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The Wild Bunch (1969)

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movieman1957
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Re: The Wild Bunch (1969)

Postby movieman1957 » August 19th, 2010, 10:50 pm

Having started it only to be interrupted 20 minutes in (never to return) the contrasts run almost the whole opening segment. Bad guys dressed as good guys. The robbery occurs while the revival is going on. (As you say the town wishing to impose its will on the rest.) Even Johnson and Oates wanting to give their colleague, that Holden just put out of his (and their) misery, a decent burial. Considering what they just did it seems out of character but he was a "good man" as I recall.

And that is only the first twenty minutes.
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Re: The Wild Bunch (1969)

Postby Mr. Arkadin » August 19th, 2010, 11:45 pm

Peckinpah has often termed Dutch "the conscience if the Bunch", but if I were to pick the most ethical character, it would be Robert Ryan's Deke Thorton.

Thorton is first described by Harrigan (the railroad boss) as his Judas Goat, which has lots of Biblical references, but Thorton is the only one upset about the townspeople:

They should have been told![i]

And:

[i]Harrigan! Next time, you better plan your massacre more carefully or I'll start with you!


When asked about rejoining the Bunch:

What I like and what I need are two different things.

He reprimands Harrigan for using the law to justify his behavior:

Deke Thornton: Tell me, Mr. Harrigan, how does it feel? Getting paid for it? Getting paid to sit back and hire your killings... with the law's arms around you? How does it feel to be so goddamn right?
Harrigan: Good.
Deke Thornton: You dirty son of a b****!

You can see the sadness register on his face as he watches the final shootout through binoculars (scorpions and ants), pulls his dead friend's gun from its holster and levels with old man Sykes:

I sent 'em back--that's all I said I'd do.
Last edited by Mr. Arkadin on August 19th, 2010, 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Wild Bunch (1969)

Postby Mr. Arkadin » August 19th, 2010, 11:52 pm

movieman1957 wrote:Even Johnson and Oates wanting to give their colleague, that Holden just put out of his (and their) misery, a decent burial. Considering what they just did it seems out of character but he was a "good man" as I recall.


I think the boys are right. I'd like to say a few words for the dear, dead, departed. And maybe a few hymns would be in order, followed by a church supper, with a choir? :P

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Re: The Wild Bunch (1969)

Postby JackFavell » August 20th, 2010, 10:34 am

I totally agree about Deke being the closest thing to a moral man. I think this is what led me to like his character so very much.

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Re: The Wild Bunch (1969)

Postby mrsl » August 20th, 2010, 6:26 pm

.
Hey movieman:

I guess I saw the same 20 minutes that you did, and if I never see the rest of the minutes in the movie, I won't miss them at all. I never had any inclination to see The Wild Bunch, but reading some of the posts on this and other movie sites compelled me to give it a chance, which I do quite often in case I've been wrong, so I gave it a chance and now I'm happy. :roll:
.
Anne


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* * * * * * * * What is past is prologue. * * * * * * * *

]***********************************************************************

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Re: The Wild Bunch (1969)

Postby movieman1957 » September 12th, 2010, 1:33 pm

Having finally finished it I am struck that is a brutal film even more so than a violent film. I don't mean brutal only in the violent sense.

As has been pointed out the idea of a woman nursing a child with a strap of ammunition around her is a comment on the overall contradiction and brutal conditions going on here. The landscape is awful. The conditions are awful. I think there can be an argument that Strother Martin and maybe L.Q. Jones may be the worst of the whole film.

Ryan, I think, is the most sympathetic character in the film. He is forced to take on an impossible job while stuck with the most impossible of people. That he keeps reminding Dekker of this fact and gets little help kind of makes you feel sorry for him. Later when he wants to be with Holden's group just marks his frustration over what they used to be to each other and to get away from the mess he has been put in.

There is a kind of fatalism about Holden. I think he sees he can't do this much longer. Maybe Borgnine does too. Oates and Johnson don't seem like they ever grew up and wears on Holden a little.

Maybe 30 years of movies has taken some of the sting of the visuals of the violence of the film. (Never mind that the Army keeps coming after so many of the others have been mowed down before them.) The seeming realism of the gunfight at the end is impressive.
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Re: The Wild Bunch (1969)

Postby Mr. Arkadin » September 12th, 2010, 3:04 pm

movieman1957 wrote:Having finally finished it I am struck that is a brutal film even more so than a violent film. I don't mean brutal only in the violent sense.

As has been pointed out the idea of a woman nursing a child with a strap of ammunition around her is a comment on the overall contradiction and brutal conditions going on here. The landscape is awful. The conditions are awful. I think there can be an argument that Strother Martin and maybe L.Q. Jones may be the worst of the whole film.


I think you've arrived at the correct conclusion. Peckinpah often said that The Wild Bunch was about "bad men in changing times". A simple synopsis to a very complex film. These changing times are a society that has thrown off the morals and ethics of previous generations and is now groundless. Life and death are impersonal (indicated by the Gatling machine gun, prostitutes, the children with the scorpions and ants, etc.) and have no value. Pike, Thorton, Dutch, and Sykes came from the previous generation, but have chosen their own path of lawlessness. This movie is the story of how they regain their humanity.

movieman1957 wrote:Ryan, I think, is the most sympathetic character in the film. He is forced to take on an impossible job while stuck with the most impossible of people. That he keeps reminding Dekker of this fact and gets little help kind of makes you feel sorry for him. Later when he wants to be with Holden's group just marks his frustration over what they used to be to each other and to get away from the mess he has been put in.

There is a kind of fatalism about Holden. I think he sees he can't do this much longer. Maybe Borgnine does too. Oates and Johnson don't seem like they ever grew up and wears on Holden a little.


The Bunch is much like a family, with Pike and Dutch as father and mother, Angel as firstborn, and the Gorch brothers as children. Thorton is Pike's equal (unlike the other characters), and the two men can be seen as flip sides of the same coin.

movieman1957 wrote:Maybe 30 years of movies has taken some of the sting of the visuals of the violence of the film. (Never mind that the Army keeps coming after so many of the others have been mowed down before them.) The seeming realism of the gunfight at the end is impressive.


While many people were (and still are) upset about the violence of this movie, Peckinpah has simply shown the horror and finality of death in a way that was glossed over in previous westerns. In a genre that often climaxes in gunplay, but rarely addressed the implication of such action, Peckinpah shows the hard truth of what many yearn for (a shootout) with the modern realization that taking life is never honorable or pretty, but a serious act with lasting consequences.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29RjGKRlqIA&feature=related[/youtube]

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Re: The Wild Bunch (1969)

Postby Mr. Arkadin » January 29th, 2011, 12:15 pm

The Bunch returns to TCM late tonight, so load up (the recorder that is) and don't cheat brother Lyle out of the last swallow.

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Re: The Wild Bunch (1969)

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » January 30th, 2011, 8:22 pm

Mr. Arkadin wrote:


I think you've arrived at the correct conclusion. Peckinpah often said that The Wild Bunch was about "bad men in changing times". A simple synopsis to a very complex film. These changing times are a society that has thrown off the morals and ethics of previous generations and is now groundless. Life and death are impersonal (indicated by the Gatling machine gun, prostitutes, the children with the scorpions and ants, etc.) and have no value. Pike, Thorton, Dutch, and Sykes came from the previous generation, but have chosen their own path of lawlessness. This movie is the story of how they regain their humanity.[/quote]

For me, The Wild Bunch was a film about "bad men in changing times." Lawlessness, humanity, and redemption.

The characters of Coffer (Strother Martin) and T.C. (L.Q. Jones) just remind me of some 9th graders I once knew who love to watch others suffer and then
see what they can get out of it.

It is also a film for the times we live in now. So much is evolving right now, and it seems like worlds are colliding, but it's just another changing of the guard for the next generation.
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Re: The Wild Bunch (1969)

Postby pvitari » August 19th, 2011, 7:16 am

Tony Scott (brother of Ridley Scott) wants to film a new version of The Wild Bunch.

OK, it's bad enough they're about to foist on us a remake of Straw Dogs (as well as a remake of The Killer Elite, but I don't mind that one so much), but how in the world do you "reboot" as singular a masterpiece as this one? Why would you even WANT to?


Tony Scott Takes on The Wild Bunch

Tony Scott will direct The Wild Bunch remake
Filmmaker Tony Scott is in talks with Warner Bros. to direct a remake of The Wild Bunch. The director is also in discussions to make Hell's Angels for 20th Century Fox, which will likely be his next project.

We reported back in January that The Wild Bunch is one of several Warner Bros. titles the studio is keen on remaking, although we haven't heard anything else about the project until now. Brian Helgeland will write the screenplay for this remake, which is still in early development.

As for Hell's Angels, Tony Scott wants Jeff Bridges to star in the biker drama, which is centered on the 2001 Laughlin riots, where the motorcycle gang became embroiled in a war with rival bikers The Mongols. Jeff Bridges will play Hell's Angels leader Sonny Barger, but since he already has a busy movie slate, if he agress to take on the part, Hell's Angels won't go before cameras until next spring, at the earliest. Hell's Angels also focuses on Sonny Barger's friendship with a young mechanic.

The Wild Bunch was released June 18th, 1969 and stars William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O'Brien, Warren Oates, Jaime Sánchez, Ben Johnson, Emilio Fernández. The film is directed by Sam Peckinpah.

Hell's Angels comes to theaters in 2013. The film is directed by Tony Scott.

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Re: The Wild Bunch (1969)

Postby JackFavell » August 19th, 2011, 12:17 pm

I don't see how on earth you could remake The Wild Bunch without Sam Pekinpah's scorching vision. it's way too personal a film. I mean it IS Peckinpah.

In general, I am not particularly against remakes, but this one is so ridiculously blatant a studio attempt at pandering for big money that I think Peck must be rolling over in his grave. Or perhaps letting loose a hearty chuckle and getting an idea for his next film about our stagnant society.... I'd actually pay money to see a Peckinpah film about the making of the remake. :D

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Re: The Wild Bunch (1969)

Postby Mr. Arkadin » August 19th, 2011, 8:10 pm

Apparently Ridley himself wants to make a sequel or prequel of his own Blade Runner (1982). As JF posted above, I'm not against remakes, but one has to ask the question of whether these people have anything new to bring to the table, or simply have no ideas of their own.

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Re: The Wild Bunch (1969)

Postby MikeBSG » August 20th, 2011, 8:28 am

I think people have been talking about remaking "The Wild Bunch" for at least a decade. I remember reading Ernest Borgnine's disdainful comments about such an idea nearly 20 years ago.

Who would they cast? Tom Cruise as Pike Bishop? Kevin Costner as Deke Thornton? Adam Sandler as Lyle Gorch? It becomes idiotic very quickly.

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Re: The Wild Bunch (1969)

Postby JackFavell » August 20th, 2011, 9:01 am

My husband just asked me, "If the Coen Brothers were doing the remake would you feel differently?"

Dang it! I hate when he does that!

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Re: The Wild Bunch (1969)

Postby MichiganJ » August 20th, 2011, 12:09 pm

Of course remakes have been around since the very beginning. There are at least three silent Ben-Hurs; three Maltese Falcons in ten years; two Dr. Jeckylls in ten years (with plenty more to follow); three Show Boats in twenty-two years, etc. Even untouchable classics like Casablanca has been remade at least twice.

I'd think that fans of the Western genre would be be happy with the prospect of a remake of The Wild Bunch. It's been forty-two years and with the success of True Grit, maybe the genre will see new life.

Just so long as nobody tries to remake King Kong, we'll be alright.
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