Sam Peckinpah

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Lighthouse
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 11:12 am

Re: Sam Peckinpah

#101 Post by Lighthouse » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:45 pm

Props55 wrote:The TV version is yet another animal and yes it does contain at least one long scene (and many odd shots) that are not in any other version. Prepared by CBS Television for network broadcast around 1976-7 it has apparently dissapeared from the face of the earth. I have an audio cassette recorded off air and about a page and a half of detailed notes from a local affiliate broadcast. Perhaps I could post them here or on a more specific thread if there is any interest.
Yes, please ...

Are you sure about this long scene not in any other version?

Props55
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:55 am

Re: Sam Peckinpah

#102 Post by Props55 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:16 pm

The scene I'm refering to is not the one with Garrett and his wife (Aurora Clavel), the Chisum (Barry Sullivan) scene or the "long" version of Garrett and the coffinmaker (Peckinpah) but a rather long meandering courtship scene between Billy and Maria (Rita Coolidge) from early in the film. It runs thusly: Billy spies Maria returning home with a basket of fresh laundry and tries to strike up a conversation with her. She rebuffs his advances and as they walk a crowd of children begin to follow and heckle Billy's lack of success. He plays to his young audience and when a stray article of clothing drops from Maria's basket as she slips inside he holds it up for them to see and raps on the door indicating that he will finally get her to acknowledge him. Instead an old wrinkled woman answers the knock, snatches the clothing and slams the door in his face. The children howl with derisive laughter and Billy shrugs and walks away. It's of no plot consequence and was undoubtedly an inprovised bit of atmosphere but then much of the film consists of such scenes.

I've never seen this 2+ minute scene in any version other than that prepared for CBS and which was available in syndication packages for several years thereafter.

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Lighthouse
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#103 Post by Lighthouse » Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:34 am

Thanks, that is the only of the then missing scenes which Paul Seydor described in his Peckinpah: The Western Films book which was not in the long version. So he obviously watched it in those re-cut TV version.
And surely not a scene the film needs, but I would have likeed to see it as a bonus on the DVD. Maybe VHS recordings exist if it was still aired in the 80s.

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Lighthouse
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#104 Post by Lighthouse » Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:07 am

I'm most likely in the minority by preferring the Seydor cut of PG&BtK to the so-called Turner version.

The 2 biggest mistakes Seydor made was to restore the theatrical credits, instead of using the preview credits, and not to return for the end credits to the 1909 framing shots, which are there to close the circle. And the whole film is in it's episodical structure about circles.

These are the 2 decisions nobody else would have done besides Seydor.

His best decisions were the earlier presenting of the raft scene in the film's narrative and the including of the Knocking on Heaven's door lyrics, both like it was done in the 73 cut.
All the other changes are debatable for me.

I also think that some of the violence wasn't cut in the way Peckinpah has done this before. But Seydor hasn't tried to change it. An example is the Billy and Alias shooting of Chisum's men after the turkey chase. Here several slo mo shots are presented as a whole, whereas Peckinpah had them mostly (always?) intercut with other shots.

I had seen for many years only the theatrical version, and it was always Peckinpah's second masterpiece for me. Due to it's episodical structure the film wasn't as damaged as Major Dundee (still is) and the shorter versions of the Wild Bunch. It wasn't as complex as the longer versions, but PG&BtK already worked in this version. And you could see what it was about, you only had to look a bit closer.

When I first saw the Turner cut I was a bit disappointed as the film had, apart from the new opening scene, not improved as much as I had it expected. I still think the pacing of the Turner cut is not good, and that's why I prefer the Seydor version. Even if some beautiful moments are gone, the film leaves a much greater impact. But if you watch the deleted scenes on DVDs you always will find a lot of beautiful shots and scenes, and I often don't understand why some of those were cut. But to cut films to make them work often also means to get rid of some pretty good material.

I would cut some of the violence different, I would use of course the preview credits and the preview ending, and I would put some minor pieces back to the Seydor cut.
Then it would be the perfect version for me.

MojaveEast
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:41 pm

Re: Sam Peckinpah

#105 Post by MojaveEast » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:56 pm

Don't know if this has been posted. If so sorry; if not I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

"Noon Wine" 1966.

http://vimeo.com/46204523" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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hearthesilence
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#106 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:14 am

Anyone going to Lincoln Center's retrospective this weekend and coming week? Looks good. Apparently they're also screening the Turner preview cut of Pat Garrett if that running time is to be believed. I always wondered what it looked projected as the DVD mastering definitely looks inferior to the 2005 cut that's included in the same package - I'm guessing the 2005 cut used the OCN whereas the preview cut originates from the print Peckinpah had? The preview cut is still the one to watch, but I have to say the film is still frustrating to me - pretty uneven, but what's best about it is flat out great. The death scene by the river? Whew. The film is studded with great moments and some great scenes - I just wished it all came together for me.

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Drucker
Your Future our Drucker
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#107 Post by Drucker » Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:35 am

Rough pass for me on all of these. As much as I'd love to see Pat Garrett and Killer Elite, and maybe even prints of the other films I already know, the scheduling in this retrospective is bizarre. Almost no weeknight evening screenings, so I can't go after work.

beamish13
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#108 Post by beamish13 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:01 am

I saw the Turner cut in 35mm a few years ago with Paul Seydor and Charles Martin Smith in person. It looked fabulous-try not to miss that!
I've always felt that iteration of the film is just about perfect.

Would love to see the underrated Osterman Weekend and Cross of Iron in a theatre.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#109 Post by hearthesilence » Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:30 pm

I managed to catch Alfredo Garcia, and they had an interesting program note: it was supposedly the only 35mm print they could find that anyone would allow them to screen. The projectionist noted that it was "grindhouse quality" with good color, and that was about right - it definitely had that quality, very granular but in a softer way, with a softer palette (maybe a touch faded?) and little knicks and scratches all over the place. Very fitting.

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ando
Bringing Out El Duende
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#110 Post by ando » Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:02 pm

Pat Garrett on Sunday Night - if it's not already sold out. :|

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DeprongMori
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#111 Post by DeprongMori » Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:01 pm

Re: Passion And Poetry: The Ballad of Sam Peckinpah - New documentary on DVD

The documentarian's website appears to be long gone, but he's offering it on eBay these days for about $15.00 (after currency conversion) including shipping. I've certainly enjoyed the excepts I've seen on the various Peckinpah DVD/Blu releases, so looking forward to this. (His eBay store is "on vacation" at the moment, but appears to be still active.)

MongooseCmr
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#112 Post by MongooseCmr » Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:47 am

Props55 wrote:The "2005 Cut" is a version that attempts to blend elements from the original theatrical and "Turner/Director's Cut" into a form that most approaches Peckinipah's intentions. With all due respect to Paul Seydor, his exhaustive research into Peckinpah's career, his marvelous book(s) and many articles and his skill as a film editor, IMHO this cut is as rife with suppositions, conjecture, miscalculations and plain wrongheaded personal opinions as the 1998 version of Welles' TOUCH OF EVIL. In fact I think it moreso.
Reading about Seydor's cuts from the film right after watching it made my skin crawl. It's one thing to try and reconstruct a film and assume how to edit it, but to just remove whole scenes and lines seems narcissistic at best. Hopefully whoever can puts this out on Blu in the future promotes the 88 cut over the 2005, if they even can. Some lines he cut do sound worth removing but that was Peckinpah's mistake to make

Raymond Marble
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#113 Post by Raymond Marble » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:51 pm

If you've ever wondered what Peckinpah would tell a 5th grader who asked him if he believed in God, you can find your answer here.

(These letters are in alphabetical order, so you have to do a fair amount of scrolling down to get to Mr. Peckinpah's. On the plus side, as you're doing this you'll find yourself going past Terrence Malick's answer to the same question, alongside many others.)

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swo17
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#114 Post by swo17 » Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:49 pm

I read a bunch of those answers and Peckinpah's was easily the best. I take it this is from the book The God Letters?

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colinr0380
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#115 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:16 pm

Of course everyone now knows that God appears to Terrence Malick in the form of many enigmatically beautiful women (or Colin Farrell) who mysteriously arrive, and then just as mysteriously disappear again! (And who wouldn't want to live in such a universe?)

Raymond Marble
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#116 Post by Raymond Marble » Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:14 pm

swo17 wrote:I read a bunch of those answers and Peckinpah's was easily the best. I take it this is from the book The God Letters?
Yeah, they're auctioning off the original letters that went into the making of The God Letters, including ones where permission wasn't granted to use them in the book. The full auction is here, and you'll note from that link you can get to PDFs of letter answerers whose last name does not fall in that L-Q range like what my previous post contained. Another particularly amusing response is from Kenneth Anger: "I'm kinda curious how someone so young could know my work in movies well enough to 'respect', but I'll take you at your word." Bonus that Robert Altman is directly above Anger's.

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Drucker
Your Future our Drucker
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#117 Post by Drucker » Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:07 pm

Ooo boy just watched The Killer Elite for the first time and good lord don't even know where to begin with what a mess this film is. An opening scene with an explosion, no suspense, and seemingly the most low-stakes "twist" I've seen in a Peckinpah film. After we get past James Caan recovering from injuries for what seems like forever, we get a total nonsensical plot that is impossible to follow that I'd fail to attempt to explain if I tried. Even if the plot made sense, there is absolutely no chemistry between Caan and Duvall, no feelings for their characters, and no investment in the stakes of the film. If Cable Hogue is an at least interesting and unique mess, this one is just kind of boring, with maybe 10 minutes of Peckinpah-type action scenes thrown in.

Also James Caan has sex early on establishing that he's a ladies man. Then it's never brought up ever again, except he's occasionally a sex creep, and then someone he is protecting says "I'm a virgin" and he says "I don't give a shit." It's not a great film.

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#118 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:01 am

I watched Ride The High Country for the first time and was surprised at kind of how woke it was, at least for 1962. The female lead is put into a typical damsel-in-distress-type situation but the way we see the environment surrounding her before and after the wedding feels uniquely insular to her experience, for the time.

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Big Ben
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#119 Post by Big Ben » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:23 am

Peckinpah was kind of weird in the sense you could have sequences that are very much not progressive (A certain scene in Straw Dogs comes to mind.) and then you'd have something like Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia where a woman not only dismantles her attacker's assault but you have the male character coming in after this and killing him not to save her but to satisfy his own masculine ego. His films are fascinating to look at because in a lot of ways he was very socially conscious but in other ways he was not.

He's still a bit of a minor celebrity here in Montana as they'll tell you all about his five year long residency out in Livingston. It's a depressing talk though as they speak about the enormous amounts of alcohol he drank to the point it was evident he wasn't doing it to have a good night out. A fascinating, flawed man.

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whaleallright
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#120 Post by whaleallright » Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:14 am

Stephen Prince's book on Peckinpah is very good on Peckinpah's complex and contradictory politics, including sexual politics.

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#121 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:45 pm

The Ballad of Cable Hogue benefits from Jason Robards expanding on the kind of lead in a Western that was hinted at in Once Upon A Time In The West, a rough-and-tumble rogue who's sharper edges are softened as time goes by. It suffers a little in some of the choices, particularly the songs and specifically the overcranked goofy stuff that felt more at home with Disney movies than in Peckinpah's old west.

The Wild Bunch is still a masterpiece from start to finish, a real transference from the old ways of that kind of film-making to something more contemporary and relatable.

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