Ordinarily, I’m not a huge fan of Westerns, but The Wild Bunch (1969) isn’t any old Western. It pushed the boundaries of the genre and played with the audience’s expectations of what they’d see in a Western. As a result, the film and its director, Sam Peckinpah, have unsurprisingly become pretty influential on the next generation of moviemakers.
For example, Hurt Locker (2008) director Kathryn Bigelow has been heavily influenced by Peckinpah. Pramaggiore and Wallis (2011) discuss how Hurt Locker “incorporates the visual strategies and thematic ideas” of Peckinpah’s “gracefully choreographed and violently bloody Westerns.” They also point out that Bigelow isn’t shy in acknowledging her appreciation of Peckinpah either: “in 2010 she introduced The Wild Bunch for the ‘Films That Inspired Me’ series at Hammer Museum in Lost Angeles.” Unsurprisingly, Peckinpah has a few other fans in the directing world too: