Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Peckinpah month: links & resources #5

Thanks to Bill at The Kind of Face You Hate for contributing a sterling article on 'Straw Dogs', unearthing some fascinating background information on Gordon M. Williams, author of source novel 'The Siege of Trencher's Farm', and extrapolating the crucial differences between book and film. There's more on 'Straw Dogs' in a review by Mike Lorefice at

IGN has a tribute to Peckinpah, published in 2005 on what would have been the maestro's 80th birthday.

Maximiliian le Cain's article 'Drifting Out of the Territory' at Nonstop Design is an excellent analysis of 'Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid', which identifies the film's transitional qualities and atmosphere of poetic despair.

Equally recommended is Nick Pinkerton's thoughtful piece on 'Cross of Iron' over at Reverse Shot. 'Cross of Iron' is the only Peckinpah film thus far to have notched up a sequel, 'Breakthrough' (reviewed here on Angelfire); Richard Burton and Helmut Griem replace James Coburn and Maximillian Schell respectively as Steiner and Stransky. On the remake front, former Peckinpah collaborator Roger Donaldson helmed an okayish retread of 'The Getaway' in 1994 (Alec Baldwin wasn't a patch on Steve McQueen, Kim Basinger was a whole lot better than Ali MacGraw and Michael Madsen and Jennifer Tilly channeled Al Lettieri and Sally Struthers perfectly). A new version of 'The Killer Elite' was being talked up a few years ago, with John Woo slated to produce. Most recently, Jason Statham has been confirmed to star in a film called 'The Killer Elite' but based on Sir Ranulph Fiennes' book 'The Feather Men' (published 1991) so the title seems to be coincidental. Rod Lurie's take on 'Straw Dogs' is suffering release date schizophrenia, as reported by Brad Brevet at Rope Of Silicon - his pullquote 'Straw Dogs' remake is unfortunately still happening pretty much sums up my thoughts on the prospect.

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