The Wild Bunch rests at the center of a dynamic group of films about armed Americans taking violent ‘expeditions’ across the border. I suppose "The Wild Bunch" is the most violent movie ever made. 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. "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. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 April 2012 . 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. A friend of mine describes "The Wild Bunch" as being … The deaths in this film are neither sterile nor heroic. 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. The first bank robbery nets only a bag of iron washers--"a dollar's worth of steel holes." Peckinpah possibly identified with the wild bunch. The Wild Bunch still retains its sorrowful, fatal power because of the complexity of Peckinpah's attitudes about violence. The movie takes place in 1913, on the eve of World War I. 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. Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. 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. Blood flows in an unending stream. 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 what is that code? 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. The movie was photographed by Lucien Ballard, in dusty reds and golds and browns and shadows. Wild Bunch, a collection of cowboy-outlaws who flourished in the 1880s and ’90s in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and surrounding states and territories. “We're not gonna get rid of anybody! "Those days are closing fast." But their focus was different. 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 men provided to him by a railroad mogul are shifty and unreliable; they don't understand the code of the bunch. But no one saw the 144-minute version for many years. “ 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. 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. 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. The Wild Bunch is gory and violent and masochistic and legendary in scope. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game - Complete Edition. 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. Reviews of The Wild Soccer Bunch 3. Like action movies, they were two-fisted tales of (stereotypically male) heroism. After a reporter from the Reader's Digest got up to ask "Why was this film ever made?" 5.0 out of 5 stars My first X film. And it's Peckinpah at his finest. © 2021 METACRITIC, A RED VENTURES COMPANY. The train robbery is well-planned, but the bunch cannot hold onto their takings. "We gotta start thinking beyond our guns," one of the bunch observes. 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. Wild Bunch, The; The Wild Bunch Review. Certainly that is a theme of "The Wild Bunch.". Report abuse. And if you can't do that, you're like some animal, you're finished! They agree to … Treborus. An aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the "traditional" American West is disappearing around them. Verified Purchase. 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. Read 1 customer review of the The Wild Bunch & compare with other Westerns at Review Centre. 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. With them, Pike's actions are more motivated: He feels unsure of himself and the role he plays. 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. Thanks to recent advances in special effects, the blood actually spurts when somebody gets shot; there are geysers of blood everywhere. 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. 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. 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 … 11 Wild Bunch reviews. 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. We're gonna stick together, just like it used to be! The hard action, bracing wit and mournful grace of Peckinpah’s cowboy classic shames every new movie around. Hundreds of men, women and horses are slaughtered. The movie is, first of all, about old and worn men. Holden and his fellow actors (Ernest Borgnine, Warren Oates, Edmond O'Brien, Ben Johnson and the wonderful Robert Ryan) look lined and bone-tired. Wyoming State Museum: The Wild Bunch - See 463 traveler reviews, 195 candid photos, and great deals for Cheyenne, WY, at Tripadvisor. The missing pieces flesh out the characters. 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 makes all the difference in the world. Twenty-six years ago, when Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch was first released, it caused a stir because of its gritty, uncompromising style. 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). The message here is not subtle, but then Sam Peckinpah was not a subtle director, preferring bold images to small points. Starring: William Holden, Jaime Sánchez, Edmond O'Brien, Ben Johnson, Warren Oates, Robert Ryan, Ernest Borgnine. Seeing this restored version is like understanding the film at last. *We're* finished! Notable Video Game Releases: New and Upcoming, From The Godfather to Heat, the stamp of The Wild Bunch is self-evident. Movies: Wild Bunch, The; A band of outlaws find themselves hiding away in Mexico under the influence of a megolomaniac Mexican general. “The Wild Bunch is about men who don’t relate to women very well,” Stratton says. 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. The undercurrent of the action in "The Wild Bunch" is the sheer meaninglessness of it all. 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. They have trapped some scorpions and are watching them being tortured by ants. 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 Wild Bunch still retains its sorrowful, fatal power because of the complexity of Peckinpah's attitudes about violence. The Wild Bunch is gory and violent and masochistic and legendary in scope. 3 people found this helpful. The train robbery is well-planned, but the bunch cannot hold onto their takings. The two great violent set-pieces in the movie involve a lot of civilians. In an era when body-count films mirror the mounting body count offscreen, The Wild Bunch dissects death rather than glorifying it. 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. Fairly entertaining and well made western with good acting and writing. And it's Peckinpah at his finest. Peckinpah’s script, direction and cutting (a marvelous, adventurous job by Louis … 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 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. A free inside look at company reviews and salaries posted anonymously by employees. 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. 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. Check box if your review contains spoilers. Quite good. 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. Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4 Witty, violent, dark. There is nothing else to do, not for a man with his background. Read full review Any stray thoughts and updates I've included with the inevitable asterisked post-scripts. Throats are slit, broken, strangled. 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. Rated the #1 best film of 1969, and #206 in the greatest all-time movies (according to RYM users). In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. Both times he seemed tremulous, and I had the impression of almost uncontrollable discomfort. Rivetingly realistic, edited in a gripping and exciting style unseen up to that time, and marvelously scripted. And another, looking at the newfangled auto, says, "they're gonna use them in the war, they say." The second disc is filled with interesting documentaries on Sam Peckinpah,and the making of The Wild Bunch. The Wild Bunch still retains its sorrowful, fatal power because of the complexity of Peckinpah's attitudes about violence. 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). The undercurrent of the action in "The Wild Bunch" is the sheer meaninglessness of it all. From 1 review … Ab jetzt wirds einfach nur noch edgy und ist auch eher was für "Fans" der Reihe, falls es so etwas geben sollte. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism. 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. The Wild Bunch Reviews Click here if this is your business. The editing, by Lou Lombardo, uses slow motion to draw the violent scenes out into meditations on themselves. 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. It's a bullet festival and a love letter to the genre and a big middle finger to the Hollywood rule book. With William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O'Brien. Narrated by Nick Redman, several of the surviving cast and crew members return to lend voiceovers to the aging … A man is dragged behind a horse. Near the end of the film, Pike is shot by a little boy who gets his hands on a gun. Directed by: Sam Peckinpah. It’s a towering achievement that grows more riveting and resonant with the years. Every actor was perfectly cast to play exactly what he could play; even the small roles need no explanation. 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." 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 wild bunch is simply the best the … The first bank robbery nets only a bag of iron washers--"a dollar's worth of steel holes." It's not very pleasant. Film at 145 minutes is far over-length, and should be tightened extensively, particularly in first half. Please enter your birth date to watch this video: You are not allowed to view this material at this time. 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. A movie review by James Berardinelli Violence comes in many shapes, sizes, and forms. 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. 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.". ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 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. 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 … The word "classic" tends to get overused now,but this film absolutely deserves that title. With a wry smile he gets up to join them. 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. Read reviews and ratings of The Wild Bunch from our experts, and see what our community says, too! WRITE A REVIEW ★★★★★ 5 / 5. 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. Genres: Revisionist Western, New Hollywood. When it comes to the action scenes though, the wild bunch is not a 1969 action film, it's eternal action film. 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. 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. Children run after the car, laughing. 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. “Whatever kind of affection they have, they can feel really only for each other. The eyes of Pike (William Holden), leader of the bunch, briefly meet the eyes of one of the children. Directed by Sam Peckinpah. It's a bullet festival and a love letter to the genre and a big middle finger to the Hollywood rule book. 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. Mystery Escape Room: The Wild Bunch - See 2,018 traveler reviews, 73 candid photos, and great deals for Salt Lake City, UT, at Tripadvisor. 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. 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. The wild bunch is maybe of the edgiest westerns 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. When you side with a man, you stay with him! 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. An aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the "traditional" American West is disappearing around them. 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