Sunday, July 8, 2012

In Memory of Dutch (RIP Ernest Borgnine)

Ernest Borgnine died at 95 years old today in Los Angeles.  He's going to be remembered for his many accomplishments, which include a Best Actor Oscar for "Marty" in 1955, as well as key turns in "Bad Day at Black Rock," "McHale's Navy," "The Poseidon Adventure" and a whole lot of other namby-pamby movies that don't mean squat when you stack them against the fact that the dude was in THE WILD BUNCH.

In my considered opinion, The Wild Bunch is one of the Top 5 Westerns of All Time.  There never has been, and never will be, a finer ensemble piece that so exquisitely explores the violence and unraveling of the Old West for the folks who lived in it.  Sam Peckinpah broke barriers when he made the film so bloody, and all of the cast deserve our undying love and admiration.
None more so that Dutch Engstrom AKA Ernie Borgnine.  He's the heart and conscience of the group, without whom they'd be just another group of hired killers.
The final walk that the Wild Bunch makes to go free their friend and face certain death (as pictured above) stands as a cinematic achievement in itself that a whole bunch of modern movies have derived from.  Any time you see a group of men walking down a street looking cool, regardless of tough a fight they have coming up, you're seeing it.
So, as a Western fan who knows his stuff, take it from me, we lost a legend today.
PS: I thought this was so important that I preempted debuting the cover art for Magnificent Guns of Seneca 6 today.  That's how real it is.

 
RIP buddy. 

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