The Wild Bunch (1969)

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    There are 84 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by lasbugas.

    • The Wild Bunch (1969)



      Information From IMDb

      Plot Summary
      A few months before World War I, an aging band of outlaws led by Pike Bishop rob a Texas bank intent on using the money to retire. When the robbery goes wrong, the gang is forced to flee to Mexico with Bishop's reformed ex-partner, Deke Thornton, in hot pursuit. With nothing to show for the failed robbery, Bishop's gang agrees to steal a shipment of guns for General "Mapache" Juerta, to restore their fortunes. With Thornton closing in, and their association with the evil Juerta trying their conscience, Bishop and co. prepare for their lawless past to catch up with them.
      Written by Ronos

      William Holden ... Pike Bishop
      Ernest Borgnine ... Dutch Engstrom
      Robert Ryan ... Deke Thornton
      Edmond O'Brien ... Freddie Sykes
      Warren Oates ... Lyle Gorch
      Jaime Sánchez ... Angel (as Jaime Sanchez)
      Ben Johnson ... Tector Gorch
      Emilio Fernández ... Gen. Mapache (as Emilio Fernandez)
      Strother Martin ... Coffer
      L.Q. Jones ... T.C
      Albert Dekker ... Pat Harrigan
      Bo Hopkins ... Clarence 'Crazy' Lee
      Dub Taylor ... Rev. Wainscoat
      Paul Harper ... Ross
      Jorge Russek ... Maj. Zamorra
      Alfonso Arau ... Lt. Herrera
      Chano Urueta ... Don Jose
      Elsa Cárdenas ... Elsa (as Elsa Cardenas)
      Bill Hart ... Jess
      Rayford Barnes ... Buck
      Stephen Ferry ... Sgt. McHale (as Steve Ferry)
      Sonia Amelio ... Teresa
      Aurora Clavel ... Aurora
      Enrique Lucero ... Ignacio
      Elizabeth Dupeyrón ... Rocio (as Elizabeth Dupeyron)
      Yolanda Ponce ... Yolis
      José Chávez ... Juan Jose (as Jose Chavez)
      René Dupeyrón ... Juan (as Rene Dupeyron)
      Pedro Galván ... Mr. Benson (as Pedro Galvan)
      Graciela Doring ... Emma
      Major Perez ... Perez
      Fernando Wagner ... Cmdr. Frederick Mohr
      Jorge Rado ... Ernst
      Ivan Scott ... Paymaster
      Señora Madero ... Margaret (as Sra. Madero)
      Margarito Luna ... Luna
      Chalo González ... Gonzalez (as Chalo Gonzalez)
      Lilia Castillo ... Lilia
      Elizabeth Unda ... Carmen
      Julio Corona ... Julio
      Matthew Peckinpah ... Young boy watching robber scoop up moneybag (uncredited)

      Writing credits
      Walon Green (story) and
      Roy N. Sickner (story)
      Walon Green (screenplay) and
      Sam Peckinpah (screenplay)

      Original Music by
      Jerry Fielding

      Cinematography by
      Lucien Ballard (director of photography)

      Stunts (included a couple of fellas, who's surname is familiar?)
      Joe Canutt .... stunts (uncredited)
      Tap Canutt .... stunts (uncredited)

      * Body count: 145

      * According to Sam Peckinpah biographer Marshall Fine, there was concern on the set over the bridge explosion. Bud Hulburd, the head of the special-effects crew, was not particularly experienced, having ascended the ranks after Peckinpah fired his predecessors. Stuntman Joe Canutt appealed to both Hulburd and Peckinpah to no avail, so finally, out of concern for the other stuntmen, Canutt enlisted the help of screenwriter Gordon T. Dawson, who was instructed to stand behind Hulburd with a club. If the stuntmen began to fall before the final charge was set off, something that would've resulted in death, Dawson was to club Hulburd unconscious before he detonated the last charge. Luckily, the stunt went off without a hitch.

      * Supposedly, more blank rounds were discharged during the production than live rounds were fired during the Mexican Revolution of 1914 around which the film is loosely based. In total 90,000 rounds were fired, all blanks.

      * Ernest Borgnine's limp wasn't acting. He broke his foot while filming The Split (1968) and had to wear a cast throughout the Mexican location shoot.

      * Before William Holden was cast, the role was turned down by Lee Marvin, Burt Lancaster, James Stewart, Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck, Sterling Hayden, Richard Boone and Robert Mitchum. Marvin actually accepted the role but pulled out after he was offered a larger pay deal to star in Paint Your Wagon (1969).

      * Seven identical costumes were made for each main actor. All of them were ruined during filming.

      * The shootout/massacre in the end took 12 days to film. When completed, about 10,000 squibs (simulated bullet hits) had been used.

      * The budget went from $3.5 to $6 million and from 70 to 81 shooting days.

      * The climatic gun battle sequence took 12 days to film. The crew nicknamed it the "Battle of Bloody Porch."

      * There were not enough uniforms for all of the stunt people and extras in the gun battle. If someone was filmed getting shot, the costume people would repair a uniform by washing off the fake blood, taping and painting over the bullet holes, drying the paint and sending either the same or a different performer out to get shot again.

      * The image of the scorpion being dropped in the ant hill was suggested by Emilio Fernández because he and his friends used to do that as children. The image was not in the script.

      * The train robbery itself was not in the script. All scenes were improvised on the spot, the same day. Same thing with "the walk" for the bunch to help "Angel".

      * Last scene to be completed was the exploding bridge over Rio Nazas (substituting for Rio Bravo). Five stuntmen, each paid $2,000, one take, six cameras. One camera was lost into the water.

      * WILHELM SCREAM: During the post office escape in the beginning, when one of the horsemen is shot in the face.

      * This film was adapted from a story thought up by Roy N. Sickner, an actor and stuntman. Writer Walon Green wrote the script, which was then rewritten by Sam Peckinpah. Green felt that Peckinpah's rewrite was substantial enough to deserve credit, but Green had to lobby the writer’s guild to allow Peckinpah a credit. Green has always said he was grateful to Peckinpah for not rewriting too much of the script just to get credit. Green, Sickner and Peckinpah all shared Academy award nominations for best screenplay (the only Oscar nomination Peckinpah ever received in his entire career.) They didn't win.

      * The famous "Last Walk" was improvised by Sam Peckinpah during the shoot. Originally, the scene was to begin with the Bunch leaving the whorehouse and immediately cut to the confrontation with Mapache. Once the decision was made to lengthen the scene, many of the Mexican extras were choreographed by the assistant directors while the scene was filming.

      * The name "The Wild Bunch" originally came from real-life western outlaw Butch Cassidy. At age 30 he started his own gang of outlaws, who were quickly christened "The Wild Bunch" by the press.

      * After filming the scene where Ernest Borgnine and William Holden sit by a campfire and their characters vow they "wouldn't have it any other way", it was hard for director Sam Peckinpah to yell, "Cut!" because he was crying.

      * During the opening robbery sequence, two children are seen holding each other, and watching as one of the robbers rides by on horseback and scoops up a bag of money laying on the ground. The boy in that scene is Matthew Peckinpah, director Sam Peckinpah's son.

      * Sam Peckinpah's first two choices for the role of Deke Thornton were Richard Harris (who had co-starred in Major Dundee (1965)) and Brian Keith (who had worked with Peckinpah on "The Westerner" (1960) and The Deadly Companions (1961)). Harris was never formally approached, but Keith was, and turned the part down. Robert Ryan was ultimately cast in the part after Peckinpah saw him in The Dirty Dozen (1967).

      * Excluding the start and end credits, this film contains about 2,721 edits in about 138 minutes of action. This equates to an average shot length of three seconds. The "Shootout at Bloody Porch" contains about 325 edits in five minutes of action, for an average shot length slightly under one second.

      * The role of Gen. Mapache was first offered to the German-Italian actor Mario Adorf. Adorf declined the offer when he learned that his character would cut a boy's throat, but regretted his decision three years later when he saw the movie.

      * The "modern" sidearms (the film setting is 1913) that the Bishop gang carries in the film are Colt M1911 automatic pistols and Winchester M1897 pump-action shotguns. The water cooled heavy machine gun is the Browning M1917. US and Mexican soldiers use M1903 Springfield rifles. All of the aforementioned weapons were used in World War 1 by the U.S. Army.

      * According to L.Q. Jones, he and Strother Martin approached director Sam Peckinpah with an idea to add more depth to their characters (T.C. and Coffer). The idea was to add a hint of a homosexual relationship between their characters. Peckinpah liked the idea and the footage made it into the final release version.

      * This was Albert Dekker's last film role.

      * John Wayne complained that the film destroyed the myth of the Old West.

      * The movie's line "If they move, kill 'em." was voted as the #72 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.

      * In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #79 Greatest Movie of All Time.

      * Ranked #6 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Western" in June 2008.

      * Before filming began, William Holden and Sam Peckinpah argued over the mustache Peckinpah felt the Pike Bishop character would wear, because Holden reportedly did not like his image on film with one. Director Peckinpah won the argument, and Holden wore a false mustache during filming.

      * Following the film's production, it was severely edited by the studio and producer Phil Feldman (in Sam Peckinpah's absence), cutting its length by about 20 minutes - remarkably, none of the excised film was violent. Due to its violence, the film was originally threatened with an "X" rating by the MPAA's (Motion Picture Association of America) newly created Production Code Administration, but an "R" rating was its final decision. The film was restored to its original "director's cut" length of 143 minutes and threatened with an NC-17 rating when submitted to the MPAA ratings board in 1993 prior to a re-release in 1994, holding up the film's re-release for many months. The reinstated scenes (including two important flashbacks from Pike's past, and a battle scene between Pancho Villa's rebels and Gen. Mapache at the telegraph station) depicted the underlying character and motivations of the leader of the Bunch. With numerous, elaborate montage sequences with staccato shifts, the film set a record for more edits (3,643 shot-to-shot edits at one count) than any other Technicolor film up to its time.

      * According to editor Lou Lombardo the original release print contains some 3,643 editorial cuts, more than any other Technicolor film ever processed. Some of these cuts are near subliminal, consisting of three or four frames, making them almost imperceptible to the naked eye.

      * At least three names from this film have been used in the television series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997). In addition to starring a vampire character named Angel, the series also had an episode (2.12 "Bad Eggs") that featured two vampire cowboys named Lyle and Tector Gorch. Also, Luke Perry's character's last name in the movie version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) is Pike.

      * Emilio Fernández plays Gen. Mapache, who is continually defeated by the forces of Pancho Villa. In real life Fernandez actually fought against Villa's rebels in the Mexican civil wars of the early 1900s, and was forced into exile in the US when Villa defeated the general Fernandez was fighting for.

      * "Mapache" means "raccoon", in Spanish.

      * The song "Polly Wolly Doodle" was prominently featured in Frank Capra's "You Can't Take It With You" where Dub Taylor (Rev. Wainscoat in the "Wild Bunch") plays the song (several times) on a xylophone. "You Can't Take It With You" marked the beginning of Taylor's film career. Peckinpah's "Polly Wolly Doodle" presented in it's sinister context, contrasts sharply with the carefree Capra rendition.

      * Co-writer/director Sam Peckinpah stated that one of his goals for this movie was to give the audience "some idea of what it is to be gunned down." A memorable incident occurred, to that end, as Peckinpah's crew were consulting him on the "gunfire" effects to be used in the film. Not satisfied with the results from the squibs his crew had brought for him, Peckinpah became exasperated; he finally hollered, "That's not what I want! *That's not what I want!*" Then he grabbed an actual revolver and fired it into a nearby wall. The gun empty, Peckinpah barked at his stunned crew: "That's the effect I want!!"

      * Continuity: Sykes is shot through the right leg. Later in the film the bandage is on his left leg.

      * Anachronisms: Coffer is seen using a Model 1903/A3 bolt-action rifle on the rooftop during the bank shootout scene. The /A3 model is clearly distinguishable from its earlier predecessor, the Model of 1903, by the rear sight placement on the rifle. The Model of 1903 used tangent sight located on the barrel, in front of the receiver, whereas the newer, improved variant used a "peep" sight located on the receiver bridge nearer to the bolt handle. The /A3 variant was a World War Two (circa 1941) improvement on the older model of 1903. Coffer should have been seen using a Model 1903, instead of a 1903/A3.

      * Errors in geography: Every time the gang crosses from Texas into Mexico, the river is running to the west. The Rio Grande actually flows in the opposite direction.

      * Continuity: When Pike shoots Buck to put him out of his misery after the opening sequence, Buck is first shown turning to the left as he falls - when we cut back to his fall he is clearly turning to the right

      * Crew or equipment visible: At the end of the opening sequence, when Crazy Lee shoots three lawmen, the electrical line to the squibs is visible.

      * Anachronisms: At least twice in the movie, characters refer to General Huerta as the president of Mexico. This would place the time period between early Spring of 1913 and the summer of 1914. However, when Sikes is telling the bunch about a flying machine, Pike informs them that he heard the machines would be used in "the war" which would place the time period late 1914 after Huerta had been overthrown. During the revolt against Huerta, General Carranza was the leading rebel; Pancho Villa was a minor figure (Villa came to prominence after Carranza overthrew Huerta, and Villa led a revolt against Carranza's government). At least twice, someone in the movie refers to Pancho Villa. This may have been an attempt to place a well known name before the movie going public.

      * Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Lyle and Tector are shooting at the wine casks, the slide on Lyle's gun is locked indicating the gun is empty. However, shots are still heard. In the 1995 re-release version this has been corrected. Only one shot is heard after the slide locks on Lyle's .45, and that shot comes from Tector's revolver.

      * Continuity: When Mapache is standing on the railroad tracks directing the battle against the rebels attacking the town, a soldier standing next to him is shot in the chest and falls at his feet. However, in the very next shot, from behind Mapache, the dead soldier's body is nowhere to be seen.

      * Anachronisms: The machine gun used at the end of the film is a Browning model 1917, the film is supposedly circa 1913

      * Continuity: During the opening shootout, a bald bounty hunter wearing a dark orange shirt and brown vest is killed with a shotgun blast. At the end of the scene, he can be seen exiting the hotel with the other bounty hunters, alive and well.

      * Continuity: In the opening scene, all shots of the bounty hunters on the rooftop show heavy storm clouds in the background, but all shots from the Bunch's/townspeople's POV show a clear, sunny day (including over the roof of the hotel).

      * Revealing mistakes: In the shooting in the beginning, one of the bounty hunters is shot and falls off the roof. When he hits the ground, one can see the ground break in where the air bag is hidden to break his fall (in the director's cut).

      * Factual errors: In the opening scene, as well as later, Coffer is shooting an "06". The rifle depicted is a .30-06, but it is not the M1903 then in use by the U.S. Army. It is a M1903A3 which was not produced until World War Two.

      * Factual errors: In the scene in which Angel shoots his girlfriend, and the Wild Bunch is confronted by the Gen. Mapache's men, Commander Mohr asks them about their weapons, and informs them that they are U.S. Army weapons, and cannot be owned by civilians. In this scene, the only U.S. Army weapons which they possess are M1911 Colt pistols, which in fact had been sold commercially starting in 1911.

      * Factual errors: The American soldiers in the movie wear a pattern of shirt which buttons all the way up the front. During this period of time, U.S. Army shirts were pullovers and buttoned part way down the front. The shirt depicted in the film is similar, but was not adopted until later.

      * Factual errors: Germans claim to be officers of "The Imperial German Army". At the time there was only the Royal Armies of Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony and Württemberg.

      Filming Locations
      Durango, Mexico
      Parras, Coahuíla, Mexico
      Torreón, Coahuíla, Mexico
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 4 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- The Wild Bunch (1969)

      Well Duke complained about this movie,
      as he thought it spoilt the myth of the Old West!
      However brilliantly directed by
      Sam Peckinpah, the film was crtically acclaimed,
      and is ranked highly in the top movies of the genre.
      If you check the Trivia section, you will note,
      many top movie stars, were considered and or turned
      down the main character roles.
      As it is William Holden as Pike Bishop
      Ernest Borgnine as Dutch, Robert Ryan,
      Edmond O'Brien and Warren Oates,
      were all wonderfully cast in their roles.

      A couple of Duke's 'Pals' played solid support roles.
      Ben Johnson and Strother Martin,
      Albert Dekker, cast as Harrigan, the railroad detective.
      He died months after filming, The Wild Bunch was his final film.
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 7 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- The Wild Bunch (1969)

      I've loved this movie from the first time I ever saw it. My favorite part of the movie is the final shoot-out scenes. Sam Peckinpah was one heck of a good Director. This movie is only topped by another Peckinpah movie called: Cross of Iron. If I had to list my top 3 favorite Peckinpah films, they would be in this order:

      1) Cross of Iron.
      2) The Wild Bunch.
      3) Major Dundee.
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- The Wild Bunch (1969)

      This is very rich movie and I usually find something new in it that I had missed in previous viewings. Even one of the opening throw away lines by the doomed bank clerk sets up a central theme - Pike's failure to live up to his personal code of honor. "It's not what you meant to do, it's what you did I don't like".
      While the action scenes are usually cited as exemplary, they can't compare to Pike's final realization of his self hatred and sense of loss with the young Mexican mother and the Bunch's redemptive march to their own bloody deaths. That's the best part.

      We deal in lead, friend.
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- The Wild Bunch (1969)

      I could never understand why this particular movie is nearly always ranked as the "best" Western in almost all such movie lists. I sure didn't like it that much, just as I never cared for any of the so-called "spaghetti" Westerns that jump-started Eastwood's movie career.

      I would personally rank all of Clint's "spaghetti" Westerns and "The Wild Bunch" too near the bottom of my own favorite Westerns list.
      De gustibus non est disputandum
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- The Wild Bunch (1969)

      Well, everyone has different tastes and appreciations. No one is right or wrong, it's a personal matter.
      I'm not fond of Eastwood's spaghetti westerns myself, but I'm old enough to remember the huge impact they had when they arrived in the US in the '60s. Within their historical place in time they were groundbreaking by giving us amoral heroes, graphic on screen violence and offbeat music scores.

      Someone has opined that in 1960, The Magnificent Seven represented the idealized US foreign policy of the Kennedy era, with the Peace Corps and military advisers in Viet Nam teaching innocent farmers and defending them against the Cong. The Seven's incursion into Mexico was heroic, noble and self-sacrificing.

      By 1969 that view had been soured after a decade of conflict both in Viet Nam and here at home. The country was disillusioned, fractured and exhausted, as were the Wild Bunch. This Bunch did not go altruistically into Mexico to assist the farmers. They sided with the corrupt Federales. Their leader, Pike, realizes that he has failed to live up to his own code of honor at every crucial point in his life. So in a spirit reflective of our own national turmoil, he opts for a final chance at redemption by taking on the persecutors in a futile act of self destruction.

      I can't describe the controversy this film caused in 1969. Of course, being controversial doesn't mean it's a good movie. I just think that if you place any movie in the historical context when it was released, you get a better perspective.

      Look at the Cold War background of Duke's Alamo as opposed to the "white shame" 2004 version. All Duke's men were heroic defenders of democracy while the new defenders were landgrabbing, political opportunists, alcoholics and slave owners.

      Times change.

      We deal in lead, friend
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- The Wild Bunch (1969)

      Gorch wrote:

      Look at the Cold War background of Duke's Alamo as opposed to the "white shame" 2004 version. All Duke's men were heroic defenders of democracy while the new defenders were landgrabbing, political opportunists, alcoholics and slave owners.

      Times change.

      What happened in the 40-year interval between the first and second versions was political correctness, invented and vigorously promoted by the left.

      You're right about tastes being subjective. One man's trash is another man's treasure.
      De gustibus non est disputandum
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- The Wild Bunch (1969)

      The Director's Cut is the only version I'll watch from now on. Like Duke's Alamo, it's a much richer film. But I too loved The Wild Bunch from the first time I saw it, and have no qualms with it as one of the "best" westerns.
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- The Wild Bunch (1969)

      i have to say that im not to fond of this movie.ok it has some good part's in it,but i found the middle of the film to boring,especially with the siesta.
      my favourite peckinpah western is ride the high country and it has one of the best endings and death scenein a movie.

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