For the 37th week of 2021 as part of Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks. We go into the simple subject of outlaws. Men and women who live their lives outside of the law and defy authority to get what they want as much of these films are set in the West. Here are my three picks as they’re all from one of the greatest outlaws in cinema in motherfuckin’ Sam Peckinpah:
1. The Wild Bunch A group of men rob a bank as they’re pursued by a former friend as they trek through Mexico where all hell breaks loose. Notably as they encounter the Mexican army and a German political figure as it play into changing times and a world that has become complicated. Yet, for these group of men. They refuse to play by these new rules as it is a film filled with gratuitous violence as well as ideals and language that will definitely offend today’s viewers but that’s why it’s a masterpiece. If there’s a definition of what a “fuck you film” is. It’s this one.
2. Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid In either its preview version of over two hours or the 115-minute special edition from 2005, Peckinpah’s tale about the friendship between the outlaw in Billy the Kid and the man who would kill him in Pat Garrett remains an overlooked western while many Peckinpah fans consider the film in its un-truncated version to be one of his best. It is a film that explores greed and betrayal as Garrett is forced to find and hunt Billy the Kid who is this free bird outlaw that lives by his own rules and refuses to cower to a bunch of wealthy cattle barons who hired Garrett. It is a rich film that features an incredibly underrated music soundtrack from Bob Dylan who appears in the film as one of Billy’s friends.
3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia Though it was set in a more contemporary world, the film is still a western at heart as it is Peckinpah’s most uncompromising film about a man who is trying to find the head of a dead man for a bounty that would involve all sorts of seedy people. It is a film that is violent, lewd, and just downright obscene but this is what Peckinpah wanted. Even as he gives Warren Oates the chance to play a lead as Oates definitely gives the performance of a lifetime as an ex-Army officer doing this job for a crime boss whose daughter was impregnated by this man whose head is this bounty. It is a film that is still controversial like many of Peckinpah’s work but it is so worth watching for audiences that just want something that is uncompromising and doesn’t give any fucks on who is offended by this.
© thevoid99 2021