Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia

Dir: Sam Peckinpah





This is Sam Peckinpah’s visceral, doomed and deeply romantic 1970s riposte to Treasure of the Sierra Madre. It’s a film driven by fate rather than suspense.

The plot is simple: when a powerful Mexican named El Jefe discovers that his daughter is pregnant, he commands, “bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia”. Alcoholic Bennie (possibly Warren Oates finest hour) is lured by the promise of a hefty reward to do just that – even though he already knows Garcia is dead.

Bennie reckons he has one last shot at happiness if only he can just scrape enough money together to start a new life with his prostitute sweetheart. So he sets about digging up Garcia’s head and collecting the reward while fighting off the other psychopathic bounty hunters bent on doing much the same.

The problem is Garcia and Bennie’s sweethearts happen to be the same woman. And this is what makes the film so damned strange. It’s an anti-buddy movie about an alcoholic pianist and a decomposing severed head who share the same lover.

This may well be Peckinpah’s best film. Vilified at the time of its release 35 years ago, it still has the power to shock, move and outrage. Unrelenting in its depiction of a man on a downward spiral it is the film the legendary director stated was his one “Pure Peckinpah”, made completely free from studio interference – a rarity in an increasingly compromised career.

Booking Information


Park Circus

Release Date

2 January 2009

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