Wild Bunch (1969) and Pat Garret & Billy the Kid (1973)
There are different similarities and differences between the two movies. Firstly, they both depict a Western setting in which the place resides in a sand dunes and desert setting or in barren lands. Interaction with the settings can be seen using the landscape as protection against the enemies and a sanctuary for outlaws. The village scenes are places of authority, which present a stark contrast compared to the predominant desert landscape. The story also progress as the authority is chasing the outlaws while their efforts have been constantly undermined with the ability of the outlaws to escape and fight with their enemies. Even in constrained situation such as being outmanned and outgunned, the outlaw and criminal can still escape and hide from them. However, the outlaws demonstrate the ability of compassion and camaraderie with their fellow members and other oppressed members of the society. Compared to the values mandated by the authorities in the villages, these values become the source of corruption in the society in which the outlaws have observed. Not only there has been a physical difference between the barren landscape and the village but also the mindset of the settlers.
The movie, Pat Garret & Billy the Kid (1973), demonstrate the evolution of the director, Sam Peckinpah to incorporate slow motion in this film. He offers the viewers a chance to view the action of broken glass as the bullets hit them. This stylistic innovation helped augment the imagination of the viewers into the story and emotions of the film. Unlike the other movie, the action scenes are composed of heavy exchange between the two parties and the use of different ammunitions. It even includes a bombing scene where in the bridge is blown to demonstrate the ability of the outlaws in those instruments.
In addition, both movies show similarities in the showing oppression in the films. The Mexican settlers are depicted in impoverished state with the creation of lack of decent dwelling and livelihood. They are seen as second-class citizens with the lack of government support in the infrastructure of their village. The setting includes their rustic and often lightweight house in which some scenes are taken place. However, the Mexicans characters show sentiment to the outlaws by helping them with their needs. In the movie, a Mexican helped Billy the Kid escaped from being detained while Gen. Mapache transacted with the outlaws in an effort to provide better ammunitions for his troops. Another oppression presented in the film relies of the status of women in the society. Most of female characters in both films are depicted in domestic roles and caring for the male leads or the villains. A Mexican señorita is assisting Pat Garret before he heads out to find Billy. She is cleaning up the kitchen when Pat comes in announcing his plan. In the movie, Wild Bunch (1969), women are initially depicted as conservative and passive in the initial part of the film as they attend a religious sermon. The other side of women oppression involves being a sexualized character in the movie. The female companions of Billy’s friends are seen with breast out indicating their liberated motive yet they are subjected for the sexual pleasures of the male character. Even the righteous discernment of Pat has demonstrated his agreement with the use of prostitutes in the salon scene as he asked for the whereabouts of Billy. The other movie casts women as companions and even allocated scenes of the male characters bathing with them. The presence of oppression on minorities and women are present both movies which is characterized with strong male perspective of superiority and dominance. These scenic portrayals of oppressed parties are also seen in other Peckinpah’s films (Dukore).
In the end, there are realizations for the characters representing the authority as they prove the integrity of the outlaws compared to the system they represent. The character of Billy the Kid died in the movie as Pat realizes the virtues of the man. Feeling with guilt and resentment over his death, he is seen riding the horse away from the scene. While the other movie, celebrates the success of the outlaw group as they are together riding their horses. The changes of perspective have slowly paved the way for the audience to side to the sentiments of the outlaws in relation to the governing procedures in the government and the misuse of power of the authorities.
Dukore, Bernard Frank. Sam Peckinpah's Feature Films. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999. Print.