Number one, Sam Peckinpah is the man who deserves the credit. He came close to "visionary" status with this violent breakthrough story about friendship and sacrifice. Number two, William Holden is, in my opinion, one of the greatest actors of all time. Burdened with alcoholism, Bill struggled through life. But his film career went on to inspire such greats as Paul Newman and Steve McQueen. (See "BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI") Number three, and this is the big one, STORY, STORY, STORY!!! What is ultimately more important? Your life? Or what you do with it?