In 1969 Sam Peckinpah directed what was then one of the most violent Westerns to have hit the screen. Starring William Holden, Robert Ryan, Ernest Borgnine, Ben Johnson and Warren Oates it was The Wild Bunch, and it told the tale of gang of outlaws who were struggling to cope with changing times.
Four years later and one of my favourite Westerns was released, though one that fewer people have heard of. My Name is Nobody, starring Terence Hill and Henry Fonda, is a more comedic film, though it has some commonality with Peckinpah’s masterpiece. With creative input from Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone I believe it’s a must for Spaghetti Western aficionados though it divides opinion quite strongly. Here again we see a time of change as Fonda’s world-weary gunfighter plans a quiet retirement, though a younger man who hero worships him believes he should die in a blaze of glory – by taking on the 150 members of The Wild Bunch!
Having been referenced in both films I wondered if the Wild Bunch ever existed, but any attempt to discover more leads me either the Peckinpah movie, or a florists website, which is interesting because there is such a florist in Sunderland. One that again has seen a time of change, only this time as the catalyst. The Wild Bunch broke the mould through the use of a greater range of quality flowers than had been seen previously in the North East. Sixteen years later they are still going strong and as distinctive as ever.
I called in earlier this week as it’s Gill’s birthday tomorrow, and while I was there photographed Roslyn, one of the friendly and helpful team there. Could there be a more appropriate name? It means beautiful rose.