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David Lambert

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  1. David Lambert

    The Wild Bunch

    As for Simpsons references, there is one where they talk to an Wild West Show stuntman who mentions his many film credits, one of which was The Wild Lunch (yeah, it's not a great joke). Also, on the "Behind the Laughter" episode Homer directs a TV pilot and is referred to as a "Penniless Peckinpah"
  2. David Lambert

    The Wild Bunch

    The Wild Bunch absolutely belongs on the AFI top 100. It's certainly one of the most influential films on the list, but I don't want to write an entire essay on my phone listing all of the filmmakers that wouldn't be who they are without it. I will push back on the idea that Unforgiven is a better critique of the genre. I love Unforgiven but it dedicates a lot of time to characters literally saying, "this is how the West really was" whereas The Wild Bunch just throws you into it. By comparison Unforgiven is ridiculously heavy handed (and yet it still ends on a saloon massacre out of a Spaghetti Western). Peckinpah was not interested in demythologizing the Western. Lesser Westerns that came in its aftermath tried to do that (and Unforgiven was written in the 70s when that was in vogue). The Wild Bunch creates a new, harsher myth to tell the truth in a way that simply saying "this is how it was" never could. You will also not find a Western that lays bare its creator's soul the way The Wild Bunch does (outside of Peckinpah's own Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid). It belongs on the list.
  3. David Lambert

    High Noon

    I know we're all supposed to shit on John Wayne for his abhorrent politics but I'm going to defend him on a few points. Everyone loves to proclaim that he was a coward during WWII because he didn't serve but 1. He was deemed too old and had prior injuries that had previously ended his athletic career 2. Republic Pictures threatened to sue him if he left his contract with them (read up on it) and 3. There is documentation that he enlisted in the OSS but the letter of acceptance went to his estranged wife's house and she never told him about it. Whether or not you find these excuses compelling, I would still hold off on exclamations of cowardice. And while I find High Noon to be true on an emotional level, Wayne is correct that it is not anything close to the reality of the Old West. There are numerous instances of outlaws riding into small towns to rob and terrorize the populace and without fail the town always banded together and shot them to pieces. For examples, read up on what happened to Jesse James and his gang in Northfield or what happened to the Daltons in Coffeyville. Considering the time High Noon takes place in, most of the men in town would probably have been veterans of the Civil War and not ones to run from a fight. It's not a slight against High Noon because I don't think authenticity was the goal. Also, Parke's info regarding sheriffs and marshals is a little off. There were US Marshals but most Westerns aren't about them. Sheriffs actually had a higher standing than the marshals we picture in Westerns. Sheriffs were the law for entire counties, while marshals were the law for towns only.