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Sam Peckinpah's film The Wild Bunch is the story of a gang of outlaws who are one big steal from retirement. When their attempted train robbery goes awry, the gang flees to Mexico and falls in with a brutal general of the Mexican Revolution, who offers them the job of a lifetime. Conceived by a stuntman, directed by a blacklisted director, and shot in the sand and heat of the Mexican desert, the movie seemed doomed. Instead, it became an instant classic with a dark, violent take on the Western movie tradition.
In The Wild Bunch, W.K. Stratton tells the fascinating history of the making of the movie and documents for the first time the extraordinary contribution of Mexican and Mexican-American actors and crew members to the movie's success. Shaped by infamous director Sam Peckinpah, and starring such visionary actors as William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Edmond O'Brien, and Robert Ryan, the movie was also the product of an industry and a nation in transition. By 1968, when the movie was filmed, the studio system that had perpetuated the myth of the valiant cowboy in movies like The Searchers had collapsed, and America was riled by Vietnam, race riots, and assassinations. The Wild Bunch spoke to America in its moment, when war and senseless violence seemed to define both domestic and international life.
The Wild Bunch is an authoritative history of the making of a movie and the era behind it.
In 1956, at age 21, Floyd Patterson became the youngest boxer to win the title of world heavyweight champion and then, later, the first ever to lose and regain it.
Here, acclaimed author W.K. Stratton chronicles the life of 'The Gentle Gladiator' - an athlete overshadowed by Ali's theatrics and Liston's fearsome reputation, and a civil-rights activist overlooked in the who's who of race politics.
From the Gramercy Gym and wild-card manager Cus D'Amato to a final rematch against Ali in 1972, Patterson's career spanned boxing's Golden Age and included an Olympic gold medal.
This powerful tribute to an invisible champion who fought his way to the top of a knockdown world, carrying many of the hopes and fears of the battle for civil rights, draws upon interviews with the fighter's friends and boxing contemporaries to provide the definitive account of his remarkable life and career.
One of the most innovative films ever made, Sam Peckinpah's motion picture The Wild Bunch was released in 1969. From the outset, the film was considered controversial because of its powerful, graphic, and direct depiction of violence, but it was also praised for its lush photography, intricate camera work, and cutting-edge editing. Peckinpah's tale of an ill-fated, aging outlaw gang bound by a code of honor is often regarded as one of the most complex and impactful Westerns in American cinematic history. The issues dealt with in this groundbreaking film -- violence, morality, friendship, and the legacy of American ambition and compromise -- are just as relevant today as when the film first opened.
To acknowledge the significance of The Wild Bunch, this collection brings together some of the leading Peckinpah scholars and critics to examine what many consider to be the director's greatest work. The book's nine essays cover an array of topics. Explored are the function of violence in the film and how its depiction is radically different from what is seen in other movies, the background of the film's production, the European response to the film's view of human nature, and the strong sense of the Texas/Mexico milieu surrounding the film's action.