The Wild Bunch (1969)

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

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

      Stumpy wrote:

      One thing I've never understood is why this film is rated so highly in the Westerns genre. I didn't like it at all.





      im with you on this stumpy,im not to fond of this movie either.iv'e watched it about 5 times,i just dont think much of the film
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- The Wild Bunch (1969)

      I know I can't change your minds, but this is a favorite of mine too. I've seen it about 50 times since 1969 and plan on watching it more.
      I've read essays, articles, reviews and even books about this movie and most were highly positive, but as a wise man once wrote - One man's treasure is another man's trash.



      We deal in lead, friend.
    • Re: Pals Of The Saddle- Ben Johnson

      Can't believe you've seen those two, Paula. In 1972, after being discharged, my wife and I lived in NYC for a couple years. While wandering around during lunch I found a place on 14th St. called Movie Star News. Walked in and asked about some titles over the weeks. Couldn't buy much because we were just starting work.
      One day I asked about Wild Bunch and the clerk walked me to the storeroom and showed me two cardboard boxes stuffed with stills, contacts, a script, a pile of one sheets, a 35mm original trailer, and 11x14s. Bought what I could the first day, bribed the clerk not to show the boxes to anyone else and gradually bought all I could.

      I'll send some more of old Ben when I get a chance.


      We deal in lead, friend.
    • Re: Pals Of The Saddle- Ben Johnson

      I could spend all day watching Ben ride! ;)

      I have the first two pics of him with Ernest Borgnine and also the one standing holding the horse's reins. The other two I don't have, so I'm delighted you posted them!

      I obtained a lot of Wild Bunch photos (copies, mind you, not original) from a collector. Unfortunately some (not all) of the photos this collector had were from what he called "a private source," and I've been told in no uncertain terms that I cannot post them. ;) Nothing scandalous, just nothing ever officially issued.

      Ooh! Tell me about your upcoming article in Cinema Retro! I love that magazine. I'm a charter subscriber.
    • Re: Pals Of The Saddle- Ben Johnson

      Part of the notoriety of "The Wild Bunch" was caused when it was released, 1969. The Viet Nam War was live on the 6:00 pm news every night, complete with enemy casualty numbers and body bag counts.
      The culture had yet to catch up to what we saw on the news. Only Bonnie and Clyde had shown stylized violence in a major American film, and even that caught a lot of flak in 1967. Critics were disgusted. Blood squibs had been used sparingly - I can recall only two prior ones - "The Magnificent Seven" and "From Hell to Eternity", which hardly anyone saw. The only use of slow motion to prolong violence I remember was in "The Seven Samurai" in 1954.
      So, here we are in summer 1969 and the Wild Bunch blasts on to the screen. Slow motion, accelerated motion, rapid fire editing, front and back squibs - complete with meat chunks, an immoral band of heroes, murderous bounty hunters, an incompetent U.S. Army, women used (successfully) as shields and tossed away, scavenger bounty hunters, and a profanity laden script.
      Nobody was on the fence. Some major critics loved it, some despised it. Dads who were used to taking in a Saturday western with their sons returned to the lobby expecting to find blood on the popcorn machine.
      Every film is a product of it's time. This one shattered the norms of its time.
      Today, it does seem over rated, partially because Peckinpah has since been imitated by almost everyone with access to a camera. He even parodied himself. In 1969, though, it was quite a sensation.


      We deal in lead, friend.
    • Re: Pals Of The Saddle- Ben Johnson

      Yes, I remember the stir both it AND B&C caused, and it was a "new dawn" of films at the time.

      You're right about it being a product of it's time. The issue is that some want to say that that period was the greatest in film, when it actuality, all periods were special in their way.
    • Re: Pals Of The Saddle- Ben Johnson

      Gorch wrote:


      So, here we are in summer 1969 and the Wild Bunch blasts on to the screen. Slow motion, accelerated motion, rapid fire editing, front and back squibs - complete with meat chunks, an immoral band of heroes, murderous bounty hunters, an incompetent U.S. Army, women used (successfully) as shields and tossed away, scavenger bounty hunters, and a profanity laden script.


      Here's a little clip from the Playboy Interview that John Wayne did on how he felt about The Wild Bunch.

      Playboy: Don't gory films like "The Wild Bunch" also contribute to that vulgarity?

      Wayne: Certainly. To me, The Wild Bunch was distasteful. It would have been a good picture without the gore. Pictures go too far when they use that kind of realism, when they have shots of blood spurting out and teeth flying, and when they throw liver out to make it look like people's insides. The Wild Bunch was one of the first to go that far in realism, and the curious went to see it. That may make the bankers and stock promoters think that it is a necessary ingredient for successful motion pictures. They seem to forget the one basic principle of our business - illusion. We're in the business of magic. I don't think it hurts a child to see anything that has the illusion of violence in it. All our fairy tales have some kind of violence - the good knight riding to kill the dragon, etc. Why do we have to show the knight spreading the serpent's guts all over the candy mountain?


      Mark
      "I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- The Wild Bunch (1969)

      Mark, Duke was certainly right on the money with that remark. "Wild Bunch" was a big disappointment for Warners at the box office, but it did start a trend of more explicit violence that the studios could no longer ignore.
      Even Duke could no longer ignore becoming more violent in his films. "Big Jake" and "The Cowboys" were pretty brutal, but there were clear cut good guys and bad guys, and with "Cowboys", I think the director was just striving for realism and not violence for its own sake.
      I can't say that I miss the days of Hopalong Cassidy where the villains just clutch their chests and fall over, but I also won't watch atrocities like "Soldier Blue" either. Guess I'm in the middle.
      "Wild Bunch" will always have its fans and detractors.


      We deal in lead, friend.
    • Re: Pals Of The Saddle- Ben Johnson

      Good post Mark. Hadn't read that one yet. True that "reality violence" ruins a film for me. Saw enough of that for real when I would swing down to the ER to help out on bad weekend nights, huge gas company fires, multiple car accidents, etc.

      Although,the earlier films of Duke's and so many others were often wrong with their depiction of immediate blood saturation from blister packs, etc. they weren't even close to brains on the wall, etc. In point of fact, a great many shots to the mid torso, display almost no blood even on a through and through. There is lots of bleeding, but it is all internal.....often there is just a slight welling of blood on the actual entrance and exit wound....I know that from personal experience, and not just from the ER.........from my own gunshot wound. Peter will die, LOL.......Yep, I wasn't even sure I was shot....just had felt a pushing on my back from the inside, (can't even remember the sound of the shot). I reached back inside my shirt and touched the spot.....there was just a small smear of blood. Then, I looked at the front of me.....no blood, no hole in my shirt......so I figured must not have been shot, (all symptoms of shock, not physical, but mental......the physical part came later on the way to the hospital). Long story which I won't relate here, as I don't think EK would approve, LOL! However, I know what it is truly like when most actors only depicted it. Oh, some war veterans knew, I imagine, but I would say the majority of them hadn't a clue. Ward knew, but only birdshot in a most ample and heavily padded rear end! Good old Ward! My hero!

      Anyway, as I said, Mark, nice post, KEITH

      dukefan1 wrote:

      Here's a little clip from the Playboy Interview that John Wayne did on how he felt about The Wild Bunch.

      Playboy: Don't gory films like "The Wild Bunch" also contribute to that vulgarity?

      Wayne: Certainly. To me, The Wild Bunch was distasteful. It would have been a good picture without the gore. Pictures go too far when they use that kind of realism, when they have shots of blood spurting out and teeth flying, and when they throw liver out to make it look like people's insides. The Wild Bunch was one of the first to go that far in realism, and the curious went to see it. That may make the bankers and stock promoters think that it is a necessary ingredient for successful motion pictures. They seem to forget the one basic principle of our business - illusion. We're in the business of magic. I don't think it hurts a child to see anything that has the illusion of violence in it. All our fairy tales have some kind of violence - the good knight riding to kill the dragon, etc. Why do we have to show the knight spreading the serpent's guts all over the candy mountain?


      Mark
      God, she reminds me of me! DUKE

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