Sam Peckinpah was a director of manly movies. An eccentric drug-abuser and lifelong alchoholic who was notorious for his gruff demeanor and rocky relationships with women, he created a number of films that perfectly reflected his own personality: violent, nihilistic and cynical. Some of them stand as modern classics.
His filmography includes:
- Ride the High Country: A tale about two aging ex-lawman guarding a shipment of gold in early 20th century California, it had lackluster box office when it was released in 1962 but has since been Vindicated by History.
- Major Dundee: A victim of extensive Executive Meddling, it (and The Cincinnati Kid from which he was fired) set the stage for Peckinpah's contentious relationships with producers and studio heads during the production of his later films.
- The Wild Bunch: His most famous film, an infamously violent anti-western.
- The Ballad Of Cable Hogue: This is a lesser-known mostly non-violent change of pace film about the proprietor of a water hole during the last days of the Old West.
- Straw Dogs: Recently remade.
- The Getaway: A crime caper starring Steve McQueen that was remade in 1993.
- Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid: Perhaps best known for being the origin of Bob Dylan's "Knocking on Heaven's Door."
- Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia: A bloody modern western.
- The Killer Elite: Recently remade.
- Cross Of Iron: His only war film, and an inspiration for Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds.
- Convoy: A trucker film based on the novelty country song.
- The Osterman Weekend: His final film, based on the Robert Ludlum novel.
Sam Peckinpah's life and signature style include:
- Black and Grey Morality
- Kill'Em All
- No Kill Like Overkill
- New Old West
- Rated "M" for Manly
- A Real Man Is a Killer
- Sociopathic Hero
- Twilight of the Old West: The end of the Wild West and the beginning of the Modern Age is a common theme in many of his best-known films.