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BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
1974, MGM Repertory, 112 min, USA, Dir: Sam Peckinpah

Director Sam Peckinpah’s macabre shaggy-dog story rises to the status of existential masterpiece before the last frame unspools. A ruthless land baron (Emilio Fernandez) offers a huge bounty to find Alfredo Garcia, the father of his daughter’s unborn child. Piano-playing, expatriate loser Bennie (Warren Oates in one of his finest roles) shambles through the hellish backwater villages of rural Mexico on the hunt for "easy" money, a deadly pilgrimage that could jeopardize Bennie’s one real chance at happiness - the love of his loyal, prostitute girlfriend Elita (Isela Vega). Look for the incomparable Robert Webber and Gig Young as the poker-faced killers tailing Bennie.


RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY
1962, Warner Bros., 94 min, USA, Dir: Sam Peckinpah

Peckinpah’s first uncontested masterpiece is this elegiac portrait of the end of the Wild West, embodied in the form of two aging friends (unforgettably portrayed by Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea) with very different agendas, who are hired to guard a shipment of gold. Lucien Ballard’s cinematography was never better, capturing the untainted splendor of the high mountains and the bone-weary sadness of two men nearing the end of their lives’ trails. With Mariette Hartley, Ronald Starr.


PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID
1973, Warner Bros., 122 min, USA, Dir: Sam Peckinpah

Director Sam Peckinpah’s take on the famous outlaw’s rise and fall is nothing less than magnificent - a sprawling, plaintive, achingly exquisite reflection on loss of all kinds. Billy (Kris Kristofferson) and his loose-knit gang (among them Bob Dylan, who also supplied the beautiful score) butt heads with cattle industry interests devouring the countryside, something that steers them onto a collision course with old comrade and new sheriff, Pat Garrett (James Coburn). Watch for the "Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door" sequence with Sheriff Baker (Slim Pickens) and his wife (Katy Jurado), one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful women in the history of Western cinema. With Harry Dean Stanton, R.G. Armstrong, Donnie Fritts, L.Q. Jones.


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