Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974, US/Mex.)

In Sam Peckinpah's under-rated, nihilistic classic western and road film:

  • the opening scene of the pregnant teenaged daughter Theresa (Janine Maldonado) of vicious, vengeful and wealthy Mexican landowner El Jefe (Emilio Fernandez) - who was stripped to the waist and had her arm broken to divulge who impregnated her: ("Quien es el padre? Who is the father?"); the scandal caused El Jefe to offer a $1 million dollar bounty for the "head" of the man she claimed was responsible - Alfredo Garcia: ("I will pay one million dollars. Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia!")
Mexican Landowner El Jefe
(Emilio Fernandez)
El Jefe's Impregnated Daughter Theresa
  • the tale of the haunting, violent quest of penniless, hustling, seedy American bar-room pianist Bennie (Warren Oates) to find the 'head' of Alfredo Garcia for the $1 million bounty (actually $10,000)
  • the sequences of Bennie's road trip in his beat-up car through the Mexican underworld with earthy brothel prostitute/girlfriend Elita (Isela Vega) (Alfredo was one of her clients) - a cheap motel maid, who told him that Alfredo was already dead and buried a week earlier after a drunk-driving accident!
  • all of the scenes with Elita: their love-making scene after which he discovered pubic crabs in his crotch, and their quiet and tender picnic scene off the road as they rested together against a tree and discussed their future together; she asked: "We'll marry some day in a church?"; then later, she again pressed him: "Have you really thought about marrying me? I mean, seriously? Have you?...How come you've never asked me?"; he replied that he didn't know; she asked him to repeat his marital request and he did: "Will you marry me?" and she began crying
  • the off-road sequence when the two were accosted by a pair of passing bikers (Kris Kristofferson and Donnie Fritts), and Elita was taken off into the underbrush to be stripped of her blouse and sexually assaulted - (Bennie reacted: "You two guys are definitely on my s--t list...I'm gonna kill you one day, you gringo son-of-a-bitch!"); shortly later, Bennie was able to defend against them and shot both of the bikers dead; afterwards, Bennie was determined to get the bounty money for their future married life ("You're gonna take me to find Alfredo. And that's our ticket outta here") - although she was less certain: ("Jesus, I don't know how you can get money from a dead body, I mean, I don't believe those people and what they say"); Bennie replied: "I'll take 'em proof, his head"; she was ready to break up with him: "I'll take you to him and then I'm gonna go, you know. Cause I figure everything is gonna be over with us. I don't want any more of that...Jesus, just being together is, is enough!", but Bennie disagreed: "No, it's not, baby! It takes pan, bread - denero"
  • the hotel room scene that night as she took a cleansing shower, Bennie tenderly declared to Elita before kissing and embracing her: "I love you"
  • Bennie's persistent quest to go to the cemetery, desecrate Alfredo's grave, dig up the coffin, and decapitate the body's head; after opening the coffin, Bennie was struck from behind with a shovel and the screen went black; he awakened half-buried in the dirt and shockingly discovered Elita's dead body by his side, and Alfredo's head missing
  • the sequence of Bennie's retrieval of the decomposing, separated head in a blood-stained burlap bag (with flies buzzing around it); he threw the sack into the passenger seat of his dusty red and white car; there were further macabre scenes of Bennie intimately befriending, conversing and asking questions of the head ("Al")
  • in the concluding sequence, Bennie's return of Alfredo's head in the sack to El Jefe in his hacienda, in exchange for a case of money; El Jefe apathetically told him: "Don't forget to take that and throw it to the pigs"; Bennie was disgusted by all the killing: ("Sixteen people are dead because of him and you. And me. And one of 'em was a damn good friend of mine!"); Theresa strongly urged him to kill her father: "Kill him" - and in the apocalyptic bloody confrontation, El Jefe and his hacienda bodyguards were shot and killed; as Bennie left, he took the sack: ("Come on, Al, we're goin' home"), and told Theresa: "You take care of the boy and I'll take care of the father"
  • in the final minute, however, Bennie was murdered by El Jefe's hired thugs as his car sped away from the hacienda and crashed through the compound's gate; there was a close-up of the smoking barrel of a machine-gun used to kill Bennie - an enduring ending image (before the credits)
Ending Scene and Image

(Warren Oates)

Road Trip: Bennie and Elita Talking About Marriage

Scene of Elita's Sexual Assault by Bikers

Elita's Cleansing Hotel Room Shower

Bennie Waking Up Half-Buried in Elita's Grave

The Head of 'Alfredo Garcia' in Burlap Bag

Bennie's Confrontation with El Jefe


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