Sam Peckinpah

  • Sam Peckinpah – Cross of Iron (1977)

    1971-1980DramaSam PeckinpahUnited KingdomWar

    A quote from Bertolt Brecht ends this bitter and angry war film by Sam Peckinpah: “Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the bitch that bore him is in heat again.” Peckinpah’s intense and belligerently non-commercial work, (based on the book by Willi Heinrich), is a World War II tale told from the German perspective, following a platoon of German soldiers in the Russia of 1943, when the German Wehrmacht forces had been decimated and the Germans were retreating along the Russian front. James Coburn is Steiner, a German corporal and recipient of the Iron Cross who feels that he owes his loyalty to his family and fellow soldiers and not to Hitler and the German war machine. But when a new commander, Captain Stransky (Maximillian Schell), takes over the platoon, Steiner and Stransky come into immediate conflict. Stransky is a career soldier, the complete opposite of Steiner, and a man who pledges himself heart and soul to Hitler and the war. But he envies Steiner for having been awarded an Iron Cross and deeply desires one himself. The problem is Stransky is a complete coward and recognizes that the only way he can be awarded an Iron Cross would be to get the bitter Steiner on his side.Read More »

  • Sam Peckinpah – The Osterman Weekend (1983)

    USA1981-1990ActionSam PeckinpahThriller

    Based on the best selling novel by Robert Ludlum, “The Osterman Weekend” is a convoluted tale of paranoia, revenge and media manipulation. John Tanner (Rutger Hauer) is a crusading TV journalist. His specialty is interviewing men of power and decimating them on national TV. Lawrence Fassett (John Hurt) is a CIA field agent whose wife was murdered by the KGB. He uncovers a spy ring called Omega. Three Americans are selling secrets to the Soviets. The three Americans are all college friends of John Tanner. Bernie Osterman (Craig T. Nelson) is a TV writer. Richard Tremayne (Dennis Hopper) is a doctor with a coked out wife named Virginia (Helen Shaver). Joseph Cardone (Chris Sarandon) is a powerful lawyer. His wife Betty (Cassie Yates) doesn’t mind the corners he cuts in order to provide the good life. Tanner and his friends have annual get-togethers to play hard. The reunions are called Ostermans in honor of the first host. Maxwell Danforth (Burt Lancaster) is the head of the CIA. Fassett has convinced Danforth that the CIA should use Tanner to get close to his friends and possibly turn one of them. The politically ambitious Danforth agrees. Tanner is convinced and allows his home to be bugged in order to uncover the spies. Tanner’s wife Ali (Meg Foster) is kept out of the loop until it is too late.Read More »

  • Sam Peckinpah – Junior Bonner (1972)

    1971-1980DramaSam PeckinpahUSAWestern

    Ace Bonner returns to Arizona several years after he abandoned his family, Junior Bonner is a wild young man. Against the typical rodeo championship, family drama erupts.Read More »

  • Sam Peckinpah – Noon Wine [Colourised ] (1966)

    1961-1970DramaSam PeckinpahTVUSA

    Jason Robards and Olivia DeHavilland star in this 1966 TV adaptation of a short novel by American author Katherine Anne Porter, written and directed by Sam Peckinpah.Read More »

  • Sam Peckinpah – Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

    1971-1980CrimeDramaSam PeckinpahUSA

    A family scandal causes a wealthy and powerful Mexican rancher to make the pronouncement–‘Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia!’ Two of the bounty-hunters thus dispatched encounter a local piano-player in their hunt for information. The piano-player does a little investigating on his own and finds out that his girlfriend knows of Garcia’s death and last resting place. Thinking that he can make some easy money and gain financial security for he and his (now) fiancée, they set off on this goal. Of course, this quest only brings him untold misery, in the form of trademark Peckinpah violence.Read More »

  • Sam Peckinpah – The Wild Bunch (1969)

    1961-1970AdventureSam PeckinpahUSAWestern

    An aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the “traditional” American West is disappearing around them.Read More »

  • Sam Peckinpah – Ride the High Country (1962)

    1961-1970DramaSam PeckinpahUSAWestern

    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.Read More »

  • Sam Peckinpah – The Getaway (1972)

    1971-1980ActionCrimeSam PeckinpahUSA

    As a monetary rater of movies, you can tell that I have leanings. My film studies background is rooted in films noir and gritty westerns and at heart, The Getaway is a pulp crime drama with a southwestern flavor. Of course I love it; there’s a heist, a duel, a shootout, a con and every other genre staple that I’ve written about before (not to mention it played a pivotal role in my graduating thesis). It’s true that these details ingratiate the film to me, but it’s also true that The Getaway is a fantastic film. It’s a Steve McQueen movie, after all! That alone makes it a classic and worth watching.Read More »

  • Sam Peckinpah – Major Dundee [Extended Version] (1965)

    USA1961-1970Sam PeckinpahWarWestern

    Sitting out the war as the jailer of a Union prison stockade in Eastern New Mexico, Amos Charles Dundee (Charlton Heston) seizes upon a local Apache massacre to ignore his assignment and launch a search-and-destroy mission into Mexico. Having already lost many troopers to the the Indian chief Sierra Charriba (Michael Pate), Dundee is forced to augment his command with local thieves and drunks, promote his black cavalrymen to active status and make a deal with the leader of his Confederate prisoners, the cavalier Ben Tyreen (Richard Harris). It’s an all-or-nothing gambit; Dundee will either find his Apache quarry and come home a national hero, or return empty-handed and face the wrath of military superiors who already see him as an untrustworthy glory hound. Either way, he’d be wise to avoid the thousands of French troops that are also in Northern Mexico, harshly suppressing the revolution of Benito Juarez.Read More »

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