I've seen this one a number of times, and visitors know I am a big Peckinpah fan...and was excited for Stagg to see this one for the first time. I like this movie more each time I see it, and yesterday again held fast. A tough uncompromising script that is shockingly violent even for today and very very funny. Peckinpah said this was the only film he managed to release that was true to his vision...he made it for almost no money after the box office and critical failure of Pat Garret and Billy The Kid (a terrific anti-farming movie.) Warren Oattes said he played Peckinpah in this movie: his sad desperate easygoingness to make easy money within forces greater than he can know pulls the viewers sympathy. This story might be a metaphor for political corruption? For film making? It probably is both, but it's also such damn good acting and an oddly compassionate loser makes us hope maybe...just maybe the rich might not really be running the world...that maybe...totalitarianism will not always win...like I said, maybe.
The soundtrack is brilliant by Jerry Fielding who worked on several of Peckinpah's films. You can check out one track if you read carefully, here called On The Road.
So many directors owe big time to Peckinpah, and this movie shows the history and influence on John Woo, Quentin Tarantino and David Lynch. Last year when I saw Three Burials I couldn't avoid seeing the homage to this classic: a very offbeat "buddy film" between a has-been/never-could-be and a corpse.
Although BMTHOAG died in theatres, and had only a cult following from others like me...there was a visionary who appreciated this work: August 1974 review by Roger Ebert"we like him because he's suffered so much more than we ever will (we hope) that no matter what horrors he goes through, or inflicts, we still care about him.
Bennie is a bartender and plays a little piano, and he hears about the head of Alfredo Garcia from a couple of bounty hunters who pass through his saloon. They're played, by the way, by the unlikely team of Gig Young and Robert Webber, who between them define dissipation. "