Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia Reviews

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Super Reviewer
June 7, 2014
Sam Peckinpah's films have always been an intense experience to watch. His style was unmatched by any other filmmaker. The main reason here is the fact that his films have striking images that stick with you. His style has been lauded and dismissed, but you simply cannot deny the power his films have. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia is a brilliant, well acted picture that like his previous outings uses a simple idea with stunning performances and unforgettable imagery to really tell a very good story. The result is an impressive Action thriller that moves at a fast pace, and is highly engaging from start to finish. Although not his greatest film, this is still a well crafted film from Sam Peckinpah and it's definitely worth seeing if you enjoy his work. With a great cast at his disposal, he was able to craft a film that has stood out among his filmography, but like I said, it's not his best either. His finest works are Straw Dogs, The Wild Bunch and The Getaway. However, this is still a picture well worth your time, and there's plenty to enjoy in the film. With effective action scenes mixed with the performances, the film is a taut, thrilling, memorable picture that will surely please fans of Peckinpah's work. The film has a few points that could have been improved upon, but overall, it's a well executed picture that is a top notch action film that will surely please genre fans. Not Peckinpah's finest picture, but very good nonetheless. This is an accomplished picture that boasts some fine direction, a good story and effective performances to really make this a unique film experience. Despite its shortcomings, Bring Me the Head of Alfred Garcia is Thrilling cinema.
Super Reviewer
June 26, 2008
Sam Peckinpah's next to last real masterpiece was also the film that nearly destroy his career as one of Hollywood's most maverick filmmakers both personally and professionally. "Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia" was a major flop upon its original release on August 14, 1974. "Alfredo Garcia" was made while the "Straw Dogs" and "The Wild Bunch" director was debilitated by excessive drug usuge and alcoholism. The film's central frank and controversial subject matter of its strong graphic scenes of explicit violence throughout not to mention strong language and brief nudity were perceived as misogyny,but to this day has a strong cult following in one of the risque' films ever made despite given its black comedy and existential storyline that has been duplicated numerous times in many movies. In the most astounding best performance of his career,the great character Warren Oates(who also starred in Peckinpah's "The Wild Bunch",but his resume follows a long list of classics including "In The Heat Of The Night" as one of the most diverse actors of his generation)as an alcoholic piano player who takes his prostitute girlfriend on a road trip through the seedy and dangerous Mexican underworld to collect a huge payday only to be have the titular noggin of the notorious drug lord calling for his reward. Oates and his girlfriend are on the run from the two notorious hencemen(Robert Webber and Gig Young)out to get them not to mention coming to a violent cilmax with the drug lord and the million dollar bounty. Oates literally takes advantage with the head of the dismembered body(in a brown sack) as he seeks vengeance for what he has lost in the quest. It's one of the purest distillations of Peckinpah's nihilistic vision,along with a rare supporting turn from Mexican-American actress Isela Vega as Oates' victimized girlfriend of a prostitute. It may not be out of the best films of 1974,but with some of its action scenes and violent content,it's worth taking a second look.
Super Reviewer
June 27, 2007
Only as dark as Peckinpah's own notions of life. This man's tarnished soul is reflected by a superb Warren Oates, his misogyny, a hopeless "Hobbesian" view of society, but also a strong honor code that always leads his characters to attain lost honor by suicidal glory. That raw facade conceals noble motifs, never more evidently than his feelings for the prostitute, Elita. Bloody Sam's most personal, and one of his best.
Super Reviewer
½ February 17, 2011
Not all moments in this film are winners - specifically the first half of the film. It's all spent getting to know Bennie and his friend/girlfriend/whatever she is to him. All of this leads up to the cemetery scene. Everything after that is great. It's just that first half that needed some work. I like Warren Oates, but I felt like he wasn't on top of his game here. I wouldn't call this a bad film, just unbalanced in that it doesn't get interesting until halfway through.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
Another movie I want to see again sometime, I don't remember it well.
Super Reviewer
½ November 5, 2006
The first hour of Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia was one of the most gruelingly dull movieviewing experiences of my life. Yes, Sam Peckinpah perfectly nailed the daunting grittiness of Warren Oates' (who stole the show, by the way) miserable existence but all I saw was some trudgingly slow storytelling that not even multiple shots of Isela Vega's ample bosom were able to redeem. The second hour was a different story. Once Oates cracked, shots were fired and the pain train left the station in a way that only Peckinpah could portray, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia became an almost entirely different movie and all its misgivings (even if only in my mind) are forgiven. The performances were generally solid and seeing a square like Gig Young drenched in sliminess was a nice touch. The more I think about Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia the more I like it. "Why? Because if feels so goddamned good...!"
Super Reviewer
½ March 13, 2007
Peckinpah's nihilistic trip is still fresh to this date, and still capable of split opinions as much as in it's time. It's in the vein of Corbucci's "The Great Silence", a bleak and dark story where there is no glory for anyone involved. It's a one way trip to doom and tragedy, and you just can't help but watch it. It's my kind of story, and Peckinpah's direction, along with the whole cast, make it work. It's the kind of story that few directors dare to tell, it makes sense that so many people hated this. This is the exact opposite of the "feel-good" model of cinema that most embrace.
Super Reviewer
November 8, 2008
bloody fantastic 70's grindhouse style thriller. it doesn't get any grittier. warren oates goes from loser to total badass! great atmosphere. this is the kinda stuff tarantino and rodriguez try to manufacture with varying results. see the real deal
Super Reviewer
June 20, 2007
Pure Peruvian Pekinpah...this shit will make you loco!
Super Reviewer
April 6, 2007
Peckinpah's masterpiece; One of the greatest films I've ever seen.
Super Reviewer
April 5, 2007
Slated by critics at the time, if Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid was Peckinpah's tale of the death of the west, this is it's "resurrection". QT and particularly Robert Rodriguez has obviously taken a lot of cues from it, and it deserves it's cult status. My favourite Peckinpah film.
Super Reviewer
½ August 26, 2011
Warren Oates is always fun to watch, and this film has one of the greatest titles ever. But I just don't relate to director Sam Peckinpah's ugly fascination with violence and machismo. And his trademark, slow-motion gimmick is grossly overused.

"Alfredo Garcia" surprised me, though -- I hadn't read much about it, and assumed it was an old-time Western. Instead, it is not only set in the present but isn't even a Western. I suspect Peckinpah anticipated this confusion, because there's a jarring early moment where modern automobiles thunder into the frame after an ambiguous opening scene fails to reveal the setting.
Super Reviewer
½ August 23, 2006
[font=Century Gothic]In "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia", Benny(Warren Oates) spends his nights toiling in a dive bar in a Mexican resort town when opportunity suddenly appears in the form of two hitmen(Robert Webber & Gig Young) who are looking for Alfredo Garcia.(It seems Alfredo is quite the ladies man and got the daughter of a wealthy landowner in Spain pregnant. He was none-too-pleased and hired the hitmen.) Through his fiancee, Elita(Isela Vega), who also slept with Alfredo, Benny finds out that he has already died in an accident. Benny then goes back to the hitmen and negotiates a fee of $10,000 in exchange for proof of Alfredo's death, specifically his head.[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]Directed by Sam Peckinpah, "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia" is a surprisingly restrained movie that defies expectations by being a character study of a man who does not recognize what is truly valuable in life.(Most of the men in the movie do not either but I think perhaps the late, great Alfredo Garcia did.) Throughout the movie, violence lurks in the background until it suddently comes to the fore but it is never the solution the characters think it will be. And Warren Oates gives a staggering performance.[/font]
Super Reviewer
January 31, 2013
Not to my liking. I found it dull. 'twas a terrible introduction to Peckinpah as far as I'm concerned. I'll give him another chance though.
Super Reviewer
½ June 19, 2014
This is my second Peckinpah film, after viewing the masterpiece in Straw Dogs. Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia is far more underwhelming in its repetitive nature and lack of focus. The violence this film does a lot less for me than that of Straw Dogs, due to its one man kills six in seconds nature. And due to the never ending circle the story gets dull, and the film loses me early. Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia still has some technical accomplishments. Most notably the amazing cinematography. The use of mirrors is fantastic, and overall shot by shot this looks great. The cinematography actually highly makes up for the monotonous circular pacing, since it still makes the film interesting to view.
Super Reviewer
½ April 11, 2009
The film plays out in a totally different way than I expected and that isn't a bad thing. I've heard that it was Peckinpah's personal favorite of all his films and his most personal. The whole film permeates with this incredible anger that is barely contained until the end. Peckinpah was clearly pissed off at someone when he made it. I can see why some people despise the film, but I loved it particularly because Warren Oates is so damn good in the lead role and because everything the characters do is an exercise in futility. A great number of people die for no apparent reason and there is no real resolution in the end.
Super Reviewer
March 18, 2010
It's got that great grindhouse feel with blockbuster action. It's so much fun. Greatest title in the world by the way.
Super Reviewer
December 22, 2008
Critically panned in its time, this is a film that many have come to respect over time. I can see where some of the criticism was coming from, Warren Oates is not great here, and some of the violence gets a little silly by the end. But, I?ll maintain that this is a very well made film, Peckinpah?s slow motion is in full swing here and the film also deserves compliment for having a really cool title.
Super Reviewer
May 17, 2008
It really is all about Warren Oates in this film. The first film I've ever seen with him. Of course going in knowing it's a Peckinpah, you should be expecting something completely different.
Super Reviewer
½ October 30, 2006
Not my favorite Peckinpah, but its his most personal film. Some cool shootout sequences with stylish violence.
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