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Publisher's Summary

Peckinpah: A Portrait in Montage (The Definitive Edition) is a comprehensive biography on the American filmmaker Sam Peckinpah, creator of such films as The Wild Bunch, Ride the High Country, Straw Dogs, and Junior Bonner. Written by Garner Simmons, whose relationship with Peckinpah began in 1973 and continued until the director’s death in December of 1984, the book is read by the gifted actor Jason Culp, son of the late Robert Culp. It examines Peckinpah’s genius, his conflicted life, and his controversial films in the words of those who knew him. Because Robert Culp and Sam Peckinpah had been friends since the mid-1950s, Jason grew up knowing the director.  

Thus his ability to capture Peckinpah’s distinctive voice is uncannily accurate as are the voices of the more than 70 actors, writers, producers, collaborators, family, friends, and enemies, including Strother Martin, LQ Jones, RG Armstrong, William Holden, Charlton Heston, Ida Lupino, and many more. It concludes with the special bonus: “Remembering Sam - A Conversation Between Jason Culp and Author Garner Simmons”.

©1976, 1982, 1998, 2019 (Louis) Garner Simmons (P)2020 Garner Simmons/Equuleus Productions, Inc.

What listeners say about Peckinpah: A Portrait in Montage (The Definitive Edition)

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Garner’s Book is a Treasure Trove for Fans or Sam

I have always appreciated everything that Garner has done to preserve the legacy of Sam Peckinpah since I watched the documentary he made with Nick Redman that takes its name from this book. That documentary is available as an extra on The Wild Bunch Blu-ray. This audiobook is fantastically done and presents a deep understanding of Peckinpah from those who knew him the best. Jason Culp capably reproduces the voices of the many people interviewed. I can’t recommend this highly enough!

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Comprehensive Peckinpah

A great overview of the life and career of Sam Peckinpah. From his early life to his work in TV and film, struggles with executives and his own demons, the book is a must for any fan. There is a lot of input from friends and foes alike in the book. A particular favorite was the criticism of Junior Bonner, from a rodeo coordinator that "it wasn't deeply enough involved in rodeo". Yeah, because rodeo is box-office gold. Junior Bonner is a fine film, with just enough, perhaps a bit too much, rodeo. But the prize has to go to Jerry Fielding for his apoplectic diatribe about Bob Dylan's work on Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid. I understand Fielding had a long career scoring films, and a lot of TV, but he comes off childish and petty. Personally, I feel the film is nearly a masterpiece, and while thin on plot, it's powerful in its tone and atmosphere. Dylan deserves as much credit in that regard as Sam, in my opinion.

There are only two minor points that I can think of which disappointed. There was the greater focus on The Killer Elite, over Cross of Iron, the latter being a far superior film. But, I suppose this must be chalked up to the author's access with Sam, and familiarity with the matter. The other is Jason Culp's narration. I can appreciate the effort to individuate voices, but unless they are spot-on impersonations, what's the point? Or alternatively, why would I know what Gordon Carroll or Katy Haber sounded like anyway? Only perhaps the representation of James Coburn is slightly identifiable, and the Strother Martin effort is laughably cliched. But that being said, still a tremendously entertaining book.

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Culp's audio narration offers a new dimension.

I'n not a student of film, or even much of a film buff. But I love the movies, especially westerns. After growing up with "cowboys" like Roy Rogers and The Lone Ranger, Sam Peckinpah showed me, and everyone, what the real west was like, warts and all. And I was blown away by it! I eagerly read the original book by Simmons; Peckinpah: A Portrait in Montage, when it first came out, and I was not only facinated by the genious and complexity of Peckinpah himself, but by the deep dive Simmons made into the minute details that went into the production of each of Peckinpah's films, from story selection to final editing. For an outsider like me, he provided a peek behind the curtins to see how movies are actually made. Not always smooth sailing, but certainly facinating! Now that the original book has been revised and offered in an audio format read by Jason Culp, this book has reached a new dimension. I highly recommend checking it out.

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The Author knew the Man -- and so did the Reader..

Garner Simmons writes his book from inside for, to put it simply, he knew the man. All sides of him, and Peckinpah was not an easy man to know. What's amazing is that the reader, Mr. Culp, also knew the great director. He grew up with Peckinpah because his father, Robert Culp, the actor, was friends with Peckinpah. For a time, anyway. This personal knowledge lends a credence and simple compassion for Sam Peckinpah and his work that other books could not bring. It's just not possible. It is read and produced beautifully by Mr. Culp and Mr. Simmons. I wish that other Audible titles were presented with such care. Thank you, Mr. Simmons and Mr. Culp for this beautiful book. We will listen again and again...
-- Cyrus Nowrasteh & Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh