Spattered with blood and controversy, Sam Peckinpah's Westerns revolutionized their genre. SAM PECKINPAH'S WEST: LEGACY OF A HOLLYWOOD RENEGADE goes in search of the man behind these ...
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Spattered with blood and controversy, Sam Peckinpah's Westerns revolutionized their genre. SAM PECKINPAH'S WEST: LEGACY OF A HOLLYWOOD RENEGADE goes in search of the man behind these legendary films. Through a poignant array of film clips and rare interviews, the documentary reveals a tortured artist whose genius and demons changed the Western forever. Interviewees include actor/director Billy Bob Thornton, Benicio Del Toro, Paul Schrader, film critic Roger Ebert, actors who worked with Peckinpah such as Harry Dean Stanton, Stella Stevens, L.Q. Jones and others. The personal side of Peckinpah will feature interviews with family members, sister Fern Lee, son Mathew Peckinpah, plus exclusive home movies and photos. Written by
An original documentary produced by Encore's Western Channel, this is probably the most evenly-balanced and moving examination of the life of one of Hollywood's most notorious "outlaws". A womanizer, cokehead, drunkard, casual sadist and probably manic depressive to boot, Sam Peckinpah danced on the fine line between divinity and depravity, simultaneously embracing and rejecting both. And in the process, he made a handful of films, most of them beautiful disasters, but the few great ones delivering a startling, shocking and often sobering kind of vision offered by no other director who ever sat behind a camera.
Though it hardly takes the nose dive into tabloid sensationalism that one might expect, (and in Peckinpah's case, it would've been all too easy), the doc recounts the life of the Western genre's most profane and poetic artist through a remarkable series of interviews with those who knew and loved him best, all of whom have fond remembrances of the director and the man, but who definitely don't shy away from the "warts and all" approach of their individual strolls down Memory Lane. Included are clips from great actors who have passed on, like legends Ben Johnson and James Coburn, to those who are still with us, like L.Q. Jones, still compellingly charismatic even at his advanced age, and of course Kris Kristofferson, who also provides the narration. On the artistic side of the examination, some surprising insights are also offered by film critics David Thomson, Elvis Mitchell and Roger Ebert, who happily prove that their particular crowd are good for a lot more than just panning films you love and extolling those you're most likely to despise.
Worth viewing alone for rare behind-the-scenes footage and scenes from rarely shown gems like RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY, MAJOR DUNDEE, THE BALLAD OF CABLE HOGUE and THE DEADLY COMPANIONS, SAM PECKINPAH'S WEST is must-see viewing for his fans, Western lovers and movie aficionados in general.
A great tribute and a cautionary tale about tortured genius, and the way in which Hollywood has always regarded (or disregarded) its greatest artists.
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