Bloody Sam

Marshall Fine, Author Dutton Books $24.95 (426p) ISBN 978-1-55611-236-2
Best known for Ride the High Country , The Wild Bunch and Straw Dogs , director Peckinpah (1925-1984) had a reputation for being difficult to work with, for making graphically violent films, for a brutish attitude toward women and, especially in later years, for alcoholism and drug abuse, which helped wreck his career and shorten his life. Much of the reputation is deserved, according to Fine, columnist for the Gannet newspapers, but, he argues, Peckinpah's best films are marked by ``skill, artistry and vision''p. xiii and broke new cinematic ground. The author also maintains that despite the filmmaker's image as a ``hard-drinking, hard-living maverick,'' Peckinpah was ``a sensitive and poetic soul who tried to hide that side from the world.''p. xiii The book supports these points, but the narrative is marred by blocks of meandering commentary from family, friends and colleagues of Peckinpah. In addition, Fine's own writing sometimes stoops to the juvenile: about the decreasing ability of Peckinpah's blood to coagulate, we're told, ``During The Wild Bunch , that caused a serious pain in the ass: a raging case of bleeding hemorrhoids.''p. 137 Photos not seen by PW. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-1-55611-298-0
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