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SAM PECKINPAH'S 'BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA'

Title: BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA Year: 1974 Rating: ****

Gritty auteur Sam Peckinpah's maligned labor-of-love exploitation has an extremely bizarre plot-line, involving American imported-in-Mexico nightclub pianist Warren Oates as Bennie with experienced, heart-of-gold singer Isela Vega's Elita, embarking on a slow-burn road-trip for a gigolo who impregnated the daughter of a Mexican gangster, thus commanding to BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA...

Which only gets weirder after quickly learning that the sought-after womanizer is already dead, as told by Elita, whose former romance drives Bennie to an envious brink that Steve McQueen's Doc McCoy harbored throughout another Peckinpah road movie, THE GETAWAY...

Warren Oates in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA

While young/attractive ingenue Ali McGraw definitely wasn't cast for her acting abilities, the lovely yet lived-in Isela Vega's performance coincides equally with the always-intense Warren Oates... 

And right when the audience settles into the couple, who spend every other scene in various rural stopovers discussing their future... GARCIA shifts from a cerebral, pontificating journey into a tunnel-vision revenge flick as an armed Bennie, toting a fly-buzzing canvas bag with Alfredo's severed head intact, briskly returns for both blood and his 10K payday...

Warren Oates in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA

Where the open highway, gun-blasting sequences (from offbeat assassins Gig Young & Robert Webber to a pair of car-tailing Spanish goons to rapist biker Kris Kristofferson) energize a deliberately slow-paced mission, long altered from action-packed to action-backed since the target's dead and buried...

Ultimately epitomizing a neo-noir/modern-western setting that opens in a rustic Mexican ranch without any modern devices: until suddenly igniting into a steely barrage of airplanes and automobiles...

Warren Oates in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA

A sparse purgatory befitting composer Jerry Fielding's signature dreamlike sound, like an orchestra tuning and similar to Peckinpah's STRAW DOGS theme, backing a tense relationship between Dustin Hoffman and Susan George...

Herein with a Latin flavor, representing the location and a pitifully contemplative Oates, more desperate and alone — even while his soulful soulmate's alive — than THE WILD BUNCH rogue's ever been throughout the 1960's or 1970's: when flawed and tortured character-actor-types played intense leads, and is where Peckinpah's BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA fits like a torn and tattered glove.

Gig Young in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
GIG YOUNG in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Janine Maldonado n BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Robert Webber and Gig Young in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Cameo Richard Bright in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Robert Webber and Gig Young in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates and Isela Vega in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates and Isela Vega in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates and Isela Vega in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Isela Vega in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Kris Kristofferson and Donnie Fritts in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Kris Kristofferson and Isela Vega in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Isela Vega in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates and Isela Vega in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Robert Webber and Gig Young in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Gig Young in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
Warren Oates in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA

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