131 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.


Sam Peckinpah


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




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


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


GUTS - You've either got them, or you don't. Sam Peckinpah had the guts to bring a new kind of violent reality to the screen in 'The Wild Bunch' and 'Straw Dogs.' He's been praised and panned, awarded and attacked. And he's kept on making his kind of movies, his way. His newest, set in modern-day Mexico, is a story of violence and greed and revenge... And love and courage and loyalty. It tells of a desperate man risking everything on a last, desperate chance... And a much-used woman accepting lust only to discover love. It's bound to provoke controversy... Cheered by some as a new classic in the mold of 'Treasure of Sierra Madre'... Cursed by others as a bloody and brutal hymn to machismo. On one point, all can agree. Like its maker, Sam Peckinpah, 'Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia' is uncompromising, unyielding, uncensored. In short, it's got guts. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


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


As Bennie crosses inside his apartment, alone, and talks to Alfredo's head, a crewman in black clothing is visible, ducking behind an adjacent transom. His arm reappears a second later, as Bennie reaches for a bottle in the pantry. See more »


Bennie: [i'll have] a double bourbon with a champagne back, none of your tijano bullshit, and fuck off.
See more »

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 »


Referenced in Minder: Bring Me the Head of Arthur Daley (1994) See more »


Bad Blood Baby
by Sam Peckinpah
See more »

User Reviews

21 February 2002 | by superfly-13See all my reviews

Sam Peckinpah's hallucinatory bloodbath was considered career suicide when released in 1974; today, this scuzzy, squirrelly road movie looks less like self-parody than self-autopsy. As such, it has aged better than some of Peckinpah's more "reputable" movies. Like John Cassavetes' THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE and Brian DePalma's BLOW OUT, it's a thinly veiled allegory about the muck a filmmaker will wade through to get his movies made. Peckinpah's stand-in is Warren Oates, an actor who always brought a rotgut reek of authenticity to his roles; here, he's a washed-up pianist who stands to score a bundle if he completes one simple task--fetching the severed head of the yutz who impregnated a Mexican warlord's daughter. When Oates isn't defending his not-unwilling girlfriend (Isela Vega) from rapists Kris Kristofferson and Donnie Fritts (!), he's carrying on a boozy, uh, tête-à-tête with the brown-bagged head on an endless drive down Mexico way. But Oates isn't the villain--that distinction is reserved for the effete suits (the slimy duo of Gig Young and Robert Webber) on his tail. Oates is just a guy trying to maintain enough of his integrity to see a dirty job through: He's one of those screw-you Peckinpah heroes who completes his assignment just so he can wage war on his bosses. The movie has such a gritty, oozing, flyblown feel you could swear it was shot on No-Pest Strips instead of celluloid, and as Oates bears down on oblivion it slows to a druggy crawl: Each cut is like a dying man's blink. No matter-in its sick, ornery way, this is one of the director's most personal movies, and worthy of far better than its laughingstock status.

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Mexico | USA


English | Spanish | Latin

Release Date:

7 August 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia See more »


Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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