Junior Bonner (1972)
as Junior 'JR' Bonner
as Ace Bonner
as Elvira Bonner
as Buck Roan
as Curly Bonner
as Ruth Bonner
as Red Terwiliger
as Nurse Arlis
as Homer Rutledge
as Tim Bonner
as Nick Bonner
as Flashy Girl in Bar
as Parade Grand Marshal
Critic Reviews for Junior Bonner
The movie simply never comes together and works as a whole. The material is terribly thin.
Junior Bonner, based on an excellent original screenplay by Jeb Rosebrook, is Peckinpah in the benignly comic mood that, I suspect, is much more the natural fashion of this fine director than is the gross, intellectualized mayhem.
Junior Bonner may be the least Peckinpah-like in content, but it's very much like his other work in spirit.
Audience Reviews for Junior Bonner
A great movie. Sam Pickenpah departs from his usual violent vein to direct a quiet story of a man who is committed to his way of life and the family of which he is a part of. Steve McQueen is excellent in this role. He showed the quiet character of a few cowboys I knew.
Great, great, great film. Best work of Peckinpah even, or because, it lacks violence, so-called Peckinpah's specialty. His gaze on characters, no matter how small the role is, is full of love and tenderness in this film. It's a fantasy about men and women, family, dream, and the USA. Full of memorable scenes. Great editing. Just watch it. I guarantee you will be happy after watching. (F**k whatever Roger Ebert says about this film.)
Junior Bonner works if you look at it as a bunch of good scenes but as a whole movie its not that great. I would call this more of a Steve McQueen movie than a Sam Peckinpah film (as McQueen's presence for the most part carries it.) Robert Preston and Ida Lupino as McQueen's parents manage to steal every scene they're in (same for Charmagne.) Unfortunately the story never really figures out what it wants to do but the bar fight towards the end was a nice distraction from that fact. It looks like it could be about the death of The Old West for a few minutes but it turned into this goofy, folksy prodigal son kind of thing that turned into a day at the rodeo by default. A lot of little unspoken things are never tied up or explained (the movie wasn't clever, coy or sly enough to give the audience the impression this was done intentionally) and the end just... kind of happened as opposed to having been built up to. I love that Sam Peckinpah did this type of movie, but I just wish it was better.
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