The Wild Bunch

The Wild Bunch

Sam Peckinpah (1969)

18 Certificate


Our Score
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.


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.

Cast & Crew

Pike Bishop William Holden (2)
Dutch Engstrom Ernest Borgnine
Deke Thornton Robert Ryan
Sykes Edmond O'Brien
Lyle Gorch Warren Oates
Angel Jaime Sanchez
Tector Gorch Ben Johnson (1)
Mapache Emilio Fernandez
Coffer Strother Martin
TC L Q Jones
Pat Harrigan Albert Dekker
Crazy Lee Bo Hopkins
Mayor Wainscoat Dub Taylor
Lieutenant Zamorra Jorge Russek
Herrera Alfonso Arau
Don Jose Chano Urueta
Teresa Sonia Amelio
Aurora Aurora Clavel
Elsa Elsa Cardenas
Director Sam Peckinpah
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Warner Seven ArtsGuidance: Contains violence and brief nudity. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 21 Aug 1969