I love Peckinpah, warts and all. A maverick, a tragic, erratic genius, a human car-crash. Many of the weaknesses in his films, especially the later ones, have major extenuating circumstances, ranging from his well-known addictions to booze and drugs, which hampered his direction of titles such as The Killer Elite and Convoy; his inability to compromise with producers and the studio brass (admirable in many ways, but his bloodymindedness seriously fucked up his career - he practically sabotaged some of his own films, including Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid); to budgetary problems and all the other vagaries of film-making.
Of course, nobody has to excuse the excesses and failings of some of his films, but these demand to be taken into consideration.
Anyway, here are my ratings:
The Wild Bunch 10 (as flawless as a film can get)
Cross of Iron 9.5
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid 9.5
Ride the High Country 9.5
The Getaway 9.2
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia 9.1
Straw Dogs 8.8 (much misunderstood, uniquely chilling)
The Ballad of Cable Hogue 8.8
Junior Bonner 8.5
The Killer Elite 8.3 (a childhood favourite - ninjas! Machine guns! Bo Hopkins as “the patron saint of the manic depressives”)
Major Dundee 8.2 (the reconstruction really helps, and the action scenes are among Peckinpah’s most rousing)
The Deadly Companions 7.7 (considering how the producer obstructed him at every turn, a very impressive debut)
The Osterman Weekend 6.5 (espionage was just not his milieu)
Convoy 4.8 (even I struggle with this one, but the crashes are good)
Ratings subject to change, like moods.
What I really need is to see Noon Wine, his highly regarded TV movie, and episodes from The Westerner and The Rifleman.