New Movies: Man and Myth

"When the legend becomes fact," says the canny newspaper editor in John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, "print the legend." Sam Peckinpah is a film maker dedicated to telling truths and still preserving the legend of the American West. In feature films (Ride the High Country, Major Dundee) and television shows (The Westerner), his characters are eminently fallible, their deeds frequently inglorious. They are legends both because and in spite of themselves. The Wild Bunch is Peckinpah's most complex inquiry into the metamorphosis of man into myth. Not incidentally, it...

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