Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Wild Bunch

Recommended viewing.

I recently watched Sam Peckinpah's beautifully violent 1969 Western classic, The Wild Bunch, starring William Holden, Robert Ryan, and everyone's favorite typically Celto-Germanic Nordic Northern Italian Ernest Borgnine.

From a racial and cultural perspective, there are some interesting features to this film: Mexican mestizo incompetence and savagery, a contrast between those deficits of mestizo character and better qualities exhibited by (relatively) unmixed Amerindians (which readers of Stoddard's The Rising Tide of Color may remember as one defining characteristic of "Red Man's Land")*, White competence and honor, the sexual allure of colored women even to otherwise honorable White men, and a hilariously satisfying Thermopylae-like shootout ending.

Definitely worth watching.

*Granted, the dividing line between mestizo and Amerindian was not always clear for every character (e.g., General Mapache), but, overall, the contrast, on a group level, between Mexican mestizo troops, whores, and villagers and (more unmixed) Amerindian fighters was one (subtle) theme of this film.