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 Posted:   Feb 9, 2009 - 1:16 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)



I've been tempted to pick up the 2-disc set and see if the different cuts can salvage this frustrating mess of a movie. I find myself wanting to like this movie more than I do. I haven't seen the durn thing in at least ten years, and while I've never cared for Kris Kristofferson, I want to give his performance another look, too. Does the new cut on DVD improve upon Peckinpah's original "vision"?

 
 Posted:   Feb 9, 2009 - 6:56 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

LOL I'll take the deafening silence as not being a ringing endorsement!

 
 Posted:   Feb 9, 2009 - 6:59 PM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

I'd like to see it for Coburn and because the trailer was interesting, though I really, really, really don't care for Kristofferson (ever see his horribly miscast performance in Pakula's ROLLOVER? eeesh).

For some reason, I have lacked the motivation to pick this one up. If it fell into my lap tomorrow, I'd probably watch it in the next few days. Otherwise, it's probably gonna be a long time before I get around to it. Low on the priority list I guess.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 10, 2009 - 7:51 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

Another Peckinpah Machismo Mishmashed Fantasia Department:



Tho it doesn’t really work for us as a whole (we won’t even get into the concept of cohesive comprehension) the film has its complementary virtues, not least the ever-reliable and compulsively watchable



It also boasts one of the most hypnotic and purely poetic sequences we’ve ever witnessed – and as a silent evocation of the love between a woman and a man, it’s heart-rendering) - as Katy Jurado



helplessly watches the mortally-wounded Slim Pickens wander away as he wonders what the hell just happened (being all too silently aware of what’s about to transpire as he starts to expire).



The touching tableau is strikingly anchored by Bob Dylan’s equally-evocative “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”. [ knocking on heavens door - pat garrett and billy the kid. YouTube . ]



It’s an unforgettable mixture of elegiac emotion and an almost mystical visualization of it all.



Mind yu, there aren’t many times we’d subscribe to the notion of superb artistry from all sides, but the film's unexpectedly moving visual mural definitely warrants it smile

 
 Posted:   Feb 10, 2009 - 2:01 PM   
 By:   mgh   (Member)

One of the most frustrating movies I have ever seen; a mixture of absolute poetry and horrendous mess.

 
 Posted:   Feb 12, 2009 - 8:31 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

That's right, Neo--undeniably moving...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MgubwywhiU&feature=related

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 12, 2009 - 1:42 PM   
 By:   James MacMillan   (Member)

One of the most frustrating movies I have ever seen; a mixture of absolute poetry and horrendous mess.

Nicely put, and I agree. However I do wonder how it would have turned out with music by Jerry Fielding working for it. That "Knocking on Heaven's Door" stuff is just... incongruous. And intrusive.

- JMM

 
 Posted:   Feb 12, 2009 - 8:15 PM   
 By:   nuts_score   (Member)

Hmm... I'm a big fan of Peckinpah's misunderstood masterpiece. If I had known I was supposed to have such negative feelings towards it I would've retracted my enthusiasm for it.

 
 Posted:   Feb 12, 2009 - 8:36 PM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

Hmm... I'm a big fan of Peckinpah's misunderstood masterpiece. If I had known I was supposed to have such negative feelings towards it I would've retracted my enthusiasm for it.

So why is it a misunderstood masterpiece? I intend to see it at some point and could use another perspective...

 
 Posted:   Feb 12, 2009 - 8:44 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

One of the most frustrating movies I have ever seen; a mixture of absolute poetry and horrendous mess.

Yes. So many great things going for it. And enough bad that it really hurts it. Kristofferson was woefully miscast, as he was in virtually everything he was part and parcel of. Coburn was impecabbly good. I so wanted this to be a good movie. It is a noble misfire. And the movie needed a score, not a folk song.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2009 - 5:39 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)



Geez, Chockful, why would you allow other (equally subjective) assessments to permanently affect - let alone alter - your own? Ka-mon, yer made of sturdier stuff than that, compadre.



We wholeheartedly agree the film would've been more superiorly served if Mr. Fielding's expertise had been allowed to grace the project (anyone know why it wasn't?).

As to that, we usually also abhor sticking a song onto a sequence for no other reason than allegedly "commercial" considerations (the "Quantum of Crap" recent Bond debacle is a definitive corrupted case in perverse point).

However, we were taken aback - positively so - with "Knockin' on Heaven's Door".



Shows ya: there are equally fluid exceptions to every rigid rule ... wink

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 27, 2009 - 8:14 PM   
 By:   Niall from Ireland   (Member)

One of the most frustrating movies I have ever seen; a mixture of absolute poetry and horrendous mess.

Yes. So many great things going for it. And enough bad that it really hurts it. Kristofferson was woefully miscast, as he was in virtually everything he was part and parcel of. Coburn was impecabbly good. I so wanted this to be a good movie. It is a noble misfire. And the movie needed a score, not a folk song.


I reckon Kris was damn good in this classic.

 
 Posted:   Feb 27, 2009 - 8:23 PM   
 By:   Storyteller   (Member)

Hmmm, I've always rather liked this film.

I agree it's a bit clunky in parts, but I still find it a masterpiece. Especially compared to much of the Tarintino inspired dreck running around these days.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 28, 2009 - 4:40 PM   
 By:   ahem   (Member)

A great looking film. John Coquillohn was always Pekinpah's finest cameraman, in my opinion (and there's an unusual duo if ever there was one).

Poor chickens in the opening though! frown

 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2014 - 1:15 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Five years later and while I have the dvd I STILL haven't watched the damn thing, but after revisiting the Peckinpah documentary included on The Wild Bunch disc today, I will watch Pat Garrett this week...

....watch this space.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2014 - 3:00 PM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

I saw the theatrical version more times than I can count, beginning in the summer of 1973. Then I adjusted to the sneak preview version released in 1988 which is a very different film.

PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID is the memory of a man (Sheriff Garrett) whose sins and betrayals in life pass before his eyes as he is dying. Garrett and the Kid only meet at the beginning and at the end. The Kid refuses to leave the country or run away from a Sheriff who doesn't really want to catch up with him, so they circle around one another, bumping into each other's envoys ending each time with fatal results. In the middle, every scene is structured as a long farewell in which old friends turn against each other, expressing regret they can't back down, as if they're caught in the grip of something larger than themselves, something terrible and yet inevitable. Fittingly, the tone and pacing are funereal, with Bob Dylan's primitive yet haunting music -- keyed in E minor, the sound of regret and sadness -- capturing the underlying spirit. The film is a death elegy, full of ghosts, and I love it.

The film remains unfinished. James Aubrey, the head of MGM notorious for sabotaging the company's productions, threw stumbling blocks in the way of Peckinpah and crew and prevented PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID from completing principle photography. It is amazing the director and crew were able to accomplish what they did. The film was given a preview in February 1973, and then released twenty minutes shorter in May 1973. The Special Edition DVD is a must-own. It includes the theatrical preview, which itself was never fully edited, and later, a couple of vital scenes were removed by the Turner Company when they bought up MGM's holdings. Fans never saw this preview until it was released on laser disc in 1988. The DVD set also includes a 2005 reconstruction of the 1973 theatrical release with the chopped-out scenes put back in. That version retains the final editorial decisions Peckinpah made for the theatrical release before Aubrey screwed it up.

Kristofferson is persuasive as the Kid, here portrayed as a stone-cold killer who'd rather not shoot anyone but easily does so when necessity arises. James Coburn's increasingly bitter, self-loathing Sheriff Garrett is the finest performance of his career. He never reached so high or dug so deep in any other film. The cast is peppered with veteran character actors stepping out of their familiar modes to deliver memorable bits in small parts, particularly Jack Elam, Jason Robards, Slim Pickins, Katy Jurado and potty-mouthed Chill Wills.

I still think the autumnal color pallet of the theatrical version is the most awesome cinematography I've ever seen. The old big-box VHS hinted at how awesome it looked. The DVD, with the 2005 reconstruction and the director's Preview, don't hint at it. The two execs at Warner Home Video -- Ned Price and George Feltenstein, both uncaring mediocrities -- pulled an Aubrey and imposed a brown tint that squashes the color pallet. And the yet the film retains its power. Love the soundtrack, especially the instrumentals. "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" made a Dylan fan out of me for life.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2014 - 3:15 PM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Five years later and while I have the dvd I STILL haven't watched the damn thing, but after revisiting the Peckinpah documentary included on The Wild Bunch disc today, I will watch Pat Garrett this week...

....watch this space.


jimbo 5 years?? Disgrace. Yeah album in montage is a fab docu. I saw it at the Nft with a showing of bunch.

I saw pat garrett as a teenager and found it slow. Maturity made me see the film on a different light. Krisoffersons presence wasnt offensive to me, he seemed to fit the films odd style.

There are just some utterly delicious set pieces. My favourite is slim pickens death walking and flopping by the waters edge with katy jurado.
The other one is the scene where Coburn joins in the shooting practice of the guys floating past on the raft.

Nice piece richard w. Agree with everything you have said. Most educational.
I love it when peckinpahistas make you see one of his films with a deeper appreciation.
And yes, heavens door made a belated dylan fan out of me too.



 
 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2014 - 3:37 PM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

I know why jim aint come back on, he started Pat garrett and now hes hooked!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2014 - 4:03 PM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

The DVD set contains two versions of the film and I recommend both without reservation.

One of the top westerns ever made and a brilliant work of art in either version.

 
 Posted:   Jul 7, 2014 - 5:01 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Thanks big Richard for those cogent thoughts. I will add what passes for my analysis once I write the stuff down. I have two versions of PGaBtK to watch, after all.

I'm not surprised at the lack of discussion here aside from those highly-evolved enough to have already contributed their viewpoints on this fascinating film and I thank those who have already done so. If only Peckinpah had thought of Ewoks and droids and had syrupy Williams underscore, then we'd have a real discussion.

 
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