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Junior Bonner (Widescreen)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Steve McQueen, Robert Preston, Ida Lupino, Ben Johnson, Joe Don Baker
  • Directors: Sam Peckinpah
  • Writers: Jeb Rosebrook
  • Producers: Joe Wizan, Mickey Borofsky
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, Letterboxed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: Fox Video
  • Release Date: May 25 2004
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001GF2JC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #56,401 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Amazon.ca

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

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T O'Brien on July 9 2004
Format: DVD
Junior Bonner is not your typical Sam Peckinpah movie, but do not let that scare you away from this movie. J.R. Bonner is a well-known rodeo cowboy on the last legs of his rodeo career. Returning to his hometown of Prescott, Arizona for Frontier Days, the annual 4th of July celebration, Bonner finds that everything he knew before has changed. His father refuses to take responsibility for his life, instead always looking for a way to make easy money while alienating his wife. J.R.'s brother has become a real estate afficionado and is only worried about the bottom line. At the same time, JR has a burning desire to finish off strong by riding and conquering the rodeo's meanest bull for the full eight seconds. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this movie. It is a very understated, self-reflexive film, unlike some of Peckinpah's other films. It is an excellent story about changing times and a family's effort to survive those changes. If you like the teaming of star Steve McQueen and director Sam Peckinpah, check out their other collaboration together, The Getaway. I highly recommend both movies.
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!
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Format: DVD
As a big fan of film director Sam Peckinpah and actor Steve McQueen, I always thought I had seen their most substantial work. Much to my surprise, I viewed the 1972 film "Junior Bonner" for the first time recently and was stunned by its quality and depth. "Junior Bonner" is a terrific film, complete with Peckinpah's individualistic themes, McQueen's understated though electric presence, magnificient location detail, boozy saloons and elder statesmen (and women) coming to terms with a rapidly receding past.
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.
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Format: DVD
The true individual will carve out a niche for himself in life, and gravitate toward those endeavors or communities most conducive to maintaining that autonomy which is to that person, all important. For some, it can be a life's work, the occupation of seeking out and accepting whatever challenge will take them down their own road. And who could better personify such a man than Steve McQueen, who plays the title role in "Junior Bonner," director Sam Peckinpah's character study of a man so determined to live life on his own terms that the only challenge that means anything to him is the one he makes with himself. When Junior says, "Rodeo time, I gotta get it on down the road," it's his way of saying, "Life awaits." His life; and he's working it in such a way that whenever he gets to the end, he's going to be able to look back and say unequivocally, "I did it my way." That's the challenge. That's Junior Bonner.
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.
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