Sam Peckinpah

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Polybius
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#76 Post by Polybius » Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:08 am

Person wrote:Here we have factual history: Pat Garrett betrayed his friend William Bonney because times were changing fast and there was no space left for outlaws. It may be a "simple idea", but that was the state of affairs.
It's a recurrent theme in all of his Westerns.

enviru

#77 Post by enviru » Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:02 pm

Just a few things that crossed my mind when reading through these posts:

Am I the only one who doesn't like The Getaway for any reason other than the supposed sexism? The casting was all wrong. Steve McQueen is basically playing his image, right? But the character Doc McCoy is the complete opposite of the McQueen character: some of the mistakes he makes, like stopping for dinner when the entire state's police force is looking for him, are embarrassingly amateurish. But McQueen plays it straight the entire time; never once did I get the sense that he didn't know what he was doing. The contrast is so jarring it's painful. I love Peckinpah, but this is one time his famous sense of irony backfired. (I do like the editing, though).

And does anyone else think that Stephen Prince got a little hypocritical at the end of Savage Cinema? He attacked directors like John Woo for not taking a moralistic stand against violence, which kinda flies in the face of Peckinpah's own theory that there was no moralistic stand to be taken against violence. Anyone else agree?

(By the way, I also happen to think that Cable Hogue is one of his better films. Just so you know what kind of Peckinpah fan you're dealing with here.)

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#78 Post by THX1378 » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:58 am

some of the mistakes he makes, like stopping for dinner when the entire state's police force is looking for him
Thats one of the main reasons, along with the end of the film, that when people ask me what Peckinpah's weakest film was I list The Getaway. And it's not so much Steve McQueen playing Doc, which I think he's great, and I have no problem with him or the character, it's the way that the film plays out at the end that every time I've seen it makes me say, "thats it?". Or when he stops and the police are after him, and he has to know that the police is after him, that makes me think that it was just lazy screenwriting or filmmaking on Peckinpah's part.

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Robotron
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#79 Post by Robotron » Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:56 pm

enviru wrote:And does anyone else think that Stephen Prince got a little hypocritical at the end of Savage Cinema? He attacked directors like John Woo for not taking a moralistic stand against violence, which kinda flies in the face of Peckinpah's own theory that there was no moralistic stand to be taken against violence. Anyone else agree?

(By the way, I also happen to think that Cable Hogue is one of his better films. Just so you know what kind of Peckinpah fan you're dealing with here.)
I think far too many supporters of Peckinpah end up mythologizing him, as opposed to seriously analyzing his work (I know I made that mistake when starting out), and I'm always wary of critics who bring morality into the argument of filmmaking, especially in Peckinpah's case, seeing as he exploited the theme of violence almost his entire career, no matter how seriously he took it, and treated his crew and friends horribly as well. I personally find the Tarantino and Woo response to violence (that is, to treat it as something of a joke) a natural evolution of what Peckinpah was doing, especially by the time of Alfredo Garcia, when his previous skill slipped into grating sentimentality and unbearable pretentiousness.

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#80 Post by GringoTex » Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:29 pm

Robotron wrote:I personally find the Tarantino and Woo response to violence (that is, to treat it as something of a joke) a natural evolution of what Peckinpah was doing, especially by the time of Alfredo Garcia, when his previous skill slipped into grating sentimentality and unbearable pretentiousness.
I find Alfredo Garcia Peckinpah's least pretentious or "jokey" film. It's brutally honest and un-ironic in a way few films are.

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Robotron
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#81 Post by Robotron » Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:56 pm

GringoTex wrote:I find Alfredo Garcia Peckinpah's least pretentious or "jokey" film. It's brutally honest and un-ironic in a way few films are.
I realize the intent of the film, but I just don't think it comes anywhere near succeeding. When it isn't showcasing Peckinpah's profound ignorance of women, it devolves into hokey monologues about the hardness of life and the horror of Benny's task.

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#82 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Aug 03, 2007 4:51 pm

I know this is off-topic, but Katherine Haber's involvement in Blade Runner has made me curious about what kind of sci-fi Sam could do, if he was at all interested in the genre. Given his utter disdain at the modern world, with films like Junior Bonner and Alfredo Garcia, I would think something dark and abysmal like BR would appeal to that sensibility he had. Plus, I think I read somewhere that Rutger Hauer got the lead in The Osterman Weekend because of it.

I'm sure Sam would have probably balked at the idea of dealing with such high-maintenance special effects that the genre demanded (and still does), but it's an interesting idea to contemplate, at least for me.

BTW, does anyone have any info on the project he was working on at the time of his death, which according to Wikipedia, was an adaptation of Stephen King's work?

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keeproductions
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#83 Post by keeproductions » Mon Aug 06, 2007 2:10 pm

BTW, does anyone have any info on the project he was working on at the time of his death, which according to Wikipedia, was an adaptation of Stephen King's work?
I have no idea how far they actually got with it, but I do know that Stephen King took the screenplay and re-purposed it as the 1996 posthumous Richard Bachman book The Regulators which was dedicated to Peckinpah.

If the finished book substantially mirrored the screenplay then it would have been a definite foray into Sci-fi/Fantasy for S.P.

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#84 Post by lord_clyde » Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:46 pm

Caught 'Osterman Weekend' today and for the first time with Peckinpah found that I was bored. The dog in the fridge scene was, to quote an earlier post "sham Peckinpah" and not nearly as effective as the cat in 'Straw Dogs'.
Definitely not as confusing as reviews I have read would lead me to believe, I still found myself scratching my head at insanely idiotic scenes like the swimming pool part, or the pillow talk exchanges where Peckinpah's only goal seems to get every actress in the film naked at some point.
Also, is it wrong that I miss the bloody gunfights from his earlier work? The stylish slo-mo was in effect, but it felt like someone mimicking Peckinpah, and the absence of blood was strange. Not that I would judge a work based on how bloody it is, but in this instance if there wasn't a title crediting Peckinpah as director, I would have never guessed it.
I know Peckinpah didn't get to edit it, but I don't understand some of the faint praise this film receives. It just doesn't stack up to 'Wild Bunch', 'Pat Garret', or 'Alfredo Garcia'. It's not just a lesser work, it's a complete fuck up.

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colinr0380
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#85 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:52 pm

While I agree that The Osterman Weekend is a bit of a mess it still remains a fascinating film and I've found the commentary track on the Anchor Bay disc an extremely interesting listen. The commentators don't shy away from describing the film as a problematic one but they do help to appreciate more what does work in there. (I've certainly watched The Osterman Weekend much more with the commentary track playing than I have just on its own!)

One of the major problems I find with the film is that the way it uses video technology is a little confused - the film is all about editing and video trickery but some sequences are handled in a way that it would be impossible for video equipment to achieve: on camera sequences are edited, events are captured (such as the opening murder) in places it would have been impossible for a camera to be and so on. However that is a problem I find in quite a few films - it is just a more noticeable problem at some points here because the film is about image manipulation.

A couple of things that I liked in the film that are not really mentioned in the commentary: I really like the way that when the technology plays up and Fassett (John Hurt) has to give a news report on the television in Tanner's (Rutger Hauer) kitchen while he has a difficult conversation with his friends that Fassett stumbles over his words and has trouble keeping the charade up at the same time Tanner is in a difficult confrontation. Once Tanner seems to placate them and things are running smoothly again (and he also has a chance to walk casually over to the TV and turn Fassett off), Fassett has also got into the swing of his fake news reporting!

Tanner and Fassett are both being identified with each other - in general terms Tanner is the 'good' manipulator and Fassett 'bad', but the 'good' Tanner is manipulating Osterman and the other friends who are innocent of the things Tanner suspects them of while the 'bad' Fassett is manipulating Tanner in order to destroy the worse baddie, Danforth. It is a fascinating construction for a film and even without the scene in which Tanner's mistress is killed in much the same circumstances as Fassett's girl was at the opening of the film (most likely by Fassett), it still shows that there is a struggle for control of the media going on in which the Danforths and Ostermans at either pole are not technologically savvy enough to be involved in (though they are making attempts to learn). One of the most disturbing things about the film is that neither Fassett or Tanner are above manipulating their audience to achieve their own ends, whether that is for good or bad purposes (everything shades into grey by the final scenes). In the end Tanner's manipulations are based as much on wanting to save his family as Fassett's are in wanting vengeance for the loss of his loved one.

(By the way, could there be any more than a coincidental connection of the use of Tanner in The Osterman Weekend and the same name used for the policitian in Altman's TV series?)

The other thing I liked about the (spoiler) use of the pre-recorded Tanner news programme allowing him to go and confront Fassett at the same time as Fassett confronts Danforth on Tanner's show is that it beautifully shows the lack of any real interaction needed in political chatter - you can easily figure out what guests are going to say beforehand and prepare your responses in advance, there is no chance to catch someone off guard (to quote Straw Dogs!) in the televisual world, only in reality. And who loses in this bland, harmlessly confrontational television debate? Just the viewer, only presented with the same obvious arguments (or score settling between guests over events that they are not privy to) designed to create apathy and stifle debate.

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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#86 Post by bdsweeney » Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:34 pm

Not sure exactly where to post this as I could not find a specific thread on the topic.

Anyway, here we go and it's a well-worn topic.

The current DVD 2-disc version of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. A few questions:

Am I correct in believing that it does not contain the 1988 Turner version of the film?

If it does only contain the supposedly inferior verson—as someone who has NEVER seen the film, is it better to see the 2005 version if that is all that is available than not seeing the film at all?

Or is the 2005 cut an abomination that is just not worth dealing with and I should just hold out hope that Warner will see the light and eventually release the 1988 cut?

Thank you
Last edited by bdsweeney on Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mr. Ned
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#87 Post by Mr. Ned » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:18 pm

Disc One is the 2005 Cut, and Disc Two is the '88 Turner Version. I'm still up in the air on which version I like better--both of the soundtracks are much different, but I haven't seen the 2005 version for a long time now so I can't go into great detail as you probably want. The Two Disc set is probably the best of the ones Warner released (Warner's Peckinpah Boxset is very cheap at the moment and a real steal for those interested) a few years ago for the 35th anniversary of The Wild Bunch so I would recommend you snatch it up.

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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#88 Post by Vic Pardo » Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:13 pm

bdsweeney wrote:Not sure exactly where to post this as I could not find a specific thread on the topic.

Anyway, here we go and it's a well-worn topic.

The current DVD 2-disc version of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. A few questions:

Am I correct in believing that it does not contain the 1988 Turner version of the film?

If it does only contain the supposedly inferior verson—as someone who has NEVER seen the film, is it better to see the 2005 version if that is all that is available than not seeing the film at all?

Or is the 2005 cut an abomination that is just not worth dealing with and I should just hold out hope that Warner will see the light and eventually release the 1998 cut?

Thank you
I'm confused.

Here are the cuts of PAT GARRETT I'm familiar with:

1) 1973 theatrical release - a result of butchering by James Aubrey's boys at MGM.

2) TV cut which was syndicated sometime afterwards, which offered scenes that weren't in the theatrical cut, including one with Barry Sullivan as Chisum. I saw it on a local New York TV channel in the late '70s or early '80s.

3) Director's cut -which I saw at the Film Forum in NYC, probably in the late '80s/early '90s, whenever it premiered, and which came out on VHS (which I have) not long after.

Okay, I'm assuming that when you say the 1988 Turner cut, you're talking about the director's cut which I saw theatrically and which came out on VHS, although I've never heard of it referred to as the Turner cut. Why is it called that? IF that's what we're talking about.

What is the 2005 cut?

Anyone?

Thanks.


[P.S. There are scenes in the TV cut that are not in any other version.]

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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#89 Post by aox » Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:31 pm

Additionally, The Blu Ray of The Wild Bunch is currently $9.99 at Amazon. Just got my copy. The Blu is getting good to great reviews as well.

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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#90 Post by bdsweeney » Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:58 pm

Vic Pardo wrote:Here are the cuts of PAT GARRETT I'm familiar with:

1) 1973 theatrical release - a result of butchering by James Aubrey's boys at MGM.

2) TV cut which was syndicated sometime afterwards, which offered scenes that weren't in the theatrical cut, including one with Barry Sullivan as Chisum. I saw it on a local New York TV channel in the late '70s or early '80s.

3) Director's cut -which I saw at the Film Forum in NYC, probably in the late '80s/early '90s, whenever it premiered, and which came out on VHS (which I have) not long after.

Okay, I'm assuming that when you say the 1988 Turner cut, you're talking about the director's cut which I saw theatrically and which came out on VHS, although I've never heard of it referred to as the Turner cut. Why is it called that? IF that's what we're talking about.

What is the 2005 cut?

Anyone?

Thanks.


[P.S. There are scenes in the TV cut that are not in any other version.]
In 1988, Turner Home Entertainment, with distribution by MGM, released Peckinpah's director's cut of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid on video and laser disc. This version led to a rediscovery and reevaluation of the film, with many critics praising it as a lost masterpiece and proof of Peckinpah's vision as a filmmaker at this time.
In 2005, a DVD of the film distributed by Warner Brothers was released containing the director's cut as well as a new special edition which combined elements of the theatrical version, the director's cut and several new scenes left out of both versions. This third version of the film runs slightly shorter than the director's cut.

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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#91 Post by Props55 » Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:52 pm

I think the PGABTK "director's cut" is sometimes refered to as the "Turner cut" because it was first released to home video (VHS and Laser) after the Ted Turner's MGM buyout. Prior to this only the 1973 studio release version was available. The "Turner/Director's Cut" first appeared on L.A.'s legendary "Z" channel sometime in the mid-eighties I believe but later appeared regularly (in nationalcablecasts) first on TNT then later on TCM. As author Paul Seydor (and others) have noted the term "director's cut" is somewhat misleading as Peckinpah never delivered a "final director's cut" prior to the plug being pulled on posting after another team of studio hired editors finished a cut that Aubrey deemed releaseable.

The "2005 Cut" is a version that attempts to blend elements from the original theatrical and "Turner/Director's Cut" into a form that most approaches Peckinipah's intentions. With all due respect to Paul Seydor, his exhaustive research into Peckinpah's career, his marvelous book(s) and many articles and his skill as a film editor, IMHO this cut is as rife with suppositions, conjecture, miscalculations and plain wrongheaded personal opinions as the 1998 version of Welles' TOUCH OF EVIL. In fact I think it moreso.

I really don't believe that anyone can ever really come up with a truly complete PGABTK for the simple reason that there was never a finished script either before, during or after production. In the best of all possible worlds the DVD should have been a three-disc set (ala TOUCH) with the original studio version, the "Turner/Director's Cut" and the Seydor supervised "2005 Reconstruction". As much of a mess as the original is I believe it's worth preserving for its historical value and the only recourse for anyone interested in studying it (short of snagging a 16 or 35mm print) is to watch a 30+ year old smearly, pan'n'scan videotape. That's if you can find one.

The TV version is yet another animal and yes it does contain at least one long scene (and many odd shots) that are not in any other version. Prepared by CBS Television for network broadcast around 1976-7 it has apparently dissapeared from the face of the earth. I have an audio cassette recorded off air and about a page and a half of detailed notes from a local affiliate broadcast. Perhaps I could post them here or on a more specific thread if there is any interest.

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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#92 Post by Forrest Taft » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:33 pm

It's Peckinpah week on Trailers From Hell, and apparantely Joe Dante loves Cable Hogue (can't say I blame him). Here's his nice appreciation, which is more about the movie than the trailer itself.

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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#93 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:45 pm

They usually are. John Landis did a cool one for Once Upon A Time In The West.

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tarpilot
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#94 Post by tarpilot » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:58 pm

Eli Roth's are pretty endearing. I wanna get drunk with him and talk about giallos

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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#95 Post by Forrest Taft » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:55 am

flyonthewall2983 wrote:They usually are. John Landis did a cool one for Once Upon A Time In The West.
Sure, and I wasn't complaining. But many of the Dante commentaries seem to be just as much about the trailers as the actual films.

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Lighthouse
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#96 Post by Lighthouse » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:45 pm

Props55 wrote:The TV version is yet another animal and yes it does contain at least one long scene (and many odd shots) that are not in any other version. Prepared by CBS Television for network broadcast around 1976-7 it has apparently dissapeared from the face of the earth. I have an audio cassette recorded off air and about a page and a half of detailed notes from a local affiliate broadcast. Perhaps I could post them here or on a more specific thread if there is any interest.
Yes, please ...

Are you sure about this long scene not in any other version?

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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#97 Post by Props55 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:16 pm

The scene I'm refering to is not the one with Garrett and his wife (Aurora Clavel), the Chisum (Barry Sullivan) scene or the "long" version of Garrett and the coffinmaker (Peckinpah) but a rather long meandering courtship scene between Billy and Maria (Rita Coolidge) from early in the film. It runs thusly: Billy spies Maria returning home with a basket of fresh laundry and tries to strike up a conversation with her. She rebuffs his advances and as they walk a crowd of children begin to follow and heckle Billy's lack of success. He plays to his young audience and when a stray article of clothing drops from Maria's basket as she slips inside he holds it up for them to see and raps on the door indicating that he will finally get her to acknowledge him. Instead an old wrinkled woman answers the knock, snatches the clothing and slams the door in his face. The children howl with derisive laughter and Billy shrugs and walks away. It's of no plot consequence and was undoubtedly an inprovised bit of atmosphere but then much of the film consists of such scenes.

I've never seen this 2+ minute scene in any version other than that prepared for CBS and which was available in syndication packages for several years thereafter.

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Lighthouse
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#98 Post by Lighthouse » Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:34 am

Thanks, that is the only of the then missing scenes which Paul Seydor described in his Peckinpah: The Western Films book which was not in the long version. So he obviously watched it in those re-cut TV version.
And surely not a scene the film needs, but I would have likeed to see it as a bonus on the DVD. Maybe VHS recordings exist if it was still aired in the 80s.

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Lighthouse
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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#99 Post by Lighthouse » Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:07 am

I'm most likely in the minority by preferring the Seydor cut of PG&BtK to the so-called Turner version.

The 2 biggest mistakes Seydor made was to restore the theatrical credits, instead of using the preview credits, and not to return for the end credits to the 1909 framing shots, which are there to close the circle. And the whole film is in it's episodical structure about circles.

These are the 2 decisions nobody else would have done besides Seydor.

His best decisions were the earlier presenting of the raft scene in the film's narrative and the including of the Knocking on Heaven's door lyrics, both like it was done in the 73 cut.
All the other changes are debatable for me.

I also think that some of the violence wasn't cut in the way Peckinpah has done this before. But Seydor hasn't tried to change it. An example is the Billy and Alias shooting of Chisum's men after the turkey chase. Here several slo mo shots are presented as a whole, whereas Peckinpah had them mostly (always?) intercut with other shots.

I had seen for many years only the theatrical version, and it was always Peckinpah's second masterpiece for me. Due to it's episodical structure the film wasn't as damaged as Major Dundee (still is) and the shorter versions of the Wild Bunch. It wasn't as complex as the longer versions, but PG&BtK already worked in this version. And you could see what it was about, you only had to look a bit closer.

When I first saw the Turner cut I was a bit disappointed as the film had, apart from the new opening scene, not improved as much as I had it expected. I still think the pacing of the Turner cut is not good, and that's why I prefer the Seydor version. Even if some beautiful moments are gone, the film leaves a much greater impact. But if you watch the deleted scenes on DVDs you always will find a lot of beautiful shots and scenes, and I often don't understand why some of those were cut. But to cut films to make them work often also means to get rid of some pretty good material.

I would cut some of the violence different, I would use of course the preview credits and the preview ending, and I would put some minor pieces back to the Seydor cut.
Then it would be the perfect version for me.

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Re: Sam Peckinpah

#100 Post by MongooseCmr » Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:47 am

Props55 wrote:The "2005 Cut" is a version that attempts to blend elements from the original theatrical and "Turner/Director's Cut" into a form that most approaches Peckinipah's intentions. With all due respect to Paul Seydor, his exhaustive research into Peckinpah's career, his marvelous book(s) and many articles and his skill as a film editor, IMHO this cut is as rife with suppositions, conjecture, miscalculations and plain wrongheaded personal opinions as the 1998 version of Welles' TOUCH OF EVIL. In fact I think it moreso.
Reading about Seydor's cuts from the film right after watching it made my skin crawl. It's one thing to try and reconstruct a film and assume how to edit it, but to just remove whole scenes and lines seems narcissistic at best. Hopefully whoever can puts this out on Blu in the future promotes the 88 cut over the 2005, if they even can. Some lines he cut do sound worth removing but that was Peckinpah's mistake to make

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