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The Wild Bunch - The Original Director's Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition) (2006)

Alfonso Arau , Ernest Borgnine , Sam Peckinpah  |  R |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (385 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Alfonso Arau, Ernest Borgnine, Elsa Cárdenas, Albert Dekker, Emilio Fernández
  • Directors: Sam Peckinpah
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 10, 2006
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (385 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BT96CS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,540 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Wild Bunch - The Original Director's Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary by Peckinpah biographers/documentarians Nick Redman, Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons and David Weddle
  • Peckinpah Trailer Gallery
  • Never-before-seen outtakes
  • Additional scenes
  • 3 documentaries:
  • Sam Peckinpah's West: Legacy of a Hollywood Renegade A feature-length biography of the legendary director
  • 1996 Oscar Nominee The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage
  • An excerpt from A Simple Adventure Story: Sam Peckinpah, Mexico and the Wild Bunch

Editorial Reviews

Additional Features

The three documentaries in this two-disc set seek to illuminate the enigmatic Sam Peckinpah and the power of his film achievements without denying his own ornery, self-destructive failings. The feature-length Starz special Sam Peckinpah's West: Legacy of a Hollywood Renegade features testimony from Peckinpah intimates (including his beloved sister), colleagues (Kris Kristofferson, L.Q. Jones, editor Garth Craven) and critics (notably David Thomson and Paul Schrader). Covering all the Westerns up through the modern-day Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, the doc includes extended looks at the underappreciated The Ballad of Cable Hogue and the first of the director's mutilated films, Major Dundee. Oddly, it doesn't note that Ride the High Country, which "overnight" established Peckinpah as a filmmaker, also marked his first run-in with Hollywood: a new regime at MGM threw the film away on the bottom half of a double bill.

Peckinpah chroniclers David Weddle, Nick Redman, Paul Seydor, and Garner Simmons--all heard on the commentary track--also got together for a 2004 pilgrimage to Parras, Mexico, the village that supplied the location for General Mapache's stronghold in The Wild Bunch and, of course, the film's apocalyptic finale. This is recorded in Redman's A Simple Adventure Story: Sam Peckinpah, Mexico and The Wild Bunch, which intercuts the latterday, not-so-wild bunch's moseying through sleepy Parras with the 1969 action scenes that invested the place with mythic resonance. Weddle: "...you walk around a corner and here's a part of your imaginative life--there!"

Seydor's Oscar-nominated 1996 short The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage assembles black-and-white "making of" footage from the Wild Bunch shoot and, rather than filming new talking-head footage, uses oral-history recollections of cast and crew members mingled on the soundtrack with Peckinpah's own words, voiced by Ed Harris. High point: Peckinpah/Harris's whispery murmur, "I want to do a walk thing..." as the director spontaneously begins to orchestrate the most powerful action climax in modern cinema. Album-jacket promises of "additional scenes" and "previously unseen outtakes" are apparently references to the same material: just outtakes and alternate camera angles, none notably revelatory. Technically, the disc improves on the 1997 release, which split the film over two sides of the disc and was not enhanced for widescreen televisions. --Richard T. Jameson

Product Description

Outlaws on the Mexican-U.S. frontier face the march of progress, the Mexican army and a gang of bounty hunters led by a former member while they plan a robbery of a U.S. army train. No one is innocent in this gritty tale of of desperation against changing times. Pump shotguns, machine guns and automobiles mix with horses and winchesters in this ultraviolent western.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
174 of 182 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peckinpah's moment in time still packs a punch March 29, 2003
Format:DVD
There's not much that can be noted about Sam Peckinpah's brilliant 1969 western epic "The Wild Bunch" that has not already been written. It was an unanticipated, influential work where all things came together, but for a moment, the end product a huge, sweeping canvas of intimacy between comrades, violence between combatants, desperate anger amidst changing times. Part Kurosawa, part Siegel, part Fuller, part Ford, Peckinpah combined his inspirations with a healthy dose of 1960s rebellion producing the ultimate work of his generation, and one of the greatest westerns in history. It was Peckinpah's great fortune that the right actors were available for this film - William Holden and Robert Ryan in the twilight of their memorable careers, Ernest Borgnine with just enough youth to be a perfect and loyal presence, Edmond O'Brien chewing up the scenery with tobacco-stained teeth, and of course Peckinpah friends Strother Martin, L.Q. Jones and Warren Oates in salty supporting roles. It was also his great fortune cinematographer Lucien Ballard and composer Jerry Fielding were also on hand to participate in his steadfast vision.
Peckinpah also had something to prove at this point in his career, when he was still a hungry director with a vision, before alcoholism, disillusionment and celebrity status took hold. He hid nothing from viewers, and his contradictory heart was laid bare in "The Wild Bunch." The direction and editing during the violent moments of this film - the opening bank robbery and the concluding battle with the Mexican army - are some of the most unforgettable scenes ever put on film. But ironically, and this was usually the case in most Peckinpah films, it is the quiet moments one remembers.
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296 of 332 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE WILD BUNCH.- A Mexican footnote. May 21, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Sam Peckinpah's 'The Wild Bunch' is a masterpiece western. Not the best ever made, but close. So don't think I don't like this movie because I love it. However, since Mexicans are its villains, perhaps you'd be interested to read an opinion from this side of the border.
The Mexico of 'The Wild Bunch' looks more like a metaphor than a real place. It is both Heaven and Hell; the theatre where the bunch will find Death but also Redemption. Accordingly, every Mexican depicted in the picture is either a saint or a monster (no middle ground here, except for the Mexican member of the Bunch, who is aptly named "Angel", although a fallen one). This serves the story splendidly, for it's meant to be an epic ballad and not a travelogue, but it does jolt the Mexican viewer because the "good Mexico" is portrayed so idyllic it's unreal, while the "bad Mexico" is very, very accurate; in fact, no American movie has captured the look, sound, feel, texture and carnage of the Mexican Revolution as this one has (even if the grandiose final scene, where the Bunch kills hundreds of heavily armed soldiers all by themselves and none of the four falls down even when riddled by bullets, defies all logic!). Perhaps that's why it was banned in Mexico back when it was released in 1969.
Funny, for it was filmed in Mexico as well. The Texas bordertown you see at the begining of the story is actually Parras, Coahuila, and many of its citizens acted as extras in the movie: white ones as "Texans", brown ones as -what else?- Mexicans! Don Raúl Madero, brother of Francisco I. Madero, the man who started the Mexican Revolution, appears ...as a Texan! Even the two German officers are Mexican!
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70 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tone Poem Written in Adrenaline January 26, 2006
Format:DVD
There are other Peckinpah films I like better. There are other Peckinpah films which are more emotionally affecting. There are other Peckinpah films which are easier to watch. There are other Peckinpah films...But this is the THE Peckinpah film for anyone who wants to know what the fuss is all about. THE WILD BUNCH is Peckinpah's most significant, influential, daring, and ferocious assault on the limits of cinema. This is one of the few movies in cinematic history which fundamentally changed the language of cinema. Violence, death, and carnage would never be treated the same way by the movies after this film. The very idea of action in films can be divided into those made before THE WILD BUNCH and those made after it. Practically every action film you will ever see is little more than a pale attempt at imitating the great original. Watch this movie, and you will see where it all began.

Beyond this, however, there is the film itself; and now that the controversy it engendered has faded into history and its slow-motion carnage has become cinematic banality, the film has begun to emerge in its own right. This is all too the good, because THE WILD BUNCH taken on its own terms is an extraordinary cinematic experience. A tone poem written in adrenaline.

THE WILD BUNCH is, as its creator expressed, essentially a film about bad men in changing times. The changing times, however, brings out the best in these bad men; and a film which begins as a high-spirited bloody romp ends as an epic, apocalyptic tragedy, as its characters choose to go out in an orgy of erotic carnage which changed the cinematic landscape forever.

Peckinpah's skills are magnificently on display in this film. Still youthful as a director, there is not a trace of maturity in this film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A real Story.
Loved the actors, the characters, and the story line. Beats the bankrupt story lines of today. To bad they are all gone.
Published 3 days ago by Duggaboy
5.0 out of 5 stars What a bunch!
In my opinion, and there's room for contention, the best western of them all. Gritty realism, tremendous cast, spot on direction by Peckinpah and "the walk", that alone,... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Michael Gabryszewski
5.0 out of 5 stars Peckinpah's Masterpiece (The Shoot-'Em-Up to End 'Em All)
Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch is one of the greatest of all films. An obvious influence on Tarantino (just noticed the other day that the scene in Inglourious Basterds, when Hugo... Read more
Published 17 days ago by C. Montemayor
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest of American films
It is hard not to overuse the word "great" (in the classic sense) when talking about this film. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Kingo Gondo
5.0 out of 5 stars One last run at retirement funds
Excellent movie. Peckinpah was the first director to show bullets entering the body and exiting with pieces of flesh being thrown out. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Amazon Enjoyer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Of The Best
This movie never gets old! No matter how many times i watch it i always find something new and interesting that i have not noticed before. The cast is impeccable. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Bob R
5.0 out of 5 stars The best western
It's the first deconstruction of the western in film. A movie where the violence and the characters are very real. Be aware that is very violent but a film well worth seeing.
Published 24 days ago by David Nesbit
5.0 out of 5 stars BLURAY MAKES THE BUNCH NEW AGAIN
ASaw a lot of small glitches in my DVD - electronic lines and a couple horizontal breakups, so replaced it with this gorgeous BluRay. Read more
Published 1 month ago by R. S. Kern
4.0 out of 5 stars probably THE film Peckinpah will always be remembered for
I'd never seen The Wild Bunch until I ordered this Blu-ray. First time through I lost interest and actually fell asleep about a half hour into the film. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Hose Nose
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
What's there to say, it's a western classic! Great acting, great cast, great cinematography. If you like old school westerns you'll like The Wild Bunch.
Published 1 month ago by John T.
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Soundtrack
Check e-bay. All the soundtracks are out-of-print. However, the French 10-track CD is fairly easy to locate. Warners also issued the complete stereo score as a bonus disc when they released the laserdisc in 1998. It, too, often surfaces on e-bay but it's quite expensive now...
Sep 26, 2010 by shureman |  See all 2 posts
The WIld Bunch on a XBOX 360 player?
I get the same thing in my 360 player. It played fine in A35. However, there are some discs that can't play in the A35, but play in the xBox. I own two HD DVD players. How stupid am I?
Apr 23, 2008 by Stephen Steele |  See all 4 posts
Could someone tell me a good book on Sam Peckinpah?
Sorry I responded so late. The best book on Peckinpah is from Paul Seydor: The Western films. Also David Weddle:If they move...kill em:the life and times of Sam Peckinpah and Garner Simmons:Peckinpah: a portrait in montage are very good books. Recommended!
Jul 11, 2008 by L. Ketzer |  See all 3 posts
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