Sam Peckinpah – Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973)

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It’s 1881 in New Mexico, and the times they are a’changing. Pat Garrett, erstwhile travelling companion of the outlaw Billy the Kid has become a sheriff, tasked by cattle interests with ridding the territory of Billy. After Billy escapes, Pat assembles a posse and chases him through the territory, culminating in a final confrontation at Fort Sumner, but is unaware of the full scope of the cattle interests’ plans for the New West. -imdb Continue reading

Sam Peckinpah – Convoy [+Extras] (1978)

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SYNOPSIS: While driving through the Arizona desert, Albuquerque based independent trucker Martin Penwald – who goes by the handle “Rubber Duck” – along with his fellow truckers “Pig Pen” and “Spider Mike”, are entrapped by unscrupulous Sheriff Lyle “Cottonmouth” Wallace using a key tool of the trucker’s trade, the citizens’ band (CB) radio. Rubber Duck and Cottonmouth have a long, antagonistic history. When this encounter later escalates into a more physical one as Cottonmouth threatens Spider Mike, a man who just wants to get home to his pregnant wife, Rubber Duck and other the truckers involved, including Spider Mike, Pig Pen and “Widow Woman”, go on the run, figuring the best thing to do being to head to New Mexico to avoid prosecution. Along for the ride is Melissa, a beautiful photographer who just wanted a ride to the airport. As news of what happened spreads over the CB airwaves, other truckers join their convoy as a show of support. Cottonmouth rallies other law enforcement officers … Continue reading

Sam Peckinpah – The Killer Elite (1975)

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Overview:
As steady hands carefully wire a bomb and meticulously set the timer to the eerie sounds of children singing in the background, and as the deadly device explodes, rupturing a building into fragments and splintering the tranquility of the theatre. Elite assassins Mike Locken and George Hansen take on jobs too risky for even the CIA to handle. They’re best friends, superior marksmen and on the A-list when it comes to killing. But when one high-powered hitman betrays another, the intrigue, the violence and the trills become more than just a dangerous game of who-kills-whom first…It becomes a very personal war! Continue reading

Sam Peckinpah – The Getaway (1972)

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Allmovie synopsis:

In Sam Peckinpah’s version of Walter Hill’s script, from Jim Thompson’s novel, an ex-con and his wife go on the lam after a Texas bank heist. Denied parole after four well-behaved years, Doc McCoy (Steve McQueen) sends his wife Carol (Ali MacGraw) to dirty politician Jack Benyon (Ben Johnson) to get him out of prison. Carol secures Doc’s freedom, on the condition that he does one more bank job for Benyon. Doc and his accomplices Rudy (Al Lettieri) and Jackson (Bo Hopkins) get the cash, but Doc soon discovers how Rudy intends to keep it all for himself and how Carol convinced Benyon to get him sprung. While Rudy hijacks a veterinarian and his wife (Sally Struthers) to take him to get Doc in El Paso, Doc and Carol make their own embattled way south with the money, threatening to desert each other before reaching a trash dump rapprochement after a harrowing garbage truck episode. All sides converge in El Paso for a shootout, but trust a happily married old-timer (Slim Pickens) to help Doc and Carol have a future. With violence shot in his trademark balletic style, Peckinpah does not hide the damage that Doc can do, whether to a cop car or an enemy. Still, as in such other morally relative outlaw movies as Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and Peckinpah’s western The Wild Bunch (1969), Doc may be a criminal and killer when necessary, but his and Carol’s loyalty to each other elevates them above their crooked milieu. With its non-traditional traditional couple played by the then hot (and notoriously adulterous) stars McQueen and MacGraw, The Getaway was a substantial hit. It was lackadaisically remade with Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger in 1994.. Continue reading

Sam Peckinpah – Ride the High Country (1962)

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Amazon.com essential video
Ride the High Country is the one Sam Peckinpah movie about which there has never been controversy–save at MGM in 1962, when a new studio regime opted to dump this beautiful, heartbreakingly elegiac Western into the bottom half of a double-bill. Westerns rarely even got reviewed back then, so it’s wellnigh miraculous that critics discovered the movie and raved about it. Newsweek called it the best American picture of the year.
Veteran cowboy stars Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea portray aging gunslingers in the twilight of the Old West. McCrea’s character, Steve Judd, signs on to transport a shipment of gold from a remote mining camp. Gil Westrum (Scott), an old crony now trick-shooting in a carnival, agrees to help but really aims to seduce Judd into stealing the treasure. The slow-building tension between longtime friends–one still true to the code he’s lived by, the other having drifted away from it–anticipates the tortuous personal dilemmas played out to the death by Peckinpah’s Wild Bunch, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, and Benny and Elita in Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. Continue reading