A Few Words About A few words about... The Wild Bunch

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Robert Harris, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    From the moment that it first hit theatre screens almost four decades ago, Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch has been one of the most talked about, loved and hated westerns ever created.

    There are those who quickly write it off because of its extreme violence, and are never able to look beyond the blood and chaos.

    And then there are the cinephiles and Peckinpah fans who love The Wild Bunch and rate it as one of the great westerns in cinema history. I'd take it even further and call it one of the greatest films ever made -- its ballet of death being pure Peckinpah.

    Warner's new DVD is a beautifully rendered version of the film, looking very much like my old dye transfer print, which was from the intial release.

    Color, densities and shadow detail have all been handled beautifully. If I were to knit pick I could find a couple of very minor problems -- one shot with an incorrect color level and the lack of the original road show intermission and entr'acte (replaced by a dissolve in normal prints, but not here).

    But this is about as close to perfection as one is likely to get.

    A great transfer of one of the greatest westerns of all time, which comes extremely highly recommended.

    For those who have never been exposed to The Wild Bunch, you're in for a treat.

    RAH
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I simply loved this dvd presentation. This is one dvd that I'll watch at least once a year.






    Crawdaddy
     
  3. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Love-Hate? Never heard of anyone hating this film! [​IMG]

    Of course, its original release was before my time, so my exposure to it has been entirely since it gained its status as a classic.

    Probably my single favorite Western.
     
  4. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    My single favourite Western - that's something I could never say, for any western, because there are several I love so much.

    I'm glad to read all this: mine is still in the mail (for bigger packages Customs reserve a special treatment, meaning payment of extra money and almost a month extra delay in the pipeline.)

    You make me waiting even more anxiously!


    Cees
     
  5. Jeff_CusBlues

    Jeff_CusBlues Supporting Actor

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    My dad loved this movie and introduced me to it when I was around 20 (I am 44 now). He explained to me how it was one of the first movies to portray violence in such a real manner. He also explained to me why it was such a good western. My dad was no cine-file, but he new a good picture when he saw it. He is gone now, but my love of films continues. Sorry, seeing Mr. Harris' review of this caused me to reflect. Thank you. I will certainly pick this up.
     
  6. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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  7. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer
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    I must be getting desensitized to violence. I didn't find the film to be overly violent or particularly bloody. Still an excellent western. One of the best, if not the best, westerns. "The Long Riders", also a good western, seems to have been heavily influenced by "The Wild Bunch".
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    From your 2006 perspective that's correct, but when this film came out in 1969, it was a different time and sensibilities for many people including film critics and reviewers that watched this film for the first time. While young film observers like myself were in awe of the violence, there were others that were shocked by what they've seen.






    Crawdaddy
     
  9. Eric Meske

    Eric Meske Stunt Coordinator

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    I discovered this great film with Warner's restoration in college ('95 or so?), and thanks to this new DVD I re-discovered it last night.

    A true American classic.
     
  10. willyTass

    willyTass Second Unit

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    Never seen it - as good as One Eyed Jacks?
     
  11. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Thanks for your thoughts on this great film, Mr. Harris. I first saw this movie in a college film class back in 1981, and it instantly became one of my favorite westerns. When my Peckinpah boxed set showed up this week, the first film I treated myself to was The Wild Bunch. The transfer is a major improvement over the old flipper DVD.
     
  12. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    The question should be is "One Eyed Jacks" as good as "The Wild Bunch"? Though, "One Eyed Jacks" is a good film, it's not on the level of "The Wild Bunch".






    Crawdaddy
     
  13. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    I'm watching this tonight for the first time.
     
  14. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Also my favorite western. I was 19 when it first came out and saw it in a large theater with a huge, curved screen. I walked out somewhat dazed, and my stomach was in a knot. It was an epiphanous experience for me. The violence in that film, from a 1969 perspective, was overwhelming, but not in a cheesy, MARK OF THE DEVIL kind of way. It affected me emotionally, and left me with a true sense of loss.
     
  15. Anthony*B

    Anthony*B Stunt Coordinator

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    jeez, this & the box set are nowhere to be found in ANY of the many wal marts in my area (ill be d*mned if I'm gonna pay Blockbuster's exorbitant price for it either) grrr..
     
  16. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    In 1994, the MPAA found it violent enough to warrent giving the restored version an NC-17 rating. That rating was later overturned and it got an R with no cuts, but that initial NC-17 held up the re-release for a while.

    Vincent
     
  17. eric tengren

    eric tengren Stunt Coordinator

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    This film is not just one of the great westerns, but one the greatest films ever made period. Warren Oates is my favorite actor.
     
  18. willyTass

    willyTass Second Unit

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    ok Robert I'll order it from the Beaver then
     
  19. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Ordering via the Beaver is a good thing, as it helps to support one of the best DVD sites on the web.

    RAH
     
  20. Jim*Tod

    Jim*Tod Supporting Actor

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    Robert---

    Just watched it tonight and had forgotten what a great film this is. What a cast, what great editing and so beautifully shot. One question: Just where was the intermission in the European version?

    Viva Warner Brothers!!!!!!
     

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