Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)
Quien es el padre? (Who is the father, or one could say, who has the authority?) This is the question asked at the beginning of what very well could be considered Sam Peckinpah’s opus.
A priest wants to avenge his knocked-up daughter’s purity. He wants the head of Alfredo Garcia. The genius of the film can be quite easily glossed over due to its B-movie action/adventure façade, however, upon closer inspection reveals a magnificent double entendre.
Let’s weigh the odds…a man’s head - already dead - to the redemption of a daughter’s respectability.
Something doesn’t quite fit.
The film is a metaphorical grand narrative depicting an epic journey towards realizing the error of the Cartesian split - mind from body, where the mind was granted the highest use value. Was it for the money? How much is it really worth? To sacrifice the passion, the body and blood of life, in favor of a figurehead - there is indeed an irreparable loss. In the case of the priest, he sacrificed the love of his daughter in order to maintain his authority.
The purity of youth (or of woman) was not the only virtue defiled in the film. Peckinpah is unrelenting when it comes to shattering established values and morays. Close runners up are marriage, priesthood, the rites of burial, love, happiness, and, ultimately, life.
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia is a picture worth a thousand words. However, the DVD commentary with Peckinpah scholars almost ruins the film.
- Story A+
- Acting A
- Visuals A
- Originality/Innovation A+
- Enjoyability A
- Overall A
- DVD Extras D