Major Dundee

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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Released 1965

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User Score: 75

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Movie Summary

Director:
Sam Peckinpah
Released:
1965
Rating:
PG-13
Major Dundee is a 1960s western set during the Civil War. Major Amos Dundee (Charlton Heston) is a Union cavalry officer who has recently been relieved of his war command in disgrace. Major Dundee finds himself re-posted as the supervisor of a prisoner-of-war camp in the New Mexico Territory. Shortly after he begins his tenure at the camp, Apache war chief Sierra Charriba (Michael Pate) massacres a local family and a military resupply caravan. The Major sets out into Mexico with a hastily gathered army to capture Charriba. Dundee has made a serious miscalculation, however - his force, assembled from both his own guards and the POW's they are sworn to imprison, clashes internally as often as with the Apaches. Far from home, Dundee's army must come together or risk losing their quarry forever. Major Dundee has recently been restored to its original full length, so now you can catch all of the frontier action in this classic film.

Metacritic Score

  • 75

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    If you want to see the missing link between John Wayne's squint and Clint Eastwood's sneer, look no further than Charlton Heston in Major Dundee.

  • 70

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    It's hard to imagine "The Wild Bunch" having the depth and grace it did without Peckinpah having this experience to draw on, and for that masterful film alone we're grateful to hav...

  • 50

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    More evident than ever the film is inherently a deeply flawed work that was far from fully realized in both script and shooting.

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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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    • TRIVIA (2)

      • Soon after the completion of this film, Sam Peckinpah married Begonia Palacios, a Mexican actress who appeared in it. They were divorced; then re-married; then divorced again. She had a baby by him during one of the periods when they were unmarried.

      • Sam Peckinpah claimed in 1965 that his preferred version of this film ran for 154 minutes, and that it had been cut by the studio to a length of 134 minutes. (In later years, he sometimes hinted that he had wanted a film of nearly three hours' duration). After showing the 134-minute version to a few unenthusiastic audiences, Columbia Pictures cut the film again, to 122 minutes, and this remained the standard running time for over forty years. In 2007, however, a DVD release brought back the twelve minutes excised from the first release print, and also featured an entirely new music score. Peckinpah had strongly criticised the music of Daniele Amfitheatrof, which Columbia had imposed upon the film against his wishes; the new score was the work of Christopher Calendo, although, of course, Peckinpah never heard it, having died in 1984.

    • QUOTES (9)

    • NOTES (1)

      • In his autobiography, thirty years after the release of this film, Charlton Heston dismissed it as a failure and also claimed that Sam Peckinpah was the only film director he had ever worked with who had made him lose his temper. He had clearly had a nightmarish time (others who worked on the film have said much the same thing). However, it is worth noting that he devoted more pages to this film in the book than any other he had ever worked on, even though he rarely liked to discuss his box-office flops.

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    • orswel USER EDITOR

      User Score: 75

    More Info About This Movie

    Categories

    Action & Adventure

    Themes

    Military & War