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Junior Bonner (Widescreen) [Import]
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The story of an aging rodeo star who returns to his home town and finds his family in trouble.
Release Date: 25-MAY-2004
Media Type: DVD
One of director Sam Peckinpah's lesser-known and little-seen outings, this is actually one of his most interesting for being so relaxed. Yet it deals with the themes that always interested him: the man who has watched the world pass him by and realizes that his time is gone. In this case, it's rodeo rider Junior Bonner (Steve McQueen), who returns home to try to win top prize in the bull-riding competition to raise money to stake his father (Robert Preston) to a future. As easy-going and good-natured as you'd like, with a delicious chemistry between Preston and a feisty Ida Lupino as Junior's estranged parents, who are still able to strike romantic sparks. Great rodeo footage captures both the violence and beauty of the sport. --Marshall Fine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Steve McQueen is great as the quiet rodeo cowboy, Junior Bonner, who finds everything in his life is changing, and he can do very little about it. During his career, McQueen perfected the quiet, loner type, and this is a perfect example. Robert Preston is also very good as Ace Bonner, JR's father who refuses to let anyone or anything change him. Ida Lupino plays Elvira Bonner, JR's mother who will not forgive Ace for going out on his own and leaving his family. Peckinpah regular Ben Johnson plays Buck Roan, Junior's good friend and owner of the rodeo. Joe Don Baker plays Curly, Junior's real estate brother. The movie also stars Barbara Leigh, Mary Murphy, Bill McKinney, and Dub Taylor. The DVD offers widescreen presentation and commentary from three Sam Peckinpah biographers. For another great pairing of Steve McQueen and Sam Peckinpah, check out Junior Bonner!
A genre unto itself, the rodeo lifestyle was documented with surprising fervor in the early 1970s by a handful of interesting films including "Honkers," "J.W. Coop," and "When the Legends Die." Each film explored the themes of a changing civilization which embraced convention while muting individualism and personal freedom. Thus, Peckinpah and McQueen were truly in their element with "Junior Bonner."
The film covers a day in the life of Junior Bonner (McQueen), an aging rodeo star who returns to his Arizona hometown to participate in an annual rodeo competition. We are soon introduced to his family, including his estranged parents (Robert Preston and Ida Lupino) and his budding businessman brother (Joe Don Baker) looking to profit from the sale of his father's land while exploiting the frontier/cowboy persona.
"Junior Bonner" is so understated, that the viewer must read between the lines throughout its brief running time, including a fascinating dinner scene with McQueen, Lupino and Baker when they discuss the family's future. It is a moment of brilliant directing and acting.
Ironically, what is probably the least seen film of Peckinpah and McQueen's careers is also one of their best. Peckinpah has never before been so restrained, if not gentle.Read more ›
He's been a rodeo cowboy most of his life; a former champion-- like his dad, Ace Bonner (Robert Preston)-- he's worn out and weary, but not down. The glory days may be behind him, but that's not what it was ever all about anyway, at least not for Junior. And who he is and what he's all about becomes perfectly clear when the circuit takes him back home to Prescott, Arizona, for a Fourth of July show. When he hits town, Junior approaches Buck Roan, the man who owns the rodeo stock and will be overseeing the draw for the bull ride; Junior wants to ride Sunshine, the meanest, toughest bull in the bunch, and he's willing to pay for the privilege-- he'll pay to ride the very bull that most cowboys would pay to stay off of. But the way Junior puts it, "There's one of him, and one of me.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Liked this move mostly because of the bar it was filmed in. It is the bar owned by Wyatt Earp in Prescott Arizona.Published 8 months ago by jscottsparks
Junior Bonner is one of Peckingpah's more personal films. Here, as in The Wild Bunch and Ride the High Country, he continues his exploration of men living in eras where their... Read morePublished on Nov. 1 2002 by Virgil
I saw this with my father when I was a teenager as we are both fans of the western.The modern setting still makes it a classic western in my eyes . Read morePublished on Aug. 21 2002
For someone like me,who was unfamiliar with modern-day westerns until I watched "Junior Bonner",this was a very pleasant surprise. Read morePublished on Aug. 16 2002 by noregrets
Did Steve McQueen ever deliver a bad performance on film? This film is no exception. Although it is rarely shown on TV, due to its subject matter, and the huge popularity of... Read morePublished on Oct. 23 2001 by Robert M. Khoury
If you're a McQueen fan (like me), order this DVD.
This is a secret gem because it is not frequently played on the air as are many McQueen movies. Read more
Good show with Steve McQueen as former rodeo champion Junior Bonner who is past his prime and at the crossroads of life on whether he'll retire, or continue chasing the... Read morePublished on July 28 2001 by D. Blackdeer