W. K. Stratton Book Signing on March 14
Please join us in welcoming author W.K. Stratton to Best of Books! He will be signing copies of his book, The Wild Bunch: Sam Peckinpah, a Revolution in Hollywood, and the Making of a Legendary Film, on Thursday, March 14 beginning at 6:00 pm.
Sam Peckinpah's film The Wild Bunch, named one of the greatest films of all time by the American Film Institute, is the story of a gang of outlaws who are one big steal from retirement. When their attempted train robbery goes awry, the gang flees to Mexico and falls in with a brutal general of the Mexican Revolution, who offers them the job of a lifetime. Conceived by a stuntman, directed by a blacklisted director, and shot in the sand and heat of the Mexican desert, the movie seemed doomed. Instead, it became an instant classic with a dark, violent take on the Western movie tradition.
In The Wild Bunch, W.K. Stratton tells the fascinating history of the making of the movie and documents for the first time the extraordinary contribution of Mexican and Mexican-American actors and crew members to the movie's success. Shaped by infamous director Sam Peckinpah, and starring such visionary actors as William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Edmond O'Brien, and Robert Ryan, the movie was also the product of an industry and a nation in transition. By 1968, when the movie was filmed, the studio system that had perpetuated the myth of the valiant cowboy in movies like The Searchers had collapsed, and America was riled by Vietnam, race riots, and assassinations. The Wild Bunch spoke to America in its moment, when war and senseless violence seemed to define both domestic and international life.
William Kip Stratton born in Guthrie, Oklahoma, but has lived much of his life in Texas. Both his mother's and father's families had deep roots in the West. His mother's family homesteaded outside Guthrie during the Great Land Run of 1889. His father was a rodeo cowboy from Denver's skid row as well as a runaway dad.He became the subject of Stratton's book, Chasing the Rodeo.
Stratton put himself through what’s now known as the University of Central Oklahoma while working as a newspaper reporter, taking a degree in English with honors. He later received a Master’s degree in English from the same school, submitting a novel for his thesis. While in college, he studied fiction writing under the popular novelist Marilyn Harris (Springer). He also had the opportunity to participate in seminars and workshops by the likes of James Dickey, William Stafford, Donald Hall, and N. Scott Momaday.