In 1864, due to frequent Apache raids from Mexico into the U.S., a Union officer decides to illegally cross the border and destroy the Apache, using a mixed army of Union troops, Confederate POWs, civilian mercenaries, and scouts.
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.Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Banned in Sweden, Germany, and Argentina. See more »
As Bennie crosses inside his apartment, alone, and talks to Alfredo's head, a crewman in black clothing is visible, ducking behind an adjacent transom. His arm reappears a second later, as Bennie reaches for a bottle in the pantry. See more »
There are only three credits at the beginning of the film: The production credit, the two stars, and the story/screenplay. Everything else is at the end, and the film's title is the very last credit. See more »
I have to comment on this film, although I don't know how well I am able to address my feelings relating to it. I guess you can't blame me: Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia is a bizarre, not-so-literate film. But the minute I saw the poster of the blood-stained hand holding a pendant, the title and Warren Oates in the headlining, I knew I was going to love this film. Now having seen it, I have only superlatives to say about it.
What makes Peckinpah's films so good in the first place is that even though they have a lot of graphic violence, it's not self-serving, brainless entertainment like Tarantino's or Rodriguez's films (not that I don't like them as well). Peckinpah makes a point with it all, especially in Straw Dogs and The Wild Bunch, and Al Garcia is no exception to that. Here Warren Oates is a man whose morals are challenged by greed and corruption around him, who loses everything he has and thus takes his shots on the bad guys who try to capitalise things they bear no emotional relationship to. Not that I could make sense everything of it; as said, this film is bizarre and surreal from start to finish, but somehow it grabs you and doesn't let go. Just as Ebert said, there's hidden meaning even in a severed, rotting head. Considering this film was made when Peckinpah was losing his credibility among Hollywood studios, I would say he wanted this film to be an allegory of a maverick director surviving in the Hollywood system.
How this film has remained only a film buffs' favorite, I don't know. I mean, come on, it has everything to be a crime/thriller classic: Peckinpah in the director's chair, Warren Oates at his best, truckloads of attitude and some jet-black comedy in lines such as "you guys are definitely on my s**t list now." A truly brilliant, brilliant film.
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