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The Wild Bunch: The Special Edition (2 Discs)

Released on 20 February 2006

Featuring: William Holden, Ernest Borgnine & Robert Ryan

Format: DVD | Rating: 18 years & over

5.0 out of 5 (6 customer reviews) | Write a review

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Nine men who came too late and stayed too long!

The year is 1913, just one year short of World War 1. Disguised as U.S. soldiers, a gang rides into a Texas border town. Silently, they enter and rob the railroad company, but an ambush lies in wait.

When the gang emerges, the company's hired gunmen open fire. Men, women, and children are caught in the crossfire. The gang escape to their hideout in the desert where they find that the loot for which they fought so hard is worthless. With the railroad company hard on their heels, the gang, lead by Pike, head for the apparent safety of the Mexican revolutionaries and representatives of the ruling Government. As a result of these separate meetings, Pike and his gang are forced to re-examine the principles that had, until then, ruled their lives.
  • Suitable for 18 years and over. Not for sale to persons under age 18. By purchasing this product, you declare that you are 18 years of age and over.

Disc 1:

  • Audio commentary by Peckinpah biographers/documentarians Nick Redman, Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons and David Weddle
  • Peckinpah trailer gallery

Disc 2:

  • Never-before-seen The Wild Bunch outtakes (10 mins)
  • 'Sam Peckinpah's West: Legacy Of A Hollywood Renegade' documentary (90 mins)
  • 'The Wild Bunch: An Album In Montage' (34 mins)
  • 'A Simple Adventure Story: Sam Peckinpah, Mexico And The Wild Bunch' featurette (23 mins)

customer Reviews

 Average rating (6 reviews)

 Amongst the best Westerns

| | See all ROYDYBR's reviews (10)

Anyone who has had the opportunity to read my review of "The Searchers" will realise that I have called the John Ford classic the best western ever made, Whilst I stand by that I believe "The Wild Bunch" comes a close second. The story of Pike Bishop and his "bunch" is a story of a West that is dying, The year is 1914 and the world is on the brink of war,The Motor car is king and modern technology is taking over from the horse and cart. This is a world that the wild bunch has trouble understanding. The movie itself is framed by two incredible orgies of violence. The start of the movie begins with an ambush on a railroad payroll where no innocent bystanders are spared and ends with a suicidal bloody battle at Mapache,s camp.
Violence in the Wild bunch is slow and balletic, Blood runs plenty and freely throughout, but to review this movie and only refer to the violence is an insult to the memory of Sam Peckinpah. This is a western that intends to destroy any myths created by the old school westerns, There are no good guys and bad guys, No indians, No morale message, No easy answers and No love interest (Not unless you count Angel's girlfriend who he dispatches without haste midway through the picture) This is a western that is hard through and through, An era when men were men and life was short.
Must see!

 Almost Too Good For Words!

| | See all 47484IKB's reviews (75)

Sam Peckinpah's finest hour is perhaps cinema's as well: a film that is endlessly referred to by those asked about the best opening scene, the best closing scene, the best Western, the best film. Why? Because it's a film that succeeds on every level; as an action film, as a character study, as a critique of the Vietnam War, as a master class in how to make a film.

The story is well enough known now. Aging outlaws, fleeing a verminous posse, retreat to Mexico and become embroiled with a treacherous Mexican general. After the latter captures and tortures the youngest and most idealistic of the Bunch, the remainder explosively redeem themselves in the most exciting gun battle ever committed to film.

The film was groundbreaking upon its initial release, not simply because of its violence, but because of its breathless, hyper-kinetic editing - there are three and a half thousand cuts in the film. And yet in its quieter moments the film exudes a rare warmth, especially in the scene where the Bunch celebrate their success in robbing the munitions train.

But what makes "The Wild Bunch" truly great is the way its themes transcend their Western setting and touch upon every one of us: as we age, do we opt for the quiet life and reach some compromise with the establishment or do we continue in youthful rebelliousness and risk the establishment destroying us?

From the improvised and symbolic opening with sadistic children torturing scorpions to the famous improvised walk at the close of the film, "The Wild Bunch" never loosens its grip on the audience's attention. If any film deserved six stars, it's this one!

 Hollywood's Response To Spaghetti Westerns

| | See all Marnico's reviews (132)

Top 100  Reviewer Top 100 DVD Reviewer

Hot on the heels of the brilliant Leone spaghetti westerns Hollywood went some way to redeeming itself with The Wild Bunch.

Realising that their way of life is coming to an end and tired of being on the run the elderly gang decide to do one last job to retire on. When it goes horribly wrong they flee to Mexico with the railroad Marshals, comprising of deputised "gutter trash" close behind them, they decide to rob guns for a Mexican General.

Top notch cast, William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Warren Oates, Sam Johnson and Edmund O'Brian, giving top class performances, great locations, extremely violent for it's time and Peckinpah's distinctive slow motion shooting style helped make this western one you'll watch again and again.

 peckinpah's violent western classic.

| | See all tyronefordham's reviews (47)

this film's climax set new standards for on screen bloodletting, but the bodycount is just one high scoring element of this classic western. the wild bunch in question is a raggle taggle group of mercenaries, eking out a living in the dying days of the west. they decide to carry out one last heist before they retire stealing weapons for a mexican general but the bounty hunters are always one step behind the old school camaraderie of a gang clinging to notions of honour among thieves and knowing that their days are numbered is contrasted with the chaos of the world around them, as control of the west is put up for grabs. whether orchestrating either the male bonding sessions or the bullet heavy showdowns, director sam peckinpah calls the shots to perfection.

 Stands the test of time

| | See all Moonraker7's reviews (4)

The Wild Bunch is Sam Peckinpahs masterwork. A pure piece of art. It has a richness to it that gives it lasting power. While other films fade or dissappoint when watching again, the Wild Bunch continues to mature like a good port. So many scenes that take the breath away. The carefully managed blowing up of the bridge. One of the great action shots in film history. A truly wonderful cast. The gaunt and ageing Pike Bishop played by an ill William Holden. Robert Ryan in perhaps the greatest role in his long career as the ex gang member. And what a supporting cast of old Peckinpah stalwarts. Ben Johnson ex world rodeo champion, Warren Oates, Ernest Borgnine and a gnarled and unrecogniseable Edmond O'Brien to name just a few. Great actors in their own right. Mexico provides the background as it did in many of Peckinpahs films. The old West is on the way out and it is clear the gang have had their day. As Alan Ladd says to the very bad Jack Palance in Shane before gunning him down. "Your killing days are over." And so it is for the gang. The only difference is they have the choice of how to exit and boy do they take it in the famous finale. It is a simple tale well told as many great stories are from Homer onwards. I have ridden with the bunch a few times now and it gets better each time. Look out for the scene near the end with the dust swirling around a prancing horse and rider through an archway. Beautiful. I recommend you also take a ride with the bunch. You will not be dissappointed. Thanks to film they will thankfully be riding for many years yet and will not age as badly as us.

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ActorsWilliam Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson, Strother Martin, Jaime Sanchez, L.Q. Jones, Bo Hopkins, Dub Taylor, Emilio Fernandez, Paul Harper, Albert Dekker & Edmond O'Brien
DirectorSam Peckinpah
Certificate18 years and over
ScreenWidescreen 2.35:1 Anamorphic
LanguagesEnglish - Dolby Digital (5.1)
Duration2 hours 18 minutes (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.