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How Many Shots Were Fired in the 1969 Movie “the Wild Bunch”?

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  • Written By: A Kaminsky
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The Wild Bunch is an iconic Western movie directed by Sam Peckinpah. It's famous for a level of gun violence not previously seen in American cinema. In fact, it is believed that some 90,000 rounds of blank ammunition were fired during the making of the movie. Supposedly, there were more blank rounds fired during the filming of The Wild Bunch than live rounds fired during the Mexican Revolution of 1916, the event upon which the film was loosely based.

The Wild Bunch was sufficiently influential that John Woo, Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese have all described it as a touchstone film that affected their views on film and directing. The level of violence was so graphic that the Motion Picture Association of America threatened it with an "X" rating (NC-17 had not been introduced yet), although the MPAA ultimately went with an "R" rating for theatrical release. In his review published in The New York Times on 26 June 1969, Vincent Canby wrote, "The Wild Bunch takes the basic elements of the Western movie myth, which once defined a simple, morally comprehensible world, and by bending them turns them into symbols of futility and aimless corruption."

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More about The Wild Bunch:

  • Actor Ernest Borgnine didn't have to fake the limp that afflicts him in the movie. He had broken his foot during a previous movie shoot and wore a cast during filming.
  • The line "If they move, kill 'em" was voted no. 72 in a list of "100 Greatest Movie Lines" in 2007 by Premiere magazine.
  • Sam Peckinpah estimated that he shot about 333,000 feet (101,000 m) of film for the movie.
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