Sam Peckinpah: Man of Iron
This straight-talking program seeks to understand the enigmatic and controversial Sam Peckinpah, whose violent films such as The Wild Bunch and Straw Dogs had a telling effect on the cinema of the 1970s and 80s. Those who knew and worked with him, including actor James Coburn, actress Ali MacGraw, his associate Katherine Haber, his cousin Bob Peckinpah, and several screenwriters and producers, examine his life in an attempt to separate the man from the persona. Clips from key films reinforce this detailed discussion of Peckinpah's art and a fixation on violence that still permeates Hollywood today.
Far from the definitive Peckinpah documentary this does have a couple of things that set it apart. Firstly we have Jason Robards reading some of the great mans notes and letters, including a wonderful reply to a letter criticising the violence in his movies. Secondly there's the presence of screenwriter Alan Sharp who is far from a Peckinpah fan, the writer of Ulzana Raid, Night Moves and Peckinpah's final film The Osterman Weekend finding the legendary director's films excessively violent. The rest of the participants are the usual crew - L.Q, R.G etc with Kristofferson seemingly incapable of appearing in a Peckinpah doc without bursting into song.