By Stephen Prince
Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch is without doubt one of the such a lot influential motion pictures in American cinema. The depth of its violence was once extraordinary, whereas the director's use of a number of cameras, montage modifying, and gradual movement quick grew to become the normative sort for rendering reveal violence. This quantity comprises freshly-commissioned essays through numerous top students of Peckinpah's paintings. analyzing the film's construction heritage from script to monitor, its wealthy and ambivalent imaginative and prescient of yank society, and its courting to the Western style, between different issues, it offers a definitive reinterpretation of an everlasting movie vintage.
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Extra info for Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (Cambridge Film Handbooks)
To the surprise of virtually everyone, including himself, he won the 1965 Academy Award as best actor for his dual performance as the drunken gun- THE SCREENPLAY 41 fighter and the villain in the comedy Western Cat Ballon. Before this a character actor known for playing villains and other tough lowlifes (he was Liberty Valance in John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance ), all of a sudden he found himself a star. His next picture was Richard Brooks's The Professionals (1966), a bigbudget, star-driven Western that, like CatBallou, became a huge hit.
9 Sam Peckinpah Collection, The Wild Bunch - Peckinpah memos, memo of 5/6/68, folder no. 62. , memo of 5/18/68. , memo of 5/20/68. , memo of 6/13/68. , memo of 5/9/68. 14 Sam Peckinpah Collection, Feldman memos, memo of 8/5/68, folder no. 45. 15 Sam Peckinpah Collection, The Wild Bunch - Peckinpah memos, memo of 10/25/68, folder no. 62. , memo of 5/3/69. 17 Ibid. 18 Sam Peckinpah Collection, Wild Bunch - Feldman memos, memo of 2/1/69, folder no. 46. 19 Sam Peckinpah Collection, Wild Bunch - Peckinpah memos, memo of 5/3/69, folder no.
Cook places the film in relation to the cultural factors and film industry regulations that helped sanitize screen violence in earlier decades, and he then explains why the limits on what was permissible to show on screen changed so decisively in the late sixties. Throughout his historical discussion, Cook emphasizes the "uneasy relationship between spectators and on-screen gunplay that has been tempered by the cultural/political status of real armed violence in American society/' Wheeler Winston Dixon places the film in relation to the traditions and conventions of the Western genre, as Peckinpah inherited that genre when he began work on the film and as he transformed and recast it in ways that could not be undone by subsequent filmmakers.