Screen & Classroom


  • Mysteries & Scandals: Sam Peckinpah (E! Entertainment, USA 2000)
  • The Straw Dogs Interview with Garner Simmons (FremantleMedia, UK 2002 / NOTE: This interview was recorded in London in the summer of 2001 and shown to the British Board of Censors to underscore the importance of Peckinpah as a filmmaker and The Straw Dogs as an essential part of film history. To watch this discussion, click the “Play” button on the window below)
  • Biography: James Coburn (Biography Channel: 2003)
  • Sam Peckinpah’s West: Legacy of a Hollywood Renegade(Director: Tom Thurman, USA 2004)
  • A Simple Adventure Story: Sam Peckinpah, Mexico and The Wild Bunch (Director: Nick Redman, USA 2005)
  • Passion and Poetry: The Ballad of Sam Peckinpah (Director: Mike Siegel, Germany 2005)
  • BROKEN BROTHERHOOD: Vietnam and the Boys from Colgate (Director: Lou Buttino 2005)
  • The Twilight Time Limited Edition of Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia contains two documentaries featuring Garner Simmons: Passion & Poetry: Sam’s Favorite Film; and A Writer’s Journey: Garner Simmons and Sam Peckinpah in Mexico (Blu-Ray Release by Brian Jamieson and Nick Redman 2014)
  • And on a related note, if you look closely at the scenes filmed in the hacienda of El Jefe (Emilio Fernandez) in Bring Me theHead of Alfredo Garcia, you will see that one of the guards at the far doorway bears an uncanny resemblance to the author. Appropriately, he dies in slow-motion as he is shot by Benny (Warren Oates) in the final violent confrontation.

[The following commentary is reproduced here with the kind permission of FremantleMedia. It is part of the 2002 re-release of The Straw Dogson DVD in the UK which contains many additional elements not available on the US re-release. If you would like to obtain a copy of the UK version (PAL only) please go to their website at:

Sam Peckinpah’s: The Straw Dogs commentary by Garner Simmons

Click on the play button to begin the commentary

For the record:

  • In the interest of accuracy, since giving the above interview to FremantleMedia, I have learned the true fate of the painter Caravaggio, who died in 1609 returning to Rome with many new paintings. Having gone ashore at Palo, northwest of the city, he was arrested. Unwilling to wait, the ship’s captain decided to continue sailing up the coast, taking Caravaggio’s paintings with him. Finally released from jail, Caravaggio was outraged. Impetuously, he trekked overland nearly 60 miles on foot to Port’Ercole in an attempt to recover them. By the time he arrived, Caravaggio had contracted a fever and died. His paintings, however, were not lost. Hence the comment that “the best of Caravaggio had survived.”
  • Regarding the similar sounding names “Sumner” and “Sumter,” what I should have said but didn’t was that David Sumner’s name bears an “echo” of the American fort made famous by the start of the Civil War in 1861. Since David is a character who is at war with himself, the connection is merely auditory. My apologies for any misconception.

GARNER SIMMONS HAS LECTURED/TAUGHT AT THE FOLLOWING UNIVERSITIES: Northwestern University; University of Illinois, Chicago; University of Texas at Austin; UCLA; Colgate University; University of Bologna, Italy.


Gotham Writers Workshop of New York City