The Wild Bunch (100 Greatest Films, 1969)


The Wild Bunch (100 Greatest Films, 1969)

IMPORTANT: This is a very rough and general deconstruction that is meant to simply illustrate that this story follows the pattern described on the main page.

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FADE IN: meeting the (anti) heroes: the wild bunch freeze frames.

New World: riding into town.

Developing the (anti) heroes: sacrificing the people in the bank; shooting their way out.

Meeting the Shape Shifter: Pike glimpses Thornton.

Forced onto a Journey: forced out of town by Thornton et al.

Developing the antagonism: Thornton's dumb ass men and Harrigan.

Developing the heroes: Pike kills one of his own; you wanna give him a decent burial.

Developing the Shape Shifter: Thornton's reasons for working with Harrigan.

Time Pressure: 30 days to get Pike or back in jail.

New World from afar: nothing Lindo about it; just looks like more of Texas as far as I'm concerned.

Marker of the Crossing: the river.

World of the Supernatural Aid: by the well.

Supernatural Aid: the old man waiting.

Developing characters and relationships: I either lead this bunch or end it right now.

Magical Gift: steel washers, not gold.

Supernatural Aid: who are "they?"; railroad men, bounty hunters.

Trial: come on boys, don't kill me; easy boys.

Developing characters and relationships: Talking about whores.

Hero's Status: What kind of man is Pike; the best; he didn't get caught.

Foreshadow of the Trials and Transformation: every one of them will have a payroll delivered; they'll be waiting for us; I wouldn't have it any other way.

Hero's backstory: Pike and Thornton with the whores; Thornton gets caught.

Antagonism's Motivation: damn you sure must have hurt that railroad.

Conscious Decision: I wouldn't have it any other way either.

New World: riding the sand dunes.

Warning / Danger: falling over the dunes.

Rules: when you ride with a man you stick with him.

Physical Change: Pike falls and hurts himself.

Pushed Forward by the Antagonism: Thornton et al riding.

Developing the Shape Shifter: no, we wait.

Developing the Mentor and his backstory: how did my boy do?

First Threshold: in the Mexican village.

Romantic Challenge: the girl.

Foreshadow of the Transformation: who killed my father.

Developing Characters and Relationships: you know what we are then.

Resistance to the Transformation: you get over it or we leave you here.

Departing the First Threshold: the celebration.

Entering the Belly of the Whale: the town full of Federales.

Warning: I don't like Americanos.

Physical Separation: shooting the girl and engaging with the Federales and the general.

Guided to the Trials and Transformation: to steal the guns.

Developing Characters and Relationships: in the sauna; give him a crate of guns.

Developing the Shape Shifter: Thornton negotiates with Harrigan.

Time Pressure increases: what you've got is 24 days.

Journey to the World of Trials: on their way to rob the train.

Hero's Romantic Challenge / Backstory: the woman he wanted to marry; getting shot in the leg.

Trial and Transformation 1:

Outer Cave: robbing the train.

Middle Cave: pursued by Thornton and loading the goods.

Inner Cave: trapped and escaping from the bridge.

Foreshadow of the Resolution: he'll be along.

Transformation: sharing whisky; laughing.

Trial and Transformation 2:

Developing the Shape Shifter: why the hell did you have to shot at the army you idiots.

Developing the Antagonism: the general is under attack; runs out of ammunition and retreats; need Pike's weapons.

Outer Cave / Pushed: Pike et al watch Thornton following.

Developing the Shape Shifter: Thornton could pint to them if he wanted.

Transformation [Tornton]: the next time you make a mistake I'm going to ride off and let you die.

Preparing for the Inner Cave: Pike booby traps the weapons.

Middle Cave: the Mexicans take their share.

Push: general, without the guns this would never happen.

Inner Cave: taking control in the canyon.

Developing the Antagonism: quien fue; matalo; killing one of their own.

Trial and Transformation 3:

Pike exchanges some of the guns for some of the money.

Tector throws dynamite at the Old Man.

The General plays with the machine gun.

Transformation: the guns are sold for money.

Meeting the Oracle: the general takes Angel.

Resisting the Sword: how the hell are we gonna go after him; they got guns and 200 men.

Pushed to the Sword: I am sick of being hunted; protection in the General's camp.

Foreshadow of the Resolution: the old ma gets away.

Foreshadow of the Near Death Experience and Rebirth: I want to buy Angel.

Seizing the Sword: plenty of muchachas

Night Sea Journey: lets go.

Rebirth through Death: the General kills Angel.

Atonement with the Father: battling the General and his men.

Apotheosis: Thornton finds Pike and sends Harrigan's men along.

Ultimate Boon: Harrigan's men die; the Old Man returns and asks Thornton to join him.


by Kal Bashir