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Bloody Sam: The Life and Films of Sam Peckinpah Hardcover – November 15, 1991

4.2 out of 5 stars 8 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Best known for Ride the High Country , The Wild Bunch and Straw Dogs , director Peckinpah (1925-1984) had a reputation for being difficult to work with, for making graphically violent films, for a brutish attitude toward women and, especially in later years, for alcoholism and drug abuse, which helped wreck his career and shorten his life. Much of the reputation is deserved, according to Fine, columnist for the Gannet newspapers, but, he argues, Peckinpah's best films are marked by "skill, artistry and vision"p. xiii and broke new cinematic ground. The author also maintains that despite the filmmaker's image as a "hard-drinking, hard-living maverick," Peckinpah was "a sensitive and poetic soul who tried to hide that side from the world."p. xiii The book supports these points, but the narrative is marred by blocks of meandering commentary from family, friends and colleagues of Peckinpah. In addition, Fine's own writing sometimes stoops to the juvenile: about the decreasing ability of Peckinpah's blood to coagulate, we're told, "During The Wild Bunch , that caused a serious pain in the ass: a raging case of bleeding hemorrhoids."p. 137 Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Peckinpah's films were widely criticized during the 1970s for excessive violence, but they seem almost tame compared to the atrocities portrayed today by his many successors. Syndicated columnist Fine has assembled a rather sad portrait of Peckinpah, who died in 1985 at age 59. Elaborating on old news, Fine portrays him as a hard-drinking, brawling maverick whose rude behavior earned him many enemies in and out of Hollywood. Behind-the-scenes shenanigans are discussed more than the actual films, conclusively showing that Peckinpah refused to compromise his filmmaking principles--or anything else. Perhaps best known for the slow-motion sequences of graphic violence in such films as Straw Dogs (1971) and The Wild Bunch (1969), Peckinpah pursued artistic goals which are better analyzed in previous studies, most notably Paul Seydor's Peckinpah: The Western Films ( LJ 2/1/80). Recommended for subject collections, and general readers hankering for sensationalism.
- Richard W. Grefrath, Univ. of Nevada Lib., Reno
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1 pounds
  • Hardcover : 426 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 155611236X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1556112362
  • Product Dimensions : 1.5 x 6.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Publisher : Donald I. Fine; First Edition (November 15, 1991)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 8 ratings
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