Major Dundee

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Released 1965




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Movie Summary

Sam Peckinpah

Major Dundee (1965) is a classic western set in the last days of the Civil War. Major Amos Dundee is a Union cavalry officer recently been relieved of his war command in disgrace and demoted to the control of a prisoner-of-war camp in New Mexico. When an Apache war chief, Sierra Charriba, massacres a local family, kidnaps its children and also kills several soldiers, Dundee sets out into Mexico with a hastily gathered army to capture him and regain his reputation. He has made a serious miscalculation, however - his force, assembled from both his own guards and the POWs 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. Directed by Sam Peckinpah, this acclaimed but much-mangled epic has recently had some long-missing footage restored for DVD release.


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.

Charlton Heston

Charlton Heston

Major Amos Charles Dundee

Richard Harris

Richard Harris

Benjamin Tyreen

James Coburn

James Coburn

Samuel Potts

Jim Hutton

Jim Hutton

Lt. Graham

Senta Berger

Senta Berger

Teresa Santiago

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • 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 Caliendo, although, of course, Peckinpah never heard it, having died in 1984.

  • QUOTES (10)

  • 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.


More Info About This Movie


Action & Adventure


Military & War