Favorite Quotes From The Wild Bunch

If there’s one movie I really like to talk about a lot, it’s The Wild Bunch. If you’re a guy and you have yet to see Sam Peckinpah’s game changing masterpiece from 1968, do so immediately and prepare for your balls to finally drop.

Much like Ernest Hemingway and Bruce Springsteen, Sam Peckinpah’s entire oeuvre essays issues regarding masculinity and determining one’s place in the world as a man. The Wild Bunch details the last hurrah of a group of aging outlaws in the waning days of the wild west, as they find themselves on the run from a posse commissioned by the railroad company and double crossed by a corrupt and sadistic Mexican general.

The bunch, led by William Holden’s Pike Bishop, includes his second-in-command Dutch (Ernest Borgnine), old man Sykes (Edmond O’Brien), Mexican revolutionary Angel (Jamie Sanchez) and the Gorch brothers Lyle (Warren Oates) and Tector (Ben Johnson). The leader of the posse pursuing them is Deke Thornton (Richard Ryan), who was once a member of the bunch until he got caught by the law and was only given parole upon accepting the job to hunt down and kill Pike.

I could go on and on about this film forever, and would do so happily, but to spare you from that I will give you seven of my favorite quotes from the film and let them speak for me.

Pike Bishop: I’d like to make one good score and back off…
Dutch Engstrom: Back off to what?

Pike Bishop: He gave his word.
Dutch Engstrom: He gave his word to a railroad.
Pike Bishop: It’s his word.
Dutch Engstrom: That ain’t what counts! It’s who you give it to!

Sykes: Didn’t figure to find you here.
Deke Thornton: Why not? I sent them back; That’s all I said I’d do.
Sykes: They didn’t get very far.
Deke Thornton: I figured.
Sykes: What are your plans, now?
Deke Thornton: Drift around down here. Try to stay out of jail.
Sykes: Well, me and the boys got some work to do. You want to come with us? It ain’t like it used to be; but it’ll do.

Pike Bishop: We’re not gonna get rid of anybody! We’re gonna stick together, just like it used to be! When you side with a man, you stay with him! And if you can’t do that, you’re like some animal, you’re finished! We’re finished! All of us!

Pike Bishop: We’ve got to start thinking beyond our guns. Those days are closin’ fast.

Deke Thornton: [addressing his posse] You think Pike and old Sykes haven’t been watchin’ us. They know what this is all about – and what do I have? Nothin’ but you egg-suckin’, chicken stealing gutter trash with not even sixty rounds between you. We’re after men – and I wish to God I was with them. The next time you make a mistake, I’m going to ride off and let you die.

Pike Bishop: Let’s go!
Lyle Gorch: Why not?


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Categories: Film

Author:Colin Holmes

I love movies. I love watching them and I love writing about them. My taste ranges from Jean Pierre Melville to Jean Claude Van Damme and everything in between as long as it isn’t mediocre. I’ll take a crazy failure of a movie over a middle of the road one any day. I'm an American currently living abroad in Oz and am relishing how my accent makes me sound like a cowboy to everyone I meet here.

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