Thursday, March 26, 2009
WARREN OATES: A WILD LIFE
New bio out on one of my all-time favorite character actors....Warren Oates...by Susan Compo. Warren is probably best known as being one of Sam Peckinpah's regulars. Their last collaberation was 1974's BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA. The movie was so dark that both James Coburn and Peter Falk turned down the lead. (Panned in its day "Alfredo Garcia" is now viewed by many as a master piece.) Oates' and Peckinpah's mutual sympathy was often interrupted by outbursts of alcohol-fueled acrimony and bouts of disloyalty....such as when Oates was instrumental in helping Peckinpah get the job of directing THE BALLAD OF CABLE HOGUE, Sam repaid him by giving the lead role to Jason Robards. When Oates died in 1982 of a massive heart attack at the age of 53, such was the rift between him and Peckinpah that Sam was "resoundingly not invited to the service, but nothing could keep him away." A must read for movie fans of all ages but especially fans of both Oates and Peckinpah. Another great one gone way too soon.