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
For the key scene in which Pike blows the bridge out from under Deke, Sam Peckinpah gave very specific instructions to special effects technician Bud Hulburd, who was no expert on dynamite but was using 50-60 sticks of it for the explosive effect. Stuntman Joe Canutt was concerned that the men on horseback could be hurt or killed if they went into the water too early before the final dynamite charge was set off. However, Hulburd refused to heed Canutt's warning, so, according to Marshall Fine in "Bloody Sam: The Life and Films of Sam Peckinpah", "Unbeknownst to Peckinpah and Hulburd, Canutt enlisted Gordon T. Dawson [in charge of the Costume & Wardrobe Department] to stand near Hulburd holding a club behind his back. Dawson's instructions from Canutt were explicit: If anyone goes into the water before Hulburd blows the right charge, hit Hulburd over the head with the club and knock him out before he can set off the last explosive. Fortunately for everyone, the sequence went off as planned. No one was accidentally blown up or clubbed over the head." See more »
The machine gun used at the end of the film is a Browning model 1917, the film is supposedly circa 1913 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 second domestic version (sometimes called the American version) is missing all the material just described and runs about 135 minutes. See more »
I got this movie on DVD at the suggestion of my brother. I admit to knowing nothing about it's director and a complete lack of familiarity with most of it's actors or the mythology behind it's production (I was born years after it was made). I can, however, safely say this: this is one of the greatest movies ever made. Every aspect of the film is flawless, from the acting to the cinematography to the script.
This is also the most truly macho of all macho movies. It's not cartoonish machismo, rather it's the kind of machismo you see in drywall hangers: no-nonsense comments like "We're after men" and "Let's go" predominate, the men don't swagger around and violence is approached (fairly) honestly. The reserved dialogue and physicality reminds me of "Seven Samaurai" (to which this film owes a great deal). To me, that is the highest praise that I can give a movie.
The photography is amazing: the desert looks sweltering and parched, the close-ups of actor's faces outdoes Sergio Leone and the action is probably the best ever filmed. Scorcese and Tarantino obviously owe a lot to Peckinpaw. The scene during the opening credits of "Reservoir Dogs" is a direct lift from this movie, just to cite one of countless examples.
The acting is on par with the direction. Robert Ryan steals the show and, c'mon, who doesn't love Ernest?
Some would poo-poo the films treatment of women, and I am not going to get involved in that debate. Just go see it because, like the best movies, it immerses you in a time and place. Smell the sage!
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