Sam Peckinpah’s Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia was made in 1974 – the year I was born. It’s hard to imagine now how they hell Sam got away with it. Major studio money for a film that is a love letter to personal destruction.
I love Peckinpah’s films. He was a man in love with death, destruction, he was brutal, and beautiful at the same time. He’s drunk (and was literally a lot of the time) on betrayal, he rails against the world but he loves people too. He wants to stand up and be counted, even though he knows the whole thing is fruitless. He’s not bothered, he’s going to reach for his gun and set the world to rights before he enters his house justified.
Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia is one of his greatest films. It’s nasty, trashy and romantic as hell. In the lead role (and as the directors’ surrogate) is Warren Oates. This is the Warren Oates film – he’s wasted and wounded and like Bogart on a bad day. His performance is a thing to cherish and the world has yet to replace actors with his sort of intensity and willingness to get down and dirty.
Of course, it all ends tragically, but there’s also a hell of a lot of tragedy along the way. Bullets, dirt, rape, dead bodies, booze, flies, blood money and babies. Hell, it’s what Al would have wanted.
Anyone who enjoys holidays to Mexico, should watch this film first…
Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award winning episodes of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. He’s also a leading UK script consultant. You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb. You can get in touch with Matthew on firstname.lastname@example.org or hire him on Peopleperhour