Was the 156-minute version ever seen by anyone except R.G. Armstrong? The 136-minute version is longer but is it necessarily, positively better? I’ve only seen the shortest version (126 minutes) with the Mitch Miller sing–alongers on the soundtrack.
I know two things — during the ‘60s, ‘70s and early ‘80s Peckinpah allowed his career to be stained and diminished by raging alcoholism, and that with the exception of three films (Ride The High Country, The Wild Bunch and Straw Dogs) everything he was involved in was to varying degrees colored by rage and snarls and waste.
Over the years his persistent asshole-ishness overwhelmed his creative visions, and people just got sick of him.
I own a Bluray of Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia (‘74) and I’ve watched it exactly once. There’s a reason for that. The nihilistic finale leaves you with nothing. Maybe I should give it another go.
I’ve seen Cross of Iron (1977) once, and while I have a favorable recollection of James Coburn and Maximilian Schell’s lead performances, I mostly recall Gene Shalit calling it “a movie of bad.”
All this aside, I sure do envy Joe Dante for having seen the 152-minute version of The Wild Bunch (7 minutes longer than the official, definitive 145-minute Bluray) during the 1969 Bahamas press junket.
Dante recalls as follows: