(David) Sam(uel) Peckinpah Arthur G. Pettit - Essay

Arthur G. Pettit

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

If Peckinpah's sinister outlook is not confined to his Westerns, nevertheless his mordant philosophy has darkened the Western as no one else's has. His violent characters are compelling contributions to the genre. They are also nagging reminders of the pitfalls as well as the profits awaiting those who try to stand the traditional Western on its head. There is a strong current of ambivalence running through Peckinpah's work, a feeling that he remains trapped in his own uncertainties about the exact properties and consequences of the New West he has created. For all the blood, dirt and obscenity that mark Peckinpah's films, his Westerns contain large doses of romanticism mixed with the realism. By self-admission he is...

(The entire section is 966 words.)