THE WILD BUNCH
1969, Warner Bros., 145 min, USA, Dir: Sam Peckinpah

Saddle up for director Sam Peckinpah’s magnificent, ultra-violent Western, starring William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Warren Oates and Jaime Sanchez as a band of doomed outlaws trying to outrun history. A film that forever changed the way violence was depicted and perceived in the movies. Co-starring Robert Ryan, Edmond O’Brien, L.Q. Jones, Bo Hopkins and Strother Martin. “The movie was photographed by Lucien Ballard, in dusty reds and golds and browns and shadows. The editing, by Lou Lombardo, uses slow motion to draw the violent scenes out into meditations on themselves. Every actor was perfectly cast to play exactly what he could play; even the small roles need no explanation. Peckinpah possibly identified with the wild bunch. Like them, he was an obsolete, violent, hard-drinking misfit with his own code, and did not fit easily into the new world of automobiles, and Hollywood studios.” - Roger Ebert


RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY
1962, Warner Bros., 94 min, USA, Dir: Sam Peckinpah

Peckinpah’s first uncontested masterpiece is this elegiac portrait of the end of the Wild West, embodied in the form of two aging friends (unforgettably portrayed by Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea) with very different agendas, who are hired to guard a shipment of gold. Lucien Ballard’s cinematography was never better, capturing the untainted splendor of the high mountains and the bone-weary sadness of two men nearing the end of their lives’ trails. With Mariette Hartley, Ronald Starr.


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