I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to his 1987 acid western Walker. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 16, 1992 (read here). Since Cox has frequently cited Walker as his personal favorite of all the films he directed (read here, here and here), all I can do is nod in agreement with him. I absolutely adore this film – it is a hallucinatory acid western/biographical historical drama/satire/social commentary with an electrifying score by late great legendary British punk rock musician Joe Strummer. Last, but not least, Cox and screenwriter Rudy Wurlitzer’s bold use of anachronisms not only adds to the fun, but it can also be seen as a still timely metaphor for U.S. involvement in regime change. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Alex Cox films (read here).
Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Walker
Here is a youtube video link to what may be the film’s original theatrical trailer
8 thoughts on “Moviedrome Mondays: Walker (1987)”
A real classic that needs to be better known. Stellar lead performance from Harris, and still relevant in today’s ‘regime changes’ world. Using helicopters and assault rifles was a touch of genius from Cox.
Best wishes, Pete.
I didn’t know Cox had collaborated with Two Lane Blacktop’s Rudy Wurlitzer on this film, and I hadn’t realised it was based on a real life character either. As you can guess I’m well overdue for a rewatch of Walker.
I agree with all of your sentiments Pete 🙂 Yes, Ed Harris was truly fantastic as William Walker and it was also neat to see Peter Boyle as Cornelius Vanderbilt. You are also correct that the issue of regime change continues to be as relevant today as it was back then. The helicopters and assault rifles in an 1800’s setting, not to mention those reading modern looking Time magazines is truly a touch of genius from Cox as you so eloquently imply. Walker got the Criterion treatment here in the US back in 2008 on DVD, but right now, it should be upgraded to a Blu-Ray edition and I hope a DVD company in the UK like Arrow or something will give it a special edition too 🙂 I agree with you, Walker really should be labeled masterpiece and one of many perfect examples of the critics getting it wrong on it’s initial theatrical release. Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂
P.S. what did you think of the youtube video link of Cox’s introduction to the film since it was one he directed? 🙂 I thought it was not only informative as always, but also delightful 🙂
Yeah Walker is based on a real character – of course, his depiction was meant to be taken as satirical as opposed to the real deal 🙂 And yes, it was awesome that the screenplay for it was written by Rudy Wurlitzer, who penned two other great films – Two Lane Blacktop and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂
If you want to get a DVD copy of Walker in the UK, go to Amazon.co.uk and in the search engine, type in the words “Walker Alex Cox”
I remember it well. Cox had a unique way of presenting that some complained about here. But I loved his enthusiasm, mixed with loads of laconic humour at times. He disappeared from the TV screens here, and has never returned.
“I remember it well. Cox had a unique way of presenting that some complained about here. But I loved his enthusiasm, mixed with loads of laconic humour at times. He disappeared from the TV screens here, and has never returned.”
To beetleypete: If anything, I think Walker is more praised today than it was on it’s initial theatrical release. Long prior to Covid-19, there had been a fair share of showings for it (complete with a Q&A by Alex Cox) at Universities (DePaul here in Illinois) among others, and one at the Music Box with a another Q&A by Cox (also in Illinois). Also, when one takes into account how Quentin Tarantino’s alternate versions of history (Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained) were showered with Oscar nominations, audiences who enjoyed those films, might now have a deeper appreciation for a film like Walker.
Thanks for the link John. Somebody gave me an Amazon voucher over the Summer and I’d been wondering what to spend it on.