:24 PM »



Junior Bonner was one of three rodeo films that came out in 1972. The other two were J.W. Coop (with Cliff Robertson) and The Honkers (with James Coburn), both very personal films by an actor-director-writer. But Junior Bonner is the masterpiece. It is very observant of behavior and attitude, the thought process, and the way western people relate to one another. I recognize these characters as people I live with and deal with every day, and not just because I'm presently stuck in the neighborhood where it was shot. If I were living in Texas or New Mexico (where I've put in my time) Junior Bonner captures qualities about life in that part of the west, too. The "progressive" changes to the west result in emotional upheavals in the people who live here. What Peckinpah depicts is still going on; a little more desperate, perhaps. He accomplishes a very delicate and subtle thing. This is a special film. To his credit, not all of Peckinpah's films are action movies, and his action films are not merely action. He was an astute observer of human nature and a seriously good dramatist, incisive and intense, or his violence would not move us the way it does.

Junior Bonner is a contemporary western because it's about life in the American west today. Or rather forty years ago, but that's still modern times, if you know what I mean.


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« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2017, 04:56:35 PM »

On another forum, someone has asserted that the film is coming to Blu from Kino Lorber "soon." Drink, no word yet on region coding. Evil

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« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2017, 05:48:24 PM »

This is actually a decent Peckinpah film  Smiley

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« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2017, 08:26:10 PM »

On another forum, someone has asserted that the film is coming to Blu from Kino Lorber "soon." Drink, no word yet on region coding. Evil

You were right about Straw Dogs, so let's hope you come through again!

This is actually a decent Peckinpah film  Smiley

Drink, you are showing a chink in your armor. I now recommend doing the following:

1. Buy a multi-region Blu-ray player
2. Buy "Cross of Iron" on Blu-ray from amazon.co.uk
3. Report back

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« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2017, 12:35:11 AM »



Drink, you are showing a chink in your armor. I now recommend doing the following:

1. Buy a multi-region Blu-ray player
2. Buy "Cross of Iron" on Blu-ray from amazon.co.uk
3. Report back

As I said, I'd be happy to consider a region-free BRD not for Cross of Iron, but because I should get it anyway  Wink But you still did not reply when I asked you for a link to a good one. Give me a link and I'll consider getting it  Wink

-----


RE: Junior Bonner: I actually saw the movie quite a while ago. I only mentioned it in this post now because DJ just  bumped the thread, and I realized that I had never commented in this thread.

I gave Junior Bonner a 7.5/10

Look, I never said Peckinpah was an awful filmmaker. Anyone who makes more than one film that gets at least a  7/10 is a better-than-average filmmaker.  I just can't stand how overrated he  is IMO, how people talk about him as if he's in a league with Leone.

Here are the Peckinpah films I have seen (note:  I have seen some of these a while ago; will do my best to remember my rating/opinion at the time):


The Getaway: Just saw it recently. Decent film, I gave it a 7/10 or 7.5/10

Junior Bonner: 7.5/10 - I saw the DVD a while ago. Thought it was decent. but after watching the movie once, I immediately turned it on again and listened to a few minutes of the commentary, before turning it off: The  commentary illustrated the problems I have with Peckinpah. Or more accurately, his fans. The commentators were some self-proclaimed Peckinpah scholars, and they - or perhaps one in particular; I'm not sure - were going so overboard as to be nauseating. When they were discussing like every scene, or every little minute or element in the movie, they were going on and on at how brilliant it was, like Mona Lisa and Shakespeare and Beethoven's Ninth and Casablanca all rolled into one. I'm sitting there thinking, "Hey, this was a pretty good movie. Fine. Wonderful. But it's Junior Freaking Bonner! Why do you idiots have to make it out to be like the greatest piece of artwork since the invention of talking pictures?'

The Wild Bunch: As I discussed extensively in that movie's thread, if I had seen this and judged it on its own, maybe I'd think it is a decent movie. But people literally rank this among the very greatest Westerns or movies of all time makes me roll my eyes. I have watched it at least five times which I NEVER do for a movie I dislike only because y'all love it so much that I kept wondering if maybe I am missing something and kept re-watching it and think maybe I'll get what everyone loves. On my various viewings, I ranked it anywhere from a crappy movie to a very good movie to a crappy movie and everywhere in between. But never ever ever have I thought it's anywhere near the greatest of all time.

BMTHO Alfredo Garcia: I did not like it, but the one time I watched it was more than five years ago. I'll give it another viewing eventually.


Major Dundee: I think I gave it a 6.5/10. Not the "mediocre 6.5/10" but the "some things very good and some things bad 6.5/10." I understand that this movie was butchered and affected by studio issues and there are various cuts and edits, but I never cared enough about it to actually read through the thread and try to unde rstand exactly what was cut and exactly what coulda/shoulda/woulda been. My one viewing was also about five years ago, but I don't feel much of an urgency to watch it again,

TBO Cable Hogue: The one Peckinpah film that I found so excruciating that I turned it off halfway through. I've mentioned at least once or twice  Wink that I am not into comedy. But on the rare occasions that I do watch comedies, I can hardly ever remember going through as much pain as this piece of absolute trash put me though. The one Peckinpah film I have seen that is absolute trash.

PGAB The Kid: I saw it six years ago, gave it around a 6.5/10. I know that there are various versions, but again, I never cared enough about this movie to want to find out about the various versions and cut scenes. I just watched it on TCM once and that;s all. My discussion on this film is here http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=2837.msg149326#msg149326


Noon Wine: I believe this was a TV movie, originally in color, but a black-and-white version of it appeared on Vimeo several years ago. The link was posted here and discussed briefly http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=11517.msg161375#msg161375 Happily, I watched it then, because it is now no longer available.
I liked this one. I did not give it a rating, probably because I felt that you can't compare this - a b/w version of a color  TV episode, or a short made-for-TV-movie - with a feature film, but I enjoyed this.


--------


So, there you have it. Those are the Peckinpah films I have seen. Again an absolute level, Peckinpah was certainly a talented filmmaker, who could have succeeded even more if not for the studio chopping his shit. On a relative level ie., relative to the fanboys around here I can't stand how Peckinpah is mentioned among the all-time greats.

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« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2017, 06:49:58 AM »

how people talk about him as if he's in a league with Leone.


 On a relative level ie., relative to the fanboys around here I can't stand how Peckinpah is mentioned among the all-time greats.


These are probably your real problems with Peckinpah. Too much for a Leone fanboy?

And I don't think that the Peckinpah admirers here are fanboys. Especially as we are all also critical towards his work or especially the person. Still Peckinpah was so talented, that even when he made films in a disastrous mind condition, he was able to fill them with some great stuff. Enough great stuff that even his lesser films are at least a stone solid 6/10 for me. (about 8/10 on the D&D scale)

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« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2017, 07:09:16 AM »

D&D has apparently missed my favourite Peckinpahs: Ride the High Country and  Cross of Iron.

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« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2017, 08:41:57 AM »

D&D has apparently missed my favourite Peckinpahs: Ride the High Country and  Cross of Iron.


Actually, I forgot, I did see RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY. That was one of two Peckinpahs (CABLE HOGUE being the other) that I shut off in middle, as I was not enjoying myself at all.

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« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2017, 04:20:52 PM »

As I said, I'd be happy to consider a region-free BRD not for Cross of Iron, but because I should get it anyway  Wink But you still did not reply when I asked you for a link to a good one. Give me a link and I'll consider getting it  Wink

Bought my Pioneer one on Amazon several years ago now. Just go online and buy one - it's not hard.

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« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2017, 06:54:08 PM »

Bought my Pioneer one on Amazon several years ago now. Just go online and buy one - it's not hard.

Once upon a time these were pretty expensive, but I just went on Amazon and looked and they're selling for around $150, so that's not bad. I'll probanly get one soon. I see Pioneer, SONY and LG, all around the same price. Decisions, decisions ...

BTW, all of these are internet-enabled, so I can use them for Netflix streaming, etc?

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« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2017, 06:08:55 PM »

Quote
The release is expected to arrive on the market this summer.
http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=20954

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