(David) Sam(uel) Peckinpah Stephen Farber - Essay

Stephen Farber

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Ride the High Country was a sensitive, modest film, but Peckinpah has aimed much higher this time. The Wild Bunch is not a minor film; it's a sprawling, spectacular, ambitious, wilfully controversial picture, an assault on [an] audience's senses and emotions, an aggressive bid for the spotlight. Fortunately, the film deserves the spotlight. Its first impression is literally over-powering; The Wild Bunch is much more dazzling than Ride the High Country, but it loses some of the reflective qualities that made Peckinpah's early film so quietly memorable. There were stark images of violence in Ride the High Country too, but violence is the subject and the controlling passing of The...

(The entire section is 1315 words.)