Customer Reviews


21 Reviews
5 star:
 (14)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Criminally underrated
Warren Oates, in a career best performance, unravels magnificently down Mexico way in Peckinpah's criminally underrated nouveau gothic masterpiece. This film is gradually coming into it's own, initially marginalised in the scheme of the director's work it is now reappraised as one of his major achievements. Weird romanticism, shattering violence, morbid subject matter,...
Published on 1 Jun 2006 by Anthony Bush

versus
6 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Overrated :Peckinpah's twisted self-portrait
Warren Oats wearing huge black sunglasses kills over twenty people in an attempt to deliver a bag containing the rotting head of Alfredo Garcia to a Mexican drug lord. In two hours Warren Oates fights hired killers, swarms of flies, bottles of tequilia, and some random locals in Mexico in his attempt to claim his reward in delivering Garcia's head.

The Wall...
Published on 27 Mar 2008 by Billy Ray Cyrus


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Criminally underrated, 1 Jun 2006
By 
Anthony Bush (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia (1974) [DVD] (DVD)
Warren Oates, in a career best performance, unravels magnificently down Mexico way in Peckinpah's criminally underrated nouveau gothic masterpiece. This film is gradually coming into it's own, initially marginalised in the scheme of the director's work it is now reappraised as one of his major achievements. Weird romanticism, shattering violence, morbid subject matter, all combine to make it a unique cinematic experience. The obvious signpost to the progressively nihilistic tone of the movie is given earlier on when Gig Young is asked for his name by Bennie (Warren Oates). He replies "Dobbs. Fred C. Dobbs." The name is that of the Humphrey Bogart character in John Huston's classic "The Treasure of The Sierra Madre." Bogart's character was driven mad by greed in that movie, in his futile search for an elusive treasure. Peckinpah's vision encompasses many of the same themes, yet is far darker. As Oates' character spirals into psychosis during his journey through the searing and filthy Mexican badlands, he maintains a fractured, rambling dialogue with the decaying, severed head of Alfredo and coldly guns down those who get in his way.

Bennie is a loser, a pianist in a dead end bar, cuckolded by the woman he loves who got it on with Alfredo (a friend of Bennie's), broke and living in squalor, he perceives obtaining the severed head of his dead friend as a way out. This is his "golden fleece," a passport to a better life. In the process of digging up the body, his girl is murdered and Bennie's personality disintegrates. As he pumps bullet after bullet into the corpse of one of the hoods who whacked his chick, he spits: "Why? Because it feels so damn good!" The role is one that Warren Oates was made for. Seldom a leading man in Hollywood, his history of character parts provide him with the experience needed to invest Bennie with the complex traits of a complete anti-hero. Each tic, each mannerism, the almost improvised quality of his dialogue delivery, results in a totally believable performance.

Although many believe that Peckinpah's direction here is "messy and unfocussed" on reflection it seems more of a deliberate ploy to accentuate the nightmarish quality of the narrative. Bennie swigs Tequila almost constantly throughout the movie, and very often - combined with the obligatory slow motion violence and gunplay - the result is as if the audience is viewing the action through the languorous gaze of a drunk. Or maybe that's just my imagination running away with me. Or my own alcohol intake.

This is probably Peckinpah's most personal film, and his last masterpiece, and as such is one of the most original pieces of mainstream cinema ever produced. If you like Tarantino and Rodriguez, this movie will give a sense of where some of their roots are. Ultimately, a journey into the heart of darkness that makes Apocalypse Now seem like a paddle through Disneyland.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peckinpah's Materpiece, 9 Nov 2006
This review is from: Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia (1974) [DVD] (DVD)
Quite simply the most nihilistic film ever made but also one of the best ever made. This is truly Sam Peckinpah's masterpiece - the main character, Benny , played by the amazing Warren Oates at last given a great leading role is basically Peckinpah himself and Oates based his characterisation on him. Where else will you get a film where the lead character wears his sunglasses for practically half the film, where even though he has no redeeming qualities you still route for him at the end as his road journey leads him to the abyss of who he is. This is the only film I think where Peckinpah had little to no interference in making it, and boy does it show. I often wonder if the great man was alive today what kinda films he would have ended up making and what actors he would have worked with. If you like only one of Peckinpah's films, but haven't seen this, then trust me and buy it, it's a true master being let loose of studio chains and making a personal `up yours to the lot of you' style of film. Violent, funny, beautifully shot, downbeat and one of the greatest lead performances in the history of film by Warren Oates, it just doesn't get better than this
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern romantic fairy-tale (from the gutter), 21 May 2009
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia (1974) [DVD] (DVD)
I wish that Werner Herzog had taken his hero Strozek down the path that Peckinpah takes Bennie. Strozek ends in the suicide of a life that harmed no-one but could not rise to face a bad, bad world. But here, Bennie, the main character, faces up to the appalling world he lives in (the bars of the mexican border with Texas)finally redeems himself through a great act of sacrifice.

A modern american tragedy "Bring me the head..." I think exemplifies personal hubris; the west gone mad through an orgy fueled by drugs, alcohol , greed and lust. Bennie's just a tiny speck of dirt and his only hope is the love of a prostitute, and well.... you can find out what he does with that.

Some say this is flawed - but I dont understand that - Peckinpah shows you what its like living in that world and in 2009 that world is all around us.

Despite the violence (tame by todays standards), at its heart the film is about the ROMANCE between Bennie (played to perfection by Warren Oates) and his girlfriend (Isela Vega).

WATCH!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blu-Ray review, 6 May 2012
Since no one will likely buy the Blu-Ray unless they already know and like the movie, let me just say that this is a nice-looking Blu-Ray release from Suevia, which is not known for the quality of its typical DVD releases. There were only a couple of rough spots; for the most part, it was just like a theatrical presentation. Highly Recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sam goes all grungey on us!, 17 Mar 2008
By 
P. B. Koeb (Aljezur, Portugal) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia (1974) [DVD] (DVD)
A Sam Peckinpah film which was probably a bit maligned at the time of its release. I can remember a reviewer in the local Bournemouth free-sheet giving the film a panning. (Something about the director losing his OWN head.) Since then, "BMTHOAG" has grown in importance and is now viewed as being right up in the pantheon of great SP films.

It has a distinctly "un-glossy", almost "grunge-like" quality that must have seemed unusual at the time. Warren Oates is excellent, as he slowly goes off the rails and ends up becoming a sort of one-man Wild Bunch. Otherwise, the film features a bizarre cast. What are Robert Webber and Gig Young doing in there? Kris Kristofferson has a small cameo role, as do the guy who steals Doc McCoy's bag of money in "The Getaway" and the Generalissimo in "The Wild Bunch". I'm just left wondering if Ben Johnson, Bo Hopkins, LQ Jones, Slim Pickens or Strother Martin aren't lurking in the background, somewhere.

Seemingly a bit rambling and unfocussed in the first part of the film, "BMTHOAG" susequently develops into one of the vital Sam Peckinpahs.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One man and his quest for meaning turns into a Peckinpah classic., 3 Nov 2012
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia (1974) [DVD] (DVD)
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
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars definitely a candidate for the finest film ever made, 10 Feb 2004
it's a mystery why this movie has yet to be released on dvd, it being possibly Sam Peckinpah's finest moment. Featuring the laconic Warren Oates in the lead role, it relates the story of the retrieval of Alfredo Garcia's head from a cemetary in a desolate village and the quest for the reward money being offered by a very nasty looking man who wants this particular item (cue pregnant daughter lurking in the background etc etc). Lots of shooting, lots of death, lots of singing of Guantanamera, lots of bags of ice. If you like your films weird and leftfield, seek it out. If you like your films to hold mass appeal, or like disney, go someplace else.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome reissue of classic Sam Peckinpah movie..., 31 May 2005
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia (1974) [DVD] (DVD)
'Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia' (1974) is frequently seen as the last great-work from legendary director Sam Peckinpah - though 1977's 'Cross of Iron' is worth noting, the rest ('The Osterman Weekend', 'Convoy', 'The Killer Elite') is a dissapointment. Peckinpah, a controversial director whose work was frequently re-edited 'Magnificent Ambersons'-style & aroused accusations of misogny, was behind some of the great films of the 60s and 70s: 'The Wild Bunch', 'The Getaway','Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid', 'Straw Dogs','The Ballad of Cable Hogue' (probably my personal favourite) & 'Major Dundee' (also due to be reissued in a version akin to the director's original vision...)
'Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia' is fairly unpleasant stuff, and is viewed as sloppy in the excellent biography of Peckinpah 'If They Move...Kill 'Em.' I think it's very much a cult-classic, a b-movie with artistic pretensions- so its influence is extremely apparent on a director like Quentin Tarantino (as well as Roberto Rodriguez, Oliver Stone in 'U-Turn' mode, Sam Raimi, several alt-country bands & so on...) It's pretty minimal stuff - Warren Oates sets out to get the head of the eponymous Alfredo Garcia for a gangster-boss, coming across double-twists and violence & leading towards an unforgettable denoument...
'Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia' is a welcome issue/reissue and leaves just a few films I love waiting for similar treatment- Bertolucci's 'The Conformist', Schrader's 'Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters' & Monte Hellman's 'Two Lane Blacktop.'
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grime under your skin, 21 Sep 2007
By 
S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia (1974) [DVD] (DVD)
Peckinpah's 'Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia' is one of the most under-rated films of the 1970's. Starring Warren Oates as Bennie, a Piano player in a bar who stumbles upon a bounty for Alfredo Garcia. Garcia is responsible for a pregnancy but has not taken responsibility.

In a another filmmakers hands this could easily have been a total disaster, but Peckinpah turns this into one of the greatest road movies ever made. However unlike most road movies this is seriously downbeat. There is a major plot twist half way through that nobody will expect. Metaphorically Peckinpah pulls the rug from under you completely at this point, and it really is quite shocking. I agree completely with a previous reviewer who stated that it appears that Peckinpah had a free-hand with this movie.

Mostly set in Mexico the film has a dirty grubby feel to it. Bennie isn't a particularly nice character himself, being mainly interested in collecting the bounty money on Garcia. After the plot twist mentioned above though I did begin to symapthise with him. That said this is still miles away from a typical Hollywood (espcially these days) movie.

There are a few of Peckinpah's trademark slow motion shooting scenes as well as the inevitable topless women; noteably Isela Vega who gets to show off her impressive figure on a number of occasions!

I've watched the film twice now, and the second viewing only confirmed my view that this is a hugely influential film, that works on many levels.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps Peckinpah's Most Ironic Film, 27 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia (1974) [DVD] (DVD)
I join the overwhelming majority who find BMTHOAG a fascinating, compelling film that by all rights should have been the disaster that I think most critics and viewers take it to be. I suspects the now 20 of us who offer criticisms are not a truly random lot, but those who, with a couple of dissenters, think BMTHOAG is not Peckinpah's best, but certainly among his most interesting efforts.

Rightly eschewing big name stars (I do not know if that was the director's choice), but relying on solid acting, Peckinpah's tells the truly sad story of a loser among losers. Typically complex, Peckinpah gives us irony upon irony as the device to convey tragedy. The film is noirish, with Warren Oates' character more sinned against than sinning, yet making just enough bad choices to deserve a sad end, still -- one of the many ironies -- death is excessive for Oates' sins.

Unlike many but certainly not all of Peckinpah's films, there is nothing noble nor worthwhile in the violence, pain and death that make up BMTHOAG. Even the terrible protagonists of The Wild Bunch, who deserved their overdue deaths, killed without hypocrisy and died in the name of human individualism over society, misplaced individualism but individualism nonetheless.

Here, pain, death and sad disappointment center around petty greed, petty revenge, petty lust and petty hopes. There is nothing grand nor operatic in the characters. Oates is brilliant playing a lost soul who cannot accept the love of his paramour. But, Oates' lover, although loyal to him. Is a slut, who willingly seduces Kris Kristoffersen, playing her would be rapist who threatenes to but does rape because he lacks the nerve, not, I think, because ultimately he is decent.

Everything about BMTHOAG is ugly, but the story and acting make us watch and even care hoping that somehow Oates will prevail and live to enjoy his $10,000 which even for that time in Mexico was not really a lot of money -- certainly not to justify all the anguish and all the death.

For Peckinpah, never has life been so cheap, nor so interesting.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia (1974) [DVD]
£6.59
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews