Warren Oates, the great character actor of many Sam Peckinpah films, got to be a star in Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (USA, 1974, United Artists). It was made after the commercial failure of Peckinpah’s Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. One of my favorite films, and easily my favorite Peckinpah. It’s a great south-of-the-border, action-packed ’70s movie, and forms a dark trilogy with The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and The Wages of Fear. Available through Amazon, Vudu, and Zumvo.
If you like character studies of those out on the road during the late ’60s and early ’70s, then Two-Lane Blacktop (USA, 1971, Criterion Collection) is the movie to watch. Directed by Monte Hellman and starring James Taylor, Dennis Wilson, Warren Oates, and Laurie Bird, this film’s a cult favorite right along with Vanishing Point, Electra Glide in Blue, and Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry. It’s beautifully filmed and Hellman gets good performances out of two musicians, and Oates is again superb. Available through Amazon, PutLocker, and Netflix DVD.
— Rick Bowman, Stuck in the ’70s, Backyard Green Films