Monday, September 19, 2016

The Wild Bunch

1969, US, directed by Sam Peckinpah

I finally had the opportunity to see this on the big screen, in glorious 70mm -- such that every exploding blood pouch gets the epic treatment. Although there are many memorable moments, Robert Ryan is mesmerizing as an unusually ambiguous hero, the kind of conflicted character whose checkered past would rapidly become more familiar in the 1970s. While the blood-soaked finale of this uncompromising film lodges deeply in the memory, I'd completely forgotten the fine interplay between William Holden/Warren Oates/Ernest Borgnine. It's both a resolutely male film and a rough-edged critique of American masculinity -- almost a farewell, too, to a much-beloved genre, which still turned out to have a little life in it. 

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States