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The Wild Bunch (1969)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure, Western  |  18 June 1969 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 58,280 users  
Reviews: 281 user | 138 critic

An aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the "traditional" American West is disappearing around them.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Wild Bunch (1969)

The Wild Bunch (1969) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Jaime Sánchez ...
Angel (as Jaime Sanchez)
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Mapache (as Emilio Fernandez)
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T.C
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...
...
Paul Harper ...
Ross
Jorge Russek ...
Zamorra
Edit

Storyline

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 VilanTrub@gmail.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If you only want to spend two hours in a movie theatre and go home and forget it, stay away from THE WILD BUNCH. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

18 June 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La pandilla salvaje  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,244,087 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(director's cut)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (1995 re-release)| (1995 re-release)| (35 mm prints)| (1995 re-release)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song "Polly Wolly Doodle" was prominently featured in Frank Capra's You Can't Take It With You (1938), where Dub Taylor (Rev. Wainscoat in this film) plays the song (several times) on a xylophone. "You Can't Take It With You" was Taylor's film debut. Sam Peckinpah's "Polly Wolly Doodle", presented in its sinister context, contrasts sharply with the carefree Capra rendition. See more »

Goofs

When Pike shoots Buck to put him out of his misery after the opening sequence, Buck is first shown turning to the left as he falls - when we cut back to his fall he is clearly turning to the right See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[indistinct voices]
Rev. Wainscoat: 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?
See more »

Connections

References The Wages of Fear (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Polly Wolly Doodle
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by the bounty hunters as they leave Agua Verde
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Brutal and elegiac masterpiece.
4 March 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Outlaws led by Pike Bishop on the Mexican-U.S. frontier face not only the passing of time, but bounty hunters {led by a former partner of Pike, Deke Thornton} and the Mexican army as well.

In 1969 Sam Peckinpah picked up the torch that Arthur Penn lit with 1967's Bonnie & Clyde, and literally poured gasoline on it to impact on cinema to the point that the shock wave is still being felt today. The death of the Motion Picture Production Code in 1967 ushered in a new era for cinema goers, it was a time for brave and intelligent directors to step up to the plate to deliver stark and emotive thunder, and with The Wild Bunch, director Sam Peckinpah achieved this by the shed load.

The Wild Bunch doesn't set out to be liked, it is a harsh eye opening perception of the Western genre, this is the other side of the coin to the millions of Westerns that whoop and holler as the hero gets the girl and rides off into the sunset. The Wild Bunch thematically is harshly sad for the protagonists, these are men out of their time, this is a despicable group of men, driven by greed and cynicism, they think of nothing to selling arms to a vile amoral army across the border.

The film opens with a glorious credit sequence as we witness the Bunch riding into town, the picture freeze frames in black & white for each credit offering, from here on in we know that we are to witness something different, and yes, something very special. The film is bookended by carnage, and sandwiched in the middle is an equally brilliant train robbery, yet the impact of these sequences is only enhanced because the quality of the writing is so good (Walon Green and Roy N. Sickner alongside Peckinpah). There's no pointless discussions or scene filling explanations of the obvious. Each passage, in each segment, is thought thru to gain credibility for the shattering and bloody climax. There is of course one massive and intriguing question that hangs over the film; how did Peckinpah make such low moral men appear as heroes? Well I'm not here to tell you that because you need to witness the film in its entirety for yourself. But it's merely one cheeky point of note in a truly majestic piece of work. A film that even today stands up as one of the greatest American films ever made. 10/10


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why did Robert Ryan look at William Holden's gun at the end of the movie old-skool101
Great stuff... thoughts after seeing uncut version beavertoof
Doesn't hold up to the test of time rorymathew
The whiskey scene...One of my faves. chrisschock
Did They Decide To Die Fighting On Purpose? BLTKrebes
The TCM version: was it censored? ccbc
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