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A Uniquely American EpicIntimacy and Action, Tenderness and Violence in Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch$
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Michael Bliss

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813178141

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813178141.001.0001

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(p.148) Justified
A Uniquely American Epic

Michael Bliss

University Press of Kentucky

Michael Bliss’s essay explores the mythic and Christian aspects of The Wild Bunch, paying particular attention to what he considers its key sequences: the scenes in Angel’s village and those that follow the shootout there. Drawing on the criticism of Northrop Frye and Flannery O’Connor, Bliss argues that in light of the film’s use of violence as a metaphor as well as its radically conceived multiple endings, which result in the Bunch being first apotheosized and then absorbed into nature, The Wild Bunch qualifies as a religious work of art.

Keywords:   Christianity, the Green World, Flannery O’Connor, Northrop Frye, nature

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