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The Wild Bunch

  • Drama
  • 1969
  • Sam Peckinpah
  • 138 mins
  • 18

Summary

Ageing outlaws, bound by a private code of honour and friendship, find themselves at odds with early 20th-century society, and come to realise their era has passed. Hired to steal guns for a tyrannical Mexican general, they instead decide to turn against him. Sam Peckinpah's Western, starring William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Warren Oates, Strother Martin and Edmond O'Brien.

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Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is arguably one of the greatest westerns ever made. And argument is what Sam Peckinpah's masterpiece has always caused, with its slow-motion blood-letting, its surrealistically choreographed gunfights and its portrayal of Pike Bishop's amoral Texas outlaws as heroes. Yet William Holden's laconic Bishop, however violent, belongs to a truly romantic breed as he leads his bunch to their ultimate fate against the revolutionary guerrilla forces of murderous general Mapache. Meanwhile, the forces of law and order led by old amigo Deke Thornton (Robert Ryan) are closing in for the kill... Lucien Ballard's photography gives a funereal hue to this elegy to the passing of a certain breed of chivalry. You can see why John Wayne is said to have hated the film; Peckinpah was practically reinventing a genre, with no place left for false nobility.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Pike BishopWilliam Holden (2)
Dutch EngstromErnest Borgnine
Deke ThorntonRobert Ryan
SykesEdmond O'Brien
Lyle GorchWarren Oates
AngelJaime Sanchez
Tector GorchBen Johnson (1)
MapacheEmilio Fernandez
CofferStrother Martin
TCL Q Jones
Pat HarriganAlbert Dekker
Crazy LeeBo Hopkins
Mayor WainscoatDub Taylor
Lieutenant ZamorraJorge Russek
HerreraAlfonso Arau
Don JoseChano Urueta
TeresaSonia Amelio
AuroraAurora Clavel
ElsaElsa Cardenas

Crew

rolename
DirectorSam Peckinpah

Details

Theatrical distributor
Warner Seven Arts
Released on
1969-08-21
Language
English
Guidance
Contains violence and brief nudity.
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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