The Wild Bunch (1969)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

USA, 1969.  Warner Brothers/Seven Arts.  Story by , , Screenplay by Walon Green, Sam Peckinpah.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Sam Peckinpah’s ultraviolent western melodrama became a guiding point for which action films of the future would compare themselves to. William Holden stars as the leader of a band of fugitive lawbreakers who decide to stage one last job before wandering off into the sunset with their loot. Unfortunately, their proposed robbery is hijacked and they have to take a trip to Mexico for a new deal. Robert Ryan plays the former member of their team who was caught by the law and is being forced to help the police track the bunch down. Bloody shoot-outs, crazy gunfights and drunken brawls are all over the place, beautifully controlled by the intelligent writing and Peckinpah’s dead-on direction. One of the greatest westerns made since The Searchers.

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Original Story and Screenplay; Best Original Score for a Motion Picture-not a musical

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