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Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia


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Product Details

  • Actors: Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Robert Webber, Gig Young, Helmut Dantine
  • Directors: Sam Peckinpah
  • Writers: Sam Peckinpah, Gordon T. Dawson, Frank Kowalski
  • Producers: Helmut Dantine, Gordon T. Dawson, Martin Baum
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: March 22, 2005
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006TPDPM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,619 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary by Sam Peckinpah scholars Paul Seydor Garner Simmons and David Weddle, with moderator Nick Redman
  • Original theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Sam Peckinpah knew he couldn't call a movie Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia and get away with it. That's why he did it. When he undertook this nakedly personal project, in self-exile in Mexico, the director was a deeply bitter man out of favor with critics, the media, and the Hollywood establishment, which had just released his Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid in a mutilated version. "Bring Me the Head..." sounded like the parody title of an ultraviolent Sam Peckinpah movie, and he flung it in our faces just as his onscreen surrogate tosses the titular object at the camera.

Thing is, the movie is a masterpiece--raw, shocking, beautiful, and brave--in which Peckinpah confronts his enemies and his own demons. Warren Oates plays a gringo piano-player stuck in Mexico who hears that some powerful men are willing to pay a bounty on a guy he knows. They don't know the guy is already dead, killed in a car accident. It'll be easy to exhume the trophy and collect the money--except that it will cost our seedy hero everything he has and ever wanted.

John Huston's Treasure of the Sierra Madre had always been a key legend for Peckinpah; this film is a subterranean re-imagining of it, with Oates as both the son of Fred C. Dobbs and the carnival-mirror reflection of Peckinpah himself. And Isela Vega's performance as the sainted whore Elita--bruised and worldly one minute, radiant and clear-skinned as a child the next--is an act of grace. --Richard T. Jameson

Product Description

Some people will do anything for a million dollars even if it means killing anyone who gets in their way! Written and directed by OscarÂ(r) nominee* Sam Peckinpah and starring Academy AwardÂ(r) winner** Gig Young, Warren Oates, Robert Webber, Kris Kristofferson and the seductively beautiful Isela Vega, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia is a gritty classic that vibrates with explosive action and nail-biting tension. When a Mexican land baron puts a million dollars on the head of the man who seduced his daughter, two money-hungry men (Young and Webber) recruita small-town bartender (Oates) to help them do their dirty work. But their tequila-fueled trek across the desolate Mexican frontier grows more intense, gruesome and bloody with every savage murder they leave in their wake! *1969: Original Screenplay, The Wild Bunch (With Walon Greenand Roy N. Sickner) **1969: Supporting Actor, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

Customer Reviews

It truly is unbelievable that something like this film was made at all.
Chris
One of the criticisms of this film was that it was too violent which I found surprising considering that the violence was pretty mellow by today's standards.
Sal Paradise
Truly a great film by Sam Peckinpah with Warren Oates performing masterfully.
harry44callahan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 67 people found the following review helpful By different drummer 63 on March 30, 2005
Format: DVD
The above is a line that Warren Oates as Benny delivers after one of the villains in suits calls him a loser. It's one of many dialogic gems in this volatile film, which vies with Straw Dogs as Sam Peckinpah's greatest movie of the 1970s. The title is so in your face that you expect a non-stop bloodbath but Peckinpah's after something else here, something that few directors or audiences have had the backbone to deal with. He takes a main character who looks, acts, and dresses like a loser in so many ways, and makes him human, vulnerable, tragic, and somehow moral in a world full of ruthless men corrupted by their almost absolute power. You know from the start that the movie won't end prettily, yet with Peckinpah at the helm, Oates in the male lead and the ravishing Isela Vega his doomed companion, a host of great character actors sinking their teeth into the rotting meat of their roles, and a vision of Mexico conveyed in stark but lyrical images, you have to take the ride with Benny all the way to the bitter end. In quantity of killings, this is not very violent as Peckinpah films go, certainly not close to The Wild Bunch, Pat Garrett, or Cross of Iron. But the mood is so somber and bleak that it will test the strongest viewer threshold. There is also the trademark sly Peckinpah humor throughout, whistling through the graveyard with a bottle of tequila in one hand and a gun in the other. Some will call this misogynistic--yes, it depicts hate toward women but it doesn't endorse it. What Peckinpah is after is a wholesale condemnation of the human race, except for those few, like Benny, who recognize the farce for what it is and live and die with their choices, taking as many of the S.O.B.'s with them as they can, on their way down. A masterpiece.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Kimberley Wilson on December 8, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Bring the Head of Alfredo Garcia is a rough film. It wasn't for the faint hearted back in '74 and it stil isn't. So many people got killed that I lost count. It depicts a brutal, filthy world and doesn't have an uplifting golly gee ending. I loved it. Warren Oates gave his finest performance as Benny, an American small timer who has one last chance to make it big. Benny is so cool he never takes off his shades even in bed. He doesn't hesitate to kill the bad yet his personal code won't allow him to harm the innocent.
The actress who plays his girlfriend is perfect. She's attractive but in a beat up been-around-the-block-too-many-times way. She spends a lot of time nude or semi nude in this movie but it's not cheap. She's a semi retired prostitute afterall. She ought to be a throw away character but she isn't. She's Benny's heart and although he doesn't know it, she, not dead Alfredo Garcia, is his last chance.
Yes, this is an ugly film but it's incredible. Put the kids to bed early, buy the video and sit back to watch a movie that still shocks and dazzles.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Eric Krupin on March 1, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
The more time I spend with this film - and I've watched it close to a dozen times by now - the more humbled I am by the unflinching bleakness of its vision. Viewers who insist on approaching it as a Hollywood "action" movie will never be able to get past the deliberate, taunting belligerence of the title and plot. Before they will be able to discern it as the masterpiece heralded by Roger Ebert, the Amazon editorial reviewer, and myself, they will need to understand it as an "Under the Volcano"-ish dark-night-of-the-soul cri de coeur - an alcoholic suicide note found in a sleazy motel bed.

One of the movie's boldest achievements is its shattering of the lingering glamour attached to the concept of the filmic "anti-hero". Humphrey Bogart's Sam Spade may be unsentimental about the death of his partner and thoughtlessly exploitative of his devoted secretary, but he's still an irresistably attractive figure. He's savvy and fearless... he's Humphrey Bogart, for God's sake! Bennie (a fearless, appalling performance by the under-appreciated Warren Oates) on the other hand is simply, as one of the really-bad guys insultingly brands him, "a loser" - a seedy piano player in a cheap suit cynically going through the motions for bored tourists and dead-eyed prostitutes in a dingy Mexican bar. [No wonder he wears his huge, pitch-black sunglasses even indoors. There's a lot he doesn't want to see.] He's pained by memories of better times. ["That was a classy place," he reminisces about one of his former gigs. "Classy people came in there."] When his girlfriend (played by the luscious Isela Vega) - a madonna/whore in the classic Peckinpah mold - gives him crabs, he tries to kill them by pouring booze into his boxer shorts. ["Change the sheets, darling," he grumbles.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By harry44callahan on March 12, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Truly a great film by Sam Peckinpah with Warren Oates performing masterfully. It starts out somewhat slow and builds the plot til Oates is out for revenge in Peckinpah fashion! Look for Kris Kristofferson as a bad guy biker who gets his just deserves; also Gig Young and Robert Webber as a couple cold ruthless hitmen out to get the prize for their boss. Note that the Mexican land baron is the same fellow who played the general in Peckinpah's "Wild Bunch". All in all a great film full of action and revenge as only Sam Peckinpah could do it! I saw this as a teenager on "Telecinema" in the 70's (the original pay-per-view!) and it is just as powerful now as ever. They don't make movies like this anymore!
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