Ernest Borgnine, William Holden, Robert Ryan, Edmond O'Brien
Sam Peckinpah (Director), Sam Peckinpah (Screenplay), Walon Green (Screenplay)
Release: Jun. 17th, 1969
Runtime: 2 hours, 25 minutes
Aging outlaw, Pike Bishop prepares to retire after one final robbery. Joined by his gang, Dutch Engstrom and brothers Lyle and Tector Gorch, Bishop discovers the heist is a setup orchestrated in part by a former partner, Deke Thornton. As the remaining gang takes refuge in Mexican territory, Thornton trails them—resulting in fierce gunfights with plenty of casualties.
Well, for me there's no way it will be better than the Peckinpah classic but I might be interested because I think Gibson is a fine director. I'm interested in @Holden Pike and what he has to say abou...
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Why The Wild Bunch is immortal to me is not because of the celebrated/condemned violence, but due to its poetic odes to friendship, honor, and the futility of outrunning progress, all wrapped in an adventure story about laughing outlaws, daring robberies, and messy gunfights that helps to shatter many of the genre myths and attitudes that had been established in previous decades of film and television Westerns.
The Bunch are the type of protagonists that only seem heroic by default due to how horrible everyone else is (with the possible exception of Deke); Angel is the closest the film gets to having a wholly sympathetic character due to his wishing to save the people of his village from Mapache but that doesn't stop him from doing something like murdering the woman he loves because she's gone over to Mapache (though exactly how willingly she made that choice is up to interpretation, and the incident is framed as a crime of passion on Angel's part - yeah, you're not exactly going to get a kind treatment of female characters in this film).