Peckinpah’s “The Killer Elite” is intensely, claustrophobically exciting, with combat scenes of martial-arts teams photographed in slow motion and then edited in such brief cuts that the fighting is nightmarishly concentrated—almost subliminal.
Sam Peckinpah, who is an artist, has, with Straw Dogs, made the first American film that is a fascist work of art.
It may be about time for movies to realize that they aren’t realistic. They are, for all the reality of their locales and of their actors and of their circumstances, only representations of reality and nothing more.
Although Peckinpah’s general attitudes turn out to be reactionary to the point of madness, he has never functioned better as a filmmaker: Straw Dogs is a hateful but very exciting movie.
“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
On the set of Sam Peckinpah’s movie “The Gateway”. LIFE magazine , 11 August 1972
Pauline Kael reviews Sam Peckinpah’s “Convoy”