AFI #79: The Wild Bunch

I like a good western as much as the next guy, in fact I count several among my all-time favorites (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Magnificent Seven for example). The fact that The Wild Bunch made the top 100 plus the DVD case said it was one of the best westerns ever made, I was expecting to really enjoy the film. So much for hype. I got about 35 minutes into the film and couldn’t take it any more…

I think there is something about the late 60s and film making that I just don’t get. I think directors like Sam Peckinpah and Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider which I really disliked) were either stoned or simply trying too hard to be different that they forgot about the fact that films still need a story to be interesting. The Wild Bunch was so slow and the acting was so over-the-top Western camp that it hurt to watch. I’m sure this film was considered “different” when it came out because it wasn’t a John Wayne/Gary Cooper type western, but it was just flat out dull.

Next: Modern Times


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