Having grown up at the end of the Peckinpah era, I was well aware of The Osterman Weekend at theaters and the influence his style had on others. I think director Walter Hill falls into this category though Hill added some flavor of his own to the projects he became involved in. Before Hill became a director in 1975, he had actually penned the Peckinpah/McQueen film The Getaway. Walter would direct a number of features that appealed to this young adolescent who not only paid attention to the stars in films of which Hill had plenty but who had their name appear at the end of the opening credit sequences in films …………………… Directed By Walter Hill.
While I have a number of Hill’s posters in my collection, this salute on his work is long overdue as I am a big fan of the many titles he has blessed us with. The reason for my finally putting this list together is recently finding an original one sheet of his 1978 film The Driver featuring some awesome art work.
Hill’s first film one could argue is his best. I do believe it’s the best film of the 1970’s for the iconic Charles Bronson. James Coburn just adds to the fun. I still steal Coburn’s line occasionally when playing poker with some pals and maybe rubbing it in just a bit when I collect a pot, “like old momma said, next best thing to playing and winning is playing and losing.”
I recall during the initial phase of the VHS machine, everyone in my circle of friends wanted to get The Warriors for a weekend rental and once seen, who can forget David Patrick Kelly’s snivelling Luther wining, “The Warriors did it! The Warriors did it! The Warriors did it!
With the western my stock answer as to what is my favorite genre, it’s disheartening to know that westerns have never really recovered to become a main staple of cinema and television. Have they outgrown their time? Perhaps as the cop film became the western for the last couple generations. That’s is an argument for another discussion I guess. However, since The Duke passed on there are only a handful of westerns I would recommend and this Hill effort ranks high on the list alongside Unforgiven.
“There’s still a lot of banks and cathouses in Missouri we ain’t done. “
Another top cast including Fred Ward, Powers Boothe and Keith Carradine make this an unforgettable experience. “Well, I just figured if I get out of here alive and you don’t, I might look her up.”
Here’s another box-office smash and the template for all buddy-buddy cop movies to come. Trying to keep it clean it sure was tough on squeezing in a quote but here’s Eddie talking trash.
“And I want the rest of you cowboys to know something, there’s a new sheriff in town. And his name is Reggie Hammond. So y’all be cool. Right on.”
The above six titles represent the first six movies Walter actually directed. That’s a hell of a way to kick start a resume in the movie biz.
Here are a few others.
Yes I wished Bullet to the Head had turned out better overall but it’s nice to know that Walter Hill is still interested in getting behind the camera.