An American bartender and his prostitute girlfriend go on a road trip through the Mexican underworld to collect a $1 million bounty on the head of a dead gigolo.
- Bennie: Warren Oates
- Elita: Isela Vega
- Sappensly: Robert Webber
- Quill: Gig Young
- Max: Helmut Dantine
- El Jefe: Emilio Fernández
- Biker: Kris Kristofferson
- Manchot: Santiago Eduardo Urueta
- John: Donnie Fritts
- Cueto: Jorge Russek
- Chalo: Chalo González
- Frank: Don Levy
- Esteban: Enrique Lucero
- Theresa: Janine Maldonado
- Grandmother Moreno: Tamara Garina
- Bernardo: Farnesio de Bernal
- El Chavito: Ahui Camacho
- Dolores de Escomiglia: Mónica Miguel
- El Carpintero: Paco Pharrez
- Paulo: Juan Manuel Díaz
- Angel: René Dupeyrón
- Yolo: Yolanda Ponce
- Juan: Juan Jose Palacios
- Tourist Guide: Manolo
- Maria: Nery Ruiz
- Chavo: Roberto Dumont
- Orchestrator: Lennie Niehaus
- Executive Producer: Helmut Dantine
- Casting: Claudia Becker
- Story: Sam Peckinpah
- Original Music Composer: Jerry Fielding
- Sound Re-Recording Mixer: Harry W. Tetrick
- Supervising Film Editor: Garth Craven
- Set Dresser: Enrique Estévez
- Producer: Martin Baum
- Production Office Assistant: Dan York
- Editor: Dennis Dolan
- Songs: Isela Vega
- Associate Producer: Gordon T. Dawson
- Editor: Sergio Ortega
- Editor: Robbe Roberts
- Sound Editor: Michael Colgan
- Stunt Coordinator: Whitey Hughes
- Music Editor: Dan Carlin Sr.
- Stunt Coordinator: Gary Combs
- Director of Photography: Álex Phillips Jr.
- Orchestrator: Greig McRitchie
- Assistant Director: Jesús Marín
- Makeup Artist: Rosa Guerrero
- Art Direction: Agustín Ituarte
- Wardrobe Supervisor: Adolfo Ramírez
- Other: Sharon Peckinpah
- Special Effects: Federico Farfán
- Sound Mixer: Manuel Topete
- Script Supervisor: Trudy von Trotha
- First Assistant Director: William Davidson
- Production Coordinator: Yannoulla Wakefield
- Story: Frank Kowalski
- Unit Production Manager: Carlos Terron Garcia
- Special Effects: Raúl Falomir
- Production Office Assistant: Katherine Haber
- Songs: Javier Vega
- Other: Arturo Castro
- Special Effects: León Ortega
- Property Master: Alf Pegley
- Production Office Assistant: Jim Preminger
- Stunt Coordinator: Duffy Hambledon
- John Chard: One man and his quest for meaning turns into a Peckinpah classic.
El Jefe is outraged to find that his daughter has fallen pregnant to a man who has upped and gone, after learning the identity of the rascal (Alfredo Garcia), he offers one million dollars to anyone who can bring him the head of the Lothario running man. On the trail are hit men Quill & Sappensly, Bennie & his prostitute girlfriend Elita, and some other Mexican bandit types, all of them are on a collision course that will bring far more than they all bargained for.
This was the one film where director Sam Peckinpah felt he had the most control, the one where we apparently get his own cut and not some chopped up piece of work from interfering executives. Viewing it now some 34 years after its release, it stands up well as a testament to the work of a great director. On the surface it looks trashy, we have homosexual hit men, grave robbing, potential rape, murders abound, prostitution, lower than the low characters, in short the film is awash with Peckinpah traits. Yet it would be a disservice to even think this film isn’t rich in thematic texture, for the journey that Bennie, our main protagonist takes is one of meaning, he is a loser, but we find him on this quest to find not only fortune, but respect and love. It’s a bloody trail for sure, but it has much depth and no little Peckinpah humour to push the film to it’s bloody yet triumphant finale. Warren Oates is rewarded by Peckinpah for years of sterling work for him by getting the lead role of Bennie, and he grasps it with both hands to turn in a wonderful performance that splits sadness and vibrancy with deft of ease.
Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia has a harsh quality about it, be it the violence, or be it the sadness of the characters, but what isn’t in doubt to me is that it’s harshness is cloaked in Peckinpah splendour. 9/10
- citizenerased: Some of the works of Peckinpah had been on my watch list for months, sitting there in a subfolder of a subfolder. From the choice of Straw Dogs and Cross of Iron, I chose the aforetitled, liking the idea of embarking on a bit of a journey through Mexico with a gritty protagonist as we experience splatterings of violence and negotiate the thoughts of a down and out vagabond making a ran for his riches.
The film left me with mixed feelings. I enjoyed the path of Benny, experiencing how his character is unwavering in his desire to take that last lucky ticket out of debauchery street, but didn’t care much for his journey’s partner. While I appreciated the dynamic of the relationship, the understanding they both had that they weren’t in love with each other, but all they both had, the chemistry and dialogue didn’t really resonate with me at parts. I actually was rather glad when this relationship came to its abrupt end as the film entered its final 3rd.
On top of that, there was major issues with the sound which made it difficult to fully immerse myself in the journey at times. I found myself feeling I was watching a caricature of a 70s movie now and again, as opposed to be engrossed in a gritty noir-esque adventure.
But all in all, an enjoyable film which has left an impression. I always appreciate watching unpolished characters navigating circumstances plotted outside their usual courses, then watching how they deal with the inevitable implosion. From what I’ve read since, the film was one which perhaps accurately portrayed the director’s life at the time of filming; dealing with various booze-infused demons. That rawness definitely shows, as does the inevitable imperfections in this movie’s execution.