A town Marshal, despite the disagreements of his newlywed bride and the townspeople around him, must face a gang of deadly killers alone at high noon when the gang leader, an outlaw he sent up years ago, arrives on the noon train.
It's 1913, and the "traditional" American West is dying. Amongst the inhabitants of this dying era are a gang known as "the wild bunch." After a failed railroad office robbery, the gang heads to Mexico to do one last job. Seeing their times and lives drifting away in the 20th century, the gang takes the job and ends up in a brutally violent last stand against their enemies deemed to be corrupt, in a small Mexican town ruled by a ruthless general.Written by
This film was adapted from a story thought up by Roy N. Sickner, an actor and stuntman. Walon Green wrote the script, which was then rewritten by Sam Peckinpah. Green felt that Peckinpah's rewrite was substantial enough to deserve credit, but he had to lobby the WGA (Writers Guild of America) to allow Peckinpah a credit. Green has always said he was grateful to Peckinpah for not rewriting too much of the script just to get credit. Green, Sickner and Peckinpah all shared Academy Award nominations for best screenplay (the only Oscar nomination Peckinpah ever received in his entire career.) They didn't win. See more »
When the gang is crossing the desert and fall down the sand dune, the sun is behind them, casting shadows in front of them. During the close-ups (ostensibly shot on a stage) the shadows fall behind the actors as if the sun was in front of them. 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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In a documentary on The Wild Bunch, it was mentioned that Sam Peckinpah prepared a version of the movie to screen for studio executives. This version seems to have disappeared, but the documentary says it was 8 hours long. See more »
Written by Narcisco Serradell
[Sung by the Mexican villagers as the bandit protagonists leave Angel's Mexican village] See more »
The definitive end of the west Western
An incredible performance by Bill Holden is the high point of this sensational, landmark film. Holden made a whole career out of laid-back, easy-going, what-the-hell sort of characters but here, at his zenith, he departs from type and plays a character so mean and so embittered that in some ways he even out-Bronsons Bronson himself.
The Wild Bunch is a group of disillusioned outlaws who are out of time and they know it. When Sykes says that they've got one of those things (a car) up north that can fly, they gloomily accept that this new-fangled 20th Century is not for them.
It is a movie all about values and about a man's loyalty to his companions. Holden brilliantly declares that if you cannot stand by a man who rides with you, you are like some kind of animal. In the end, that is all these hunted men have: their loyalty to each other.
And so they band together for one last walk to try and rescue their doomed Mexican comrade. The bloodbath that follows is an eloquent summary of their lives. They who live by the gun.....
Superb performances by Holden in particular and also by O'Brien, Ryan, Borgnine, Oates and Johnson. Peckinpah's finest hour. Definitely ten out of ten.
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