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Bloody Sam

December 29, 1991

A different bounce on Grover Lewis' review of "Bloody Sam" (by Grover Lewis; Dec. 8):

It may well be that defiant director Sam Peckinpah earned his renegade reputation all by himself.

Lewis says that Peckinpah's rage "almost certainly stemmed from his relations with his divided family." The surmise is apt, given today's trend in family counseling. However, Peckinpah followers might factor in other data.

In 1958, producers Levy, Gardner & Laven shot the TV pilot of "The Rifleman" written by Peckinpah. Starred were Chuck Connors as a widowed frontiersman raising Johnny Crawford as his son. Producer Arthur Gardner says of their monster hit, "Sam's script of our dad-son idea was great and our 168 episodes continue to play worldwide. Their strength lies in the deep affection between the lone father and his boy." Divided family?

Sam rented a home, No. 88 Malibu Colony, from me and my then-wife in 1970. One day we found the entry door smashed. Sam had forgotten his keys, or a buddy had, and had broken in. Our complaint was directed to Sam's sister, a Mrs. Peters, who was "taking care of the house."

Mrs. Peters paid for door repair promptly. When Sam's lease expired he left punctually. Then, notwithstanding her brother's addiction to disorder, Mrs. Peters returned the home to us with every room immaculate.

Bad relationship?


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