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     " The Wild Bunch is, without a doubt, the greatest Western ever filmed- and in many circles is considered the greatest American film of all time. "

      Title: The Wild Bunch by Warner Bros.

      Format: DVD Action

      Reviewing Monkey: David Lambert

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Story and Acting: The story in "The Wild Bunch" is loosely based on Butch Cassidy's "The Hole in the Wall Gang", but takes it into territories never before explored in the large pantheon of Western films. The basic plot is a clothesline for complex ruminations on violence, masculinity, and honor, all the while delivering an exciting, tough-as-nails adventure film. Likewise, the acting is top-notch with every actor giving the performance of his life. William Holden has never been better than he is here (and that's saying a lot!) as Pike Bishop, the old and downtrodden leader of the gang. Ernest Borgnine, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson, Jaime Sanchez, Emilio Fernandez, Edmond O'Brien, L.Q. Jones, and Strother Martin all embody their roles to a point where their acting isn't even visible. They ARE these characters. However, the best performance of the film belongs to Robert Ryan as Deke Thornton, the tortured former member of the gang that is being forced to hunt down his best friend. It may be the best performance in any Western ever made. 5 out of 5

      Visuals and Directing: The direction of "The Wild Bunch" is unsurpassed. It stands as Sam Peckinpah's crowning achievement in a career chock full of masterpieces (including "Ride the High Country", "Straw Dogs", "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid", "Cross of Iron" and "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia"). The action sequences are the best ever shot, due to the revolutionary editing by Lou Lombardo and Peckinpah. What is the most striking, however, are the quiet scenes. They're masterfully handled and surprisingly heartfelt for such a hard-core, bad-ass film. 5 out of 5

      DVD Extras: The DVD was one of the first ever produced and, therefore, the technology for dual-layered discs was not available. This results in a DVD that must be flipped halfway through the duration of the film. This is a slight annoyance, but you won't complain once you see the pristine Widescreen print of the Director's Cut. There's a great Oscar-nominated documentary on the making of the film that is a must-see for any fan of the film. 3 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       The Wild Bunch is, without a doubt, the greatest Western ever filmed- and in many circles is considered the greatest American film of all time. After seeing a movie as complex, thought-provoking, brutally-honest and (above all) entertaining as "The Wild Bunch" it's hard to disagree.

      The Good: Great story, killer action, and an amazing cast.

      The Bad: Old DVD technology leaves you wanting.

      The Overall Ugly: An absolutely amazing film.

      What it's Worth: It's worth every penny you got, but you can pick it for about 15 bucks on DVD

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