Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Wild Bunch

Last night, for the dozenth time, watched that great classic, The Wild Bunch. 

Starring William Holden, Robert Ryan, and Ernest Borgnine, I think the movie can truly be called, The Last Great Western. I say this not because there were no more good cowboy-type shoot-em-ups made after this Sam Peckinpah opus of 1969 (Tombstone comes to mind), but because the film takes place when the Wild West was winding down in American history. There is a "horseless carriage" in the movie; mention is made of "one of these things with wings that can fly;" the Mexican Revolution of 1913 forms a back drop of the film. Won't get into the plot. Will mention some actors. As good as Holden, Ryan, and Borgnine are--and they are superb--the three are pretty much overshadowed by the supporting cast. Dub Taylor as the gnarly prohibitionist preacher; Ben Johnson and Warren Oats as the brothers and gang members, "Tector and Lyle Gorch (above, two on the left)." Struther Martin and his motley crew as the ragged and ghoulish bounty hunters. But the best support of all comes from Emilio Fernandez as the greasy Mexican general, "Mapache." One can hardly take their eyes off this drunken, dangerous, deceptive character. I have the good luck of owning the uncut CD. Unlike the theater version, this version shows Mapache as all the above, but also as a pretty brave fellow as he stands defiantly while revolutionistas bullets fly all around. He is even considerate of children. 

Check out the old trailer of the movie:

Read in the local paper today that the city will be handing out $500 fines for those homeowners who do not keep their curb sides free of leaves. Forget murders, rapes and drugs; seems clogged gutters are causing Topeka fits. Taking at peek at our own curb, I was surprised to see that ours was probably the home they had in mind when the city began leaf threatening. Thus, I spent a couple hours tonight raking up what God showered down. Cities! Pick up your leaves, can't start fires, can't relieve yourself at night in your own back yard--well, one out of three is not so bad, I guess.


My little friend and companion of 20+ years, Pepper, is still hanging in there. Although he is very gimpy and his spine sticks up like a picket fence, he seems fairly happy. I suppose some folks would have "put him down" by now as an inconvenience, but I don't plan on ever doing that unless something far worse than age bothers him. If he loses use of his rear legs--which seems likely--I will just carry him in an out. He is a Peke and weighs only 10 pounds or so and that would be no problem for a 250 pound human, I guess.