Sunday, November 29, 2015

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

Director: Sam Peckinpah

Writers: Frank Kowalski, Sam Peckinpah, Gordon T. Dawson

Composer: Jerry Fielding

Starring: Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Robert Webber, Gig Young, Helmut Dantine, Emilio Fernandez, Kris Kristofferson, Chano Urueta, Donnie Fritts, Jorge Russek, Chalo Gonzalez, Don Levy

More info: IMDb

Tagline: It's got guts!

Plot: An American barroom piano player and his prostitute girlfriend go on a road trip through the Mexican underworld to collect a $1 million bounty on the head of Alefredo Garcia.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

This is the third time I've seen this and with every view I think I'm not going to watch it again until the final act where the shit hits the fan and it gets damn good (for the last 45 minutes).  Once that even sets off Bennie (Oates), he's unstoppable and we get to see a grittier side of him than we've known so far.  It's REALLY good.  Before that the story moves along nicely I suppose but it's almost meandering around the obvious plot point of Bennie and the title of the picture.  Of course there's more to it than that and his relationship with Elita and Bennie's finding his place in life is the central part of the story...but that ending...oh, boy!  It's not your average road picture, that's for sure.  I LOVE the gringo bounty hunters/assassins that are also out for Garcia's head and who push Bennie further into his abyss.  The first time I watched this I was really struck by Elita's actions concerning the "rape" scene with the two bikers.  It really made me uncomfortable and it gives her character some added depth and maturity that you don't see in films.  I really dig a lot of Peckinpah's work.  He was a rough around the edges dude but he also made some mature, rough around the edges films that will stand the test of time.  The MGM DVD has a great looking anamorphic widescreen print. The only extras you get are a trailer (anamorphic wide) and a commentary track with Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons, Weddle and moderator Nick Redman.  Now where's the Blu-ray for this?  Peckinpah deserves a nice Blu box set.  Hell, he only directed 14 pictures and half of them are classics.

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