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A Uniquely American Epic: Intimacy and Action, Tenderness and Violence in Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch

A Uniquely American Epic: Intimacy and Action, Tenderness and Violence in Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch


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Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on November 22, 2019


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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813178141
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication date: 11/22/2019
Series: Screen Classics Series
Pages: 184
Sales rank: 517,889
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.00(d)

About the Author

Michael Bliss teaches writing, literature, and film at Virginia Tech. He is the author of Laurel and Hardy's Comic Catastrophes: Laughter and Darkness in the Features and Short Films, Dreams within a Dream: The Films of Peter Weir, and Justified Lives: Morality and Narrative in the Films of Sam Peckinpah, among others.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"An often misunderstood American masterpiece, Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch is brilliantly lit up by critical voices that celebrate the movie's greatness. Fifty years after its premiere, the film continues to reveal new complexity, power,and the surprising universality of its American-ness.It's way more than a western. If you love The Wild Bunch, this collection will expand and enhance your appreciation of Peckinpah's masterpiece. If you don't, I defy you not to look at the movie differently after reading this book." — Ron Shelton, writer/director of Bull Durham, Cobb, Tin Cup, and Dark Blue