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 Posted:   Feb 2, 2007 - 4:58 AM   
 By:   Stefan Miklos   (Member)

Okay, gang, let's stop acting like wusses and tackle a topic GUARANTEED to get our collective blood pressures up.

Which of the above is:

Your favorite?

Preferred score?

Superior film?

At last, I can reply so find an answer from another thread:

THE WILD BUNCH for the three questions.
This is more than a western, it's a lesson of film-making and style. It's a revolutionary statement!
The score is haunting, powerful, downbeat, energetic, modern.

My all-time favourite scene is the main title/failed bank robbery and the slaughter that follows. The steel holes robbery if you like!

When I watch the film, I always wish to watch more footages from the whorehouse flashback featuring Deke and Pike as friends. The brunette whore who opens the door to the authorities is dammmn pretty! She wears a hell of an outfit!

The most surprising scene during the massacre: Pike re-loads his pump action shotgun when a Mexican woman guns him down from the rear. Pike turn himself, says: "Bitch!" and shoot her straight!

The most touching scene is the end of the massacre when Dutch watches Pike hit and says: "No, Pike! ... Pike! ... Pike... Pike...... Pike... Oh." Truely sad...

What is touching is that Deke keeps Pike's gun as a memento of the old days.

 Posted:   Mar 12, 2013 - 11:08 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)


YO, Wild Bill Department:

big grin

 Posted:   Mar 12, 2013 - 11:59 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Favourite: I've seen The Magnificent Seven many times and it's a film I could watch time and again ... there's just so much to enjoy (the music score being one major factor).

I recall watching The Wild Bunch some years ago because it was one of those films many people rave about. I may try watching it again but it wouldn't bother me if I never did.

Preferred score: I've bought five versions of Elmer Bernstein's score (incl. its re-hash into Guns for the Magnificent Seven) plus have numerous cover versions of the main theme.

I recall having the Geoff Love album Big Western Movie Themes Vol.2 as a teenager and I was surprised a little while ago to find that Mr. Fielding's theme to The Wild Bunch was a featured title ... I don't remember the tune at all.

Superior film: who's to determine what is superior? What is the definition? I can base my view solely on what I prefer ...

I see the later film as being one of those which rang the death-knell for the traditional Hollywood western. This is probably wrong, more likely it was merely a product of the changing times.


 Posted:   Mar 12, 2013 - 12:48 PM   
 By:   Storyteller   (Member)

Sam versus John? Well, Sturges was a fine Hollywood Journeyman (as they say), but Sam was an artist up there with Welles, Kubrick and the best American directors. Sturges entertained millions, but Sam's cinema actually changed the form.

OK, I'm sorry, but this is just so not true. So much so that a kitten dies everytime someone says it.

Trying to say that Magnificent Seven is not as artistic as The Wild Bunch because it lacks the gritty edge Peckinpah brought to it, is like saying that Ballet is not as true an art form as walking due to walking be more practical and a part of everyday life. It's ridiculous.

Of course Sturges was an artist. Every sequence in the film was meticulously planned and executed. You simply did not see scenes like the one with Yul and Steve taking the dead man to be buried in every western. It was tense and took a sure hand. That scene, plus many others.

Also, least we not forget films like, Bad Day At Black Rock. You honestly going to try and tell me that this film had no influence on Peckinpah or other greats yet to come?

Did The Wild Bunch change the medium? To a degree, yes. But then again, the country was changing; people were changing, so of course cinema was changing with it. But the themes addressed were not simply due to change, but about the change itself, and it's impact on people like Peckinpah, and Sturges. One need only look at Sam's earlier work to see that this film doesn't really resemble any of his prior films. Peckinpah, Sturges, and John Ford were The Wild Bunch. Old men who no longer had a place in this world. The western was dying, and Sam knew it. The film wasn't an attempt to change the genre, it was a coda. A farewell. The finale battle is as romanticized as you get. Reality would have been for them to run and hide and live out their final years as comfortably as possible. But not these men. They would go out in a blaze of glory. Was it gritty and harsh, yep. That's how Sam perceived the world's treatment of him and his compatriots. They couldn't just be killed, they had to be exterminated.

Sure Sturges did gun for hire work as a director... but so did Peckinpah. One film wasn't responsible for the change in cinema... they all were. To change, one must look at what has come before, and Peckinpah had much to reflect upon when fashioning The Wild Bunch.

Perhaps I haven't worded this as eloquently as some might have. But I am tired, and it will suffice for now. smile

 Posted:   Mar 12, 2013 - 3:24 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Forgive Us Our Semantic Trespasses, Mitch-ski Department:

'Superior' is such a supremely subjective conceptual country we usually avoid visiting that absolutist territory altogether, so we withdraw that original supposition.

Apples and oranges, mebbe, but still equally sublime fruit ... wink

 Posted:   Mar 13, 2013 - 7:40 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Neo - how can I choose between my children????

"Did you hear what he said to me Soltero? Ride On! To me!!!!!!!!!..."


"Sure aint your woman no more..."

 Posted:   Mar 13, 2013 - 8:29 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

"Is Clear the Meaning? In Texas, Only Texans Can Rob Banks "

Or have the wisdom to AVOID making such Solomonic choices, BillyCee ... oui? wink

- Wotta Close Shave Department ... smile

 Posted:   Mar 13, 2013 - 12:07 PM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Im torn Neo, its just not a fair choice.

such different films - chalk and cheese - but equal genius of different levels.

Magnificent seven was a blue-print for the big name actioner - at a time when westerns were still hugely popular - the cast was so shrewdly chosen, (who could've guessed their individual potential which gave the film so much more clout in later years), it had good characters, great dialogue, some lovely one-liners, the brilliant Eli Wallach stealing the show, and had an energy which was partly down to the pace of the film but mostly down to the unbelievable bounce given to the core of the film by Elmer's music.

The Wild Bunch was whole new different level. The western was dying and Sam's old war-bitten gunmen went out with a bang. There are lots of messages in this film and it was a culmination of all his other films - "let's do it right." The spur of the moment from Sam of "Wait, I want to do a walk thing" which built and built on set into that tremendous walk to the cantina and the subsequent Battle of bloody porch was true genius and a piece of perfect movie history. A film essentially about atonement through death. A far far complex and deeper movie than Mag 7, and there can really only be one winner, but such is Wild Bunch richness it almost isnt fair on Mag 7, nor any other western you put up against Bunch.
It was a serious, adult, grim, sonovabitch film at the finale of what was a very silly genre.
You could almost argue that no westerns should have been made after the Bunch.

 Posted:   Mar 13, 2013 - 1:00 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Whilst we don't dispute your dissertation, BC, we don't necessarily subscribe to the theory ya Haveta choose one over the over so much as admire both their definitively different strengths.

"More complex" is an evaluation impossible to ascertain in any authoritatively subjective court of personal opinion.

We agree with your assessment of Mr. Peckinpah's masterpiece - we kinda figger everything he hadda say about life was encoded in that film and nothing that came after was as clear a professionally-personal confession of his own code towards life; thus, if he'd never made another flick, that would prove his ever-lasting unequaled epitaph).

Granted, our own inclusion of Mr. Sturges as one of our most favorite influential directors unmistakably makes us unapologetically bias in his favor, we submit the theme of his mo'om pitcher is equally auspicious:

Committing to a Cause above and beyond yourself ... an Ideal in Service to others (thus paradoxically achieving brilliantly-belated Redemption for one's own life).

And, for its tyme, there really hadn't been seen in such unvarnished array the kinda thoroughly grey - rather than the preferred intellectually-lazy black-and-white 'heroes' of afore - characters as populated Mr. Sturges' enterprise ... which also had the added prescient benefit of his own vision in empowering the potential HE so profoundly sensitively scoped in his cast.

Outside of Mr. Brynner, everyone in that cast was scrupulously hand-picked by a director who still receives less lustre than he deserves - and far more substantially relevant than the roll eyes smart-ass egoholic infantile blood-lusted roll eyes 'auteurs' garnering such ridiculous irresponsible 'acclaim' roll eyes nowadays who know NOTHING about Real - as opposed to reel - life and can barely transmute that experience into insightful creativity but just pillage and rape every movie they've ever seen with scarcely any original perception of - let alone on - their own.

When no less an illustrious luminary than Mr. Kurosawa himself can send Mr. Sturges a samurai sword in appreciative gratitude and personally-professional respect, that says Volumes above and beyond any further comment, no?

 Posted:   Mar 13, 2013 - 1:06 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)


 Posted:   Mar 13, 2013 - 1:11 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Ka-mon, behave yorself, Bruce-O, no flamin' fair.

Stick to the thread's script ...

 Posted:   Mar 13, 2013 - 1:26 PM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)


Ride on, El Bruco!!

Neo - can you not just change the OR in the title to AND???

 Posted:   Mar 13, 2013 - 11:49 PM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

There you are, you see, with the mere insertion of one word by Neo, a clash of opinions that could lead to war and turn brother against brother suddently, instantly, transforms to a tribute to both classics!!

I should have guessed.

When my men didn't come back, I should have guessed.

How many of you did they hire?

 Posted:   Mar 14, 2013 - 1:23 AM   
 By:   Storyteller   (Member)

In my post, I forgot to say which I prefer...

Score wise, it's Magnificent Seven hands down.

As for the other two options, I love both films for different reasons. So I cannot pick one above the other.

Honestly, in the area of westerns that personally affected me the most, it was the Man With No Name Trilogy that I will carry with me always. They are special in every way. The music in The Wild Bunch, and M. Seven are both present and accounted for. But in Leone's amazing vision, the score is a character in the film.

As it was said about Bond, simply the best, better than all the rest.

 Posted:   Mar 14, 2013 - 10:58 AM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

didn't mean to derail this here thread
THE SEVEN SAMURAI is so much better than its remake (which i like) that i get carried away sometimes

 Posted:   Mar 14, 2013 - 3:51 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Actually, someone else completes the Trinity of 60s
directorial influences we've been commemorating herein,

and tis he:

Si? wink

 Posted:   Mar 14, 2013 - 4:37 PM   
 By:   Storyteller   (Member)

You'll get no disagreement here.

 Posted:   Mar 16, 2013 - 7:47 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Boys, we have wandered off the beaten track a little.

Now we are getting into a whole different thread....

before I favourite

Chris: It's only a matter of knowing how to shoot a gun. Nothing big about that.
Chico: Hey. How can you talk like this? Your gun has got you everything you have. Isn't that true? Hmm? Well, isn't that true?
Vin: Yeah, sure. Everything. After a while you can call bartenders and faro dealers by their first name - maybe two hundred of 'em! Rented rooms you live in - five hundred! Meals you eat in hash houses - a thousand! ....Home - none! Wife - none! Kids... none! Prospects - zero.
.....Suppose I left anything out?
Chris: Yeah. Places you're tied down to - none. People with a hold on you - none. Men you step aside for - none.
Lee: Insults swallowed - none. Enemies - none.
Chris: No enemies?
Lee: Alive.

 Posted:   Jul 20, 2013 - 3:36 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)


"Gently, boy ... gently." wink


 Posted:   Jul 20, 2013 - 3:47 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

"How does it feel to be so God-damned right?!?"

~Deke Thornton (Robert Ryan) in The Wild Bunch

It's the reading of the line that makes it such a brilliant quote. Thornton hates himself to the core for taking on the job to track Pike and company.

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