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Major Dundee Extended Cut

1965

PG-13 CC

An offbeat Western adventure film about a Union officer in charge of a jail in the Southwest. Renegade Apaches attack an Army outpost, killing everyone and the officer leads an expedition against them. The prisoners become part of the Union troops.

Starring:
Charlton Heston, Richard Harris
Runtime:
2 hours, 2 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Western, Adventure
Director Sam Peckinpah
Starring Charlton Heston, Richard Harris
Supporting actors Jim Hutton, James Coburn, Michael Anderson Jr., Senta Berger, Mario Adorf, Brock Peters, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson, R.G. Armstrong, L.Q. Jones, Slim Pickens, Karl Swenson, Michael Pate, John Davis Chandler, Dub Taylor, Albert Carrier, José Carlos Ruiz, Aurora Clavel
Studio Columbia Pictures
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on June 3, 2005
Format: DVD
Well, I've seen the extended version, and even if they added only 12 minutes, out of a possible forty I guess, it still makes so much more sense now it is totally worth it. Kudos to the editors behind this reconstruction. I didn't have any problem following any of it, and I'm not really bright at complicated plots. All the main outlines of the drama became extremely vivid and clear; the tension between the Confederates and the Union soldiers; the dilemma about the French army; the massacre of the family at the beginning that causes Major Dundee to go all medieval and turn over command at the prison to his skeptical sub-lieutenant. "Maybe there's a reason why you're a jailer, not a soldier, Amos." They keep saying this as though being a jailer were something terrible.

Charlton Heston's descent into a delirium of infection is painful to deal with, very real. Now we see him drawn to the Mexican woman who brings him food; he's so out of it he finds himself having sex with her for the comfort it brings, and then of all times that's when Senta Berger shows up at his door on her own mission of mercy. She sees the naked back of the Mexican woman and you can see the pain in her eyes. Heston's pretty covered up but you get the picture, and he's man enough not to lie about what happened.

Richard Harris looks great and brings a rebel energy to the movie. Warren Oates' death scene is pure poetry, shot through with genius. What a ham he is! And oh, that is ham deluxe, 100 percent pure gold!

Michael Anderson, Jr. is excellent in his role as the young bugler, so much better here than in his other parts. He's sort of playing the Claude Jarman role, or maybe the part Brandon De Wilde played in IN HARMS WAY.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is another one of those films which I could only faintly recall from childhood. Recently I was fortunate to view a limited run of this firm in its new revised format. Having also seen the older version recently I am able to compare and contrast both versions of this interesting film. The biggest change noted in the revised edition is the music. A new score has been created and this completely changes the mood of the entire movie. The old score was a quirky, sardonic affair with the opening credits leading off with Mitch Miller's sing along gang! A big difference from the symphonic version we have here. If you are one of those people who don't notice movie music that much, try viewing the same film twice with two different scores! The music can make a big difference in how a movie feels to its viewer. We certainly have that here.

In addition to the score, about 13 minutes of footage has been restored. Dundee was one of those films that was butchered on the editing floor, so much so that there has been a lively debate about this ever since it was released back in the 1960s. Apparently almost an hour was cut out, and while 13 minutes does not seem a lot in comparison it can make a difference. Some of the restored scenes include showing the Confederates being captured as they try to escpae in the beginning, as well as showing Heston involved with the Mexican woman before the Austrian lady returns to see how he has recovered from his wound. Small stuff, but it can add up.

The background for this film is Heston (Dundee) putting together a scratch Troop of cavalry to pursue a renegade group of raiding Apaches. His unlikely command includes Confederate POWS, Blacks, and assorted riff-raff.
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Finally, some missing footage from Bloody Sam's flawed masterpiece is coming out. The web news and ads promise 12-15 minutes restored which should help with the major continuity of the film. Having loved this movie for over 30 years and read everything possible on the "butchery" of it, I can offer the following cut footage information;

1. The longest cut was noted in a critical film analysis book I found in the U. of Toronto library. The scene is supposedly 10-12 minutes long and shows the Cavalry detachment at the farm dancing and celebrating with the Rustis (?) family. The Apaches attack, the massacre ensues (and is shown in detail),Trooper Ryan escapes, and the wounded Lieutenant (Brannon ?) is strung up under the slow fire, which is exactly where the movie STARTS in the cut version. The Critical Film Analysis book claimed that the sudio refused to accept that a film could run almost 15 minutes with no major character introduction and then kill off the characters before the main character (Dundee) even appears!

2. Peckinpah's original directors release was to be 152 minutes and this cut at the beginning accounts for approximately 10-12 minutes.If the new Restored release adds about 15 minutes we should get to see about what Sam had intended, better continuity, including the despair/decay of Dundee in the Mexican village, the double back of the Apaches in the hills and the extended knife fight between Potts/Gomez, along with the truth behind Riago (the Apache scout, who is supposedly a traitor). The restored version will apparently not include the Farm massacre scene.

3. The recent book, Bloody Sam, mentions the many cuts and mentions an even longer version.
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