Sam Peckinpah

From Academic Kids

Sam Peckinpah (February 21, 1925 - December 28, 1984) was an American film director famous for his films with extremely bloody climaxes.

Sam Peckinpah
Sam Peckinpah


His great-grandfather, Rice Peckinpaugh, was a merchant and farmer in Indiana during the early-1800s. The family decided to move to California in the 1850s to Humboldt County, California of California, and also changed their last name to Peckinpah. The family then settled down in the area to log. As a result, Peckinpah Meadow and Peckinpah Creek have been officially named within US geographical mapping.


He was born in Fresno, California and attended Fresno grammar schools and high school. However, he spent much time skipping classes with his brother to engage in cowboy activities like trapping, branding, and shooting. Sam joined the Marines in 1943 to then be stationed in China on supportive roles. While his duty did not involve any combat situations, he had spent his time witness to acts of war between the Republic of China and Japan. After the war he attended college, earning a master's degree at USC in 1950.


He worked initially as a scriptwriter and director of Western genre television series such as Gunsmoke and The Rifleman. In the early 1960s he moved into film and earned a reputation in Hollywood as an enfant terrible of the cinematic world. His feature films were criticised as being overly violent, but he defended his work as anti-violence commentary.

His films were visually inventive, having a style of film-making that was unconventional for the time period. He was a pioneer in the use of slow-motion, and rapid-fire edits.

Peckinpah's critics panned the filmmaker's use of blood and gore, and how often violence was cast as a redeeming action, bringing closure to its perpetrators and a brand of rough justice to its victims. This, however, was not always the case. Where film critics of this era were conditioned to expect movies with heroes, Peckinpah's films were often peopled with only victims and villains.

Peckinpah drank and abused drugs, girlfriends and producers. During the filming of The Killer Elite (1975) Peckinpah allegedly discovered cocaine. This led to increased paranoia and his slow breakdown psychologically. At one point he overdosed, landing himself in a hospital and receiving a second pacemaker. Sam Peckinpah died in Inglewood, California from heart failure at the age of only 59.

He is generally regarded as one of the most original filmmakers of Hollywood's second golden age.


External links

fr:Sam Peckinpah lb:Sam Peckinpah nl:Sam Peckinpah pl:Sam Peckinpah


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