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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 6.72%
Average: 2.52%
Pretty Bad: 2.52%
Total Crap: 3.36%

6 reviews, 83 user ratings

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Wild Bunch, The
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by Slyder

"One of the greatest films of its genre"
5 stars

The Wild Bunch is basically one of the first (apart from Bonnie and Clyde), to depict the real harsh and violent world of the Wild West as it was. It's a shocking, thrilling, action pack western, way ahead of its time that shocks you for a very long time. At a time of when censorship ruled, it distinguishes itself for being a movie that depicted the reality of how we lived in those times. And thanks to those drastic realities it relies on, it burst out into one of the greatest films ever made.

Set in 1913, at a time when the Wild West was being tamed down by civilization, and few months from WWI, Pike Bishop (William Holden) is the leader of the Wild Bunch, an aged but ruthless band of criminals consisting mainly of Dutch (Ernest Borgnine), Angel (Jaime Sanchez), and Lyle (Warren Oates), and Tector Garch (Ben Johnson), and four others that go into town to set off a robbery at the administrative offices of the railroad. These are highlighted by the metaphoric symbolism of the children playing with scorpions over an ants nest, Pikes order, and the shootout between the bunch and the bounty hunters, led by Deke Thorton (Robert Ryan), and ex friend and partner of Pike, and Pat Harrigan (Albert Dekker) the guy from the railroad, that would come. Unfortunately, their efforts and loss of 4 men, comes to nothing since thy blasted outta town with a few dollars worth of washers. They hook up with Sykes (Edmond O'Brien), who was waiting in Mexico with fresh horses, and ride off deep into Mexico, seeking for one last job, to finally make it good and split it. But there, Angel finds his people struggling in the Mexican Revolution against the Federal armies, especially the stronghold of General Mapache (Emilio Fernandez). When meeting with the General and his German Allies, they offer them a job, to steal a shipment of guns the U.S. Army sends by railroad to other cities. At the same time, Deke Thorton, also figures this out and goes there to stop him, and the story goes on, into many struggles of finding the very meanings of friendship, and honor, all climaxing in the very violent end.

All throughout the movie, we see the way that violence is depicted in it, but its necessary for the movie, because if you censor it the movie would lose its magic touch. Also it would be ridiculous to censor a movie like this, because It tells you that in that time the killings of men were violent and brutal and bloody, the aftermaths were horrifying, for all that, the film has a responsibility of depicting those same things. Yes, violence is gory, and unpleasant, but unfortunately, that's the reality we live in, and as human beings we must accept it like it is because it's the truth. Fuck censorship, we can't ignore that, we can't just censor all that and make look like they were living in a dream world where the good guy wins and the bad guy dies, and nobody gets hurt. That's not the way it is, the harsh reality is that we are vulnerable, whether we are the good guys or the bad guys, we are liable to die, and yes, people will be hurt, and kids will take it as a game, they'll even turn more savage than the big people are. Its no laughing matter, it's the truth of the world we live in, and it depends on us to make it better, but we must never forget the violent realities that we are subject to. That is what the film is trying to say, to tell it like it is, to see what makes us human, and do something about it. The film was masterfully made and the plot goes along smoothly, all thanks to the Directing by Sam Peckingpah, the cinematography, the editing, and the script, which are the heart of the movie. The shootings are greatly choreographed, like some ballet, and yet it adds to the reality of the film, and the excitement never lets you go.

In the end, this film is recommended for even the most casuals of viewers, I personally think it deserves its place on the AFI's 100 greatest films, because of the message that gives, and for the thrills that delivers. I guess nothing will stop this film from being controversial, but hey, better move over because the bunch came here to stay.

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originally posted: 04/11/01 12:40:13
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User Comments

2/06/20 Ari Boring for me 1 stars
1/01/20 morris campbell bold & entertaing western 4 stars
4/16/19 Jonathan Almgren Undoubtedly the greatest Western movie ever made, absolutely love this movie. 5 stars
3/25/18 Jeff Wilder For my money, the greatest western of all-time. 5 stars
4/27/16 Ken A wild western classic! 5 stars
5/17/15 stanley welles a glorious and brilliant western 5 stars
4/13/15 jokerass lol 1 stars
4/13/15 jokerass lol 1 stars
2/20/15 Chris Jarmick Once edgy groundbreaking still a Western Masterpiece 5 stars
9/05/13 mr.mike A Western classic. 4 stars
3/20/13 Daniel M. Amazing western film 5 stars
4/11/11 action movie fan on second viewing the shootouts were great but hannie calder and posse were better 3 stars
2/23/11 Vlad K. Best film ever made! Peckinpah was a genius! 5 stars
9/19/10 Jack Popular with the little penis crowd 1 stars
9/25/09 george webster The finest western ever made! 5 stars
1/28/08 proper amateur film critic An incredibly involving and exciting piece of cinema 5 stars
11/29/07 M. Epting a sure contender for 'the best western ever made. Holden is spectacular. 5 stars
11/25/07 g webster A classic! One of the best westerns ever.Great acting,great story! 5 stars
6/05/07 John G I saw this film when it first came out and couldn't believe how great it was, and still is. 5 stars
2/11/07 action movie fan not wild about this pointless shoot em up. no story! I don,t care much for westerns anyway 2 stars
1/20/07 AJ Muller This, Unforgiven, and Josey Wales are the best Westerns ever. Period. 5 stars
7/26/06 Sepi53 Top Ten of alltime Westerns 5 stars
5/29/06 J. Garcia One of the best films ever made. 5 stars
12/03/05 Gene Carmean Awesome 5 stars
9/13/05 ray mero Well, yes, the start of the Art of Violence by Maestro Peckinpah, but,c'mon, pure Hollywood 4 stars
9/02/05 mckeown fantastic... 5 stars
8/19/05 ES I appreciate all forms of western for me this one is a classic 5 stars
5/28/05 Strutho The Duke hated it.. Thats good enough for me! 5 stars
3/07/05 Daveman Far better than Leone's crap. 5 stars
3/04/05 Chris Stephens Great Movie!!! 5 stars
2/17/05 Dusty Johnson Great western - right there with Josie Wells. 5 stars
2/09/05 Al Guy A classic western=Dirt and grit and blood and lead. 5 stars
2/01/05 bongeezer OverKill and Kill again.... 4 stars
10/22/04 steve The last word in westerns, no one can match it. 5 stars
9/05/04 DM One of the best westerns ever made 5 stars
8/02/04 J Lamp Incredible film 5 stars
6/27/04 eric one of ten best movies ever made 5 stars
3/05/04 Peter Joly The last great Western. 5 stars
1/24/04 CC Classic..and worth a while ....see Straw Dogs 4 stars
1/12/04 Hans Westerveld masterpiece 5 stars
11/28/03 john unexpectedly powerful the charachters are as strong as the action 5 stars
11/15/03 Ultron One of the greatest westerns.... no one of the greatest films ever made. 5 stars
10/19/03 Alan Thorougly Peckinpah. 5 stars
8/19/03 AD brilliant 5 stars
5/29/03 R.W. Welch Well-acted oater though it veers towards wretched excess. 4 stars
2/11/03 Ultron Perhaps the best western ever. 5 stars
1/11/03 Paul Coleman This is probably the best American film ever made!! Peckinpah was a GOD. 5 stars
10/24/02 Charles Tatum Peckinpah was great, I even loved "Convoy" 5 stars
4/04/02 felipe it is the best film of western and william holden does one of best perfomaces 5 stars
3/27/02 Inci G. Ozay The film was masterfully made. 4 stars
3/20/02 Ben Barka Not as good as everyone pumps it up to be--there's alot of goofy male bonding/sexism/racism 3 stars
2/17/02 Clarance eah 2 stars
12/05/01 Skip Young Over-rated. I've seen it twice to see if maybe I missed something. I don't think I did. 3 stars
12/02/01 Flip Kromer Tarantino got it all from here 5 stars
10/22/01 Stanley Wesolowsky Ph.D. Best western ever made -many modes of laughter 5 stars
9/24/01 JLH Holden is great. 1 of the 3 best westerns ever. True Grit and the Professionals the others 5 stars
9/24/01 Farideh Such an important, impactful film. 5 stars
8/23/01 jerry wiegers one of the top three or four films i have seen in my life and i am 60 now 5 stars
8/18/01 Andrew Carden It Has Alot Of Trouble Getting It's Act Together. 2 stars
6/03/01 Erik North Still one of the most important movie of the 1960s--and it holds up well even now! 5 stars
5/11/01 Pike Bishop Superb 5 stars
5/02/01 mr fork fantastico 5 stars
4/16/01 Chris M. Peckinpah is the master. 5 stars
3/23/01 BigBad Responsible for every action film that followed. Best Ever!!! 5 stars
1/19/01 Marv One of the best movie ever made. I wish the Wild bunch could have rode off as heros. 5 stars
12/13/00 Chris LEACH i thought that the film was absolutely brilliant 5 stars
11/06/00 Y.E.S. I'm not a fan of westerns, but this is a good one. Final shootout is one of the best ever. 4 stars
9/20/00 Jeff Peckinpah's best, damn near flawless 5 stars
4/03/00 PJ The Greatest Western ever made, even better than The Searchers, and Rio Bravo. 5 stars
3/29/00 qbdilbert listen to "let's go..." you'll understand Holden's eyse; his companions do & so do you... 5 stars
3/19/00 Skye Chapman a piece of Americana 5 stars
1/26/00 Jericho a good movie 5 stars
8/19/99 Matthew Bartley Lets go get Angel. Strangely moving 5 stars
8/02/99 Weird Andy Muy Huevos 5 stars
4/15/99 Jon Jackson The best film from a great director 5 stars
11/26/98 Mr.Pink Best western of all time!! 5 stars
11/20/98 little jerry As crucial a film as Psycho.Hitchcock's cool & Peckinpah's heat are the decade defined. 5 stars
11/09/98 Lord Of The Dunce A great "man's movie". But more than that, western genre perfection. 5 stars
10/28/98 Silent Rob 'Kill 'em all' A perfect western, oddly enough, born out of the 60's consciousness. 5 stars
9/05/98 pooky the bald It's Peckinpah, man. Shit, what more do ya need? 5 stars
9/04/98 Badass A masterpiece! 5 stars
8/29/98 Johny See it. 5 stars
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  03-Mar-1994 (R)
  DVD: 10-Jan-2006



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