In the Wild Bunch the movie opens with a group of aging outlaw's final score, a bank robbery. The event concludes with a violent and overtly bloody shootout that would generally mark the finale of a movie. This is correct in that it marks the finale of an era, for the characters and the world they live in. They simply can no longer keep up, the times are changing, technology advancing, and they're style of life is getting left behind in the dust that they spent so long galloping through. They abandon their careers for the simpler life of retirement. They enjoy this time, they live their fantasies. During this time the law is always on their tracks, bounty hunters. The further into their fantasy they get, the closer their demise seems to get. When one of their own is captured they are faced with the choice of escape or what is certainly a suicide mission to attempt and free their fallen behind comrade. For them it is not a choice. They all die in what can only be described as a ... Written by
Sam Peckinpah's collaboration with producer Phil Feldman started out better than any he'd ever had, or would ever again. L.Q. Jones commented, "If it wasn't for Phil Feldman, I don't think Sam would have made anything of consequence. Phil understood that you don't harness a hummingbird." Feldman gave Peckinpah tips on characters, dialogue lines, scene placement and even changed Peckinpah's mind on how the scorpions-consumed-by-ants shots should be integrated into the opening credits. See more »
In the opening scene, all shots of the bounty hunters on the rooftop show heavy storm clouds in the background, but all shots from the Bunch's/townspeople's POV show a clear, sunny day (including over the roof of the hotel). See more »
Do not drink wine or strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, least ye shall die. Look not though upon the wine when it is red, and when it bringeth his color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright at the last, it biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an adder. Now folks, that's from the Good Book, but in this here town it's five cents a glass. Five cents a glass, now does anyone think that that is a price of a drink?
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The "old" West was changing, and director Sam Peckinpah recognized those changing times. By 1969, Sergio Leone and his "Spaghetti" westerns were the real deal, but when Peckinpah brought forth his film, "The Wild Bunch," that same year, it ushered in a whole new wave of films as its vision was simply landmark. Building on the violent stylistic template and chic of "Bonnie and Clyde" (1967), "The Wild Bunch" begins and ends with two of the bloodiest screen battles ever envisioned, and it tells the story of an aging group of outlaws, led by William Holden and Ernest Borgnine, as they attempt one last score, with Robert Ryan as an ex-Wild Bunch member in hot pursuit. They become involved with Mexican rebels and from that point on, we get an engaging story as the outlaws party with the Mexican army, their hookers, and their alcohol - all of this leading up to the notorious ending where the Wild Bunch man their guns and duke-it-out with their enemies. "The Wild Bunch" has obtained a notorious reputation for being one of the most violent movies ever made and is credited for being the movie that changed the way we looked at the "old" West and action cinema in general. Sam Peckinpah was a true revolutionary during a time when America was not so innocent, as proved by "Bonnie and Clyde" two years before it.
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