The Wild Bunch - The Original Director's Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition)
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Sam Peckinpah's controversial portrayal of a battle between a ruthless Mexican revolutionary and Texan bandits.]]>
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
- 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
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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!Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Many Great Actors, Great movie. Rough and tumble movie, a tough time in History.Published 1 day ago by FredColo
Great cast, storytelling and action. Even there is no GCI, it is even better than some movies packed with GCI.Published 9 days ago by Lam Hoon Leong
This movie is a great western. It has all the old actors that made movies in that day great to watch. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Sandra K. Mcclaflin
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