The Wild Bunch

The Wild Bunch
Review: A western that takes place in Texas and Mexico in 1913.  About a group of aging outlaws. This is the year when the Old West was giving way to the New West. The Old West is disappearing.
Director: Sam Peckinpah
Actors: William Holden, Ernest Borgnine and Robert Ryan
Year: 1969
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama and Western
Conclusion: 5/5
This is one of the greatest Westerns ever made. It was also a very long film standing at 144 minutes. Seven identical costumes were made for each main actor. It has been rumored that when William Holden first watched this film he himself was appalled by the film. Burt Lancaster, James Stewart, Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum were all offered the part of William Holden but they all turned the offer down. When this film came out in the U.K. it had seven cuts taken out of it. Even though the cuts were made it only added up to seconds. Some of the scenes that were taken out were massacre scenes, blood spurts and gunshots. In 1984 the BBFC reviewed this film again and some of the cuts were then put back in and was then classified as a 18 certificate. The film was then re-released in 1998 and that was the restored version which is 6 minutes longer than the original. Altogether there have been 4 different “official” versions since its initial release in 1969.  In the United States this gained a lot of controversy as the film was seen to draw parallels with the contemporary realities of the Vietnam War. Film critic Barry Norman produced a list a few years ago in the Radio Times of his 100 greatest films and this was one of them. Roger Ebert once said “this film is a masterpiece; I felt, then and now, that “The Wild Bunch” is one of the great defining moments of modern movies”.

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