“Nobody loses all the time!”
An American bartender and his prostitute girlfriend go on a road trip through the Mexican underworld to collect a $1 million bounty on the severed head of a dead gigolo.
Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia was dismissed by many upon release as “a sub par blood bath” and was a failure at the box office, but today the film has been reconsidered as one of the greatest films of the 1970’s. Similarly, Hollywood maverick director, Sam Peckinpah, once marginalised and referred to as “Bloody Sam” for his penchant for violence, has been reassessed and has now be given his due, not only as the father of the modern action film, but as a truly great American storyteller. Peckinpah was the continuation of the tradition of American filmmakers like John Ford, Howard Hawks, John Huston, Samuel Fuller and Raoul Walsh, – who’s films were gripped by the exploration of the conflict that exists between the ideals of an individual and the corruption and violence of human society. These were uncompromising filmmakers who were often were in conflict with the studio system for their passionate defense of their raw-boned artistic visions. Standing as the bridge from “Old” Hollywood to the modern American cinema of directors like Quentin Tarrantino, Peckinpah has emerged one of the most influential filmmakers ever. Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia was the most personal of Peckinpah’s films and the only one he ever considered completely his own. Here Peckinpah’s eccentric vision produces a work of art that is equal parts grungy crime thriller, existential road movie, blood-soaked love poem and heart-felt lament to a dying world where an individual is free to live on their own terms. Western icon Warren Oates, based his flawless performance of Bennie, the film’s tequila soaked anti-hero, squarely on the identity of Peckinpah himself – right down to wearing the director’s sunglasses in almost every scene. Inhabited by the haunted spirit of Peckinpah, Oates’ gives a completely engrossing portrayal of a man who has lost everything, knows he cannot possibly win, but is still driven maniacally onward to some wild, wild end.
Scratch beneath it’s grimy surface and you’ll find a work of genius.