Spattered with blood and controversy, Sam Peckinpah's Westerns revolutionized their genre. SAM PECKINPAH'S WEST: LEGACY OF A HOLLYWOOD RENEGADE goes in search of the man behind these ...
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In 1864, due to frequent Apache raids from Mexico into the U.S., a Union officer decides to illegally cross the border and destroy the Apache, using a mixed army of Union troops, Confederate POWs, civilian mercenaries, and scouts.
Spattered with blood and controversy, Sam Peckinpah's Westerns revolutionized their genre. SAM PECKINPAH'S WEST: LEGACY OF A HOLLYWOOD RENEGADE goes in search of the man behind these legendary films. Through a poignant array of film clips and rare interviews, the documentary reveals a tortured artist whose genius and demons changed the Western forever. Interviewees include actor/director Billy Bob Thornton, Benicio Del Toro, Paul Schrader, film critic Roger Ebert, actors who worked with Peckinpah such as Harry Dean Stanton, Stella Stevens, L.Q. Jones and others. The personal side of Peckinpah will feature interviews with family members, sister Fern Lee, son Mathew Peckinpah, plus exclusive home movies and photos.Written by
This lengthy documentary about Sam Peckinpah and his movies is included on the bonus disc for "The Wild Bunch". It is narrated by Kris Kristofferson and includes lots of interviews with folks who knew and worked with him.
I must admit up front that I am not a huge fan of Sam Peckinpah's films. A few (such as "Ride the High Country") are classics--a few are just gross ("Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia") and so I am probably not the best person to review this documentary. However, for the most part, I did enjoy the film. It featured lots of interviews and didn't flinch when it came to discussing Peckinpah's self-destructiveness. My only serious problem with the film was when it came to the latter part of his career where instead of an in-depth look like there'd been on his other films, it was just glossed over too quickly. So, while the film went on and on about "The Ballad of Cable Hogue", Peckinpah's later films like "Cross of Iron", "Convoy" and "The Osterman Weekend" (arguably pretty bad films) are ignored. So, in this sense, it's not a complete look at his movies. Overall, it is quite good--but also woefully incomplete.
By the way, one part of the film irritated me a bit. When discussing his film "The Wild Bunch", the film talked about how groundbreaking it was in style. I would argue that this is NOT completely the case, but the film was an American copy of an Italian western. So, the violence and antihero elements of the film were NOT created by Peckinpah--folks like Sergio Leone and Sergio Carbucci had been making films like this for a few years before "The Wild Bunch" debuted.
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