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New book on Sam Peckinpah’s iconic film ‘The Wild Bunch’ digs deep into the bloody western in all its violent, slo-mo glory




Strother Martin, Paul Harper, Bill Hart, L.Q. Jones, and Robert Ryan star in
Strother Martin, Paul Harper, Bill Hart, L.Q. Jones, and Robert Ryan star in "The Wild Bunch"
Warner Brothers

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Master of the old Western film Sam Peckinpah’s 1969 classic “The Wild Bunch” remains, to this day, one of the most memorable (and sometimes gory) movies of its type.

The Wild Bunch: Sam Peckinpah, a Revolution in Hollywood, and the Making of a Legendary Film
The Wild Bunch: Sam Peckinpah, a Revolution in Hollywood, and the Making of a Legendary Film"

The film features powerhouse cast that included William Holden, Ernest Borgnine and Robert Ryan, and tells the story of an aging gang of outlaws along the southern U.S border with Mexico just after the turn of the 20th century as they try to adapt to the ever-changing times and pull off one last big score so they can finally retire. The film was Peckinpah’s breakout film and is featured on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 best American films (number 80) and the sixth-best Western in the AFI’s ranking of the 10 best films in 10 genres.

Journalist and author W.K. Stratton’s latest book “The Wild Bunch: Sam Peckinpah, a Revolution in Hollywood, and the Making of a Legendary Film” lifts the hood on this classic 1969 Western and takes a look at how the movie was made, how Mexican and Mexican-American actors and crew members contributed to the film’s production, and its and Peckinpah’s lasting impact on the Western genre.

Guest:

W.K. Stratton, author of “The Wild Bunch: Sam Peckinpah, a Revolution in Hollywood, and the Making of a Legendary Film” (Bloomsbury Publishing, February 2019)