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The plot concerns an aging outlaw gang on the Mexico–United States border trying to adapt to the changing modern world of 1913.
The film was controversial because of its graphic violence and its portrayal of crude men attempting to survive by any available means.
The screenplay was co-written by Peckinpah, Walon Green, and Roy N. Sickner.
Location: Mexico, notably at the Hacienda Ciénaga del Carmen, deep in the desert between Torreón and Saltillo, Coahuila, and on the Rio Nazas.
The Wild Bunch is noted for intricate, multi-angle, quick-cut editing using normal and slow motion images, a revolutionary cinema technique in 1969.
The writing of Green, Peckinpah, and Roy N. Sickner was nominated for a best screenplay Oscar, and the music by Jerry Fielding was nominated for Best Original Score.
Additionally, Peckinpah was nominated for an Outstanding Directorial Achievement award by the Directors Guild of America, and cinematographer Lucien Ballard won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cinematography.
In 1999, the U.S. National Film Registry selected The Wild Bunch for preservation in the Library of Congress as culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.