The Wild Bunch, November 18
The uncut European version of Peckinpah's only war movie, with James Coburn as a German grunt battling both the Russians and upper-class captain Maximilian Schell. Peckinpah's vision of WWII explodes any semblance of order, either narrative or moral.
Peckinpah's adaptation of Robert Ludlum's novel is a complex thriller bulging with TV-induced paranoia: CIA chief Burt Lancaster recruits John Hurt to convince telejournalist Rutger Hauer that some of his best friends are Soviet spies.
Kris Kristofferson is a bedraggled Billy the Kid accompanied by friend Alias (Bob Dylan) and pursued by ex-friend Pat Garrett (James Coburn). Written by Rudy Wurlitzer, "the last real Western made by Sam Peckinpah (or anyone else, for that matter) . . . is almost insanely elegiac. The colors are ultra magic hour, and the characters are obsessed with growing old."-Village Voice
Warren Oates is a seedy American piano player turned bounty hunter driving across Mexico with a severed head for a sidekick in Peckinpah's weirdly funny, deeply pessimistic film.
An S.F.-set plot about hired killers with CIA connections "is used as a mere framework for a compressed, almost abstract fantasy on the subject of selling yourself yet trying to hang on to a piece of yourself."-New Yorker. With James Caan.
Introduced by Greil Marcus. With this story of a gangster and his moll taking it on the lam, Peckinpah delivers a precisely orchestrated fugitive fantasy à la High Sierra. Stars Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw are almost upstaged by the muscular cinematography and high-caliber montage.
Washed-up bull-rider Steve McQueen comes home to Arizona, to mother Ida Lupino, father Robert Preston, and the artificial West of Prescott's Frontier Days Rodeo, in this stylistically aggressive yet emotionally good-natured picture.
The moors of Cornwall are the setting for a saga of primordial violence starring Susan George as local lust-object and Dustin Hoffman as her timid husband whose dormant masculinity is awakened under siege.
"If they move, kill 'em": Peckinpah's most notorious Western shot the genre through with a sense of rage and apocalyptic exhilaration. "Pouring new wine into the bottle of the Western, Peckinpah explodes the bottle."-Pauline Kael
Notoriously butchered by the studio, Peckinpah's chaotic, antiheroic Vietnam-era parable-a worthy predecessor to The Wild Bunch-is back with a new score and twelve minutes restored. Charlton Heston plays a disgraced Civil War general turned prison-camp warden.
Peckinpah's sensitive, elegiac second film "allows the grand old veterans Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott to embody the ancient virtues of the Western with heroic grace and gallantry."-Village Voice. With exquisite cinematography by Lucien Ballard.
Grizzled prospector Jason Robards finds his fortune in the desert in this comic character study, a leisurely and lusty musing on Western enterprise.