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If They Move . . . Kill 'Em!: The Life and Times of Sam Peckinpah
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If They Move . . . Kill 'Em!: The Life and Times of Sam Peckinpah

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  213 ratings  ·  18 reviews
The only major biography of Sam Peckinpah in print, David Weddle's If They Move...Kill 'Em! tells the wild story of Peckinpah's life with novelistic verve and does justice to one of the most important bodies of work in American cinema. Born into a clan of lumberjacks, ranchers, and frontier lawyers, David Samuel Peckinpah served in the Marines and then made his way to Holl ...more
Paperback, 592 pages
Published December 18th 2000 by Grove Press (first published 1994)
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Average rating 4.32  · 
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 ·  213 ratings  ·  18 reviews


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Jim
May 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cinephiles and Peckinpah fans
This was a decent read about a man who was anything but decent. Sam Peckinpah was a silver spoon type who turned out to be one of the best directors of all time. Mr Weddle follows Sam (I'll call him Sam because it's easier to handle than Peckinpah) from the cradle to the coffin, with heavy emphasis on Sam's 3 best movies ( Wild Bunch, The Getaway, and Strawdogs . Sam's descent into the darkness of alcoholism and drug abuse is well-documented, as are the countless instances of betrayal and dislo ...more
Albus Eugene Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore
«Tutti sogniamo di tornare bambini, anche i peggiori tra noi, forse i peggiori più di tutti.»
«Che facciamo, Sam?», rispose Silke in maniera socratica. «Facciamo il vero Billy Kid o facciamo la leggenda?» Peckinpah restò seduto per venti minuti senza rispondere. Silke semplicemente aspettò. Alla fine Sam disse: «Facciamo la leggenda».
Per quei due o tre che non l’avessero ancora incontrato, David Samuel "Sam" Peckinpah – nato a Fresno, in California il 21 febbraio 1925 e morto a Inglewood, nella
...more
Evan
He was Mr. Hollywood. And he was coming to talk to me.

He was tall and lanky and sported a mane of blond permed curls and a bushy blond mustache with a touch of grey. Before I even saw his highway patrolman sunglasses my eyes were drawn to the gold medallions on a chain hanging from his neck and adhering to the tan leathery skin of his upper chest, revealed astride the edges of his unbuttoned silk shirt. He had on jeans and cowboy boots, of course.

He smiled and offered a handshake and a warm gree
...more
Brian
Oct 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A comprehensive biography of an underrated director whose work was deeply misunderstood and harshly criticized when initially released. Fortunately, film historians and critics, as well as a wide range of movie lovers are revisiting and reappraising the films of Sam Peckinpah. I would have given this five stars, but the writing is a bit imprecise at times. For instance, at least twice the author uses the phrase "All of Hollywood came to his . . ." And while I know what he means, I found it a bit ...more
Stephen Hughes
Jul 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The best of several biographies of Sam Peckinpah. The chapter on the filming of The Wild Bunch is a masterpiece.

After this, read Marshall Fine's Bloody Sam.
Joseph
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: west-cowboy
The Wild Bunch is my all-time favorite movie probably because I saw it when I was young. When your your young you appreciate movies with a sad ending. I think as you age you want things to just turn out all right in the end. This is a good biography and analysis of Peckinpah's film. This book rates the Wild Bunch, Strawdogs, and the Getaway as his best films. I might put bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia in there as well. One of the ways Peckinpah was ahead of his times is his use of Spanish a ...more
John Bleasdale
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book really got rid of the idea of the demonic selfdestructive genius. Peckinpah was essentially a brilliant director to begin with but then totally blew it because he was a drunk. The anger and the rebellion was just nonsense. Ultimately he could have produced so much more and so much better. The Wild Bunch he made relatively sober. By the latter part of his career he wasn't even directing the film's. Weddle has a critical eye and the reading of films is good. There is a bit of a problem w ...more
Jim Davidson
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fine biography on a Hollywood rebel

This biography of filmmaker Sam Peckinpah was incredibly well researched. It was thorough, factual and an enjoyable read. I learned much about Peckinpah that I didn’t know and was kept constantly engaged. Highly recommended for anyone familiar with the director’s films.
Liam Green
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“We all dream of being a child again, even the worst of us...perhaps the worst most of all.”
David Rice
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
An exhaustive, tragic biography of an embattled genius.
Niels
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a very detailed account of one of cinema's greatest and most influential directors. It details his life, his loves and his demons. It covers his childhood, growing up as the son of a wealthy lawyer with deep roots in the old west to his time in the U.S. Marine Corp stationed in China during WWII, to directing theater in college, to becoming a successful TV screen writer to his evolution to film director. His real life was a booze soaked as many of his films. His demons (booze and cocaine ...more
Jonathon Dabell
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A genuinely enthralling biography - one of the best I've ever read - of American cinema's enfant terrible, Sam Peckinpah. David Weddle's wealth of informtion is astonishing, and his style is immediately engaging and readable.

Particularly good is the way Weddle makes no effort to disguise Peckinpah's many faults as a human being (abusiveness, drug use, promiscuity, anger, insecurity, etc.). It's all there, honest and true and often somewhat ugly.

Every film gets a thorough write-up and peckinpah'
...more
F.C. Schaefer
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A must read for any fan of his movies;takes you behind the scenes on the making of such classics as Ride the High Country, The Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs, and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. The book also provides a wealth of detail on how Hollywood operated in the 1960's and 70's when the studios were still really in control and creative artists like Peckinpah were at a real disadvantage. Author Weddle did his homework and gives us a vivid portrait of a truly talented, but equally troubled man, who ...more
Matt
Mar 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Basically, this guy researched the shit out of Peckinpah. It takes more than 200 pages for him to direct his first film, another 100+ till he does The Wild Bunch, and it's still a total page-turner. (Still took me almost a month to read. Not the book's fault.) Does a good job of portraying his faults without over-defending them. Weddle puts Peckinpah's flaws on the page, just as Peckinpah himself put his own flaws in his movies, wrestling with them. Makes a strong case in defense of Straw Dog's ...more
Bob
Sep 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Terrific. Proof of my long held assertion that Peckinpah was born 100 years too late. Luckily for everyone else he was not, and leaves a legacy of great movies. Forever associated with words like "violent" and "crazy", here you can see that Sam was also steadfastly loyal and principled. Input here by all the usual suspects. Best read with one of Peckinpah's movies available, and a beverage he would endorse at hand.
Nat
Mar 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Borrowed this from Ben's old London roommate, who was a film student. Still need to return it. Details Peckinpah's coke-fueled whoring lifestyle.
Rex McCulloch
Aug 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
The ultimate guide to Peckinpah's films, as well as his tortured, infuriating life.
Gary
Apr 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Okay - flawed bully
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