skip navigation
Sam Peckinpah

Sam Peckinpah

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (2)

Recent DVDs

 
 

Ride The High Country DVD Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea star in Sam Peckinpah's masterful "Ride the High... more info $19.98was $19.98 Buy Now

Sam Peckinpah's The Legendary Westerns... This 4-disc collection of classic Westerns from revered director Sam Peckinpah... more info $59.98was $59.98 Buy Now

Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid: Special... One of Sam Peckinpah's most understated films, "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid"... more info $19.98was $19.98 Buy Now

4 Film Collector's Set: Classic Westerns... The 2-disc Classic Westerns Collector's Set includes four must-see movies from... more info $9.99was $9.99 Buy Now

The Wild Bunch: Director's Cut... The Original Director's CutBy any standard, director Sam Peckinpah's film The... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Straw Dogs DVD How far does a man have to be pushed before he snaps? Dustin Hoffman shows you... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now



Also Known As: David Samuel Peckinpah, David S. Peckinpah, David Peckinpah, David Samuel Peckinpah Died: December 28, 1984
Born: February 21, 1925 Cause of Death: series of heart attacks
Birth Place: Fresno, California, USA Profession: screenwriter, director, actor, producer, third assistant casting director (gopher), film teacher, assistant editor, dialogue director, director's assistant, stagehand, prop person

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A paradox who both cultivated and disdained his own legend as one of Hollywood's most notoriously difficult directors, Sam Peckinpah evoked varied responses to his often violent films that typically existed on a skewed moral plane between eras and cultures, with ambiguous quests for identity and redemption undertaken by hopelessly lost outcasts and enemies. Sometimes Peckinpah's search for meaning in film was a reflection of his own tattered life, which was cut short after years of serious alcohol and later drug abuse, leading to numerous quarrels with stars and studio executives that left him ostracized from the industry more than once. After receiving his start on television, Peckinpah made a powerful statement with only his second film, "Ride the High Country" (1962), a revisionist Western that presaged the greatness that came later in the decade. But he had a disaster on his hands with his next film, "Major Dundee" (1965), which was plagued by his increased onset drinking and a penchant for verbally abusing his cast. Practically banished from Hollywood, Peckinpah emerged triumphant with "The Wild Bunch" (1969), a classic revisionist Western that marked the true high point of his creative powers....

A paradox who both cultivated and disdained his own legend as one of Hollywood's most notoriously difficult directors, Sam Peckinpah evoked varied responses to his often violent films that typically existed on a skewed moral plane between eras and cultures, with ambiguous quests for identity and redemption undertaken by hopelessly lost outcasts and enemies. Sometimes Peckinpah's search for meaning in film was a reflection of his own tattered life, which was cut short after years of serious alcohol and later drug abuse, leading to numerous quarrels with stars and studio executives that left him ostracized from the industry more than once. After receiving his start on television, Peckinpah made a powerful statement with only his second film, "Ride the High Country" (1962), a revisionist Western that presaged the greatness that came later in the decade. But he had a disaster on his hands with his next film, "Major Dundee" (1965), which was plagued by his increased onset drinking and a penchant for verbally abusing his cast. Practically banished from Hollywood, Peckinpah emerged triumphant with "The Wild Bunch" (1969), a classic revisionist Western that marked the true high point of his creative powers. From there, the director seemed to court controversy with every move, whether it was from the gruesome violence of "Straw Dogs" (1971) to the onset fights with Steve McQueen on "The Getaway" (1972) to the abstract minimalism of the confusing "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid" (1973). All throughout the decade, Peckinpah's health rapidly deteriorated brought on by serious alcohol abuse and later a cocaine addiction that flared up with "The Killer Elite" (1975). His final movies, "Cross of Iron" (1976), "Convoy" (1978) and "The Osterman Weekend" (1983) showed few flashes of the genius on display in the 1960s. Still, Peckinpah had already established his reputation as a great filmmaker able to elicit strong emotional responses with his kinetic and often operatic imagery, no matter how hard he tried to destroy it behind the scenes.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Osterman Weekend, The (1983) Director
2.
  Convoy (1978) Director
3.
  Cross Of Iron (1977) Director
4.
  Killer Elite, The (1975) Director
6.
7.
  The Getaway (1972) Director
8.
  Junior Bonner (1972) Director
9.
  Straw Dogs (1972) Director
10.

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Hollywood Mavericks (1990) Himself
2.
 The Visitor (1979) Sam
3.
4.
5.
 Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) Charlie Buckholtz, gas meter reader
6.
 An Annapolis Story (1955) Pilot in added scenes
7.
 Dial Red O (1955) Cook
8.
 Wichita (1955) Teller
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1943:
Enlisted in the Marines; sent to China in 1945 and began studies of Zen
1950:
Began career as director-producer in residence at the Huntington Park Civic Theatre for a year and a half
:
Joined KLAC-TV in Los Angeles as a stagehand, propman and floor-sweeper; stayed two years; lost job after row with studio executive (dates approximate)00
1953:
Hired by CBS as an assistant editor on basis of short films he had made on his own time at KLAC
1954:
First job in the film industry; hired by Walter Wanger as third assistant casting director (gopher) at Allied Artists; first assignment on Don Siegal's "Riot in Cell Block 11" (date approximate)0
:
Worked as "dialogue director" (in reality personal assistant to Don Siegal) on "Private Hell 36" (1954), "An Annapolis Story" (1955), "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and "Crime in the Streets" (both 1956)
:
Worked as dialogue director on some of Jacques Tourneur's films for Allied Artists
:
Wrote first scripts for TV series, "Gunsmoke" (most were adaptations of "Gunsmoke" radio scripts)
1957:
Sold first original feature script, ("The Authentic Death of Hendry Jones" (later in altered form it was filmed by Marlon Brando as "One-Eyed Jacks")
1958:
Directed first TV episode, "The Knife Fighter" on series "Broken Arrow"
1958:
Reworked an original script rejected by "Gunsmoke"; sold to Dick Powelll at Four Star Productions as "The Sharpshooter" (1958) which served as pilot for series, "The Rifleman" (also directed four episodes)
1958:
Debut as TV producer on NBC series, "The Westerner" (also directed five episodes and co-wrote four)
1961:
Directed first feature film, "The Deadly Companions"
:
Returned to TV as producer-director of two hour-long films for "The Dick Powell Theatre" ("Pericles on 31st St Street" 1962 and "The Losers" 1963)
1963:
Joined Walt Disney Productions as writer-director; left after disagreement with producer (date approximate)
1967:
Taught writing and directing at UCLA
1983:
Directed final film, "The Osterman Weekend"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Fresno High School: Fresno , California -
San Rafael Military Academy: San Rafael , California -
California State University: Fresno , California - 1949
University of Southern California: Los Angeles , California - 1950

Notes

At his memorial service in 1985, an actor told the crowd, "You can tell this is a Peckinpah production. We got started late and nobody knows what's happening." --quoted in VANITY FAIR, December 1991

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Marie Selland. Married 1947, divorced 1961; met at Fresno State College.
wife:
Begonia Palacios. Actor. Mexican; married 1964, divorced, re-married, re-divorced three times; had a small role in "Major Dundee" (1965); died of liver failure on March 1, 2000 at age 58.
wife:
Joie Gould. Married 1972, divorced; third wife.

Family close complete family listing

grandfather:
Denver Samuel Church. Lawyer. Maternal; became District Attorney of Fresno County, then Congressman and finally Superior Court judge.
father:
David Samuel Peckinpah. Cowboy, lawyer. Worked on Church ranch in 1914; founded Fresno Humane Society; became Superior Court judge.
mother:
Fern Peckinpah.
brother:
Denver Peckinpah. Born in September 1916; became Superior Court judge.
sister:
Fern Natalie Peckinpah. Born in 1931.
daughter:
Sharon Peckinpah. Born in July 1949; mother Marie Selland.
daughter:
Kristin Peckinpah. Born in November 1953; mother Marie Selland.
son:
Matthew Peckinpah. Born in 1962; mother Marie Selland; appeared in several of father's films.
daughter:
Lupita Peckinpah. Mother, Begonia Palacios.
nephew:
David Peckinpah. Producer, screenwriter, director. Born in 1951.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Crucified Heroes: The Films of Sam Peckinpah"
"Peckinpah"
"Bloody Sam" Donald I. Fine, Inc.
"Peckinpah: The Western Films--A Reconsideration" University of Illinois Press
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

Contributions

m.shamamian ( 2010-09-23 )

Source: not available

"The Authentic Death of Hendry Jones" was not "an original feature script" by Sam Peckinpah. It was a novel by Charles Neider. (Several writers worked on this adaptation, perhaps including the great Jim Thompson, who had worked for Stanley Kubrick, before Kubrick left during production to direct "Spartacus.")

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute