Thursday, September 16, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks: Outlaws


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


joel65913 said...

A theme within the theme! Love to see them.

You have these lined up in the order I like them. Wild Bunch is a tough, sometimes brutal watch but always involving. I liked parts of Pat Garrett and struggled through others but ultimately thought it was okay though I never return to it. I like Warren Oates but I hated Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia.

I thought of Westerns at first too but since all criminals are outlaws I widened the net and went a different way.

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)-Pussycat Club go-go dancers Varla (Tura Satana), Rosie (Haji) and Billie (Lori Williams) head out to the desert to drag race and raise some hell. When they meet a young hot-rodding couple they dispatch the guy, take the girl hostage and head to the hills on the hunt for rumored hidden fortune guarded by a disabled old letch (Stuart Lancaster) and The Vegetable (Dennis Busch) his hulking infantile son. They blaze in figuring an easy score, but the men have plans of their own. Pure exploitation is one big wild ride.

Deadlier Than the Male (1967)-Glamorous paid assassins Irma (Elke Sommer) and Penelope (Sylva Koscina) entice prominent businessmen with their wiles then off them for big bucks until insurance investigator "Bulldog" Drummond (Richard Johnson) and his mod nephew, Robert (Steve Carlson) jump on their trail. The twosome circles the globe hopping from one exotic locale to the next to bring the lethal lovelies to justice!

The Getaway (1972)-When career criminal Doc McCoy (Steve McQueen) is refused parole he convinces his wife Carol (Ali MacGraw) to strike a bargain with corrupt businessman Jack Benyon (Ben Johnson). Benyon agrees to get him sprung on the condition Doc pulls a bank heist with his gang. All goes as planned but double crosses and betrayals abound. The result-Doc and Carol try to flee to Mexico with both the money and their lives crossing Texas as both cops and outlaws pursue them, leaving a trail of bodies in their wake. McQueen and MacGraw fell in love during the filming, left their respective spouses and embarked on a high profile tempestuously short-lived marriage.

Brittani Burnham said...

Oh man I'm 0/3 on your picks this week! None of them even ring a bell.

ThePunkTheory said...

I haven't seen any of your picks but I'm sure I heard of all of them!
Really need to do some catching up when it comes to western movies.

Cinematic Delights said...

Like Brittani these are all new to me. I've really only seen the Spaghetti Westerns plus the odd newer one, like True Grit.

Sonia Cerca said...

I haven't seen any of your picks but I want to see them all, especially The Wild Bunch.