It’s interesting to think that 1969 saw two landmark westerns that covered much the same territory in vastly different ways. They were both set against the twilight of the old west and both dealt with train robbers for whom time had fatally passed them by. While Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was a breezy, nostalgic comedy, The Wild Bunch is a mostly somber contemplation of violence and mortality.
Sam Peckinpah‘s signature film may have been shockingly violent for its day, but its actually fairly tame in that department compared to modern action movies like Die Hard. However, if the graphicness of the violence is not up to modern standards, the sheer body count of this picture, as well as the callous randomness of the death, is still capable of shocking.