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Old 24-08-2004, 16:38   #1
mr_woo
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Sam Peckinpah - Best dvd releases of his films ?

Been meaning to get myself Peckinpahs movies on dvd (well what there is available) and was wondering which are the best versions out there on dvd ?

I keep hearing about a supposed Peckinpah boxset with remastered dvds of his films but it seems nothing like whispers at the minute That's the only reason I haven't bought any so far but i'm starting to waver!

The one dvd I am really interested in is the korean dvd of Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia which was released by MGM in South Korea. Anyone got it and can tell what its quality is like ?

It's only $12 for koreandvds.com (very reliable company so if the dvd is good will get it from there )

http://www.koreandvds.com/dvddetail.html?id=13924

I suspect it will be the same as any R1 which will be eventually released unless MGM buck up there ideas and actually release a boxset!

Anymore Peckinpah films or discussion would be greatly appreciated, I have always adored Peckinpahs style (especially Wild Bunch and The Getaway) and would love to get all his movies eventually on dvd )
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Old 24-08-2004, 16:54   #2
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Check out this thread and this one and this post

As for the rumoured box Warners have already said publicly this year: "Look forward to a major Peckinpah promotion from us including CABLE HOGUE, RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY and PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID next year."

Warners have already hinted that The Wild Bunch will get the 2-disc SE treatment. I also hear (vague) rumours of similar treatment for The Getaway. Meanwhile if you can still get the Criterion Straw Dogs from anywhere do so, the R2 Cross of Iron is decent though it could be bettered, the R1 of Junior Bonner is non-anamorphic but the PQ is excellent and there's a great commentary track. Anchor Bay's The Osterman Weekend (R1 or R2) is also a great set. Mike Sutton - who will probably pop along here - has done some fabulous reviews of Peckinpah discs for DVD Times; check them out.
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Old 24-08-2004, 17:01   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hodson
Check out this thread and this one and this post

As for the rumoured box Warners have already said publicly this year: "Look forward to a major Peckinpah promotion from us including CABLE HOGUE, RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY and PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID next year."

Warners have already hinted that The Wild Bunch will get the 2-disc SE treatment. I also hear (vague) rumours of similar treatment for The Getaway. Meanwhile if you can still get the Criterion Straw Dogs from anywhere do so, the R2 Cross of Iron is decent though it could be bettered, the R1 of Junior Bonner is non-anamorphic but the PQ is excellent and there's a great commentary track. Anchor Bay's The Osterman Weekend (R1 or R2) is also a great set. Mike Sutton - who will probably pop along here - has done some fabulous reviews of Peckinpah discs for DVD Times; check them out.


Excellent John, some wonderful information there in just one post!

I fully expect Mr Sutton to appear as i know he's a major Peckinpah fan


EDIT - Just noticed myself that I actually posted in the first thread and I still didn't buy that dvd yet!
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Old 24-08-2004, 18:46   #4
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You forgot to mention Convoy...

...or perhaps not...
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Old 24-08-2004, 18:52   #5
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I've just ordered the korean .... alfredo

it's been on my 'to order' list for ages, and this thread was the final trigger
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Old 24-08-2004, 19:23   #6
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Can't add much to what John has said.

"The Wild Bunch" is currently very disappointing and it's probably worth holding out for a better release.

The MGM R1 "Junior Bonner" is very good indeed but avoid the cheap R2 like the plague because it's p&s and renders the film impossible to watch.

The Criterion of "Straw Dogs" has a good transfer and extras, notably the excellent 1991 BBC documentary "Man of Iron". The R2 has an inferior transfer but a smashing commentary track and a great selection of production notes. I've got both and I think it's worth double-dipping if you can.

"The Getaway" is fine as far as it goes but it could be a lot better. It's available as part of a 3 disc set along with "Bullitt" and "Towering Inferno" for £17.99 which is a pretty good collection to be going on with.

The R3 "Alfredo Garcia" was reviewed at DVD Beaver. It's a reasonably good transfer, along the lines of most of the better MGM back catalogue releases. I can't imagine it will be long before this masterpiece gets the R1 and UK R2 treatment though. I'm waiting but I don't quite know why.

"The Killer Elite" is an MGM R1 and R2 release. The R2 is mediocre but worth considering for the widescreen transfer and the cheap price.

"Cross Of Iron" is adequate on R2 and, again, is pretty cheap. I can't see this getting a better re-release any time soon.

"Convoy" is slightly cut on UK R2 and is available uncut on a French disc, so I believe.

"The Osterman Weekend" is a great Anchor Bay disc which is only let down by a pretty horrible collection of soundtrack remixes. The extras are almost certainly exhaustive and, for once, they really do add to an appreciation of the film.

My Peckinpah wishlist includes:

A proper SE of "The Wild Bunch" which places it in its proper context as one of the great American films. Anamorphic with, crucially, both original mono and remixed 5.1 for those who want it. Plenty of opportunity for extras - perhaps another release of "Man of Iron" for those who missed the SD Criterion, the "Album In Montage" documentary, commentary from Ernest Borgnine and L.Q.Jones (is he alive?), isolated score, selection of contemporary reviews, etc.etc...

"Ballad of Cable Hogue" in Scope. Never seen it in the full 2.35:1 ratio and I would love to.

A 3 disc set of "Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid", including both the theatrical and 'directors' cuts of the film - they're so different that they might as well be different films. Also a commentary track from Kristofferson, who knew Peckinpah very well, and the bonus footage which has been handed around between collectors including a long scene between Garrett and his wife (which I've only seen on a ropey VHS). Isolated score would be nice too. Given the circumstances of both production and re-editing, there's a great documentary to be made here.

"Ride The High Country" widescreen and in one of those Warners transfers which make the films look like the fields of heaven.

A decent DVD transfer of "The Deadly Companions". Not a great film but still quite interesting.

DVD releases of the whole run of "The Westerner" and his brilliant 1967 TV film of Katherine Ann Porter's "Noon Wine".

Any release of his TV interviews for programmes like "Film Night" and "Arena Cinema". Rumour has it that he appeared on an ITV Russell Harty show in the 1970s but I can't find anyone to confirm this.

The full Peckinpah cut of "Major Dundee". Erm, this one might be a little more difficult to come by but Charlton Heston, for all his faults, is a tireless supporter of this film and maybe he can... well, we can dream.
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Old 24-08-2004, 20:38   #7
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Heston is so senile now he probably thinks he is Major Dundee so I wouldn't bet on him being too proactive...

Cross of Iron, for me, is Peckinpah's masterpiece: others may cite Alfredo Garcia or Pat Garrett but this just seems to rarify everything I like about Peckinpah (and exclude most of the things I dislike) into a consistently audacious, violent-yet-anti-violence brick-to-the-head war movie. And I love Coburn more than any other Peckinpah lead (including Oates).

I have to say I'm not the biggest exponent of Westerns that God has ever seen fit to deposit on this Earth, so that probably accounts for CoI being my fav...

...more than anything else (which is saying a lot since I love it all) I *love* the ending. And (legendarily) that it was made up on the spot is all the more stupendous...

I don't need extras: I'm happy with the decent, anamorphic R2...

I had the opportunity to pick up the Criterion Straw Dogs for less than a fiver once and, unlike some people who instantly cry "Make Mine Criterion" I left it because I owned the R2 and have owned some duff Crits in my time (Flesh for Frankenstein/Blood For Dracula). I regret it now but I'm of a mind that if I start buying multiple versions of discs (and I do own some) they'll be no end to my depravity and no apex to my spending...
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Old 24-08-2004, 20:58   #8
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Just ordered Straw Dogs Criterion from DVD Pacific, been meaning to for ages.
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Old 24-08-2004, 21:09   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anephric
I have to say I'm not the biggest exponent of Westerns that God has ever seen fit to deposit on this Earth, so that probably accounts for CoI being my fav...
Did someone mention sacrilege? The great westerns are simply great movies; the themes Peckinpah explored in Cross of Iron he had visited before, but never better than in The Wild Bunch. One is a western, one is a war movie, but they are both so much more than that.

All great movies transcend efforts to pigeonhole them surely? I recall a poll here some tme ago of people's favourite genres, and westerns were bottom of the list by a long, long way. I was horrified. If it had been teen slashers I could've understood it...
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Old 24-08-2004, 21:38   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccparkhill
Just ordered Straw Dogs Criterion from DVD Pacific, been meaning to for ages.
You're in for a treat - it has one of the best transfers I've ever seen. I picked up my copy back when it was announced it was going out of print, and I'm very glad I did.
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Old 25-08-2004, 08:37   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hodson
Did someone mention sacrilege? The great westerns are simply great movies; the themes Peckinpah explored in Cross of Iron he had visited before, but never better than in The Wild Bunch. One is a western, one is a war movie, but they are both so much more than that.

All great movies transcend efforts to pigeonhole them surely? I recall a poll here some tme ago of people's favourite genres, and westerns were bottom of the list by a long, long way. I was horrified. If it had been teen slashers I could've understood it...
Semiotics sometimes become obfuscative (for me anyway): I admit I have no great love of the "classic" Westerns (you can start basting me up in anticipation of that roasting) "a man alone", "figures in a landscape" and all that macho horsedung (sorry!): I can see why people do enjoy it and the inimitable Americana of the whole thing but I've never found it appealing (and I would argue that many Westerns are intrinsically that - Westerns, in that they deal with specifically American things pivotal to their history (and distort them in a Classical Hollywood kinda way))... I have no great love of watching Native Americans being endlessly massacred by cavalrymen and seeing genocide being played out ad absurdem (in Technicolour). I can't extricate the politics from the "cinema" and the beautiful (and often unpleasantly sentimental) use of cinema (She Wore a Yellow Ribbon). (By "unpleasant" I mean seeming to pine for a lost age of when men were men, women knew their place and injuns were there to get shot at...). I admit films like SWaYR have an ineffable charm to them, a wistful and almost irrefutable sense of classicism that lures you in: Wayne at the height of his cinegetic charisma, Ford at the height of his monumental powers of imagery...

...I do, however, find "revisionist" (and oh how the puritan despises that genre) Westerns appealing (although I fully realise they can be "over" revisionistic and apologist): Buffalo Bill and the Indians springs to mind, as does Soldier Blue (not a great film, but interesting), Walter Hill's Geronimo and Wild Bill, Little Big Man, The Long Riders (admittedly a poor shadow of Peckinpah) Wyatt Earp, A Man Called Horse, the pioneering Run of the Arrow... (I skip over Dances With Wolves as it makes me feel nauseous)

...I'm also fond of "Death of the Epoch of the West" themes as personified by The Wild Bunch and Once Upon a Time in the West. Again, I realise without the formative classic Westerns and their values, there can be no revisionist cinema and there can be no elegiac Westerns...

Meh. I am a heretic. I do have reasons tho. As long as I'm not subjected to any kind of "holy enema" (a la The Devils) I don't mind.


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Old 25-08-2004, 08:57   #12
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We aren't that far apart then (well, it's not quite a yawning chasm...)
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Old 25-08-2004, 09:09   #13
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Monument Valley?
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Old 25-08-2004, 11:52   #14
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Add to the above: The Osterman Weekend R1 is the one to get, as it contains the Original Mono soundtrack unlike the r2 which ONLY has the hideous remixed added bleeps and blops one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
"Ballad of Cable Hogue" in Scope. Never seen it in the full 2.35:1 ratio and I would love to.
Is my mind playing tricks on me or was The Ballad Of Cable Hogue not shot flat?! (1.85:1)
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Old 25-08-2004, 13:49   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garry Cowell
Add to the above: The Osterman Weekend R1 is the one to get, as it contains the Original Mono soundtrack unlike the r2 which ONLY has the hideous remixed added bleeps and blops one.
Garry's quite right; that's why I bought the R1 in the first place (and that's me ticked off )
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Old 26-08-2004, 12:16   #16
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And we are STILL waiting for a DVD release of Ride The High Country/Guns In The Afternoon. That film gets better each time I watch it.
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Old 31-08-2004, 10:21   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilsly
I've just ordered the korean .... alfredo

it's been on my 'to order' list for ages, and this thread was the final trigger

arrived today

not bad at all to say there was a weekend and a bank holiday in the middle of the ordering period.
worked out at £9 delivered, which is an extremely good price, and I can't see a r2 being any cheaper (at least until it turned up in the inevitable MGM sales)

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Old 01-09-2004, 23:36   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
The full Peckinpah cut of "Major Dundee". Erm, this one might be a little more difficult to come by but Charlton Heston, for all his faults, is a tireless supporter of this film and maybe he can... well, we can dream.
Hugely under rated movie (IMO), even in it's released form. Despite the obvious script problems it remains one of the most vivid and exciting westerns ever filmed. Does anyone know the availability of the deleted material? I remember reading that Columbia offered Peckinpah the oportunity to reinstate it in the early 70's but he declined (perhaps rightly) believing that the film was of more use to his reputation in it's current state (ie it's failiure wasn't his fault).

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Old 06-09-2004, 13:10   #19
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My Criterion Straw Dogs arrived from DVD Pacific this morning. I thought I'd posted here to agree with ccparkhill about ordering it, but I guess my post never made it onto the forum.

Lovely packaging, can't say much more yet because I'm at work. This will replace the older bare bones copy I've got, but I might need to get the region 2 for the extra commentary.
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Old 06-09-2004, 13:44   #20
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Out of stock at DVD Pacific now and almost everywhere else, glad I picked it up when I did, cheers to the OP for reminding me

Surprised it was a double amaray, are Criterion still using these?
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Bring Me the Head of Alfredo, Convoy, Cross of Iron, Junior Bonner, Major Dundee, Noon Wine, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Ride the High Country, Sam Peckinpah, Straw Dogs, The Ballad of Cable Hogue, The Deadly Companions, The Getaway, The Killer Elite, The Wild Bunch

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