Sam Peckinpah made film violence a work of art.

by alexanderdavies-99382 | created - 5 months ago | updated - 5 months ago | Public

From the beginning of his career, Sam Peckinpah was deemed something of a maverick director by Hollywood. He was destined to make movies his way, not the studio way. Peckinpah was frequently at odds with producers and studio moguls as they tried to undermine his authority on a film set. In spite of all this, he remains one of the most creative artists of his time and his movies are still being enjoyed by contemporary audiences.

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1. The Wild Bunch (1969)

R | 135 min | Action, Adventure, Western

95 Metascore

An aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the "traditional" American West is disappearing around them.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O'Brien

Votes: 73,281

The greatest American Western of the 1960s.

2. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

R | 112 min | Action, Crime, Drama

An American bar room pianist and his prostitute girlfriend go on a trip through the Mexican underworld to collect a bounty on the head of a dead gigolo.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Robert Webber, Gig Young

Votes: 16,801

The only film where Peckinpah had complete control.

3. The Getaway (1972)

PG | 123 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

55 Metascore

A recently released ex-con and his loyal wife go on the run after a heist goes awry.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw, Ben Johnson, Sally Struthers

Votes: 25,675 | Gross: $36.73M

4. Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)

R | 122 min | Biography, Drama, Western

Pat Garrett is hired as a lawman on behalf of a group of wealthy New Mexico cattle barons to bring down his old friend Billy the Kid.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, Richard Jaeckel, Katy Jurado

Votes: 16,712

Patchy and with virtually no plot but there are many highlights.

5. Junior Bonner (1972)

PG | 100 min | Drama, Western

Ace Bonner returns to Arizona several years after he abandoned his family, Junior Bonner is a wild young man. Against the typical rodeo championship, family drama erupts.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: Steve McQueen, Robert Preston, Ida Lupino, Ben Johnson

Votes: 4,661

6. Straw Dogs (1971)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

70 Metascore

A young American and his English wife come to rural England and face increasingly vicious local harassment.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Susan George, Peter Vaughan, T.P. McKenna

Votes: 52,979

Rather overrated.

7. The Killer Elite (1975)

PG | 122 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

Mike Locke, who works for a private security firm affiliated with the C.I.A., is betrayed by his partner and left apparently crippled for life.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: James Caan, Robert Duvall, Arthur Hill, Bo Hopkins

Votes: 5,083

8. Ride the High Country (1962)

Approved | 94 min | Drama, Western

An ex-union soldier is hired to transport gold from a mining community through dangerous territory. But what he doesn't realize is that his partner and old friend is plotting to double-cross him.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: Joel McCrea, Randolph Scott, Mariette Hartley, Ron Starr

Votes: 11,194

9. The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970)

R | 121 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A hobo accidentally stumbles onto a water spring, and creates a profitable way station in the middle of the desert.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: Jason Robards, Stella Stevens, David Warner, Strother Martin

Votes: 7,896 | Gross: $3.50M

10. Major Dundee (1965)

Approved | 123 min | Adventure, War, Western

62 Metascore

In 1864, due to frequent Apache raids from Mexico into the U.S., a Union officer decides to illegally cross the border and destroy the Apache, using a mixed army of Union troops, Confederate POWs, civilian mercenaries, and scouts.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: Charlton Heston, Richard Harris, Jim Hutton, James Coburn

Votes: 6,554 | Gross: $0.01M

A troubled production and still incomplete after all these years.

11. Cross of Iron (1977)

R | 119 min | Drama, War

German commander Captain Hauptmann Stransky (Maximilian Schell) places a squad in extreme danger after Sergeant Rolf Steiner (James Coburn) refuses to lie for him.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: James Coburn, Maximilian Schell, James Mason, David Warner

Votes: 23,788

A highly entertaining, gritty War film.

12. Convoy (1978)

PG | 110 min | Action, Drama

47 Metascore

Truckers form a mile long "convoy" in support of a trucker's vendetta with an abusive sheriff...Based on the country song of same title by C.W. McCall.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: Kris Kristofferson, Ali MacGraw, Ernest Borgnine, Burt Young

Votes: 13,948 | Gross: $45.00M

13. The Osterman Weekend (1983)

R | 103 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

During the Cold War, a controversial television journalist is asked by the C.I.A. to persuade certain acquaintances, who are Soviet Agents of the Omega network, to defect.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: Rutger Hauer, John Hurt, Craig T. Nelson, Dennis Hopper

Votes: 7,524 | Gross: $6.49M

14. The Deadly Companions (1961)

Approved | 93 min | Adventure, Western

An ex-army officer accidentally kills a woman's son and tries to make up for it by escorting the funeral procession through dangerous Indian territory.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: Maureen O'Hara, Brian Keith, Steve Cochran, Chill Wills

Votes: 1,875

15. Sam Peckinpah's West: Legacy of a Hollywood Renegade (2004 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 89 min | Documentary

Spattered with blood and controversy, Sam Peckinpah's Westerns revolutionized their genre. SAM PECKINPAH'S WEST: LEGACY OF A HOLLYWOOD RENEGADE goes in search of the man behind these ... See full summary »

Director: Tom Thurman | Stars: Sam Peckinpah, Kris Kristofferson, Fern Lea Peter, Harry Dean Stanton

Votes: 242

16. Sam Peckinpah: Man of Iron (1993 TV Movie)

92 min | Documentary, Biography

This straight-talking program seeks to understand the enigmatic and controversial Sam Peckinpah, whose violent films such as The Wild Bunch and Straw Dogs had a telling effect on the cinema... See full summary »

Director: Paul Joyce | Stars: Sam Peckinpah, Alan Sharp, Katherine Haber, Kris Kristofferson

Votes: 145

18. Passion & Poetry: The Ballad of Sam Peckinpah (2005)

115 min | Documentary

The life and times of maverick filmmaker Sam Peckinpah (1925 - 1984)

Director: Mike Siegel | Stars: Mario Adorf, R.G. Armstrong, Senta Berger, Ernest Borgnine

Votes: 79

19. ABC Stage 67 (1966–1967)

51 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

A weekly anthology of one-hour plays, both original and adapted from literary sources.

Stars: Lee Grant, The Doodletown Pipers, Arthur Kennedy, Diahann Carroll

Votes: 51

20. Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (1963–1967)

60 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

Legendary entertainer Bob Hope hosted, and occasionally starred in, one of the last major anthology series on network television. Dramatic and comedy shows were presented, featuring many of... See full summary »

Stars: Bob Hope, Jack Weston, Jack Kelly, George N. Neise

Votes: 138

21. Route 66 (1960–1964)

60 min | Adventure

The adventures of two young drifters across America.

Stars: Martin Milner, George Maharis, Glenn Corbett, James Brown

Votes: 1,237

22. The Westerner (1960– )

30 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Laconic cowboy Dave Blasingame wanders the Wild West with his faithful dog Brown and the occasional companionship of pal Burgundy Smith.

Stars: Brian Keith, Hank Gobble, Jimmy Lee Cook, Michael T. Mikler

Votes: 124

23. Zane Grey Theater (1956–1961)

TV-PG | 25 min | Western

An anthology based (earlier more so than later) on the novels and stories of Zane Grey. Dick Powell was often the star, as well as the host.

Stars: Dick Powell, Walter Sande, Denver Pyle, Bill Erwin

Votes: 320

24. The Rifleman (1958–1963)

TV-PG | 30 min | Family, Western

The adventures of a Wild West rancher wielding a customized rapid fire Winchester rifle and his son.

Stars: Chuck Connors, Johnny Crawford, Paul Fix, Joe Benson

Votes: 2,826

25. Broken Arrow (1956–1960)

30 min | Western

Indian Agent Tom Jeffords makes friends with Chief Cochise, becoming a blood brother of the Apache. Together they fight white schemers and renegade Indians.

Stars: John Lupton, Michael Ansara, Steven Ritch, Steve Conte

Votes: 163



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