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Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)
Seydor's 2005 Cut is a Travesty and a Bitter Disappointment!
10/10 fro the '88 Turner Cut. 01/10 for Seydor's 2005 version.
There is absolutely NO WAY Seydor's '05 cut is better than the '88 Turner version. Seydor has ****ed this up big time. His version is essentially a fan-boy edit of the film, and shouldn't even have Peckinpah's name on it. Basically he did exactly the same thing as Aubrey did. Notice he "didn't bother" restoring the picture and sound of the Turner cut on disc 2 so his cut would look sooo much better.
As PG&BTK is possibly my all-time favourite film, this was the biggest DVD disappointment of my life. All he had to do was put back into the Turner cut the two deleted scenes (the one with Garrett and his wife and the one with Ruthie Lee) and give it the full restoration works and it was perfect. Check out Mike Sutton's excellent review at DVDTimes and you'll see what I mean.
PG&BTK is truly one of the greatest westerns ever made, possibly Peckinpah's masterpiece, and definitely deserves better than this. Seydor's cut is just that: Seydor's version of a Sam Peckinpah film, NOT Peckinpah's version of a Sam Peckinpah film. The sad thing is that casual fans who watch this will come away thinking 'Peckinpah's Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid is crap' when its not Peckinpah's version at all. And anyone who actually prefers Seydor's '05 cut won't even realise that they HAVEN'T BEEN WATCHING a Peckinpah film! They've been watching Seydor's INTERPRETATION of one. Never mind all the baloney on the commentary tracks pointing out how "this is how Sam would've done it". Seydor was hardly going to criticise his own work. Why Weddle and Simmons didn't say something is anybody's guess.
I think its a terrible injustice and a great crime against art if a proper restoration of this magnificent film isn't done soon. They (Warners) actually have ALL the footage, it just needs to be assembled correctly.
The Ultimate Sam Peckinpah Film
This film is one of the greatest masterpieces in the history of cinema. "Alfredo" kicks ass!!! This is the ultimate descent into hell-on-earth nightmare horror. Haunting and truly unforgettable. It just doesn't get any darker or bleaker than this. And featuring Warren Oates' greatest performance. And the lovely Isela Vega. Check out Roger Ebert's views here rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article and here rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20011028. If the links don't work you can find these reviews easily on the "External Reviews" page of IMDb.
Peckinpah himself has said that "Alfredo" was the only film of his that was completely his, exactly as he wanted to make it, with no studio butchering or interference, censor's cuts or whatever. Thankfully, this has changed enormously in recent years, of course, with fully restored versions of several of Sam's films released on DVD to great acclaim. With one sad exception being "Pat Garrett", unfortunately:-(
"At the San Francisco Film Festival held in 1974 at which Peckinpah was honoured with a retrospective of his work, he answered an enquiry about whether he ever hoped to release a "pure Peckinpah" film with "I did. Alfredo Garcia, and I did it exactly the way I wanted to. Good or bad, like it or not, that was my film"." From "Peckinpah: A Portrait In Montage" by Garner Simmons, 1998.
10/10 Grim and disturbing all time Classic and possibly Peckinpah's greatest!
Cross of Iron (1977)
One of The Greatest War films Ever!
Cross Of Iron is truly one of the greatest war films ever made, possibly the greatest of all WWII films. It was completely overlooked at the time of its release because by that time Peckinpah was seen as an alcoholic, drug-addicted madman, whose best days were far behind him, and few people in the US or UK were too interested in queueing up to see WWII German soldiers in a sympathetic light. Most of the critics who bothered to review it at all dismissed it. Added to that, it was butchered in the US, (surprise, surprise!!) from 132 to 117 minutes.
Also it was probably a little TOO realistic and graphic for mainstream audiences, and didn't feature the usual phony Hollywood comic-book heroics, opting instead for a truly bleak, brutal, horrific 'War is Hell' grimness. So it passed under the radar almost unnoticed. All over Europe however, (where it was uncut) it was a HUGE success, so much so that it spawned a sequel (!?!) the only Peckinpah film ever to do so.
Over the years though, it's had a dramatic re-evaluation and is now considered one of Sam's most highly respected works, and rightly regarded as a genuine (though disturbing) masterpiece, and features very highly on most 'best war films' lists. Check out Mike Sutton's reviews at DVDTimes here http://dvdtimes.co.uk/content/id/6470/cross-of-iron.html and here http://dvdtimes.co.uk/content/id/64046/cross-of-iron.html. If the links don't work you can easily find these reviews at dvdtimes.
It is not all bleakness however, there is also much beautiful visual poetry amid the savagery.
Not an easy film to watch, but important and essential viewing nonetheless. NOT TO BE MISSED!!!