Friday, May 22, 2015

Sam Peckinpah's Pancho Villa

May 22, 2015
   One of the wonderful perks of my gig is to have contact information on most of the prime authors and researchers in our field. When I mentioned in a recent blog post that Sam Peckinpah was co-credited with the screenplay for "Villa Rides" (1968) I wondered about the rest of the story.

A sneak peek at our Pancho In Pictures splash page in the next issue of True West.

So I contacted Paul Seydor. We ran an excerpt from Paul's new book "The Authentic Death & Contentious Afterlife of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid: The Untold Story of Peckinpah's Last Western Film." So I asked him and here is his reply:

"Sam wrote an early version of the script; Brynner read it and said Peckinpah knew nothing about Mexico (!) and demanded Peckinpah be replaced. End of Sam’s involvement, though a lot of his research thereafter informed The Wild Bunch screenplay, which he turned to next. That was the silver lining in this particular cloud and I have always been glad Brynner had him removed. If this hadn’t happened, there would likely be no Wild Bunch, and that would have been a true tragedy—an incalculable loss."
—Paul Seydor

1 comment:

  1. Very few even remember "Villa Rides", while the "Wild Bunch" is iconic, a cinematic event.

    Heard, read or saw that Yul had a problem with Steve McQueen stealing scenes in the "Magnificent Seven", illustrated by McQueen shaking the shotgun shell while both were seated on the hearse...

    What did Yul Brynner really know about Westerns, his best was "Westworld".


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