William Holden and Ben Johnson have a word in "The Wild Bunch."

William Holden and Ben Johnson have a word in "The Wild Bunch."

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If they move, kill 'em. William Holden's Pike Bishop issues the order at the beginning of The Wild Bunch, and his words still waft over the nihilistic carnage of Sam Peckinpah's revisionist Western masterpiece. Known primarily for its violence, orchestrated like a ballet of blood, The Wild Bunch also probes the question of what it means to live by a code, even when amorality seems to rule the roost. 

I'll show the film 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Angelika Dallas, part of my Western series produced by The Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Film Society.  Admission is free, but you have to RSVP. You can do that here; please use the promo code WESTERN. Hope to see you there. And look for Kip Stratton's book about the movie in the near future.   

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