Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Wild Bunch

At the tail end of a nearly faded West, Pike and the few remaining members of his band of outlaws (William Holden and Ernest Borgnine, Ben Johnson, Warren Oates, and Jaime Sanchez) head south to Mexican territory following a botched robbery and being pursued by a posse led by an ex-gang member (Robert Ryan). There they become entangled with a powerful general and a railroad magnate, are forced to confront their values, and continue on to their impending, bloody destiny. Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch created a whirlwind of controversy when it was released in 1969. Viewing it today, although the violence now seems commonplace, it still creates a shock, both because of how well it is handled through quick cutting and slow motion techniques and from the actual message behind it. It features an excellent veteran cast of distinct, worn faces with Ryan standing out with an excellent performance.