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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sam Peckinpah


 One studio executive had the misfortune to rile Peckinpah enough to have the director rip his clothes off while visiting the set. The hapless exec was "left standing as naked as a badly told lie"
 Peckinpah toyed with the idea that Dundee and his entire command get wiped out and that the search itself would be the end. Cooler heads prevailed - the studio insisted that the Indians had to die.
The first meeting between Peckinpah and his future wife did not go especially well. Begonia Palacios, niece of Chalo Gonzales, Peckinpah's personal driver was a young dancer with only a slight grasp of English. At her audition she mentioned to Peckinpah that she "Does not speak English very good" He corrected her by saying "You do not speak English very well!" The fiery girl turn on her heels and left.
 Ben Johnson was an observer when Peckinpah had cause to reprimand a crew member. He was not impressed and stated to the director "I can't work for you. 'Cos if you ever spoke to me like you did that other feller I'd punch you right on the nose an' I ain't ready to quit working in this town"

 Charlton Heston came close to committing homicide when he drew his saber and charged full gallop at Peckinpah. The director had told Heston to bring his troop down the hill at a trot. The light was fading and pressure was on to get the shot and wrap for the day. Heston as asked brought the  troop in trotting down the hill but Peckinpah had obviously forgotten what he had said and blamed Heston " No, no, Chuck. That's too slow. I said bring them in at a canter." "I'll bring them in at any speed you like but damn it you said at a trot"  Peckinpah turned scarlet and blasted Heston with a barrage of abusive epithets. Heston spurred his mount and Peckinpah - sitting on a chair at the end of a crane yelled 'Take me up..take me up..!!"

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