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The Wild Bunch


Roger Davidson

The Wild Bunch
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There are certain scenes in movies that always stand out in your memory. The scene in Jaws where the shark attacks and destroys the entire ship. Bruce Willis jumping off the tower before it blows up in "Die Hard". This movie also has a scene that is memorable. First, let me explain. This is a western. Not just any western, but one of the first bloody western. That is to say, the first western that showed violent and bloody deaths. The story is about a group of outlaws in the year 1913, a year when the last of the old west was dying.

They are aging outlaws in there fifties about, but they still have some guts left in them to pull bank jobs. However, the leader of this group of outlaws (William Holden) is getting too old for violent shootouts and his judgment is becoming very poor, which results in the deaths of all the gang members. That scene comes at the end which escalates into an orgy of hyper-violence the likes of which no one (at least at the time) had ever scene. That scene would inspire future directors such as Martin Scorsese and todays Quentin Tarantino. The director, Sam Peckinpah, was the man who started the ground breaking technique of "realistic" violence to enhance the action of the movie.

There are plenty of memorable scenes and lots of good acting including Holden, Ernest Borgnine as his second lieutenant, Edmond O'Brien as the oldest of the bunch, Robert Ryan as an ex-member of the bunch turned bounty hunter, and Mexican actor Emilio Fernandez as a ruthless Mexican general who the bunch now work for. This is a true milestone in movie history that you don't want to miss. Some of the violence in here may be a little tame compared to more recent films such as Pulp Fiction and The Terminator, but it's just as excessive as Rambo or Die Hard.

My Rating = Four Stars

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