- Alternate Character Interpretation:
- While the Mexican Federals under Mapache are portrayed as corrupt and antagonists, take another look at just who the gang is gunning down, and then being gunned down by, in the final battle. It's not just soldiers, thugs, and officials, but normal townspeople including women and children. From the Mexican's perspective, Mapache is a generous warlord who's brought impoverished people expensive imports and is protecting them from the rebels. Rewatching the final gunfight now looks like a town trying to come together and fight back against a pack of foreign criminals after their lead official is shot down right in front of them.
- As mentioned elsewhere, Dutch as Ambiguously Gay is a popular interpretation. Most notably, he stays outside and waits while Pike and the Gorch brothers visit the prostitutes.
- Award Snub: Its only Oscar nominations were for screenplay and score, and it lost both. Lou Lombardo's groundbreaking editing work not even getting nominated is a particularly puzzling snub.
- Funny Moments:"You was matching whores, in tandem!""What's that mean?""That's one behind the other.""Yup, that what we was doing!"
- Several of Mapache's men completely lose control of the machine gun when testing it out and shoot up the whole square to Overly Long Gag levels. Then they finally get it turned off, and one of them is stupid enough to pick it up and set it off again. Prior to the scene, poor Mohr is losing his mind yelling "IT MUST BE MOUNTED ON A TRIPOD" while Mapache tells him to shut up.
- Ho Yay:
- Pike and Dutch.
- Coffer and T.C.. In fact, this was done deliberately by the actors, and Sam Peckinpah approved.
- It Was His Sled: The sudden appearance of Mapache's car is supposed to be a genuine shocker, informing the audience that a film we thought was taking place deep in The Wild West era was actually set in the Twentieth Century. But practically every write-up about the film notes that it takes place in 1913 (or thereabouts), and usually mentions the car, so the Intended Audience Reaction was long ago eclipsed.
- Tear Jerker: After the final shootout is over, Thornton and his band of bounty hunters come across the wreckage. As his subordinates are gleefully looting the dead, Thornton stops in his tracks when he comes across Pike's body. The camera zooms in on the six-shooter Pike has holstered which Thornton picks up. The look on his face while he's cradling it is just heartwrenching.
- Values Resonance: Its depiction of the unrest between the US and Mexico border is still as relevant as it was half a century ago.
YMMV / The Wild Bunch