Major Dundee (1965)
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as Maj. Amos Charles Dundee
as Capt. Benjamin Tyreen
as Tim Ryan
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 Capt. Jacques Tremaine
as Dr. Aguilar
as Old Apache
Critic Reviews for Major Dundee
Sam Peckinpah's crippled film plays best as a dry run for The Wild Bunch.
It's one of those flawed, fascinating films that are somehow more intriguing than many a smooth-cheeked blockbuster.
No true Peckinpah-lover should pass it by.
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.
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.
Audience Reviews for Major Dundee
What you got here is a Really Big Movie that didnt get made. The studio decided it was costing too much and pulled the plug. What remains is some great stuff that doesnt quite work. I sometimes wonder what it might have been if it had been completed.
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.
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.
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