Reflecting on ‘The Wild Bunch’s’ Innovations 50 Years Later

  • Variety
Reflecting on ‘The Wild Bunch’s’ Innovations 50 Years Later
W.K. Stratton’s new book, “‘The Wild Bunch’: Sam Peckinpah, a Revolution in Hollywood, and the Making of a Legendary Film” (Bloomsbury) makes the case for the 1969 Western about American outlaws who died bloody deaths in Mexico. Peckinpah’s masterpiece became a favorite of the Weather Underground and assorted cineastes and a solid hit for Warner Bros. Stratton spoke to Variety about the film’s many innovations and will be screening the film at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 at Laemmle’s 7 in Pasadena. A talk with critic Stephen Farber, presented by Vroman’s Bookstore, will follow the film.

The Wild Bunch’ pushed the violence envelope. What were its other important innovations?

The Wild Bunch’s’ greatest innovation lies in the production work itself. Specifically, photography. The most familiar images in the film come from the sequence that has come to be known as “the walk”: William Holden, Ernest Borgnine,
See full article at Variety »

"The Wild Bunch" Screenings In L.A. & Pasadena

  • CinemaRetro
By Todd Garbarini

Film historian Douglas Dunning has informed Cinema Retro that Laemmle’s Playhouse 7 and Ahrya Fine Arts will be presenting the 50th anniversary screening of Sam Peckinpah’s influential 1969 film The Wild Bunch and special guests are scheduled to appear at both locations. The film stars William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmund O’Brien, Warren Oates, L.Q. Jones, Jaime Sanchez, Bo Hopkins, Strother Martin, Albert Decker, Emilio Fernandez, and Alfonso Arau and runs 145 minutes.

Please Note:

Screening #1 is on February 26th at the Playhouse 7 at 7:00 pm, and at press time W.K. Stratton, the author of a new book, The Wild Bunch: Sam Peckinpah, a Revolution in Hollywood, and the Making of a Legendary Film, will participate in a discussion after the screening. He will also sign copies of his book at the theater.

Screening #2 is at the Ahrya Fine Arts on March 2nd at 7:30 pm.
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Nick Redman, Documentary Filmmaker and Soundtrack Producer, Dies at 63

  • Variety
Nick Redman, Documentary Filmmaker and Soundtrack Producer, Dies at 63
Nick Redman, Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker, award-winning soundtrack producer and co-founder of the Twilight Time video label, died Thursday afternoon, Jan. 17, at a Santa Monica Hospital, after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 63.

He was nominated for an Academy Award as producer of the 1996 documentary “The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage,” a look back at Sam Peckinpah’s controversial film. He also produced and directed the 1998 “A Turning of the Earth: John Ford, John Wayne and The Searchers,” about the making of the Western classic, a prizewinner at multiple film festivals.

In 2007 he produced and directed the feature documentary “Becoming John Ford,” which debuted at the Venice International Film Festival and detailed the long and complex relationship between the famous director and 20th Century-Fox studio chief Darryl F. Zanuck.

He made numerous other short films including profiles of actress Stella Stevens and film composers Basil Poledouris and Jerry Fielding.
See full article at Variety »

The 20 Best Classic Soundtrack Albums of 2018

  • Variety
The 20 Best Classic Soundtrack Albums of 2018
Film-score buffs had a bonanza of riches to choose from in 2018 — notwithstanding the fact that the soundtrack business is almost unrecognizable from what it was even a decade ago. Instead of farming out their new scores to the traditional soundtrack labels, most studios now retain them for their own in-house labels and generally release them digitally. Meanwhile, the labels that once relied on current films for their bread-and-butter releases are focusing more on the niche market for classic film scores: re-releasing old ones with new material, finding worthy titles that somehow never got released, and in some cases even re-recording classic scores.

It’s a complicated business, label executives say. Not only must they track down the best available audio (studios and production companies don’t always retain the elements or sometimes can’t find them), they have to clear the rights (and sometimes the music publishing details have changed). And,
See full article at Variety »

Killer Klowns From Outer Space 30th Anniversary Celebration in Los Angeles to Include Live Performances and Cast and Crew Q&A

This May will be the 30th anniversary of when viewers were first introduced to those cotton candy-loving visitors from above in Stephen Chiodo's Killer Klowns From Outer Space, and on May 19th in Los Angeles, the movie's three-decade mark will be celebrated in style at The Montalban Theatre.

Similar to a three-ring circus, the May 19th celebration will include multiple performance for attendees to enjoy, including fortune tellers, contortionist Bonnie Morgan (who played Samara in Rings), a Q&A with the cast and crew, and a screening of Killer Klowns From Outer Space with a live score accompaniment from The Hollywood Chamber Orchestra, conducted by composer John Massari.

Read on for full details in the press release below, and check here to learn more about tickets to the event.

Press Release: (March Xx, 2018– Los Angeles, CA) – Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Killer Klowns From Outer Space with a Bacchanalian
See full article at DailyDead »

Junior Bonner

Sam Peckinpah was a fine director of actors when the material was right, and his first collaboration with Steve McQueen is an shaded character study about a rodeo family dealing with changing times. Joe Don Baker and Ben Johnson shine, but the movie belongs to Ida Lupino and Robert Preston.

Junior Bonner


Kl Studio Classics

1972 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 100 min. / Special Edition / Street Date October 31, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring: Steve McQueen, Robert Preston, Ida Lupino, Joe Don Baker, Ben Johnson, Mary Murphy, Dub Taylor, Don ‘Red’ Barry, Bill McKinney.

Cinematography: Lucien Ballard

Film Editors: Frank Santillo, Robert L. Wolfe

Second Unit Director: Frank Kowalski

Bud Hurlbud: Special Effects

Original Music: Jerry Fielding

Written by Jeb Rosebrook

Produced by Joe Wizan

Directed by Sam Peckinpah

I suppose there were plenty of successful rodeo-themed westerns back in the day, perhaps the kind interrupted by a cowboy song every ten minutes or so.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Straw Dogs – The Criterion Collection

Straw Dogs



1971 / 1:85 / Street Date June 27, 2017

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Susan George

Cinematography: John Coquillon

Film Editors: Paul Davies, Tony Lawson, Roger Spottiswoode

Written by David Zelag Goodman and Sam Peckinpah

Produced by Daniel Melnick

Music: Jerry Fielding

Directed by Sam Peckinpah

Adrift from civilization, an attractive young couple find themselves threatened, assaulted, and eventually compelled to defend themselves in a bloody showdown. That is the basic premise of Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs, released in 1971 and inspired by some of the same movies then crowding the legendary dives of 42nd street. On its surface Straw Dogs is pure exploitation but its lasting power resides in Peckinpah’s transformation of those visceral grindhouse cliches into an appalling examination of human nature.

Straw Dogs begins with the seemingly benign introduction of David Sumner, a young man with an even younger wife, arriving in a tiny hamlet in the north of England,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia

An Encore Edition. Peckinpah's macabre South of the border shoot 'em up is back for a second limited edition, with a new commentary. It's still a picture sure to separate the Peckinpah lovers from the auteur tourists - it's grisly, grim and resolutely exploitative, but also has about it a streak of grimy honesty. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia Blu-ray Twilight Time Encore Edition 1974 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 112 min. / Street Date September, 2016 / available through Screen Archives Entertainment / 29.95 Starring Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Robert Webber, Gig Young, Helmut Dantine, Emilio Fernández, Kris Kristofferson, Chano Urueta, Jorge Russek, Enrique Lucero, Janine Maldonado, Richard Bright, Sharon Peckinpah, Garner Simmons. Cinematography Álex Phillips Jr. Art Direction Agustín Ituarte Film Editors Garth Craven, Dennis E. Dolan, Sergio Ortega, Robbe Roberts Original Music Jerry Fielding Written by Sam Peckinpah, Gordon T. Dawson, Frank Kowalski Produced by Martin Baum, Helmut Dantine, Gordon T. Dawson Directed by
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Straw Dogs

Here's another installment featuring Joe Dante's reviews from his stint as a critic for Film Bulletin circa 1969-1974. Our thanks to Video Watchdog and Tim Lucas for his editorial embellishments!

Dustin Hoffman defends his home against murderous thugs in strong, violent melodrama with appeal to both discriminating trades and the blood- and-guts fans. Rating: R.

Director Sam Peckinpah’s fascination with violence as man’s most basic instinct finds new and disturbing expression in Straw Dogs, a difficult, harrowing film which is in essence a long, slow-burning fuse leading to an explosion of bloodshed. On the whole, the ABC Pictures Corp. production possesses a nightmare intensity few horror films could match, and this should be a factor in drawing both serious filmgoers and the mayhem-minded masses. As an action entry, the Cinerama release has the requisite sex and brutality to pull them in, while Dustin Hoffman’s presence an
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Dirty Harry’s Dregs, or a Franchise Learns Its Limitations

Clint Eastwood revisited Harry Callahan three more times, usually whenever his career was in the dumps. If Dirty Harry was a cultural phenomenon and Magnum Force a respectable follow-up, the rest are uninspired cash-ins. The main law Harry enforces in these sequels is the Law of Diminishing Returns.

Given Dirty Harry‘s San Francisco setting, something like The Enforcer (1976) was inevitable. After all, San Fran hosted Haight-Ashbury, hippie capital of the world; was a favored site for Black Panther and Sds protests; headquarters of the nascent gay rights movement; victim of Weathermen bombings and the racially-charged Zebra murders. Writers Gail Morgan Hickman and S.W. Schurr based their script, originally titled “Moving Target,” on the Symbionese Liberation Army which kidnapped Patty Hearst. Dean Riesner (who cowrote the original Harry) and Stirling Silliphant (In the Heat of the Night) polished the film.

Harry battles the People’s Revolutionary Strike Froce, led by
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Blu-ray Release: The Mechanic (1972)

Blu-ray Release Date: June 10, 2014

Price: Blu-ray $29.95

Studio: Twilight Time

Charles Bronson is The Mechanic.

The 1972 thriller The Mechanic starring Charles Bronson—which was remade (unremarkably) by Simon West in 2011 as a star vehicle for Jason Statham (Killer Elite)—makes its Blu-ray debut from Twilight Time.

Directed by Michael Winner, The Mechanic stars Charles Bronson (Hard Times, The Great Escape) as a hardened professional hitman who’s feeling the strains of his profession. He joins forces with a ruthless up-and-comer (Jan-Michael Vincent, Damnation Alley) in a partnership that wavers between sustaining and profoundly dangerous…particularly when they get involved in a couple of tricky contracts.

Still considered by many to be the ultimate hitman flick, The Mechanic features a memorable score by the ever-prolific Jerry Fielding, available on this Twilight Time release as an isolated track.

As supplier Twilight Time prints up only 3,000 copies of each title, the time to pre-order
See full article at Disc Dish »

Pro-’Duck Dynasty’ Resolution Coming to Alabama Legislature

  • The Wrap
Pro-’Duck Dynasty’ Resolution Coming to Alabama Legislature
At least one Alabama lawmakers stands with Phil: Republican state Sen. Jerry Fielding tells CNN he plans to introduce a symbolic resolution in support of suspended “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson. Fielding joins many social conservatives who have backed the 68-year-old Louisiana duck hunter since he was suspended from his show for making anti-gay comments. More than 250,000 people have signed a petition,, calling on A&E to bring him back. Also read: Jesse Jackson Calls ‘Duck Dynasty’ Dad ‘More Offensive’ Than Rosa Parks’ Bus Driver Fielding said that while he didn’t agree with Robertson’s statements on race or his comparison of.
See full article at The Wrap »

'Duck Dynasty': Alabama senator to honor Phil Robertson with resolution

  • Pop2it
Another political name is coming to the defense of "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson. Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz both spoke out against Robertson's suspension by the A&E network over comments the Duck Commander patriarch made in GQ magazine regarding homosexuality. But Alabama State Senator Jerry Fielding is the first who plans to take the situation to the government level.

According to the Daily Home, Fielding will present a Senate resolution supporting Robertson for sharing his "biblically correct values," as Fielding believes A&E's suspension shows the net "bowed to pressure from liberal groups."

"Phil Robertson's family values are shared by the vast majority of Alabamians, who are rightfully concerned by the vitriol aimed at his Christian stance," Fielding says in a press release. "There's a clear double standard in the media favoring a liberal worldview."

Should the resolution pass, it wouldn't mean much more than the state
See full article at Pop2it »

Trailers from Hell: Alan Spencer on Third Dirty Harry Film, 'The Enforcer,' Starring Clint Eastwood

Trailers from Hell: Alan Spencer on Third Dirty Harry Film, 'The Enforcer,' Starring Clint Eastwood
Go Ahead, Make My Day! week concludes at Trailers from Hell with TV writer Alan Spencer introducing the third Dirty Harry film, "The Enforcer," starring Clint Eastwood.Although Clint Eastwood had intended to direct the third Dirty Harry movie himself, his replacement of Philip Kaufman during The Outlaw Josey Wales prevented him from taking the reins on The Enforcer, so his assistant director James Fargo was drafted to do the job. Tyne Daley’s tough female cop foreshadows her role in the hit Cagney and Lacey tv series. The music is by Jerry Fielding, making this the only Dirty Harry film without a score by Lalo Schifrin. By the way, the line “Go ahead, make my day” does not actually appear until the next film in the series, Sudden Impact.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Smith to Star in Reboot of Penckinpah's Ultra-Violent Classic Western?

Will Smith: The Wild Bunch remake (photo: Will Smith in After Earth) Will Smith has been mentioned in connection with Focus, the caper tale that was to have starred Ben Affleck and Kristen Stewart, and is to star in Edward Zwick’s Hurricane Katrina drama The American Can. But that’s not all. His producing company is working on a remake of the Broadway musical Annie — which got a less-than-satisfactory screen version back in 1982 — and apparently he wants to revive The Wild Bunch as well. Set during the Mexican Revolution of the 1910s, Sam Peckinpah’s ultra-violent 1969 classic Western features William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Edmond O’Brien, and other movie veterans as a group of outlaws fleeing from Robert Ryan while out to do one last job in war-torn northern Mexico. The Will Smith The Wild Bunch reboot, however, is to be set in the present, though the perilous
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Iconography in Scoring: The Music of the Western

From its very beginnings as a genre, Western film has trafficked in the iconic, in the larger-than-life imagery of the tall tale and the never-ending, expansive wilderness that forms the crucial backbone to these stories. More than perhaps any other genre, Westerns deal in types, with their characters standing in for the Other, the Immigrant, the Hero, and the Villain (in their black hat), telling universal stories of camaraderie and isolation, of running from and fighting for civilization, and morality tested by the harshest circumstances. The conventions of the genre run the gamut, from performance (heroes must be taciturn!) to costuming and scenery (gotta have a tumbleweed), and one of the most important elements to any Western is its score.

Most Westerns, particularly those from the heyday of the genre, feature orchestral scores. Given the American frontier setting, most scores tend to feature a number of specific characteristics which have
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Five Forgotten Gems From Five Great Movie Music Composers

Anybody who has ever been to a high school reunion (and I’ve been to my share) will tell you that the calendar and the clock can be incredibly cruel (particularly when combined with the long-term effects of gravity, but let’s not go there).

Time punishes creative works as well. Some work grows dated, stale, stiff. Time and the evolving form of the given art leaves a once vibrant and exciting work behind looking dead and obsolete.

More cruel, perhaps, is work that is simply…forgotten. Not for any good reason. Good as it was, maybe it was simply not successful enough to lodge very deeply in the popular consciousness; working well enough in its day, but soon lost among the ever-growing detritus of a lot of other pieces of yesterday.

Movie music is particularly vulnerable to the cruelties of time. Outside of the form’s devotees, it rarely
See full article at SoundOnSight »

“They’re Blowin’ This Town All To Hell!” — Sam Peckinpah And ‘The Wild Bunch’

Curiously, with all the bold, ambitious, fresh talent storming into Hollywood in the 1960s/1970s – directors who’d cut their teeth in TV like Sidney Lumet and John Frankenheimer; imports like Roman Polanski and Peter Yates; the first wave of film school “film brats” like Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese — one of the most popular genres during the period was one of Old Hollywood’s most traditional: the Western. But the Western often wrought at the hands of that new generation of moviemakers was rarely traditional.

During the Old Hollywood era, Westerns typically had been B-caliber productions, most of them favoring gunfights and barroom brawls over dramatic substance, and nearly all adhering to Western tropes which ran back to the pre-cinema days of dime novelist Ned Buntline. With the 1960s, however, the genre began to change; or, more accurately, expand, twist, and even invert.

To be sure, there would
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Where No 'Star Trek' Soundtrack Has Gone Before

Where No 'Star Trek' Soundtrack Has Gone Before
Fresh fanfare surrounding the upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness is revving up renewed interest in the original Star Trek TV series. One key component of what makes Star Trek great is the incredible symphonic soundtrack that accompanied every episode, and now La-la Land Records has released Star Trek: The Original Series Soundtrack Collection, a limited-edition, must-have box set for true fans of the series – and the perfect gift for the Trekkies and Trekkers in your galaxy.

Pics: 'Star Trek' Movies -- The Best and Worst Moments

According to the set's incredibly detailed and thorough liner notes, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry looked to veteran composer and arranger Alexander Courage to use a nautical approach to the show's soundtrack, hoping to keep the mid-'60s space series that was originally pitched as "A Wagon Train to the Stars" grounded.

"My feeling was this," said Roddenberry in a 1982 interview, "that for the first time on television I was going
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

Thursday Comedy Roundup: 30 Rock 7.01, Parks & Rec 5.03

30 Rock, Season 7, Episode 1: “The Beginning of the End

Written by Jack Burditt

Directed by Don Scardino

Airs Thursday at 8pm Et on NBC

As much as I love 30 Rock, it would be difficult to argue the last few seasons haven’t been a bit rough. The slide began around the end of Season 3, with Season 5 serving as something of an oasis while Season 6 represented the show’s absolute nadir. When word came down that its seventh season would be its last, it was difficult to feel much disappointment. The show hadn’t been cancelled outright, affording Tina Fey and Robert Carlock the opportunity to bid an appropriate adieu to these characters. Nobody could argue they hadn’t got their due, or that it wasn’t time.

Or could they? Despite planting seeds for the finale, “The Beginning of the End” feels like anything but: the jokes are coming at a breakneck pace,
See full article at SoundOnSight »
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