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This was my first time watching The Wild Bunch from start to finish and before I get into it, for as good as it is, I’m not sure it’s Top 100 worthy. But it is indeed a strong film with some solid and interesting performances. Robert Ryan is wonderful in this! Definitely a performance in which he’s able to show a few different layers of the character. Thornton isn’t just an automaton hell bent on fulfilling a mission. He’s driven by things that aren’t necessarily explicit. It’s also impossible to not notice Peckinpah’s almost too heavy handed use of children. A google search quickly reveals that a few smarty pants film historians have noted that children seem to be very close to pretty much every act of violence. Of course their childhood innocence stands juxtaposed to sinful adults, but from the very opening scene in which a group of children are gleefully, torturing a scorpion by dropping it into a writhing sea of ants, eventually, setting the scorpion and ants on fire, to the terribly young soldiers that are assigned to Thornton as they pursue Pike and his men. And let’s face it, The Wild Bunch themselves are the scorpions, being attacked by ants, only to be to burned down in a way. So before I type more clunky paragraphs on my phone, TWB is incredibly influential and probably does have a Simpsons moment but I love that The Three Amigos, stole some themes and even more fun is the Sam Peckinpah sketch on Monty Python. I also don’t want to forget the incredible work of the DP, Lucien Ballard. So good!