7.5/10
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130 user 146 critic

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

An American bar room pianist and his prostitute girlfriend go on a trip through the Mexican underworld to collect a bounty on the head of a dead gigolo.

Director:

Sam Peckinpah

Writers:

Gordon T. Dawson (screenplay) (as Gordon Dawson), Sam Peckinpah (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Warren Oates ... Bennie
Isela Vega ... Elita
Robert Webber ... Sappensly
Gig Young ... Quill
Helmut Dantine ... Max
Emilio Fernández ... El Jefe (as Emilio Fernandez)
Kris Kristofferson ... Biker
Chano Urueta Chano Urueta ... Manchot, the bartender
Donnie Fritts Donnie Fritts ... John (as Donny Fritts)
Jorge Russek ... Cueto
Chalo González ... Chalo (as Chalo Gonzalez)
Don Levy Don Levy ... Frank
Enrique Lucero ... Esteban
Janine Maldonado Janine Maldonado ... Theresa
Tamara Garina Tamara Garina ... Grandmother Moreno
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Storyline

In Mexico, the wealthy father of a pregnant young woman offers $1million for the head of the man who impregnated her. A pair of bounty hunters meet a local piano man in their search. The piano player does a little investigating, and finds out that his girlfriend knows of Garcia's death and where his body is. Thinking he can make easy money, they set off on this goal, but instead, the trip brings untold misery. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Why is his head worth one million dollars and the lives of 21 people? See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the first public preview, there were only ten people left in the theater. See more »

Goofs

Near the beginning and the end of the film there are Catholic masses celebrated in Latin. In Mexico masses were celebrated in Spanish since 1965. There are several scenes with cars of later models. See more »

Quotes

Elita: I've been down this road before, and you don't know the way.
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Crazy Credits

There are only three credits at the beginning of the film: The production credit, the two stars, and the story/screenplay. Everything else is at the end, and the film's title is the very last credit. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Fletch (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

J.F.
by Arturo Castro
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User Reviews

Peckinpah has come full circle
27 January 2005 | by norm1972_8See all my reviews

First, I'm sure everyone commenting on this film has seen the documentary on Peckinpah, and the comments made by the film critics regarding this film. If I may quote one of the critics, and I'm sure you all agree "It's the one film of Peckinpah's that everyone tries to imitate". Even Tarantino does to some degree. I have issues with Quentin Tarantino from a cinematic and artistic point of view, but that is another review. Warren Oates' performance was flawless, as he actually assumes the identity Of Sam Peckinpah as a gesture of appreciation for gracing him with his first starring vehicle.

Warren Oates was taking Sam's journey for him, as Sam looked from behind the lens. This movie was Peckinpah at his best and his worst at the same time. The old Peckinpah themes are there; Mexico is the final frontier, where one can continue to be what he once was in a changing world, but eventually Mexico begins to change as well. As I said in my review of "Junior Bonner" (be sure to check it out, and get back to me)progress is the main antagonist in the lives of Peckinpah's characters.

Junior Bonner and Bennie (Oates' Character) have a common foe, the twentieth century, which is why we find Bennie in Mexico. The chance to improve his situation, and establish a solid relationship with his hooker girlfriend (played with tough sincerity by Isela Vega) arrives at a time in Bennie's life when he least expects it, but it's not as easy as it is set out to be. All he has to do is bring this head to "El Hefe", and at the last minute BAM!! Bennie grows a conscience. Along the way he loses his woman, and then just goes nuts, thus revealing "The Diseased Soul of Sam Peckinpah".

My favorite scene is actually the picnic, where Elita and Bennie discuss their future. Elita begs Bennie to ask her to marry her, he does and she begins to weep. The simple fact that he says it is a tender moment, and shows how the slightest thing can arouse a woman's emotions. Jerry Fielding's musical score, which successfully created the mood and atmosphere for "Straw Dogs" (my all time favorite Peckinpah film) is present, but very muted. Still, this may be the best scene of the film.

Sam Peckinpah finally had complete control to dictate the direction of this film; Free from the money men, and left to his own devices in Mexico where he felt at home. A lot of people say that Pat Garret and Billy the Kid was the last Peckinpah masterpiece, but I think Alfredo Garcia was the last one. It throws you off at the beginning with the horses, then all of a sudden a Corvette screeches by; This is the paradox that really signifies that "The West" is over, bringing Sam Peckinpah and his love for the west full circle.

The critics literally hated this film, but 30 years later because of it we have a Martin Scorcese, a Robert Rodriguez, and a Quentin Tarantino (yeah) to name a few, as well as achieving underground cult status. I'm proud to call "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia" one of my favorite films.


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Details

Country:

Mexico | USA

Language:

English | Spanish | Latin

Release Date:

7 August 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,698
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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