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,
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