Major Dundee (1965)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Sam Peckinpah's 1965 feature Major Dundee was recut and rescored for re-release theatrically in 2005, 40 years after its original release. The "Extended Version," as it is known officially, tells essentially the same story as the original but with clearer motivations for the characters (which often seemed vague or obscure in the 1965 edition) and much greater effectiveness. Major Amos Charles Dundee (Charlton Heston) is a West Point graduate who somehow -- it's not clear -- exceeded his orders … More

Rating: PG-13 (for violence and some sensuality.)
Genre: Western, Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Sam Peckinpah, Harry Julian Fink, Oscar Saul
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 30, 2005
Columbia Pictures


as Maj. Amos Charles Du...

as Capt. Benjamin Tyree...

as Lieutenant Graham

as Samuel Potts

as Teresa Santiago

as Sgt. Gomez

as O.W. Hadley

as Sgt. Chillum

as Rev. Dhalstrom

as Arthur Hadley

as Capt. Waller

as Sierra Charriba

as Jimmy Lee Benteen

as Priam

as Capt. Jacques Tremai...

as Melinche

as Dr. Aguilar

as Old Apache
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Major Dundee

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Critic Reviews for Major Dundee

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (19)

Sam Peckinpah's crippled film plays best as a dry run for The Wild Bunch.

October 3, 2005
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Giddy-up, Western lovers. This one is worth the return engagement.

Full Review… | June 9, 2005
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

It's one of those flawed, fascinating films that are somehow more intriguing than many a smooth-cheeked blockbuster.

Full Review… | June 2, 2005
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

No true Peckinpah-lover should pass it by.

Full Review… | May 13, 2005
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Major Dundee, not a great movie but a great star-driven, big budget 1965 studio western, is back in all its fractured glory and confidence.

Full Review… | April 29, 2005
Washington Post
Top Critic

It's richer and more interesting, partly because some motivations have been cleared up, partly because the music isn't a burden and partly because we now can see that this was all leading to the creation of a truly great film four years later.

Full Review… | April 22, 2005
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Major Dundee


I don't know what Sam Peckinpah intended but I'm pretty sure this 'studio edited' discombobulation isn't it. This is a good film that could have been a great one. High on the Richter scale of missed opportunity and unfulfilled potential.

*If you have a choice, watch the 'extended version'. It's still not the film Peckinpah intended us to see but it's a damn sight closer than anything previously available.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Sam Peckinpah?s early, flawed, epic about a Union Major running a prison camp in the New Mexican front late in the civil war, who enlists Confederate prisoners in order to go after a renegade Apache. The film fell victim to immense studio tampering, it had its budget cut in half from the beginning, they gave Peckinpah pressure throughout the production, and they took the whole film away from him during the editing. As such we?re left with a Magnificent Ambersons situation of a movie with extensive lost footage; the full vision of what it could have been is unknown. The cut on DVD right now has been restored as much as possible, but it?s still not complete. What remains is a film that feels fractured and held together by a tacked on voice over. The film is still watchable, and the underlying concept of Union and confederate soldiers working together is quite interesting, one can see a story about a fractured America forced to unify somewhere below the surface. That said, not all of the movie?s problems can be pinned on the studio. The film?s visual style, while perfectly competent, is not anywhere near the heights achieved by Peckinpah?s other works, and the occasional night scenes are poorly lit making it hard to make out what?s going on.


Super Reviewer

Great cast, Heston and Harris are good together. Good story and fun to watch,but formulaic and bad uneventful ending.

cody franklin

Super Reviewer

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