The Wild Bunch (1969)
The Wild Bunch
We’re not gonna get rid of anybody! We’re gonna stick together, just like it used to be! When you side with a man, you stay with him! And if you can’t do that, you’re like some animal, you’re finished! *We’re* finished! All of us!
The Director: Sam Peckinpah
The Cast: William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmund O’Brien
Release Date: 1969
An aging band of outlaws look for one last big score, but when one of their own gets captured by a corrupt Mexican general, they have to decide what’s more important: money or loyalty.
Don’t let the fact that this is an “old” western fool you. This movie is fucking awesome. You want violence? This movie pushed the limits of what you could show in movies. In 1969, the “R” rating was practically a brand new way of rating movies, and brother, did this film take advantage of it.
Violence. Hookers. Gun fights. Swearing. It’s got it all.
If you’re a fan of John Woo movies, you owe it to yourself to watch The Wild Bunch. Woo was heavily inspired by Sam Peckinpah, and you can tell easily with this film… especially the action sequences. Peckinpah has a way of shooting violence as if it’s a symphony. There’s a kind of poetry to blood squirting out of a Mexican’s chest.
Yeah, it’s a western. But it ain’t your daddy’s western. The Wild Bunch, quite frankly, are a band of degenerate outlaws. They booze it up, whore it up and shoot it up. When a big score goes bad, they decide on one final big score. There’s a catch though when one of their gets captured by General Mapache over a personal vendetta. The four gunslingers can just take their money and walk away. But instead, loyalty trumps all. The shot of these four bad asses marching into town to get their friend back sends chills up your spine. You just KNOW that some serious shit is about to go down. And boy does it ever as the Wild Bunch damn near take out half of Mexico.
Hell, this film is worth watching for the last 10 minutes alone. The gunfight between the Wild Bunch and the Mexican army is one of the most violent and kick ass action sequences ever filmed… especially when you consider that it’s 40 years old at this point.
Watch this movie.