->''"Well, killing a man isn't clean and quick and simple. It's bloody and awful. And maybe if enough people come to realize that shooting somebody isn't just fun and games, maybe we'll get somewhere.''"
-->-- Sam Peckinpah

David Samuel "Sam" Peckinpah (1925-1984) was a director of manly movies. An eccentric drug-abuser and lifelong alcoholic who was notorious for his gruff demeanor and rocky relationships with women, Peckinpah created a number of films that perfectly reflect his own personality: violent, nihilistic and cynical. Some of them stand as modern classics.

His filmography includes:

* ''Film/RideTheHighCountry'': A tale about two aging ex-lawman guarding a shipment of gold in early 20th century California, it had lackluster box office when it was released in 1962 but has since been VindicatedByHistory.
* ''Film/MajorDundee'': A vicious {{Deconstruction}} of the Cavalry Vs. Indians formula crossed with ''Literature/MobyDick''. A victim of extensive ExecutiveMeddling, it (and ''Film/TheCincinnatiKid'' from which he was fired) set the stage for Peckinpah's contentious relationships with producers and studio heads during the production of his later films.
* ''Film/TheWildBunch'': His most famous film, an infamously violent anti-western about aging bank robbers in the changing west.
* ''Film/TheBalladOfCableHogue'': This is a lesser-known [[PlayingAgainstType mostly non-violent change of pace film]] about the proprietor of a water hole during [[TwilightOfTheOldWest the last days of the Old West]].
* ''[[Film/StrawDogs1971 Straw Dogs]]'': A nebbishy professor gets pushed to the brink and violently reasserts his masculinity. Remade in [[Film/StrawDogs2011 2011]].
* ''Film/JuniorBonner'': Another [[PlayingAgainstType uncharacteristically non-violent film]] starring SteveMcQueen as an aging rodeo bull-rider.
* ''Film/TheGetaway'': A crime caper also starring SteveMcQueen that was remade in 1994.
* ''Film/PatGarrettAndBillyTheKid'': Perhaps best known for being the origin of BobDylan's "Knocking on Heaven's Door."
* ''Film/BringMeTheHeadOfAlfredoGarcia'': A bloody [[NewOldWest modern western]].
* ''Film/TheKillerElite'': A freelance spy seeks his traitorous ex-partner. [[Film/KillerElite Remade in 2011]].
* ''Film/CrossOfIron'': His only war film, and an inspiration for Tarantino's ''Film/InglouriousBasterds''.
* ''Film/{{Convoy}}'': A trucker film based on the novelty country song.
* ''Film/TheOstermanWeekend'': His final film, based on the Robert Ludlum novel.

He also worked in TV earlier in his career, contributing well-regarded episodes to ''Series/HaveGunWillTravel'' and ''Series/{{Gunsmoke}}'', rewriting a rejected script from the latter to create ''Series/TheRifleman'', and later creating ''The Westerner''.

!! Sam Peckinpah's life and signature style include:
* TheAlcoholic: His alcoholism received an almost memetic status in his lifetime.
* AntiHero
* BlackAndGreyMorality
* CulturedBadass: A rough-and-tumble, hard-drinking man's man with a deep appreciation for art and classical literature (Hemingway, Melville and Shakespeare being particular favorites).
* ExecutiveMeddling: Frequently a victim of it, as he made little effort to compromise with studio heads or producers. ''Film/MajorDundee'' and ''Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid'' are the most extreme, though by no means the only examples. ''Film/TheWildBunch'' was a notable aversion: he worked well with producer Phil Feldman, though he disagreed with Feldman's decision to cut several scenes from the film.
* {{Gorn}}: They are pretty violent even today, so by older standards, they count as this trope.
* HonorBeforeReason
* KillEmAll
* MagnumOpusDissonance: He reportedly preferred ''The Ballad of Cable Hogue'' to his more famous (and violent) works like ''The Wild Bunch'' and ''Straw Dogs''.
* NoKillLikeOverkill
* NewOldWest: Seen in ''Film/TheWildBunch,'' ''Film/JuniorBonner'', and ''Film/BringMeTheHeadOfAlfredoGarcia''.
* {{Overcrank}}
* ProductionPosse: Warren Oates, Ben Johnson, Creator/JamesCoburn, Kris Kristofferson, Strother Martin, L.Q. Jones, R.G. Armstrong, John Davis Chandler, Creator/DavidWarner, Cassie Yates, Aurora Clavell to name the most frequently occurring. He also frequently worked with cinematographer Lucien Ballard and composer Jerry Fielding.
* RatedMForManly: Masculinity, violence and revenge are common themes. The dark and nihilistic tone of his films is sometimes read as a {{deconstruction}} of the trope.
* ARealManIsAKiller
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism: He fell deeply onto the "cynicism" side of the spectrum, becoming nihilistic in the process.
* SociopathicHero
* TwilightOfTheOldWest: The end of the WildWest and the beginning of the Modern Age is a common theme in many of his best-known films like ''Film/RideTheHighCountry'', ''Film/TheWildBunch'', and ''Film/TheBalladOfCableHogue''.
* TheWestern: Many, obviously, but perhaps notably, his film Westerns are almost exclusively set in the TwilightOfTheOldWest or the NewOldWest rather than the "classic" period.