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Films of Sergio Leone => Other Films => Topic started by: Groggy on March 23, 2005, 04:11:40 PM



Title: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on March 23, 2005, 04:11:40 PM
  According to a number of sources, Sam Peckinpah's should-have-been masterpiece, "Major Dundee", will be released on DVD on 5/31/05, with thirteen minutes of footage restored!  I haven't actually seen the version that's out now, but I'd still be very excited to see the uncut version.  Sounds like an awesome film, if it's any good I'll be all over it!

http://www.dvdaficionado.com/dvds.html?dir=Sam+Peckinpah

Press Release From Film Forum, which will be showing the extended version in April:

Quote
MAJOR DUNDEE: THE EXTENDED VERSION, a new restoration of Sam Peckinpah’s Civil War/Western epic, starring Charlton Heston and Richard Harris, will run at Film Forum from Friday, April 8 through Tuesday, April 19 (twelve days). Originally released in 1965 in a severely butchered version, MAJOR DUNDEE can finally be seen in a cut that closely restores Peckinpah’s original vision. Grover Crisp, Sony Pictures Vice-President in Charge of Film Restoration, who oversaw the project, will introduce the 8:00 show on opening night, Friday, April 8, along with composer Christopher Caliendo, who wrote a brand new score for the extended version.


“Until the Apache is taken or destroyed...” Continue rotting in a Civil War prison camp or join with hated Union jailers in pursuit of three children kidnapped by massacring raiders: that’s the deal Charlton Heston’s eponymous martinet Dundee — himself with something to prove after a miscue at Gettysburg — offers his prisoner and ex-friend, Richard Harris’s cavalier Captain Tyreen, successively Irish potato farmer, cashiered Union officer and Confederate renegade. Volatile enough, but as Dundee further fleshes out his command with a friendly Indian, Negro volunteers, and one-armed James Coburn, it’s clear that for the obsessive Major, this will be a kind of land-locked Moby Dick, a quest after the Apache across the Rio Grande into occupied Mexico — and a confrontation with Emperor Maximilian’s French lancers.


Sam Peckinpah’s first large-scale Western was complete with epic sweep, his own stock company (a stunning array of Western icons, including Warren Oates, Ben Johnson, L.Q. Jones, and Slim Pickens), and blood-soaked violence anticipating the director’s laterThe Wild Bunch. But it also became one of the screen’s most notorious films maudits (Horizons West author Jim Kitses called it “one of Hollywood’s great broken monuments”). When the studio — which had cut the budget by a third just before the start of shooting — threatened to shut the picture down early, Heston offered his own salary back to allow missing scenes to be shot. The studio took the money but still didn’t film the scenes. Then an additional 20 to 50 minutes — estimates differ — were hacked away, a complete butcher job that ran roughshod with the continuity, confusing both audiences and critics. To compound matters, the studio imposed a music score on the film that the director objected to vociferously.


Forty years later, Grover Crisp of Sony Pictures, matching color separation masters with a still-extant soundtrack for a longer version, has located and restored all but six minutes of Peckinpah's original cut. To help bring the film more into line with Peckinpah's vision, a new music score was commissioned from composer Christopher Caliendo, with the entire track now recorded and re-mixed in 5.1 Dolby Digital. The result is that rare event in film history and restoration: the rescue of a once-mutilated masterwork.


A SONY PICTURES REPERTORY RELEASE. Running time: 136 minutes


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Belkin on March 23, 2005, 04:21:20 PM
Man, that is great news. Always thought the lost footage was destroyed. Dyin' to see the extended version!


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Tim on March 23, 2005, 08:03:41 PM
  It'll be interesting to hear the new musical score.  Besides the "Major Dundee March," I liked the original score.  That creepy sound that was played everytime someone said,"Until the Apache is taken or destroyed," still gives me shivers.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 24, 2005, 12:09:25 AM
I take it, then, that we only get the new score, the old one isn't offered as an option. This is too bad. Peckinpah may not have liked that score, but it is still part of the history of the film and important to our understanding of the way the film was originally experienced.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Nobody on March 24, 2005, 08:23:26 AM
I've been going through the old Peckinpah classics recently, and I have never seen this film. Good news indeed. Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia was also released recently. Will have to buy that one too. Any one who has seen it?


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Belkin on March 24, 2005, 12:48:57 PM
I've been going through the old Peckinpah classics recently, and I have never seen this film. Good news indeed. Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia was also released recently. Will have to buy that one too. Any one who has seen it?
Terrific movie. Moody and magnificent. A great "character study" that takes it's time. OATES gives career best performance. Run it as part of a double bill alongside THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE (Peter Yates 1973) with ROBERT MITCHUM. A drink or two while you watch may cushion the dramatic blow of this pair.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Nobody on March 27, 2005, 05:16:28 AM
Supposedly, there will also be a major Peckinpah promotion from Warner Brothers. A box set including: Ride The High Country, The Ballad of Cable Hogue, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, as well as a new special edition of the Wild Bunch. It hasn't been officially announced yet, but I really hope this set comes out.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on March 29, 2005, 04:33:48 PM
Supposedly, there will also be a major Peckinpah promotion from Warner Brothers. A box set including: Ride The High Country, The Ballad of Cable Hogue, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, as well as a new special edition of the Wild Bunch. It hasn't been officially announced yet, but I really hope this set comes out.

There's also a new "Wild Bunch" documentary being made this year, with interviews with Walon Green and Co., I wonder if that'll be on the new SE?  I didn't find "An Album In Montage" all that interesting, personally, and I think the current TWB DVD is crap (do we really have to flip the f-ing disc?  Please).  So hell yeah, I'm looking forward to it.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Tim on April 02, 2005, 07:03:39 PM
  This was a couple posts back, but I think the new and old scores will be included on the dvd.  There is a good explanation of what new footage will be included at digitalbits.com. 

  It'll be interesting to hear the new score.  Really looking forward to seeing this.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: cigar joe on April 03, 2005, 06:44:25 AM
The Charge of the Peckinpah Brigade
By J. HOBERMAN

Published: April 3, 2005


HERE is a particular sort of movie that the French call "film maudit." Cursed by an unhappy destiny, such a movie is ripped from its director's womb and mutilated by its studio; misunderstood or reviled on release, it usually proves ruinous at the box office.

Sam Peckinpah's 1965 cavalry western, "Major Dundee" - opening Friday for a 12-day run at Film Forum in a restored, extended version - is a legendary maudit. The British critic Jim Kitses called it "one of Hollywood's great broken monuments." Peckinpah, who tried to have his name removed from the film when Columbia released it 40 years ago this month, characterized the movie's making and unmaking as "one of the most painful things that ever happened in my life."

 
 
"Major Dundee" was conceived as a deluxe vehicle for Charlton Heston and a potential reserved-seat road show, like the 1962 spectacular "How the West Was Won." John Ford, first choice to direct any cavalry movie, was busy with his final western, "Cheyenne Autumn." Thus, the script found Peckinpah, a director of television shoot'em-ups whose 1962 western, "Ride the High Country," attracted attention for its autumnal deployment of the veteran cowboys Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea.

Peckinpah was fascinated by the spectacle of smashed ambitions - he had wanted to make a movie about General Custer as a perverse hero whose greatest triumph was a legendary defeat - and he spent the summer of 1963 elaborating a scenario that cast Mr. Heston, America's pre-eminent epic star, as a maladroit, overreaching loner. He would never inhabit a juicier role than the megalomaniacal Dundee. Nor would Peckinpah have another protagonist whose obsessions dovetailed so well with his own.

A Southerner in the service of the Union, Dundee commands a Texas prison camp, where he was transferred for trying to "fight his own war" at Gettysburg. When a band of marauding Apaches massacres white settlers living nearby and takes their children captive, Dundee repeats his pattern by illegally commandeering weapons and assembling a motley regiment of Confederate prisoners of war, Union deserters, Texas horse thieves and free black soldiers to pursue them into Mexico. Dundee's army is integrated, though violently yet grossly divided. All that binds these Americans is their fear and loathing of a racial foe. After five weeks, the Apaches deprive Dundee of his rationale by setting their captives free. Still, fueled by the major's vanity and a certain giddy inertia, the quest continues..

"Major Dundee" was itself a misadventure. In February 1964, two days before filming began in Durango, Mexico, Columbia underwent a corporate shake-up and the film's budget was slashed from $4.5 to $3 million. Still, Peckinpah fought to keep production in Mexico, where he recapitulated the reign of terror occurring back in Hollywood. He imagined a new sort of Western: savage, violent and charged with magical desire. (The movie's 25 stuntmen were, according to an article about the production in Life magazine, the most ever assembled for a single movie.) No less than his arrogant antihero, Peckinpah led his men beyond the law. Gordon Dawson, a production assistant, recalled being "scared to death." Peckinpah, he told the director's biographer David Weddle, "was firing people right and left," 15 crew members in all.

Columbia's new regime feared that they had inherited a runaway production with a lunatic at the helm. Mr. Heston confided in his diary that he didn't know what "Major Dundee" was supposed to be about. Yet midway through filming, he intervened. To save Peckinpah's job, Mr. Heston returned his salary, a gesture with few if any parallels in Hollywood history. "Major Dundee" wrapped 15 days late and $1.5 million over budget. That summer, Peckinpah found himself banned from the Columbia lot. His 2-hour 44 minute-version - including slow-motion battle sequences inspired by Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai" - was cut by 30 minutes by the producer Jerry Bresler. After a disastrous Hollywood preview in February 1965, complete with Peckinpah smashing a pint of whiskey outside the theater, Bresler shortened "Dundee" again.

These cuts, amounting to 12 minutes, have now been restored. Grover Crisp, Sony Pictures vice president in charge of film restoration, found the trims in the 1990's but was not able to fit them into the existing movie until an earlier audio track turned up, mislabeled, in a British storage facility. (Bresler had done his last edit in London.) The extended "Major Dundee" is the preview version, with one exception. A new, more somber musical track has replaced the inanely exuberant existing one commissioned by Bresler that featured the Mitch Miller chorus. "The studio is trying to make amends," Mr. Crisp told me over the phone, noting that both scores will be available on the DVD.

The extended "Dundee" is richer and more coherent, but it remains a fascinating wreck. It not only represents a debacle, it embodies one and, in that, remains extraordinarily attuned to its historical moment. "Dundee" acknowledges the racial and social divisions of the mid-60's while conjuring the hubris of the Great Society. Any cavalry film is both a western and a combat movie, but Peckinpah contaminated the classicism of Ford's "Fort Apache" (1948) with the interventionist thematics of "The Magnificent Seven." And as the historian Richard Slotkin notes in "Gunslinger Nation," the result "translates the political and ideological paradoxes of the Vietnam War into mythic terms."

The evening of April 7, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson appeared on television to explain the "war of unparalleled brutality," which had escalated dramatically during the past few months. "Simple farmers are the targets of assassination and kidnapping," he said, "women and children are strangled in the night because their men are loyal to their government. And helpless villages are ravaged by sneak attacks." "Major Dundee" opened in New York that day and, in characterizing Vietnam, Johnson might almost have been describing the torched, corpse-strewn settlement with which "Dundee" begins, just as the movie imaginatively prophesied the geopolitical debacle that the war became.

The film's most sympathetic review called it "ugly," "brutal" and "gory." Just as liberal intellectuals were reversing themselves on Johnson, the candidate they supported in 1964, so Newsweek, which had named "Ride the High Country" the best movie of 1962, turned on Peckinpah: "Think of Yosemite Falls or suicides from the top of the Empire State Building, or streaking meteorites downward toward the earth and you'll get some idea of the decline in the career of Sam Peckinpah." The magazine noted that Peckinpah had been fired from his next movie, "The Cincinnati Kid," after a week.

Peckinpah seemed finished. But three years later he would shake the curse of "Dundee," return to Mexico and make a movie about Americans at war that many people, myself included, consider the greatest Hollywood production of the 1960's: "The Wild Bunch." To see the extended "Major Dundee" is to see the smoking ruin from which Peckinpah's masterpiece arose.


J. Hoberman's "Dream Life: Movies, Media and the Mythology of the Sixties" will appear in paperback next month.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Nobody on April 12, 2005, 12:24:44 PM
It has been postponed till the end of August. Perhaps they have found more footage?

I finally got to see Alfredo Garcia, and it is already one of my favourite Peckinpah flicks. I've always liked Warren Oates, but I had no idea he was this cool. In my opinion, he's up there with Clint, Powers Boothe, and Mickey Rourke as the kings of cool. Sorry Belkin, but I saw it sober. No alcohol in the house.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Nobody on April 14, 2005, 08:30:24 AM
A review of the theatrical release of the extended version can be found here: http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=15189

Enjoy. I can't wait to see this, even though I normally can't stand Charlton Heston.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: jerkface on May 10, 2005, 02:14:26 PM
Have any of you seen the MAJOR DUNDEE-EXTENDED CUT? I saw it in NY at the Film Forum a few weeks ago.

I saw the original version once before on video. I thought it was a mess. After seeing the extended cut, I'd say that it's a vast improvement. Don't get too excited, though. It's not a lost masterpiece, or at least I don't think so. It's still a mess. Just a much better one. The score is an improvement and the additional scenes add a lot. But still, it suffers from the same weaknesses as the original cut, only less so.

There's something romantic and enticing about "lost masterpieces." Some people want to believe that Major Dundee was a brilliant film that the studio destroyed. I think that's only partially true. The studio definitely wrecked it, but it was ultimately Peckinpah who didn't deliver the goods. He did eventually. What Major Dundee promises, the Wild Bunch ultimately delivered.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on June 05, 2005, 05:33:10 AM
I watched the unextended cut on AMC yesterday, and let me just say this:
 
The version I saw was the "butchered" 123 minutes version, edited for television at that, and pan-and-scan, with commercials.  That being said: if this is the heavily edited version, I absolutely cannot wait to see to the uncut version.  It was far from perfect, but a fantastic film nonetheless.  I'd get it an 8/10.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: jerkface on June 10, 2005, 02:04:58 PM
I watched the unextended cut on AMC yesterday, and let me just say this:
 
The version I saw was the "butchered" 123 minutes version, edited for television at that, and pan-and-scan, with commercials.  That being said: if this is the heavily edited version, I absolutely cannot wait to see to the uncut version.  It was far from perfect, but a fantastic film nonetheless.  I'd get it an 8/10.

If you thought the butchered version was "fantastic" then you should find the extended cut to be FREAKING AWESOME. If you gave it an 8/10, then this new one has got to be a 12/10.

Seriously, it is WAAAAAAY better. That said, I still stand by my little review above. I think it's very flawed. I wish I could dig it as much as you will.

The character actors in it are amazing. All the little bit parts are more interesting than the actual lead characters. Charlton Heston cannot compete with, oh...

Warren Oates
Ben Johnson
L.Q. Jones
Slim Pickens
Dub Taylor
and all the other dirty, drunken bastards that made up Peckinpah's repertory group. They are amazing, and I found them to be the best part of the film.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on June 11, 2005, 06:21:46 AM
If you thought the butchered version was "fantastic" then you should find the extended cut to be FREAKING AWESOME. If you gave it an 8/10, then this new one has got to be a 12/10.

Seriously, it is WAAAAAAY better. That said, I still stand by my little review above. I think it's very flawed. I wish I could dig it as much as you will.

The character actors in it are amazing. All the little bit parts are more interesting than the actual lead characters. Charlton Heston cannot compete with, oh...

Warren Oates
Ben Johnson
L.Q. Jones
Slim Pickens
Dub Taylor
and all the other dirty, drunken bastards that made up Peckinpah's repertory group. They are amazing, and I found them to be the best part of the film.

I disagree, I thought this was one of Heston's best performances (though certainly the supporting cast was very memorable).  My favorite supporting character was R.G. Armstrong ("those who destroyeth my flock I shall destroy") as the psycho priest, but the problem I had is that him, Q, Brock Peters, Slim Pickens, and others had very little screen time and not a lot of interesting character development (though Mario Adorf, Ben Johnson, James Coburn, and certainly Warren were all great).  Is this remedied by the restored version?


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: jerkface on June 15, 2005, 02:17:21 PM
I disagree, I thought this was one of Heston's best performances (though certainly the supporting cast was very memorable).  My favorite supporting character was R.G. Armstrong ("those who destroyeth my flock I shall destroy") as the psycho priest, but the problem I had is that him, Q, Brock Peters, Slim Pickens, and others had very little screen time and not a lot of interesting character development (though Mario Adorf, Ben Johnson, James Coburn, and certainly Warren were all great).  Is this remedied by the restored version?

Ah yes, R.G. Armstrong. How could I forget? He's Peckinpah's go-to guy for righteous indignation. I enjoyed his bit part too.

The lack of character development is remedied by the restored version. Mostly for Dundee though. There's a LOT more Dundee and Tyreen in the restored version. The character actors just get little moments here and there. Still, I think they add a lot of color to the film.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Tim on September 04, 2005, 02:14:50 PM
  As we all get ready for the dvd release of Major Dundee, I was thinking about the end with the battle against the french.

  Captain Tyreen(Richard harris) is shot in the back by the french colonel as more french cavalry prepares to enter the battle.  So here is my question.

A. Did Tyreen charge into the French because he knew he would not survive the gunshot wound? or...

B.  Did he do it as a sacrifice to slow up the french so Dundee and the remaining survivors could get away? 

They're kinda the same thing, but what do you think?  Judging by the look on Tyreen's face after he's been shot, I always thought it was his way of going out on his terms.  Any other opinions?


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on September 04, 2005, 04:46:52 PM
Of those two I'd definitely say B, however he got killed almost instantly and Dundee and his men mostly just watched him get killed.  My guess is that he wanted to go out in glory rather than at the hands of Dundee, and he was taking his opportunity to do so.  Just me though.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Tim on September 15, 2005, 04:05:03 PM
  Well, since my original post didn't do much business, I'll adjust the question.  If Tyreen survives the last battle with the french lancers, who would have won the duel between Dundee and Tyreen?

  For the sake of the movie, I think Dundee would have killed Tyreen, but if it came right down to it, I think it would go the other way.  What do you think?


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on September 15, 2005, 05:12:16 PM
Dundee, because Tyreen was wounded.

It would depend if it was with sabers, pistols, shotguns, or hand-to-hand.  My hunch is that if the fight were to really happen, Dundee would've ordered Gomez and co. to kill all of the Confederates beforehand, so that even if Tyreen won, he wouldn't get anywhere.  Just my thoughts though.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 15, 2005, 10:51:29 PM
I saw MD for the first time recently on AMC, and enjoyed it quite a bit (looking forward to the DVD with the extended version and the new score). In some ways the film is typical of films of that time; however, it also exhibits some traits characteristic of Peckinpah's later work. For example, MD includes what may be the first use of a stock leading character who doesn't stay true to the stock heroine. And the fact that it was Chuck Heston playing the stock leading character that really blew my mind. When Senta Berger catches Chuck with the fetching guitar-playing latina, my immediate thought was, This is not one of your grandfather's Westerns. Can anyone out there remember another film in which Heston does not stay true to the heroine? Others may disagree, but I think this is a big deal.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: cigar joe on September 16, 2005, 04:50:05 AM
Not right off hand I don't, you are probably right.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Nobody on September 19, 2005, 01:09:10 PM
Got the new DVD in the mail today, and thought it was a pretty good flick. Will definately be seeing this again in the near future. I never did care much for Heston, but he's very good here. Even in this extended cut, it's not as Peckinpah intended it to be, don't let the DVD cover fool you. The extras are very interesting as well, with RG Armstrong, LQ Jones, and James Coburn sharing some rather amusing anecdotes on Peckinpah. Also, the 2005 re-release trailer is narrated by LQ Jones. It is wonderful, I'll take him over the trailer guy any day.

Of course, the disc looks and sounds pretty good. The only thing I missed was the original, butchered theatrical cut. I'd like to see that one some day as well. Recommended.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Tim on September 19, 2005, 06:31:30 PM
  Nobody, if you're in the US, AMC shows Major Dundee every couple weeks on Saturdays.  Of course, it's in pan-n-scan with the original music score, and commercials, so that might blur your judgement.

  Glad to hear the DVD is worth it.  Going over to Borders or Best Buy tomorrow after class to buy it.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 19, 2005, 11:12:04 PM
I too am very happy with the MDEC DVD. Not only does it look great, the new score is a big improvement over the old one. And the audio commentary is provided by the same group of scholars who have been showing up on all the recent Peckinpah DVDs (Junior Bonner, The Getaway, Alfredo Garcia).

I liked the commentary, but because the film is nobody's favorite the commentators spend a lot of time talking about what they think is wrong with the movie. A little of that goes a long way. The one thing the extended cut demonstrates is what an exceptional film MD is. This is a film that deserves celebrating, so why waste time finding fault with it? Sure, Peckinpah went on to make better films, but compared to what was available at the time, MD was a considerable achievement. It combined Ford's calvary pictures with elements of The Searchers and HH's Red River. And it produced something astonishing.

Having seen the theatrical cut recently on AMC I was able to immediately appreciate how the added material improves the film. Some of this has to do with confusing plot points that are now explained, but the biggest improvement concerns the movie's overall pacing. MD has more of an epic feel now, it takes its time over certain scenes, there is less of a sense of racing toward the climax.  As a result, the digressions seem less accidental and more the deliberate choice of the director (this is particularly noticeable in the Durango sequence, which I feel plays a lot better now). And yes, if you are going to do an epic, digressions are essential (try to imagine the Odyssey without digressions!)

I know that my appreciation for this film is only going to grow. It's great to have such a good transfer of this "restored" classic, which I am sure I will watch many many more times.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 20, 2005, 01:46:00 AM
Having watched the new extended cut on DVD I'm more impressed than ever with the film. It isn't perfect, and there are a number of places where it could have been improved, but to my mind the only major flaw in the film is the ending. Had Peckinpah gotten that right, no one would be carping about all the other (relatively minor) problems that come before.

Here's the flaw as I see it: the contest between Dundee and Tyreen is established early and sustained throughout and never satisfactorily resolved. Tyreen dying in battle for reasons having nothing to do with his conflict with Dundee does not satisfy. That conflict needed to be resolved between the two men directly. One way was for them to fight to the death after they get back to Texas.

But they could have also resolved their differences in the thick of battle. The classic pattern is for one to lay down his life for the other, with the sacrifice serving as a means of reconciling the two men. Perhaps that's what P attempted with Tyreen's charge against the French, but it didn't quite come off.

I think the film would be better if Dundee had been the one to make the sacrifice. The film is about him and his lunatic but noble campaign, and it *should* have ended with some sort of transformation on his part. We don't really know enough about Tyreen to know if his last gesture actually means anything, but if Dundee had done something like that it would have represented some kind of movement toward redemption. Dundee, Ahab-like, is chasing his own destruction, but at the last minute his sacrifice enables another to cheat death. Afterwards, at the memorial service, Tyreen would have saluted his fallen comrade, "one rebel to another." Then the Lt. played by Jim Hutton would have amnestied Tyreen and his men and sent them on their way, riding off in a glorious crane shot.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Tim on September 20, 2005, 10:43:11 PM
 dave, i see what you're saying, but I've always liked the ending, or at least most of it.  Tyreen is shot while recapturing the American flag, the country which he has turned against.  And there is also the irony that the final battle with the French lancers takes place on April 19th, 1865, five days after Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomatox.  Technically, Tyreen and the other Confederates are no longer prisoners.

  I do like your idea for how the story would differ if Tyreen survived.  I agree that the movie does need more closure other than Dundee and the survivors riding back into Texas.

  Over at dvdsavant, i was reading about the plot lines in the script that didn't make it in the final cut.  In the script, the movie ends with Dundee and Potts finding another Apache marker on the trail.  How about that for an ending?


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 21, 2005, 07:14:37 PM
  Over at dvdsavant, i was reading about the plot lines in the script that didn't make it in the final cut.  In the script, the movie ends with Dundee and Potts finding another Apache marker on the trail.  How about that for an ending?
Love it! The campaign can never end ("Until the Apache is taken or destroyed").......

Your observation about the date at the end is good (hadn't occurred to me), although prisoners of war don't automatically stop being prisoners when a war finishes. The victor still has to decide what to do with them, and even in this case there would be some administrative delays. So *technically* they still are prisoners, but they are free men in principle.

That having been said, such a use of dates must have been intentional on P's part. So the political basis of the animosity between Dundee and Tyreen is done; all the more reason for having an ending that resolves the personal enmity between the two men.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Tim on September 22, 2005, 10:18:08 AM
 dave, I like how you put that last line.  It's no longer North vs. South, it's just one man against another. 

  Check out dvdsavant's review, it's got some good stuff.  I was really interested to read that Peckinpah originally intended to shoot Tyreen's death in a very different way.  He also gives a lot of insight about the rest of the missing footage.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on October 02, 2005, 06:30:21 AM
Also, it's nitpicking, but it should be pointed out that the war didn't end with Lee's surrender.  Johnston, for instance, didn't surrender until April 23rd, and the last major command (Kirby-Smith in Lousiana) didn't surrender until May.  Again, nitpicking, but I don't think there's necessarily anything to read into it.

As for DVD Savant - I dunno, they give some interesting information about this film but I think their reviews are garbage.

I bought the Extended Edition for $9.96 at my local Wal-Mart last night.  I don't plan to watch it for a few weeks yet, but I looked at the special features and watched a few scenes to see how the new score comes off.  I like what I see so far.  The documentary clip they have on there's got some good stuff, particularly L.Q.'s anecdote about what happened when he, Ben Johnson, and Sam went into a bar in Durango . . .  :o


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: boardwalk_angel on October 09, 2005, 09:58:03 PM
only major flaw in the film is the ending. Had Peckinpah gotten that right, no one would be carping about all the other (relatively minor) problems that come before.


There's an ending out there somewhere. Of the 34 minutes that were cut by the studio & the distributors...only 12 were restored.
I was ready for more...after they crossed the Rio Grande........& it just didn't feel right, storywise and rhythmically & Peckinpah-wise....that it just stopped...
 I feel very strongly that among the 22 minutes that we'll never see..is a better ending.

I wanted to mention..also..when they started singing  "Shall We Gather at the River"...........I nearly wept at that nod to John Ford...nice touch.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on October 11, 2005, 05:05:39 PM
Having watched the new extended cut on DVD I'm more impressed than ever with the film. It isn't perfect, and there are a number of places where it could have been improved, but to my mind the only major flaw in the film is the ending. Had Peckinpah gotten that right, no one would be carping about all the other (relatively minor) problems that come before.

Here's the flaw as I see it: the contest between Dundee and Tyreen is established early and sustained throughout and never satisfactorily resolved. Tyreen dying in battle for reasons having nothing to do with his conflict with Dundee does not satisfy. That conflict needed to be resolved between the two men directly. One way was for them to fight to the death after they get back to Texas.

But they could have also resolved their differences in the thick of battle. The classic pattern is for one to lay down his life for the other, with the sacrifice serving as a means of reconciling the two men. Perhaps that's what P attempted with Tyreen's charge against the French, but it didn't quite come off.

Well, that's what happened, didn't it?  Tyreen wanted to go out in a blaze of glory, on his own terms, rather than on Dundee's, and that's what happened when he charged the French column.

I've heard of the ending with the Apache marker on the trail, and IMO it's kind of a dumb ending, and I'm glad they cut it.  I mean, Charriba only had 47 guys to begin with, and he died in the last battle, and surely at least a majority of his men died in the two fights, plus the ambush of Dundee and Teresa at the river.  I mean, let's say there are six Apache survivors on the trail - ooh, scary.  If the script had been different, maybe I'd be more interested in that potentiality.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on December 18, 2005, 06:52:19 AM
Well, I got the DVD in early October and have watched it about a hundred times since. . .  ;D So here are my comments.

The new score is very good, a lot moodier and serious than the original, however, I don't know if I could say it was better.  I think that there are many scenes where the original score works better, namely the opening with Dundee surveying the massacre scene and the final battle with the French, but if I had to watch it with just one score, it would be the new one.  It also helps that a lot of key dialogue scenes between Dundee and Tyreen are now lacking of intrusive music.  (I do like the "ominous Apache music" playing during Potts' briefing of Dundee in the original; since the discussion is focused on the trustworthiness of Riago and the other scout, I feel it's appropriate.)

The new scenes are relatively brief, but do add a lot to the film.  I particularly like the scene, brief though it is, when the officers plan the demise of Sierra Charriba, as well as the extended version of the fight between Potts and Riago, with Dundee insulting Lieutenant Graham and egging Potts on ("Who bet against me?" "Me.").

The commentary is interesting but annoying at times as well.  After Brock Peters's great line to Warren Oates, "They're soft, O.W. - they ain't never been South" (referring to the French Legionairres), one of the idiots feels they need to explain that these guys really were the best the French Army had.  All I have to say to that is, "Well, DUH!"  I did think the comparison to the War in Iraq/War on Terror that they brought up was interesting, though to be fair I had thought of such an analogy by myself.  :P

The documentary was worth seeing, and it's a shame that the Potts-Gomez knife fight couldn't be restored (largely because those are my two favorite character ;D).  But overall, no real complaints.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: The Peacemaker on December 18, 2005, 02:12:04 PM
I got to see the uncut version at the Film Forum movie theater in Manhattan back in April. It was the first time I saw the film too. Uncut, restored and in the theater. What better way is there to see a Peckinpah film?


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Leone Admirer on December 20, 2005, 02:50:57 PM
I saw it at the LFF with an intro by the head of Sony's restoration department, Was a very good experience I agree.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Tim on February 19, 2006, 01:25:07 PM
  I watched the Extended Version again this weekend and I like it more each time I watch it.  But the one thing that really bugs me, and we've discussed it here in the past, is the choppy last 30 minutes.

  I love the finale, the battle w/ the Apache, the river fight w/ the French, and Tyreen's sacrifice is one of my favorite scenes.  As well, I love the added scene with Dundee and Co. discussing strategy on how to defeat Sierra Charibba.

  With that said, it still seems choppy, especially the dates used to show how long the command has been in Mexico.  We go from January 30th (rescuing Dundee in Durango) to March 23rd (Deciding to turn back) to April 18th and 19th (the battles with the Apache and French).  I have to believe more scenes were filmed to fill in these gaps.  I still love the movie but I'll always wonder what other footage Peckinpah filmed or intended to use.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Tim on November 30, 2006, 08:02:26 PM
  I found this really cool picture of Charlton Heston and Mario Adorf over at moviegoods.com.  It looks like a deleted scene after Lt. Graham and the cavalry troop return with the repeating rifles Dundee wanted.  Enjoy!

 http://www.moviegoods.com/movie_product.asp?sku=391153&master%5Fmovie%5Fid=1979



Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: cigar joe on November 30, 2006, 08:19:36 PM
Nice find


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on December 01, 2006, 04:33:26 PM
xx


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on December 01, 2006, 04:37:26 PM
That's a neat picture Tim.  I've always liked Sgt. Gomez, he vies with Samuel Potts as my favorite character in the movie.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Tim on December 01, 2006, 11:08:15 PM
Quote
That's a neat picture Tim.  I've always liked Sgt. Gomez, he vies with Samuel Potts as my favorite character in the movie.

  Yeah, it definitely caught my eye, groggy.  And mike, I saw that pic on the dvd.  There's also a site I found called the Sony Picture Repertory (or something like that  :-\) that has all kinds of studio pics from movies released by Sony.  It has a great one of Tyreen after he has been thrown off his horse and looks like he's just been stabbed.  It's far too gigantic to put here but if anyone wants it, I can send it to them.  I uploaded it here and it makes the screen about 10 times longer/larger.

  From what I've read about Peckinpah filming MD, it sounded like he wanted a much more violent death for Tyreen, even though the current one is fairly graphic. 

 


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on March 02, 2007, 08:07:16 PM
I just had the opportunity of watching one of Sam Peckinpah's early classics, "Major Dundee", an extremely underrated movie in my opinion. For years I've been told by my father to watch this gem of a movie because I'm such a fan of Sam Peckinpah, but kept putting it off for some reason. Finally, Tim (from these boards) caught my eye with his avatar picture of the character Tyreen played by the great Richard Harris. I had a talk with Tim about the movie and quickly ordered it, finally! The movie, if you haven't read, or heard about it, is legendary for it's post production problems with a then young Sam Peckinpah (his third film directing) and some studio heads. This was supposed to be his dream EPIC, that was gonna run nearly three hours. Of course, for time constraints, they told him to cut a lot of important scenes. The movie has it's flaws, yes, even with it's 13 minutes added to the 2005 re-release of the extended cut. The film is still supposed to be longer. Here though, we see how talented the young Peckinpah really was. You can really see him at work honing in on his craft. You can see the talent pouring off the screen as you watch this. Here, we see early his staple mate of actors he later uses in most of his movies. The legendary character actors, Warren Oates, L.Q. Jones, R.G. Armstrong, and Slim Pickens all appear. We also see reguarly used Ben Johnson, and James Coburn. This tops it off with the leads of legendary actors Charlton Heston in the lead role, and Richard Harris co-starring, both whom were magnificent! We see throughout the movie these great actors feeding off eachother, making memorable scenes, and memorable characters. It's all finished off by a great and memorable ending that's not to be missed! If you're a fan of westerns, or even a bigger fan of Sam Peckinpah, this is a movie you have to check out! As I said, it has it's flaws, but the talent involved in this makes it a highly enjoyable movie! Not to be missed!


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Tim on March 03, 2007, 10:43:27 PM
  Great post, buddy.  It's really too bad so much footage was cut.  I've read that Peckinpah had a 6-hour epic in all the filming he did, and while I doubt it was ever tangible, I can't help but wonder what the 150, 160-minute version would have been like.  Those 12 added minutes certainly fleshed things out, and even answered a couple storylines, but that extra 20 minutes might have made this a classic, not another flawed epic by Peckinpah.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on March 05, 2007, 04:48:45 PM
  Great post, buddy.  It's really too bad so much footage was cut.  I've read that Peckinpah had a 6-hour epic in all the filming he did, and while I doubt it was ever tangible, I can't help but wonder what the 150, 160-minute version would have been like.  Those 12 added minutes certainly fleshed things out, and even answered a couple storylines, but that extra 20 minutes might have made this a classic, not another flawed epic by Peckinpah.

Oh, yeah, I really dream of seeing Peckinpah's true vision. Still, we get a great movie that shall not be forgotten in my opinion.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Kurug3n on September 22, 2007, 09:27:07 PM
There showing this tommorow (Sunday) on Encore Western channel


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on September 23, 2007, 11:48:34 AM
Wow, I completely renige on the new score. I've tried to watch it a couple of times with the new score and it puts me to sleep. Gimme the crappy old score with Mitch Miller and the Dundee sting any time. ;)

Also, I think at this point, I can say that while I still think Dundee is a great film, it's not really a "lost masterpiece". I think it's best to view it as an action/adventure film rather than an artsy film like "The Wild Bunch".



Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on September 23, 2007, 11:59:25 AM
Wow, I completely renige on the new score. I've tried to watch it a couple of times with the new score and it puts me to sleep. Gimme the crappy old score with Mitch Miller and the Dundee sting any time. ;)

Also, I think at this point, I can say that while I still think Dundee is a great film, it's not really a "lost masterpiece". I think it's best to view it as an action/adventure film rather than an artsy film like "The Wild Bunch".



This could have been a masterpiece if the studio didn't interfere with Peckinpah's vision. It had all the makings of it. Some astonishing sequences are in this film.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on September 23, 2007, 12:52:36 PM
I strongly disagree, except in principle. Peckinpah deserves as much blame for what happened as the studio.

BTW, Glenn Erickson (aka DVD Savant) just e-mailed me this link, detailing the original script of "Dundee" and comparing it to both versions of the film:

http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s1632dun.html (http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s1632dun.html)

In short, still missing (if filmed at all) sequences include:

- The opening massacre scene
- Sgt. Gomez telling Dundee that he had been kidnapped by Apaches as a boy and lived with them for several years
- Several scenes where Captain Waller tries to send a runner to have Dundee arrested. Apparently Dundee has Sergeant Gomez rough him up, or at least that's the intimation of the script.
- Lt. Graham robbing the supply train (alluded to but not shown in the film)
- The beginning of the expedition is chaotic, the animals are undisciplined. Tyreen shoots a bird and gets the feather for his hat. There's a joking fight scene between Union and Confederate troopers, but it's not serious.
- After the river crossing scene. Captain Waller arrives at the border with a party to arrest Dundee, but they run into the Confederate patrol and are chased off by them
- The drinking scene, where Dundee offers whiskey to the command for the river crossing. Dahlstrom toasts the Union, Chillum toasts the Confederacy, and everyone except Slim Pickens' character Wiley ends up dumping their whiskey onto the ground in protest
- Some scenes in the build-up to the river ambush, Gomez leaving the command with the Rostes boys, the Old Apache informant disappearing right before the ambush, Tyreen whistling Dixie, but the answer coming from behind him.
- Dundee tries to ride a mule to raise morale and show off his expertise, but his thrown off
- Tyreen and Dundee talking about their days at West Point, and about their admiration for Robert E. Lee (a scene which would have reinforced the point that Dundee was a Southerner)
- Some brief scenes with Tim and Linda, and Dundee and Teresa on the night of the fiesta
- The kinfe fight between Potts and Gomez, available in part on the DVD as an extra
- Dundee formally granting Graham his command after his wounding
- Dundee chases after Teresa after she discovers him with Melinche. Melinche leaves the bar/hotel and is arrested by the French
- Gomez contacts Dundee in the bar but is unable to save him because there are too many French soldiers around
- Dundee has a nightmare flashback scene of the events in the film
- After the conference of Dundee and his officers (in the restored cut), the Apache leaders have a similar meeting, trying to determine what Dundee's next plan of action is
- More lead-in to the ambush, including Potts and Gomez relieving the pickets so that they would in danger instead of the pickets
- After the final battle, Dundee and Potts find another Apache trail marker left by Guerro, Charriba's subordinate, who has apparently survived the battle.

How much of this was shot, and how much was just in the script, isn't clear. But this still makes for interesting reading.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 23, 2007, 08:54:40 PM
Thanks, Groggy, it's great when we get these kinds of posts that actually increase our knowledge of the films we love. And Glenn Erickson answers your emails, huh? Lucky you! O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on September 23, 2007, 09:56:13 PM
Yeah, within a few minutes of my sending them! I'll try not to bug him too much though. . .


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on September 23, 2007, 10:25:37 PM
hahaha, what a joke. jenkins the comedian is at it again! ;D


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Kurug3n on September 23, 2007, 11:34:28 PM

- Some scenes in the build-up to the river ambush, Gomez leaving the command with the Rostes boys, the Old Apache informant disappearing right before the ambush, Tyreen whistling Dixie, but the answer coming from behind him.

- Tyreen and Dundee talking about their days at West Point, and about their admiration for Robert E. Lee (a scene which would have reinforced the point that Dundee was a Southerner)

- Dundee formally granting Graham his command after his wounding

- Dundee has a nightmare flashback scene of the events in the film

I wouldn't mind these scenes to be in there but the rest of it is just filler for me O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on September 24, 2007, 09:56:48 AM
Well, I'm just posting what's missing, not giving any commentary on it.

I would have liked to see the massacre scene at the beginning, the description given makes it sound amazing, but I don't know how much it would have improved the film overall.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 24, 2007, 04:12:39 PM
I think it would have improved the film to start with the massacre. First, massacres are exciting. Also, they give us an immediate and visceral sense of who the bad guys are and what's at stake. Finally, it would have announced that we're about to see a new kind of Western, not one of those (like The Searchers) where we have to waste a lot of time learning about the people about to be massacred so that we'll care about the fact they're massacred. This often backfires anyway (as in The Searchers), where the people about to be massacred are so annoying that we end up rooting for the bad guys. So it's better to just see them getting whacked: our common humanity makes us sympathize and we give the victims the benefit of the doubt. A great way to start a movie.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on September 24, 2007, 08:24:42 PM
Did you read the linked page? That scene would have been an awesome scene if realized even half as well as it was written there.

There are conflicting reports whether or not the whole scene was actually filmed. If it was, the footage apparently no longer exists.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 24, 2007, 09:13:06 PM
Even if it had been filmed in its entirety, it would have been cut down in the editing. No way could it all have gone in, it would have added 20 minutes to the picture. A lot of the get-to-know-the-victims stuff would have dropped to the cutting room floor.

Hey, did you notice that Finland got the 134 minute cut? That version has always been available to moviesceleton, the lucky skunk!


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on September 24, 2007, 09:17:02 PM
Even if it had been filmed in its entirety, it would have been cut down in the editing. No way could it all have gone in, it would have added 20 minutes to the picture. A lot of the get-to-know-the-victims stuff would have dropped to the cutting room floor.

Hey, did you notice that Finland got the 134 minute cut? That version has always been available to moviesceleton, the lucky skunk!

I'd love to view the 134 minute cut. Did moviesceleton ever mention how good it is jenkins?


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 24, 2007, 09:56:37 PM
Sorry, I guess I was unclear. The 134 minute cut is what is now available to us on DVD. But most people in North America (and most of the world) never got the chance to see it until 2005, the year the DVD was released. As Glenn Erickson points out, back in 1965 some markets actually got that longer cut (Erickson mentions Finland and Australia) from the get-go. I hadn't realized that until today.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on September 26, 2007, 03:56:15 AM
For PASSION & POETRY I tried desperatly to find a proof that the massacre scenes were shot. Although some do think they remember that they were shot, none of the ones I interviewed were present during those days - none of the main actors were involved, so it was merely a '2nd unit' for Peckinpah. But Adorf told me that when Columbia pulled the plug Peckinpah immediately ran away with a camera unit and shot for 2-3 days without getting out of his boots or pants, just to get everything he needed that wasn't completed yet. I personally thing he shot it. But Bresler hated the amount of violence Peckinpah put into the film in general (some slow motion as well!) and that stuff he might have destroyed immediately. Maybe even the stills that were taken during shooting. That would be the final proof and that always made me a bit insecure about the thing: over the last 25 years I collected about 300 stills on DUNDEE, only one shows (the end of) the massacre.
 (http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1612/7186524/17740665/280243077.jpg)

In the end I'm so happy that DUNDEE at least is available in the 1965 cut version. Compared to the butchered one which was just impossible. Especially the escape-sequence early in the film was badly needed. In the butchered version, Tyreen appears first (too sudden) when Dundee asks for volunteers.
How Peckinpah's 2 1/2 hour + version would have worked - we'll never know. It surely would not have been a masterpiece in terms of story telling & drama. Unlike THE WILD BUNCH the script was never really ready. But with Peckinpah it is like it is with Leone: the more we can get of them - the better.

The restored DUNDEE had its European premiere along with my film PASSION & POETRY in Munich two years ago.
I spent two days with Sony's Grover Crisp, who brought the film along, and we watched it twice on a biiig screen. I was astounished he would do that since after working on it for so long he almost knew it by heart. But he said he never saw it on such a big screen and probably would never get the chance to experience it like that again. Same for me! It WAS an experience. I remember I was so impressed by Richard Harris' performance, who jumped of the screen. That same day I filmed Mario Adorf who told me juicy stories, unfortunately my DVD-documentary was already done, so he is not on the DVD...

Here's more deleted stuff, the mule scene:

(http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1612/7186524/17740665/280243076.jpg)
(http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1612/7186524/17740665/280243075.jpg)



Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 26, 2007, 10:10:09 AM
Thanks much, Mike! O0 O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: cigar joe on September 26, 2007, 02:53:36 PM
 O0

as usual nice Mike!


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on October 02, 2007, 04:04:23 PM
Perhaps my life-time goal as a director should be to become successful enough to re-make Dundee, since time travel is impossible. O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on October 02, 2007, 07:22:03 PM
Quote
Perhaps my life-time goal as a director should be to become successful enough to re-make Dundee, since time travel is impossible.

  Count me in.  We should get moving so we can get 'ole Chuck in it, at least in a cameo part or something. :)


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on October 02, 2007, 08:42:49 PM
Me and a couple of friends tried an in-depth casting of the remake, not sure about all of our ideas though. In any case, by the time I'm old enough to potentially make a big-budget movie, none of them will be big anymore.

I would ordinarily be opposed to remaking a classic like this, but given the state of the original as it is now I would like to see what a talented film maker could do with the original script, or a polished version of it. It wouldn't be the same, but it would still be interesting.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on October 03, 2007, 11:32:50 AM
Quote
Me and a couple of friends tried an in-depth casting of the remake, not sure about all of our ideas though. In any case, by the time I'm old enough to potentially make a big-budget movie, none of them will be big anymore.

  Who'd you come up with?  It's hard to imagine someone replacing Coburn, Harris, or even bumbling Hutton, but I guess with the right context and a good script, it'd certainly be interesting.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on October 03, 2007, 12:40:56 PM
  Who'd you come up with?  It's hard to imagine someone replacing Coburn, Harris, or even bumbling Hutton, but I guess with the right context and a good script, it'd certainly be interesting.

Groggy suggested quite a few actors for the new cast to me last night, great one's I might add. Let him get into it with you. He has some great idea's!


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on October 03, 2007, 05:08:56 PM
  Who'd you come up with?  It's hard to imagine someone replacing Coburn, Harris, or even bumbling Hutton, but I guess with the right context and a good script, it'd certainly be interesting.

Well, these are some of the ones that came up in a conversation with a friend, who also helped me recast "The Wild Bunch", "Zulu", and a few others. (It's something we do.)

Dundee - Viggo Mortensen (Harrison Ford was my first choice, but it was pointed out he's a bit too old)
Tyreen - Liam Neeson
Potts - Ron Perlman
Graham - Either Jeremy Davies or Ryan Gosling
Ryan - Lucas Black
Teresa - Sophie Marceau
Sgt. Chillum - Sam Elliot
O.W. Hadley - Clifton Collins Jr.
Reverend Dahlstrom - Will Patton
Wiley - Chris Cooper
Priam - Ted Levine
Benteen - Giovanni Ribisi

Some suggestions for Aesop and Gomez but no one I'd definitely commit to. Again, we wouldn't be following the original film 100% so some characters could have bigger/smaller roles than in the original.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on October 03, 2007, 06:23:51 PM
  Wow, TB was right.  Those cast choices are dead on.  I like Liam Neeson, but I had a different thought.  How about Daniel Craig?  He's a little younger than Neeson obviously, but I think he'd be a good Tyreen.

  Perlman, Mortensen, Jeremy Davies (channelling Pvt. Upham maybe  ;)J), Lucas Black, Sam Elliott is perfect, as are many of the others.  Any picks for Aesop?  I was thinking maybe David Keith or Don Cheadle.  Cheadle continues to impress me in the movies he's been in.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on October 03, 2007, 08:09:18 PM
Actually I think Russel Crowe would be a great Tyreen, come to think of it. Craig's not bad though.

Tucumcari Bound actually mentioned Don Cheadle in our conversation last night. I was thinking of a younger actor like Will Smith or Taye Diggs, but we definitely need someone with more presence.

I have a hard time casting Gomez for some reason. I need an Hispanic actor who has the presence and heft to fill the role. I know Mario Adorf was Swiss, but let's be somewhat realistic here. :D


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on October 03, 2007, 08:45:48 PM
I need to take part in this remake Groggs!


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on October 03, 2007, 09:05:46 PM
Okay. You can be the Best Boy, a Clapboard assistant, or Union Trooper #9. :D


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on October 03, 2007, 09:10:33 PM
Okay. You can be the Best Boy, a Clapboard assistant, or Union Trooper #9. :D

When you see me, you'll want me as one of you leads. As Bill in KILL BILL says, "I'm the man."  ;D


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on October 06, 2007, 06:07:51 PM
Don't know if any of you have heard this, an interview by a Portland-based radio program with Michael Anderson, Jr., Christopher Caliendo, and Glenn Erickson, very interesting and informative.

http://www.dvdclassicscorner.net/dundee.htm (http://www.dvdclassicscorner.net/dundee.htm)

I've also been in further correspondants with Erickson, he assures me that the massacre WAS shot, don't know if he wants me to reveal his sources. ;)


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on October 21, 2007, 10:41:27 PM
  I found this at Youtube (what can't you find there?  ;)) and thought I'd share.  It's a special feature on the stunts in Major Dundee and is included on the Extended Version DVD.  Unfortunately, this is the one in pretty good condition.  The DVD offers two versions, the lower quality one shows how Peckinpah really intended to shoot Tyreen's last scenes with the French Lancers.  Little different than is seen in the movie.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k209tsxlbMw


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on October 22, 2007, 02:06:48 AM
Yeah and how 'bout that guy who had the horse roll over on top of him? :o He must have been pissed that they cut most of that stunt out of the film.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on October 22, 2007, 01:18:43 PM
Quote
Yeah and how 'bout that guy who had the horse roll over on top of him?  He must have been pissed that they cut most of that stunt out of the film.

  I'll say cause it's a really cool stunt.  I think I read in DVD Savant's review that Bressler cut the full roll out of spite for Peckinpah. >:(


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on October 22, 2007, 01:58:16 PM
Yes, TYREEN's death was edited down to a minimum, because Bresler took out as much violence as he could. Tyreen died a very brutal death as is captured on quite a few stills that survived.

The b/w featurette survived on 16mm and is therefore of superior quality. For the 'lesser' one, my Super-8 version was used, which of course shows less details. But at least it is in color, that's why it was used. I have about 4 of those, and this one showed the best colors (they are all from the 60's and most of them are reddish/faded by now).
As far as I know, they both have exactly the same content / length. You mentioned something about 'the lesser featurette only' showed the shooting of Tyreen's death, or did I get that wrong? 

Unfortunately Peckinpah is only visible twice on the featurette:
1.) sitting bare-chested on the water-dolly (2:34)
2.) walking behind Michael Anderson practicing fencing (3:59)


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on October 23, 2007, 11:29:26 AM
Quote
Yes, TYREEN's death was edited down to a minimum, because Bresler took out as much violence as he could. Tyreen died a very brutal death as is captured on quite a few stills that survived.

The b/w featurette survived on 16mm and is therefore of superior quality. For the 'lesser' one, my Super-8 version was used, which of course shows less details. But at least it is in color, that's why it was used. I have about 4 of those, and this one showed the best colors (they are all from the 60's and most of them are reddish/faded by now).
As far as I know, they both have exactly the same content / length. You mentioned something about 'the lesser featurette only' showed the shooting of Tyreen's death, or did I get that wrong? 

Unfortunately Peckinpah is only visible twice on the featurette:
1.) sitting bare-chested on the water-dolly (2:34)
2.) walking behind Michael Anderson practicing fencing (3:59)

  That was your copy of the featurette?!  This gets better and better.  Mike, can the SLWB take a field trip to your house and see all this stuff? :)  The amount of memoribilia you have never ceases to amaze me, especially from a movie I really enjoy.

  So to check on Tyreen, because I've only seen a few photos and the shot in "Riding for a Fall," he charges into the French lancers and has his horse shot out from under him?  He's then run through by their lances?  It might have been you that told me the shot in the movie of him getting stabbed is supposed to be him on the ground.

  And in Riding for a Fall, it looked like the shot was on the hill where Graham's artillery had been.  Was Tyreen supposed to have made it up the hill?

  For the "lesser featurette," the one that's not of as great quality, DOESN'T show Tyreen getting tackled by the French lancers.  Or at least how I remember it.  Groggy or TB might know too.  But always great to read your posts, mike. :)


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on October 23, 2007, 04:41:46 PM
That's what I like about these (or this) forums... there a lot of useful information.

I didn't even realize that the two featurettes are different. And I worked on the damn thing. I just checked it
again: Actually the 'better' one, the b/w one is missing some stuff. My color Super-8 is about 40 secs longer. Basically more violence in it than in the b/w 16mm. Interesting fact. Maybe the 16mm was shoftened down for the TV-market.

The last shot of the S-8 featurette shows the scene you were referring to I think. But that's not Tyreen.
His horse wasn't shot from under him, that is another 'rebel'.
All the stills I have refer to the scene that is in the final film - just that his death took much longer. Mind you Bresler left
only two takes in it! Tyreen getting stabed on his horse, CUT he falls into the dust, dead. But you couldn't kill Benjamin Tyreen like that, oh no Sir. It was more like THE WILD BUNCH. he got stabed a lot, then he fell from his horse and got up again just to get stabed and shot at again....

Visitors are always welcome here, it is an archive, partly museum, with ten thousands of items. I started collecting at the age of 11 in 1978, so it's quite a lot by now..
But Stuttgart may be a long way for you... Anyway, someone is strolling around South Germany - you're welcome.

On DUNDEE alone I have about 300 stills & posters and what have you. I wanted to make the ultimate DVD - Gallery for DUNDEE, but it was not possible - they left us with that Gallery-'joke' that's on the DVD. (the initiators there would have wanted it, but they can only do what they are allowed to do. Better have a small DVD - label, like the one I did the STRAW DOGS SE for. There everything was possible...). I love to share treasures with fans, whenever it's possible that is.

Are you a BLUES BROTHERS fan? One of my Top-15 ! Watch it every year on my birthday. One of the few films I know by heart in two languages.







Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on October 23, 2007, 04:49:12 PM
You could always publish a book of Dundee stills. I'd pay good money for it. O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on October 23, 2007, 05:01:27 PM
Well, that may be a bit TOO special for a single book...
But three years ago I did a photo-book on Peckinpah, with 1050 photos (over 70 on DUNDEE alone. How about that?)(PASSION & POETRY - SAM PECKINPAH IN PICTURES).

Forgot the goodies:
Scarce French LC / celebrating... probably Peckinpah's birthday as none of the princible actors had his/her birthday
during the principal photography / Tyreen's Death

(deleted, see next posting...)


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on October 23, 2007, 05:09:02 PM
Well, that may be a bit TOO special for a single book...
But three years ago I did a photo-book on Peckinpah, with 1050 photos (over 70 on DUNDEE alone. How about that?)(PASSION & POETRY - SAM PECKINPAH IN PICTURES).

Forgot the goodies:
Scarce French LC / celebrating... probably Peckinpah's birthday as none of the princible actors had his/her birthday
during the principal photography / Tyreen's Death

(http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1612/7186524/17740665/284833418.jpg)
(http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1612/7186524/17740665/284833374.jpg)
(http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1612/7186524/17740665/284833420.jpg)

I've seen a picture in another book of the cast celebrating Richard Harris's B-day (forget which). Are you sure that's not it?


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: geoman-1 on October 23, 2007, 05:54:48 PM
Thanks for posting the photos TS. It's been years since I saw this film and I
completely forgot that Coburn co-starred in this. Who is the woman in the photo?


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on October 23, 2007, 07:23:55 PM
Senta Berger.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on October 23, 2007, 10:37:45 PM
Quote
Senta Berger.

  Ah ah ah, not so fast, the gorgeous Senta Berger. 

  And Mike, thanks again.  If I'm ever in Germany, I'll drop in.   I might never leave.  O0  As for a strictly Dundee picture book, I'd buy it in a minute.  Do you think there's a market out there for it?  With the DVD available and plenty of Peckinpah and western fans in general, you never know.  But like Groggy (Tom Servo  :D), I'm for it.  I looked at Amazon but couldn't find it.  Is your "Passion and Poetry- Sam Peckinpah in Pictures" available anywhere?  Or the DVD for that matter.  I think I've asked you this before.  :-[ :)

  Now with the massacre scene in the beginning, I want to see the longer Tyreen death.  Was it ever filmed, or were there just stills of it?


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on October 23, 2007, 11:09:50 PM
It was filmed. I have my own sources. Won't reveal many details in public, PM to me if you want to know more.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on October 24, 2007, 02:08:24 AM
I'd never seriousely consider a book on DUNDEE alone. We couldn't even find a publisher in the US for the 'complete' Peckinpah...
PASSION & POETRY was published in Germany. It is out of print now, but dealers at Amazon.de sell copies at a very low price. The sale price was about $40.00, now it starts at $12.00. The shipping might be expensive, it is very heavy (3 pounds). Here's a link to my website - click GALLERY and you can take a look into it (click on single pics). There's also a link to Amazone.de ...

http://www.eldorado-film.de/sam_peckinpah_in_pictures.htm

At Ebay I'm selling doubles of my archive (Ebay-shop JUNIORMIKE). But I'm also trading, 'always looking for stuff (especially Leone, Terence Hill, McQueen, Harryhausen, Dean, Belmondo, Belushi). I'm sure there's something on DUNDEE as well..

The film will be out next year on DVD in Germany (international soundtrack, R2). I'll keep you informed. We wanted to start with the US, but to enter the US TV-market is not the easiest task from here.

As for the party: As said before, none one the principal actors was born between January and March (when DUNDEE was filmed). Only Peckinpah (February 21st). But it might also be a welcome party for Harris. I do have about 4 or 5 pics of that party, 'can't read anywhere what's written on the cake..

You might like this, Chikago 1979: 'Danny, I'm glad we sized down your 500-page screenplay to a reasonable script...' 'Ey John, that's just the opening scene..'
(http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1612/7186524/17740665/284898319.jpg)



Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on October 24, 2007, 05:53:51 AM
I saw a picture of Harris cutting a cake which said "Happy Birthday Dick" on it. Don't know if it was the same event, but all of the Dundee crew were present.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on October 24, 2007, 06:02:23 AM
Can't you locate it?

I found one where the name DICK is readable.  Still he was born October 1st and the film
was shot Feb - April 1964 ...


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on October 24, 2007, 09:49:10 AM
I'm pretty sure the book is "The Films of Sam Peckinpah" by Neil Fulwood (published in 2002). The caption specifically mentions it being a birthday, and the cake is visible.

I don't doubt you about Harris' birthday or the shooting date. Maybe something else is going on besides a birthday then?


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on October 24, 2007, 11:14:31 AM
'just checked my Sam - books..
It's not in Fulton's but Garner Simmons' book (Portrait in Montage).
DICK is visible on the cake, so I presume Garner thought it was Harris' birthday.
It probably was a welcome by Sam & the Yanks...


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on November 04, 2007, 08:13:46 PM
  I was looking through the TCM schedule for the next couple of months, and sure enough, they're finally showing a Peckinpah western not called Ride the High Country!  Don't get me wrong, I like that movie, but they seem to show it a lot.  They will be showing Major Dundee January 22nd at 1:15 PM Eastern time.

  It'll be interesting to see what version they're showing, hopefully the extended version and I pray in widescreen, but you never know.

  Also, I'm currently reading the novelization of the movie script.  I'll report on it once I'm done.  It's good so far, lots of background on characters that isn't dealt with in the movie.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on November 04, 2007, 09:32:40 PM
I'm planning to get the novel myself as soon as it becomes possible for me to do so.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on November 05, 2007, 11:37:31 AM
Quote
I'm planning to get the novel myself as soon as it becomes possible for me to do so.

  Amazon has several vendors with it available at pretty reasonable prices.  I paid $3 for it and then add some shipping as well.  After looking at used bookstores for quite awhile, I got fed up and just caved, buying it at Amazon.  Well worth it, the book was in pretty good condition for something published 42 years ago.  ;D


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: cigar joe on November 05, 2007, 11:53:44 AM
oh Amazon is definitely the place to go, a lot of used book stores are selling through Amazon now and closing their mortar & brick locations here in NY state.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on November 12, 2007, 06:16:55 PM
Quote
Also, I'm currently reading the novelization of the movie script.  I'll report on it once I'm done.  It's good so far, lots of background on characters that isn't dealt with in the movie.

  Just finished the book so here's my report on it, I won't give away spoilers though for those wanting to read the novelization....cough Groggy cough.

  It's a pretty small book, 128 pages, and is a condensed version of the movie.  I'm curious as to how much of the book was taken from the original Harry Julian Fink script and then converted into the movie.  The basic storyline is the same, ragtag troop following Apaches into Mexico and then tangling with French troopers, but the execution is different.  More on the trail description, and the Trooper Ryan narration would have been even better in the movie if taken from the book/script, and the added bonus of reading the Rostes massacre after only hearing about it for so long.

  That's one of the main reasons I really enjoyed the book, the added background given to characters as well as the relationships.  We learn more about Dundee and Potts (even cooler in the book), more with Dundee and Ryan interacting, how Tyreen got put in prison stockade at Ft. Benlin, and lots more about Potts (you learn his first name), Gomez, and Priam.  Some characters are condensed, especially the Confederates, and a few are added, a very cool sheepherder who's an excellent marksman.

  The biggest differences came with the Mexican village and ending sequence.  There AIN'T no Mexican village, and the ending is VERY different concerning who makes it and who doesn't, Ryan has a great moment in the fight.  So overall, an excellent read and it makes me appreciate the movie even more.  Might have to go watch it again tonight.  O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on November 13, 2007, 08:58:59 AM
I've read some things about how the book develops, but your review makes me really want it. As soon as I come into some more money (getting a job or parents) I'll buy it. It's not that expensive but I'm in a tight spot right now, every penny counts.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on November 13, 2007, 11:35:24 AM
Quote
I've read some things about how the book develops, but your review makes me really want it. As soon as I come into some more money (getting a job or parents) I'll buy it. It's not that expensive but I'm in a tight spot right now, every penny counts.

  Let us know when you get it, groggy.  I checked Amazon's vendors and wanted to report I found one on sale for a penny  :D like I find sometimes, but no luck.  The lowest listed is $2.82 and then add $4 for shipping.  Damn, cause a book for a penny is always a steal. ;D


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on January 22, 2008, 11:30:43 PM
  Caught part of the airing today on TCM.  The Extended Version was shown with the Christopher Caliendo score which I like less each time I hear it.  The movie's just too quiet with the new score.  Maybe I'm just used to the Major Dundee march. ;)  And I don't know if it was just a local thing, but the cable went out right as the troop approaches the Rio Grande with the French on the other side of the river and didn't come back in time for the end.  If it was the first time watching it for anyone where the cable went out, I imagine there's a lot of pissed off movie fans out there. ;)


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on January 23, 2008, 04:45:49 PM
I definitely agree about the music. I liked it the first time I heard it but it really wears out its welcome quickly. One time watching the film with the new score I almost fell asleep! From then on, I've always watched the movie with the old score.

The worst part is the final battle. This is admittedly due to the shoddy post-production shop undertaken by Bresler and Co. but muffled gunshots and horsefalls does not work! The scene is really thrilling with the original score, it's definitely the finest part of the movie with it. This isn't like The Wild Bunch with its visceral slow-mo violence, it's a frigging fast-paced cavalry battle. In this instance, I say screw what Peckinpah allegedly wanted - he didn't get it, and until we can get slow-motion footage of the final battle, don't try to make it something it's not.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on January 23, 2008, 05:51:22 PM
Quote
In this instance, I say screw what Peckinpah allegedly wanted - he didn't get it, and until we can get slow-motion footage of the final battle, don't try to make it something it's not.

  Agreed.  I know Peckinpah hated the score that was used, but after so many times watching the movie w/ the original score, I realized it's a big part of why I like the movie.  With the exception of the Major Dundee March, which doesn't fit with the tone of the movie but is a damn catchy song  :), the rest of the soundtrack is really strong.  The battle scenes, the column riding through Texas and Mexico, the troop entering the Mexican village, the French lancer theme, all stand out as appropriate but also memorable in that they stick with you. 

  And the final battle is far too quiet w/ the Caliendo score.  I got the soundtrack with the Danielle Amfitheatrof score as an Xmas gift, and listening to the music from the final battle, it's really easy to visual what scene is which in the movie just by listening.  What a good movie. :)


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on January 23, 2008, 07:43:02 PM
The actual score is good if unspectacular, IMO. I just think it was poorly used within the film, but that's hardly Amfitheatrof's fault. I have it on CD myself, the third track The Escape/Lt. Graham/Artillery is an excellent piece of music to get lost in (even if the beeping noises are annoying, or in my opinion amusing). I do tend to skip over the Mitch Miller songs however (except the March). O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 24, 2008, 01:58:25 AM
The worst part is the final battle. This is admittedly due to the shoddy post-production shop undertaken by Bresler and Co. but muffled gunshots and horsefalls does not work! The scene is really thrilling with the original score, it's definitely the finest part of the movie with it. This isn't like The Wild Bunch with its visceral slow-mo violence, it's a frigging fast-paced cavalry battle. In this instance, I say screw what Peckinpah allegedly wanted - he didn't get it, and until we can get slow-motion footage of the final battle, don't try to make it something it's not.
This discussion piqued my interest, so I got out my DVD and did my own comparisons of the two scores during the final battle at the river.

There are several things about the original score I don't like at that point. It's a kind of melange (possibly of all the themes heard earlier in the film?) that includes the Dundee March, various bugle calls (including "Charge"), a few bars of "Dixie," and something that sounds (unintentionally, no doubt) like "Three Blind Mice." I don't care for  any of these pieces singly, and put together in this haphazard way they are even more unappealing. Also there is a tendency to use staccato notes to emphasize saber slashes and the like, an overly literal approach to scoring I detest.

The Caliendo score is adequate but won't be winning any prizes. One choice he made that I find interesting is to drop the music out at certain points. The original score provides wall-to-wall music for the final battle, but Caliendo actually goes silent soon after Dundee says something like "Here comes the second wave, men." We're left with only the sound effects for a time, and this helps me better appreciate just how brutal the fighting is.  Then the composer quietly works the music back in.

I guess I slightly prefer Caliendo's approach, but I'm glad it didn't just replace the original. Couldn't live without being able to hear (from time to time) the Dundee Sting.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on January 24, 2008, 04:39:02 PM
Again, if this were like The Wild Bunch I would like the silence during the final battle. The final battle as it exists now is a cartoonish cavalry battle with no real blood or graphicness and thus the more "realistic" approach really doesn't work - PARTICULARLY with the poorly Foley'd sound effects that exist in the film.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 24, 2008, 06:00:32 PM
I wouldn't call the sudden absence of music a realistic approach, but I hear what you're saying. True, the fighting IS rather cartoonish, and although the sound effects aren't up to contemporary standards, they do the job for me (and calling such things "Foley" is, btw, anachronistic). It is enough that the sounds call attention to the many impacts that occur, which the kinetics otherwise obscure.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on January 24, 2008, 07:37:46 PM
I agree with Dave Jenkins. The new score isn't out there for any awards, but it is the lesser of two evil.
The old score was just too much old style Hollywood ('for those who don't get it, we add music...' Funny tunes for funny parts.. etc etc. The same happend earlier on with RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY, when they threw out Peckinpah prior to finishing and supervising the scoring. Of course RTHC has a MUCH better score, but there too we have these 'supporting
bits of music'. Great films do not need that.

The thing I do not like anout the new score is the Silent Movie sound of it.
As for the Climax, I agree with Dave Jenkins.
And I'm so happy I don't have to hear FALL IN BEHIND THE MAJOR any longer :)

In a matter of a few months I got to see 35mm prints on big screens of both
versions and the new one was the clear winner. The old one was just too noisy and unnerving.
(yet a good score! but it mayhave been better for another film)


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on January 24, 2008, 08:26:21 PM
You two are poopheads. ::)


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 24, 2008, 11:52:23 PM
And I'm so happy I don't have to hear FALL IN BEHIND THE MAJOR any longer :)
I'm down with that. O0

And Groggy, you're a double poophead. So there.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on January 25, 2008, 02:54:34 PM
The Major Dundee March is undoubtedly the worst song that was ever written.

That's what makes it so awesome! :D


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 26, 2008, 12:56:02 AM
The Major Dundee March is undoubtedly the worst song that was ever written.

That's what makes it so awesome! :D
Uh huh. The men in the white coats will be coming soon, Groggy. Don't give them any trouble, that's a good fellow.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on January 26, 2008, 11:23:24 AM
Quote
The Major Dundee March is undoubtedly the worst song that was ever written.

That's what makes it so awesome!

  I go with Groggy on this one.  Any song with the line "Get behind the Major and we'll all get home again" when only 11 or so of your original company of 5-60 makes it back is a very good song in my mind. ;)


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 26, 2008, 11:52:07 AM
The Major Dundee March is undoubtedly the worst song that was ever written.
Actually, it can only be the second worst song written, as the #1 position is firmly occupied by "Burning Bridges," the song that plays at the beginning of Kelly's Heroes.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on January 26, 2008, 11:58:19 AM
Right... (among other things).


I'm still happy with that whole project, especially considering the fact that the decision
to order an alternative score was made at the very last minute. Caliendo had only
days to do that.
That film will always be a flawed epic, but this version at least makes it a good cinematic
experience, the old 120min. release print I found pretty much unwatchable thanks to too
many missing scenes, Tyreens escape etc..

Too bad THE GETAWAY wasn't released as an alternate version with Fieldings score
(Quincy Jones objected).


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 26, 2008, 12:02:21 PM
Too bad THE GEATWAY wasn't released as an alternate version with Fieldings score
(Quincy Jones objected).
I wonder why. Just so it had to be released separately?


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on January 26, 2008, 01:27:50 PM
I think you can only dislike Major Dundee if you're expecting it to be a masterpiece. I gave up trying to view it as such a long time ago. I don't see how you can watch it as an action/adventure film and be disappointed.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 26, 2008, 03:10:50 PM
I think you can only dislike Major Dundee if you're expecting it to be a masterpiece. I gave up trying to view it as such a long time ago. I don't see how you can watch it as an action/adventure film and be disappointed.
I have a quantum of solace for this view. ;D


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on February 03, 2008, 11:40:37 AM
Quote
I'm still happy with that whole project, especially considering the fact that the decision
to order an alternative score was made at the very last minute. Caliendo had only
days to do that.

  Mike, I guessed I missed this when you pointed it out.  How come they waited so long to make a decision on an alternate musical score?  Was there a plan to release the Extended Version in theaters with the original score?  I got to see the EV with the Caliendo score in a theater and really liked it in that aspect.  I felt it lost something from the screen to the tv.

  And as for the original music, the tune that keeps playing over and over in my head recently is the French theme for the lancers, or No. 6 on the soundtrack.  It always make me chuckle when listening because I love Trooper Ryan's response to Tyreen's "They're closing up. They'll be less than five miles from Graham by full dark." 

 "But what if they don't stop, just keep on, smash hell out of the Lieutenant?"  Dundee and Tyreen's resonse is priceless.  And the exchange with Aesop and O.W Hadley is excellent as well.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on February 04, 2008, 05:28:37 AM
The decision to replace the score was done thanks to the great character of Grover Crisp of Sony Pictures. My memory is not the best, but as I recall he told me this:
When he worked on the audio-commentary with Simmons, Seydor & Co one of them pointed out how deeply Sam hated the scoring and that it was sad it couldn't be replaced. Grisp thought, 'maybe we can...'. He checked with the legal department and they gave the green light immediately (sometimes it is not that easy - as seen with THE GETAWAY.).
But that idea materialized at the very last minute.

Sure, well prepared with months and weeks ahead, a great score could have been written for that occasion (then again, I don't think Sony would have hired & paid Hans Zimmer...).

With Grover during the premiere of PASSION & POETRY in Munich:
(http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1612/7186524/17740665/302319613.jpg)
We watched DUNDEE together after he introduced the film. The next day we had lunch and he asked what I was up to next. I said 'watching DUNDEE's 2nd screening, I won't have the opportunity again in ages..'. He said 'I come along too!'. I was puzzled. 'You must have seen it numerous times during restauration !!' He grinned at me 'Yes I have, but NEVER on such a big screen, it looks amazing!'. So we went !




Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on February 04, 2008, 10:54:27 AM
Awesome story Mike! Grove seems like an awesome guy. O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on February 04, 2008, 01:05:33 PM
  Great story, mike.  Did any of the cast get to go to these screenings or was it just people involved with the Extended Version and the dvd?  Woulda been cool to see Heston, Anderson, Jr, LQ Jones, Armstrong, Senta Berger around. :)

  And I submit that Kelly's Heroes "Burning Bridges" is just as great as "The Major Dundee March." ;D


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on February 04, 2008, 03:46:34 PM
I adore KELLYS HEROES and everything attached with it .  ^-^
Especially Barbra - Barbara.

I never understood why people prefer WHERE EAGLES DARE (great action, but
pointless, confusing and overlong). KELLY is a cool film. Very inspired and funny.
And those Tigers! They do look so real. Even for a German  ;)

As for DUNDEE IN MUNICH:
They didn't do much about it in terms of 'Special Event'. They just loved the idea of
my film having its world premiere there combined with the European premiere of the
restiored DUNDEE, which was dificult to get (only two prints or so). But since I had
just provided the short documentary for the DVD, I knew people at SONY and could#
push things.

I was hoping that Senta Berger might show up (she lives in Munich and is around
the festival a lot), but she is also a workoholic and always on the run. I had filmed
her the year before in Munich for PASSION & POETRY.

Mario Adorf was awarded a special tribute a that years festival and I managed
to get in touch with him. I filmed him a day before my film opened and we had
a great time. He enjoyed it so much he cancelled a later appointment. I made a
short documentary of that afternoon for a KOCH-Media DVD (Malastrana with
Jean Sorel & Barbara Bach) and also interviewd him about Dundee. Too bad the
DUNDEE DVD was already done, so it was too late to include him. But he'll be on
the PASSION & POETRY DVD anyway.

When DUNDEE was screened he had other duties thanks too a busy festival
schedule. But it was cool to spent an afternoon with him and to see him in
DUNDEE the next day :)

I might share his comments about the DUNDEE experience here soon.



Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on February 04, 2008, 06:43:12 PM
Quote
I might share his comments about the DUNDEE experience here soon.

  We'd love to hear them, mike.  Sgt. Gomez is one of my favorite characters in MD, right up there with Tyreen and Potts.  I bet there's some stories he had about the on-set experience of filming a Peckinpah movie. ;)

  And on Kelly's Heroes, my favorite Barbra moment is when Don Rickles is asking him about back home and keeps getting one-word answers.  "You miss your mother?"  "Yeah."  "Good talking with you, kid." ;D


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 04, 2008, 08:22:57 PM
I adore KELLYS HEROES and everything attached with it .  ^-^
Especially Barbra - Barbara.
I think the name should actually be spelled "Babra."

I agree, great film. Love Eastwood. Love Savalas. Love Sutherland ("Woof, woof, woof."). Love Rickles ("You get a cookie.") Love O'Connor ("Did you lose my aerial photographs?").


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on February 05, 2008, 03:16:22 AM
YEAH !!

Reading about the film makes me want to see it right away.
M*A*S*H & CATCH 22 I saw very early in my life (they're still among
my Top 15) and KELLY about 10 years later. I was so happy to have
discovered a 'kid brother' of those great films.
I never found out though how the film was altered during post.
Eastwood always complained that 'they hurt the film a lot' and that
it could have been so much better. This I really like to know since
it already is great.  So inspired.
On my first film, a no-budget road movie, I had a pyrotechnics-guy
who had learned from Karli Baumgartner. The guy who did the great
explosions and stuff for KELLY (and DAS BOOT). He is from Bavaria and
his nickname was 'Bum Bum' Baumgartner. A biiit dangerous for the
actors and crew, but boy, great stuff! Real powder he used !!
And it shows. KELLY looks great.

As for Adorf I'll be back soon.
For the start: his experience on DUNDEE ended with the decision,
not to make any more films in America (Hollywood productions that is).

Forgive the many errors in my writing, 'don't have the time right now to read it twice..


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 05, 2008, 10:48:14 AM

On my first film, a no-budget road movie, I had a pyrotechnics-guy
who had learned from Karli Baumgartner. The guy who did the great
explosions and stuff for KELLY (and DAS BOOT). He is from Bavaria and
his nickname was 'Bum Bum' Baumgartner.
I'm guessing that in English we'd render it "Boom Boom Baumgartner."


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on February 05, 2008, 04:41:32 PM
Precisely.

'thought that the term must be familiar thanks to Boris Becker who
once was nicknamed 'Bum Bum Boris' or words to that effect :)

I just thought of Mario Adorf this evening.
Some of that DUNDEE related footage I'll include on the DVD.
It is good stuff (just like Senta Berger he has the nice tendency
to give interviews with a real content. In terms of truth as well.)

Adorf is a big-hearted man, a very emotional guy (just like R.G.).
I like him a lot because he is always for the underdogs and suppressed
people. He said that one of the camera operators or focus pullers was an
elderly studio worker who had not the easiest time during that heat
down there. But he did alright. One day he took a nap sitting on the
crane. It was between set-ups, which I suppose you know, can take
up to hours. One of the producers (not Sam!) walked by and saw that.
He commented it in a negative way and The next day the guy was
replaced.
Another incident Adorf described was the invitation to the movie people
by local mexicans to be guested over the weekend at a party they intended
to throw for them. Saturday after work Adorf stood at the place were the
film people wanted to meet and only one guy was there. Ben Johnson.
Nobody came. So they were picked up by the mexicans and were deeply
ashamed to witness the preparations the locals had done for their guests.
Whole barbecued cows, Mariachis, dance, a lot of food & drinks & people.
Two guys attended. Out of sooo many that were invited. That ignorance
they both hated the next monday.

So he basically didn't like the sort of 'toughness' some American productions
were done with. And of course it is like that. LA is a strange place to live
or even work when you come from a background like Johnson or Adorf.
Or even everybody from NY, I'm sure. Such a different world the east.

Anyway. Sam offered him MAPACHE in WILD BUNCH three years later. He
declined. Because he had played Mexican villians a few times already in
European Westerns (In Italy he would become a big star in the 70's. He
still is and always was in Germany of course). When he told me that my
body language must have spoken for me the fact that WILD BUNCH is my
favorite film. His expression was priceless when he asked me 'Should I
have taken that part ?', more knowing than guessing that is was an
regretable decision. He never saw the film. It is better that way, Mario.[

Picture: Mario & Senta arrive in the US for their first American film.
(http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1612/7186524/17740665/302586708.jpg)(http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1612/7186524/17740665/302586710.jpg)


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on February 05, 2008, 09:09:37 PM
  I love that picture of Mario and Senta, mike, good stuff.  I'm telling you, put a book together of all the Major Dundee stories and pictures you have, there's got to be some sort of market for it, even if it is just a few fans! ;)

  One of many favorite Sgt. Gomez lines from MD is the "If any of you damn gringos fire before the signal, I swear to God I kill you!"  Classic!  His character was such a badass and everyone in the command seemed to know it. ;D


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on February 15, 2008, 05:29:30 PM
Alright, I just bought the novel off of Amazon (along with John Milius's novelization of The Wind and the Lion) and I should have it within the next week or two. Will report after I get to read it.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on February 15, 2008, 10:20:05 PM
 It's a quick read, Groggy, only about 115 pages or so.  Once you start reading, it's easy to knock out the book in a sitting or two. O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on February 16, 2008, 06:03:16 AM
'Just found an interview I did with Grover for the Festival Newsletter (Munich Filmfest 2005):

(http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1612/7186524/17740665/304281514.jpg)


I don't know why picture trail reduces the size so much?
How does it work to picture it here readable ???


Also Ben, 'just thought of all the DUNDEE-fans, you should be the one that buys my double BEN-Portrait
I have at Ebay, should be framed on your wall:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=360024470087



Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on February 16, 2008, 12:19:56 PM
Quote
Also Ben, 'just thought of all the DUNDEE-fans, you should be the one that buys my double BEN-Portrait
I have at Ebay, should be framed on your wall:

 Oh, I'd be interested in getting my hands on the lobby card, but right now even $30 or so sounds expensive.  I'll start working on that though cause that pic does belong on my wall! O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on February 16, 2008, 01:23:19 PM
$32 including shipping? :o Ew...


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on February 16, 2008, 03:34:01 PM
memorabilia prices are a bit difficult to understand to non-collectors...
Actually it is quite cheap. The Heston portrait of that set sold in Germany
usually between $40.00-100.00. These things are limited and hard to get.
Most of the time only a few or a few dozens of copies survived over the
years. It is not like a DVD Box that was produced 12.000 times and
is now out of print...

How about this one:
http://cgi.ebay.com/WILD-BUNCH-MOVIE-POSTER-69-LINEN-PECKINPAH_W0QQitemZ320156704546QQihZ011QQcategoryZ60332QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on February 16, 2008, 04:45:03 PM
Yes but as a college student with app. $150 in his bank account and presently no income, $32 is quite a lot.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on February 16, 2008, 11:02:44 PM
Quote
How about this one:
http://cgi.ebay.com/WILD-BUNCH-MOVIE-POSTER-69-LINEN-PECKINPAH_W0QQitemZ320156704546QQihZ011QQcategoryZ60332QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

 There is not a movie out there that I would pay $750 for a poster of it.  It'd have to be signed by the whole cast and handed to me by Ernest Borgnine.  Then maybe I'd consider that much money. O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on February 17, 2008, 12:05:29 AM
Just spent more e-bay money on a Slim Jim with cheese! :D


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on February 17, 2008, 01:45:39 AM
yes, yes... it is better not to spread too much information about us collectors around...
All collectors are a sick breed in a way. It starts with people collecting sugar packs from restaurants (how boring) and
ends with people spending $4.000.000,00 for Steve McQueens Ferrari just recently (how exciting :)).

With us movie memorabilia collectors it is not only about the films, but also about  lost decades of great
artwork (I wouldn't frame a boring photo-artwork of a recent film if I'd get paid for it). And the special feeling
of owning something, only few other people have. I don't get a kick out of buying a commercial poster
print which is availabe in thousands.

Of course, once you're into that collectors scene you get opportunities, lots of them. Buying whole collections
for very reasonable prices. Or finding Bogart posters for $5,00 at a flee market (knowing they're worth 1000,00).
And patience is most needed. I never pay high prices (I'm not rich too), just wait for a good occasion.

I only once spent more than $500,00 for a poster. I'd never regret it, only 10-20 copies survived of it.
So it is also an investment! The last offer I received was $1200,00. But I love James Dean too much
to let it go...

(http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1612/7186524/16445514/304427940.jpg)


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: cigar joe on February 17, 2008, 04:26:30 AM
nice poster mike  O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: geoman-1 on February 17, 2008, 09:22:16 AM
Just spent more e-bay money on a Slim Jim with cheese! :D
Ahh, the old college days. I remember them well. Cold pizza for breakfast, cold pizza for
lunch and mac & cheese for dinner (if I felt like cooking)... O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 18, 2008, 12:29:41 AM
Ahh, the old college days. I remember them well. Cold pizza for breakfast, cold pizza for
lunch and mac & cheese for dinner (if I felt like cooking)... O0
College days? That's what I'm eating now!


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on February 20, 2008, 06:54:17 PM
Well I received and in fairly short time read the novel today. Forgive me if I spoil anything, for I am wont to.

It was interesting and a fairly easy read, took me a little over two hours. It was obviously based on a VERY rough draft of the script. A few comments/observations:

- The story is told mostly from Tim's point-of-view. He comes across as a much different individual. He is an aspiring writer and seems to view the whole situation as an opportunity for him to become a successful author.

- Major Dundee is a major character but he's a generally positive person, and he remains pretty much one-dimensional, lacking the depth of the film's portrayal. No Senta Berger character, thank goodness, although he does flirt with a woman the command "rescues" from the Apaches. And I do like the developed relationship between him and Potts.

- Similarly, Tyreen is made into almost a background character. His relationship with Dundee is established but not really developed, and he doesn't come across as a major character.

- The Hadley Brothers and Benteen are telescoped into the Benton Bros, one of which taunts Aesop, and both of them are ultimately executed by Dundee and Co. Also, Sgt. Chillum is executed for raping a female captive of Apaches. There are a few additional characters, like Sgt. Cohan, who survived the massacre with Ryan and serves as a sort of mentor for him, and Trainman, a sharpshooter, but they don't add a lot to the story IMO.

- I thought that the pacing of the novel was a bit off. The battle scenes are telescoped into diary entries, which reduces their impact, and the lengthy scenes of Dundee and Co. struggling through the Mexican countryside are a bit tedious. That said, the writing style is good for the most part, but the balance between action and non-action is a bit off.

- The final battle was vastly different, really confusing, and not thematically satisfying. Dundee and Ryan (who is captured) are the only Federal troops to survive, while Tyreen and his surviving Rebs simply run off back to Texas when they get the opportunity.

So, meh, worth a look I guess. But the film, as garbled as it is, does a much better and clearer job of presenting the story and characters.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on February 21, 2008, 10:34:31 AM
Quote
- The final battle was vastly different, really confusing, and not thematically satisfying. Dundee and Ryan (who is captured) are the only Federal troops to survive, while Tyreen and his surviving Rebs simply run off back to Texas when they get the opportunity.

So, meh, worth a look I guess. But the film, as garbled as it is, does a much better and clearer job of presenting the story and characters.

 That was probably my biggest complaint about the book.  Granted we can't know what happens to everyone because Trooper Ryan couldn't have been with all three columns, but some sort of conclusion would have been nice.  We know the NCO's and the civilians of the troop were wiped out, but how?  And what about Sgt. Gomez and Potts?  The last we hear of them is that they're scouting for the column.  I want answers, people! ;D

 The final battle was confusing although Aesop and Lt. Graham, pretty graphically, do get their big final moments.  I did like Ryan sacrificing himself for Dundee, the man he admires/respects so much, thought that was pretty cool.  And Tyreen showing up w/ his Confederates was a pleasant surprise too.  But then in a very short wrap-up, we learn that half the Confederates die on the trail back to Fort Benlin.  "Cool." ::)

 Like Groggy said, it was a good read and it did fill in some mysteries from the movie, but the movie was better. O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on March 19, 2008, 02:17:47 AM
Ben, in case you robbed a bank meantime:

http://cgi.liveauctions.ebay.com/0857-Richard-Harris-costume-from-Major-Dundee_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ52933QQihZ016QQitemZ260218394565QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on March 19, 2008, 08:23:18 AM
 :o

Even if I could afford it, I wouldn't be a good owner because I'd be temped to wear it at least once. :D


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on March 19, 2008, 11:18:16 AM
  Thanks, Mike, I would have to rob a bank or two to get that one.  I guess that's one of the pre-battle costumes with the complete lack of blood on it. ;D  And where's the hat?  The hat is the capper to the whole uniform! O0  Grogs, I'd be a bad collector too, I'd have to wear it while watching the movie.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on March 19, 2008, 01:06:24 PM
I wouldn't say that - those costums were meant to be worn in the first place :)
(HATS almost always sell as single items - business you know..)


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on November 05, 2008, 02:21:26 PM

I just watched this yet again this past week and it's amazing for a movie that has so much flaws could produce so many memorable characters. Especially Samuel Potts played wonderfully by James Coburn. I just love this performance. There were also many great interactions between the stars of the film which had many present.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: O'Cangaceiro on November 05, 2008, 03:00:01 PM
I just watched this yet again this past week and it's amazing for a movie that has so much flaws could produce so many memorable characters. Especially Samuel Potts played wonderfully by James Coburn. I just love this performance. There were also many great interactions between the stars of the film which had many present.

Don't know if this has been discussed before, but I found this link very helpful in filling the gaps due to cut/removed scenes.

http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s1632dun.html


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on November 05, 2008, 03:03:29 PM

Ahhh thank you Bandolero. I haven't seen this myself so this is a great read for me.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on November 05, 2008, 03:14:41 PM
Mr. Erickson deserves all the credit in the world for his research and numerous articles on Major Dundee. He's done the cinema world a great service through his efforts IMO. O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on November 05, 2008, 03:32:09 PM

I just wish it was possible to restore an extended version of this film.  :(


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on November 05, 2008, 03:38:40 PM
I think it would be interesting as a curios, but as with the various versions of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, I doubt it would result in anything resembling Peckinpah's intentions.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: O'Cangaceiro on November 05, 2008, 03:48:41 PM
I just wish it was possible to restore an extended version of this film.  :(

Me too, and same with GBU to include the Socorro scene, etc. However, all the removed footage is likely gone and lost forever (....but I hope I am wrong in my assumption and one of these days we have a pleasant surprise) . >:D


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on November 05, 2008, 05:04:34 PM
Mr. Erickson deserves all the credit in the world for his research and numerous articles on Major Dundee. He's done the cinema world a great service through his efforts IMO. O0
Hear, hear! O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on November 10, 2008, 05:49:36 AM
Hey guys, this is a great thread with lots of intersting informations, even for someone like me who has read 8 or 9 books about Peckinpah.

Major Dundee was always a movie I liked very much.

Concerning the 2 scores, I also think that Caliendo's new soundtrack is not so impressive.

After getting the DVD I wished they had rescored the film by using the old score in a more subtle way. I think the score was ok enough, only the use (or overuse) of it was often annoying.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on November 10, 2008, 06:10:39 AM
It's just like PAT GARRETT - we'll never get a definitive version.
But lots to talk about :)
In other words: A REAL MESS. Which represents the chaotic world of Sam pretty accurate :)


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on November 10, 2008, 10:01:54 AM
Concerning the 2 scores, I also think that Caliendo's new soundtrack is not so impressive.
After getting the DVD I wished they had rescored the film by using the old score in a more subtle way. I think the score was ok

I agree. I have the original score on CD and it's pretty good on its own (though the volume of the music is inexplicably loud). And dammit, I love the Major Dundee March! Camp cheese at its best. The Caliendo score is boring, except for the Main Title music. I almost fell asleep watching it one time. It's so quiet and dull for the most part.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: O'Cangaceiro on November 10, 2008, 10:06:50 AM
Hey guys, this is a great thread with lots of intersting informations, even for someone like me who has read 8 or 9 books about Peckinpah.

Major Dundee was always a movie I liked very much.

Concerning the 2 scores, I also think that Caliendo's new soundtrack is not so impressive.

After getting the DVD I wished they had rescored the film by using the old score in a more subtle way. I think the score was ok enough, only the use (or overuse) of it was often annoying.

I don't like the new score at all. Luckily, the old one is included on the DVD (albeit not in 5.1).


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: O'Cangaceiro on November 10, 2008, 10:11:00 AM
I agree. I have the original score on CD and it's pretty good on its own (though the volume of the music is inexplicably loud). And dammit, I love the Major Dundee March! Camp cheese at its best. The Caliendo score is boring, except for the Main Title music. I almost fell asleep watching it one time. It's so quiet and dull for the most part.

Groggy (or anyone else  :)), do you know by any chance of a site where I can find the lyrics for the Major Dundee march? I have been trying for over a year to find them posted on the web, but no luck so far. Same with the MacGregors' March (7 guns for the Mac Gregors).


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on November 10, 2008, 10:16:29 AM
I agree. I have the original score on CD and it's pretty good on its own (though the volume of the music is inexplicably loud). And dammit, I love the Major Dundee March! Camp cheese at its best. The Caliendo score is boring, except for the Main Title music. I almost fell asleep watching it one time. It's so quiet and dull for the most part.
The worst thing about the Caliendo score is it eliminates the Dundee stings. Gotta have those stings, man!


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on November 10, 2008, 11:08:00 AM
you have to ask the right people...

(http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1612/7186524/17740665/342574424.jpg)


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: O'Cangaceiro on November 10, 2008, 11:31:37 AM
you have to ask the right people...

(http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1612/7186524/17740665/342574424.jpg)

Thank you, Mike. I've been looking for this for a long, long time.  O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on November 10, 2008, 11:44:47 AM
Every Tom, Bob, Joe, Jimmy and Jack? I've been wondering what in the hell they were saying for years. :o Thanks. Now that I think about it, that makes zero sense.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: O'Cangaceiro on November 11, 2008, 01:31:15 PM
you have to ask the right people...

(http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1612/7186524/17740665/342574424.jpg)

Mike et al, I think you folks will enjoy this link:

http://tonyssecondhandscores.blogspot.com/2007_05_01_archive.html



Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on November 11, 2008, 04:56:00 PM
Way cool! O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on May 25, 2009, 05:02:25 PM
I mentioned on the Red River thread how much Major Dundee seemed to borrow from the former film. It seems to me, upon further reflection, that Dundee could very well rival OUATITW for the number of outside influences and references it brings to the table. It most obviously parodies Ford's "Cavalry Trilogy", but it borows from any number of films outside of those three. Someone could easily start a 30 Westerns in Dundee thread were this a Peckinpah board.

Here are some of the more obvious references, in no particular order:

Fort Apache - there are considerable similarities between Dundee and Fonda's Colonel Thursday, both in their martinet attitude, their disastrous ineptitude, and the tense relationship between Dundee/Thursday and Tyreen/York. A specific scene reference is the ride-out from the Fort. In Fort Apache, the troopers are united in singing a regimental ballad (Gary Owen if memory serves), their differences forgotten. In Major Dundee, of course, the different factions each sing their own distinct songs (Battle Hymn of the Republic/Dixie/My Darling Clementine), highlighting the latent fissures in the command.

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon - the film focuses largely on a post-war reconciliation of North and South, which is simultaneously mocked and presented throughout Dundee. Should also note that Ben Johnson plays a major supporting role in both films as a Southern cavalryman.

Rio Grande - the reconciliation theme continues in this film, and the last half of the movie with the cavalry troop rescuing child captives from Apaches seems an obvious point-of-reference for the main storyline.

Red River - Dundee's characterization as a strict, ruthless martinet is clearly modelled on Wayne's Dunson character. Wayne gives a big speech asking for volunteers, and telling the assembled crowd that he won't abide deserters, as Heston as Dundee does early in the Peckinpah. The deserters scene, interrupted by Matt/Tyreen, is also very close between the two films. Also the perfunctory love interest (Senta Berger/Joanne Dru) thrown in late in the game is parallel between the films, whether or not it's a deliberate homage.

Escape From Fort Bravo - This seems, besides the Ford films, the most clear reference point. The setting in a Union prison camp is obvious, as is the final battle where the escaped Rebel prisoners team up with their Union pursuers against hostile Apaches. What really caught my eye, however, was the scene after John Forsyth and Co. escape, where the prisoners are assembled and whistle Dixie in defiance of Holden and their Union captors.

My Darling Clementine - the song is played twice during the movie: once sung by the prisoner contingent of Dundee's gang as they exit Fort Benlin, and it's played again on harmonica right before the John Davis Chandler/Brock Peters scuffle starts up. Given that Peckinpah named MDC as his favorite Ford film, it's hard to think this wasn't a deliberate nod.

The Searchers - Dundee's visit to the post-massacre Rostes Ranch, and of course the funeral scene complete with Shall We Gather at the River? and Edwards/Dundee's rude interruption.

Lawrence of Arabia - The execution of Hadley by Tyreen, who kills him to keep the command from killing each other, is obviously inspired by Lawrence's shooting of Gassim in Lawrence, and Dundee's exile in Durango mirrors Lawrence's time in Deraa, although more drawn-out. For the record, Peckinpah was a huge fan of Lean's epics, at least Kwai and Lawrence, and there are several allusions to the former in The Wild Bunch as well.

Touch of Evil - Potts telling Dundee that he'd be an "unlikely looking Mexican" is clearly poking fun at Heston's role in Welles' film.

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - the fiesta in the village is an obvious touchstone for Peckinpah, as in The Wild Bunch.

Vera Cruz - the setting during the Mexican Civil War and the use of the French Army as antagonists.

Perhaps we can write up Dundee, and not OUATITW, as "The first post-modernist Western".


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 25, 2009, 08:11:04 PM
Some good observations there, Grogster. Not sure I join you on the Postmodernism angle, though. Seems to me Peckinpah is just using things he's seen and liked (as directors have always done), not at all concerned with whether his viewers will experience the frisson of recognition. SL, by contrast, was certainly trying to give audiences such a sensation, and it is this intention that, to my mind, makes all the difference.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on May 26, 2009, 03:49:33 AM
It's fascinating to see all those similarities listed together.

But unless there is a definitive proof, nothing is written - just guessing.

Fact is that very very few film makers are not influenced by other films and directors. That goes hand in hand
when you see something that really touches you. Peckinpah was influenced by the significance of certain
films, like OX BOW INCIDENT, the early FELLINIs & Kurosawas. That is obvious in Peckinpahs whole oevre:
He wanted his films to become something special, meaningful.
I have long on-camera interviews with him where he talks about influences and everything. For ex. his describes
how he saw WAGES OF FEAR when he was 28 years old. The slow-motion moment with the truck made the scene
very powerful - emotionally powerful - and he never forgot that. In fact he became a bit obsessed with it.
In DUNDEE there was slomo-violence as well, but it was cut (along with more violent scenes. Peckinpah & Leone
opened up movie violence at the same time - not knowing of the other ones existence. But Leone had a surprise
hit, while Peckinpah's carreer almost ended with DUNDEE).

If the mentioned points were added by choice, I doubt it would have been Peckinpah for the most part.
First, Peckinpah was a very good 'original' writer himself. He added a lot to the genre, for that one should take the time
and see his TV-work. Second, DUNDEE was written by Harry Julian Fink, not by Peckinpah. I think we people here,
discussing film history should know that there are other people besides the director or film maker :)

I adore Leone. But more I adore Leone films! He didn't write filmed acted and scored them by himself.

And although Peckinpah worked hard on scenes and details for DUNDEE, the original plot outline etc. wasn't his !
FINK later wrote John Wayne films so there's a more obvious connection to Ford country.

Also when you deal with a certain scene and environment, very often there
are not that many choices how to resolve the scene. Other stuff you add is just OBVIOUS:
When you have a scene in a Mexican village, the thought of having a colorful Mexican
Fiesta isn't unusual, right? PROFESSIONALs, WILD BUNCH, VERA CRUZ, BABEL - any American movie playing in Mexico features
 such a scene. So the basic ingredients of story telling repeat themselves all the time. It is more the details, a custume, a look,
a line, a name that influence film makers.



Peckinpah loved SIERRA MADRE, that is for sure. That film he paid hommage to a lot.
For instance he based Alfonso Araus 'Daaamn Gringos!!' character on Alfonso Bedoyas mexican in SIERRA MADRE.
That is on record.

But just to assume what a film maker took from the work of other film makers I always found
a bit risky and dangerous. Also very interesting of course :)

But be it FINK's original screenplay or stuff Peckinpah or Heston added, when you do a
cavalry picture - FORD is always on the surface too.

DUNDEE equals FORD cavalry pictures as RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY does
THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE in terms of the basic themes and the love
for the west and single individuals.

Sam met FORD only once. FORD exit a building on the lot a crossed Peckinpah's path.
Peckinpah was to shy to address him.




Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on May 26, 2009, 06:51:26 AM
Some good observations there, Grogster. Not sure I join you on the Postmodernism angle, though. Seems to me Peckinpah is just using things he's seen and liked (as directors have always done), not at all concerned with whether his viewers will experience the frisson of recognition. SL, by contrast, was certainly trying to give audiences such a sensation, and it is this intention that, to my mind, makes all the difference.

My view is that at least some of the above were meant to be "references for the sake of reference". The movie seems to be a deliberate parody of Ford's cavalry films (among others), and many of the references are so on the nose it's hard to think they weren't meant to stand out. Although, DVD Savant suggests that the material from Lawrence of Arabia at least may have been an attempt to fill plot holes by copying another, then-recent film.

It's true, Mike, that the project didn't originate with Peckinpah, but Fink's plot outline is definitely different than the finished film in many significant ways (as evidenced by the novelization). And as I said above, many of the references are taken verbatim from Ford or Red River or Escape From Fort Bravo - it's really unlikely to me that they were just coincidentally similar.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 26, 2009, 11:47:15 AM
My view is that at least some of the above were meant to be "references for the sake of reference". The movie seems to be a deliberate parody of Ford's cavalry films (among others), and many of the references are so on the nose it's hard to think they weren't meant to stand out. Although, DVD Savant suggests that the material from Lawrence of Arabia at least may have been an attempt to fill plot holes by copying another, then-recent film.
I think we want to preserve a distinction between "references for the sake of reference" (which is Postmodernism in a nutshell), and references made as a way of answering an earlier filmmaker or tradition. In the cavalry references cited, isn't Peckinpah really playing a game of one-up-manship with Ford? As in: I see your cavalry picture, and raise you mine. A bit of healthy rivalry,  from which we all benefit (in the form of greater entertainment). SL does this too, for example, in the swatting of Jill's behind as being an answer (perhaps) to Glenn Ford's advice on male etiquette in Daves's Jubal. But a lot of the references in OUATITW operate differently: they are placed merely to allow the audience to luxuriate in a specific trope or convention. The viewer may not be able to identify an exact reference; it is enough that he gets the feeling that he's seen such a thing before.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on May 26, 2009, 04:29:32 PM
I'd sign your posting here...
I see it that way.

Still, when it comes to LEONE's references, that is some much different in that he was Italian and
that his knowledge of the west was coming from watching American films in the 50's and early 60's.
That's why Tarantino is such a Leone-fan: Here's a father figure for him. A guy influenced by
the genres and films he loved, equipped with a big talent to create a new, totally artificial fantasy world.
I love them both for that.

With Peckinpah it is different - he himself was a real 'Westerner'.

And I didn't say that some of the DUNDEE 'similarities' are not obviousely taken or influenced
by other films. I just say it is a bit 'dangerous' to say 'this was taken from that film, and that
was taken from this film...' In general.

I talked to many film makers from the 40's - 70's, and more than once I had the experience
that I was asking whether they knew such and such scene or whatever similarity existed previousely in
another film and they said 'Hell no. That year I worked like 51 weeks in a row and I saw one film in a theatre -
and that was our rough cut, 95 times...'
And I believe (most of) them.

Peckinpah was quite honest when it came to name his influences. Not all is recorded, but some stuff is, thank god.
He knew he was good, but he for himself thought he was one league beneath his 'idols' and mentioning the films and scenes he loved meant mentioning film makers he really looked up to.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on May 26, 2009, 04:39:49 PM
Certainly, Peckinpah was a huge fan of Ford, Hawks and Huston, and admitted as much quite frequently, at least from my experience. He quite liked Lean too, according to Paul Seydor, and Aldrich's Vera Cruz was obviously a huge touchstone based on Dundee and The Wild Bunch.

Now, it's fair to question whether Peckinpah had the same intent in making such references as Leone did. But I think Leone was honest about his inspirations and idols, too, and I don't think he was conceited enough to consider himself in Ford's league, either.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 27, 2009, 05:26:19 AM
Gods are never conceited, that is a human failing.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on December 25, 2011, 09:06:18 PM
A talk with Nick Redman about many things regarding his company, Twilight Time, including news about their upcoming Dundee Blu-ray.
http://www.hometheaterforum.com/t/317186/interview-with-twilight-time-nick-redman-on-who-they-are-their-business-model-and-more

As per this thread, the important info is:
Quote
HTF: Speaking of Major Dundee, there’ve been rumors of a director’s cut that no longer exists.  Is the one you are releasing essentially going to be the restored 2005 release?
 
Yes.  I don’t believe that there's anything more than that.  There were a few nonintegrated scenes that Grover put on that original DVD.  But basically that version is as close to what Sam Peckinpah would have hoped for as you are ever going to get.  There is never going to be a longer version.  And again, as you know, there are a lot of these urban myths around director’s cuts and who saw what.  I was involved with The Wild Bunch, which is one of my favorite movies, when I worked on the laser disc release for Warners in the 90s, reissuing the original Sam Peckinpah version.  The years have gone by and people still come up to me and say why didn’t you include the scene with the blah-blah-blah?  And you say, what scene with the blah-blah-blah?  People have read somewhere that some fan said that he saw some scene.  People don’t even remember what they saw half the time.  And you have to get beyond the urban mythology to really find out what's what.

 The Wild Bunch that is currently in release on Warner Home video is Sam Peckinpah’s version--100% the uncut version that initially played in the UK in 1969. Anyone who thinks there is a longer version lying around somewhere because somebody wrote that they had seen one—that’s absolute nonsense and it’s the same with Major Dundee.  There is no longer version lying around somewhere just waiting to be found.  This is it.  And this wouldn’t have happened if Grover Crisp hadn’t taken it upon himself to do it back then in the mid-2000s.  And he took an additional fantastically radical step of commissioning a new score for the film.  Because it had always been the case that Sam Peckinpah hated the music for Major Dundee.  Of course, Peckinpah was fired during the post-production process, so he would not have hired the composer who ultimately scored the film.  The composer who did the original version of the film wrote a score that is ruinous to the picture and Grover Crisp did something that had never been done before, which is to take a major studio feature and replace the music with a brand new score that he commissioned from Christopher Caliendo, who did a wonderful job. So the Major Dundee restoration from 2005 is a very interesting case in more ways than one.

Elsewhere in the interview Redman explains why this (and all) Twilight Time Blu-ray releases are limited to 3,000 copies and why the Blu-rays have either 35 or 40 dollar price points. He also makes it clear that the license TT is granted guarantees that the parent company won't re-license or put out their own release for 3 years. And of course, if the initial 3,000 copies don't sell out quickly, the parent company won't be interested in re-releasing the film in 3 years' time anyway.

The long and the short of it is: the high price point will keep people like Groggy away from the product. Groggy doesn't have a Blu-ray player now anyway, but in 3 years he might. Ironically, his failure to buy the Blu-ray now (ie early 2012) will act as a vote against a cheaper Blu-ray re-release in 2015. And having missed the chance to get the 2012 edition at TT's asking price, if he later decides he wants it he'll have to pay inflated collector's prices. But maybe he can make do with the DVD for the rest of his life.

Jenkins, of course, will have a copy of the Blu-ray from day one, laughing, every time he spins it, at the thought of Groggy Dundee without his.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on December 26, 2011, 07:04:34 AM
I have a Blu-Ray player.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on December 26, 2011, 09:23:43 AM
Christmas present? Congratulations! O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: titoli on December 26, 2011, 10:27:37 AM
I have a Blu-Ray player.

I still don't.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Novecento on December 26, 2011, 04:28:29 PM
In DUNDEE there was slomo-violence as well, but it was cut...

Interesting to note that it wasn't in "the Wild Bunch" where he first tried it.

A talk with Nick Redman about many things regarding his company, Twilight Time, including news about their upcoming Dundee Blu-ray.
http://www.hometheaterforum.com/t/317186/interview-with-twilight-time-nick-redman-on-who-they-are-their-business-model-and-more

Really interesting interview - thanks for posting  O0

Looking forward to their release of "The Big Heat" as well.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on December 26, 2011, 04:32:19 PM
Interesting to note that it wasn't in "the Wild Bunch" where he first tried it.



And he did at least one slo mo shot according to a book already in one of his TV episodes. Don't remember which.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on December 27, 2011, 02:54:10 PM
And he did at least one slo mo shot according to a book already in one of his TV episodes. Don't remember which.

Yes, I illustrated the scene in my book PASSION & POETRY, it was in THE LOSERS (starring Lee Marvin) in 1962. He used it for a slapstick scene, not violence :)


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on December 27, 2011, 03:43:27 PM
Re longer versions of TWB.
There were some cuts made for censorship reasons. Reasons which are not important anymore today (if they were ever).
If this pre-censorship version still exists, well, that's one I would like to have.

And for Dundee.
The only chance would be that they find all the material SP shot. That all the unused footage wasn't destroyed. But that's very unlikely.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on December 27, 2011, 04:20:49 PM
There is (or was) a longer, gorier version of The Wild Bunch but from what I understand it's only a preview/rough cut.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Novecento on May 07, 2012, 05:22:31 PM
Just received this e-mail from Twilight Time regarding the Major Dundee BD:

Quote
We have no plans – sorry - Ed
  :'(

They did however just ship my BD of Fritz Lang's "The Big Heat"  :)


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Novecento on May 08, 2012, 04:24:23 PM
Seems I was misinformed. TT posted this reply on the blu-ray.com forum when I posted the same e-mail from Screen Archives there:

Quote
Just to clarify matters again--Screen Archives is TT's fulfillment house. That is all. They have nothing to do with TT's business, titles selection or anything else. We have already stated numerous times on our Facebook page that Major Dundee will be released this fall. Please go here for up to date, accurate info about what TT is doing.
Thanks.
http://www.facebook.com/twilighttimemovies



Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Novecento on October 18, 2012, 08:08:54 PM
Just posted on the blu-ray forum:

Quote
Word from Twilight Time is that the film needed additional restoration work, and it is getting it! Thanks to Sony/Columbia for stepping up to the plate on this issue! Apparently this will be TT's first two disc Blu-ray release, with both the original theatrical release and the restored/re-scored extended, re-cut version. Should be magnificent! Up for pre-order sometime this winter, with the usual 3,000 copy availability. Now, let's see more Harryhausen releases TT!

Sounds awesome  O0 O0



Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on October 19, 2012, 09:41:28 AM
Any chance we can see the restored vesion with the original score? That's my preferred option.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on October 19, 2012, 12:41:40 PM
The DVD has both scores for the 135 min version.

Instead of preparing a new score they should have re-scored it by using the old score more subtle.

Still hoping that one day a 160 -170 min version will surface.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on October 19, 2012, 01:08:13 PM
The DVD has both scores for the 135 min version.

Instead of preparing a new score they should have re-scored it by using the old score more subtle.

Still hoping that one day a 160 -170 min version will surface.

Yes but will the Blu-Ray?


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on October 19, 2012, 01:39:24 PM
Well, why not?


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Novecento on October 19, 2012, 05:52:03 PM
Yes but will the Blu-Ray?

The BD is coming. They delayed the release because of further restoration work.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on October 19, 2012, 08:38:03 PM
The wording of Novecento's post is ambiguous re: the score.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on October 26, 2012, 03:39:27 PM
Instead of preparing a new score they should have re-scored it by using the old score more subtle.
Maybe just a new recording of the old score would have done the trick. I'm not a big fan of the original score, but there's no way I can properly enjoy the film without the Dundee Stings.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on December 11, 2012, 08:52:00 PM
TT have announced the blu for 9 April.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Novecento on December 12, 2012, 07:41:56 PM
2-disc set! Woo hoo :)


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 22, 2013, 02:13:08 PM
Blu up for pre-order here: http://www.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/24455/MAJOR-DUNDEE-1965/

They only made 3000 of these, so get yours before the scalpers do!


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Novecento on March 22, 2013, 03:30:39 PM
Oooh yes. Pre-ordered mine.

Seem to have carried over most of the extra features from the old DVD as well. However Mike's "Passion & Poetry" piece is missing.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on March 23, 2013, 04:32:56 PM

I offered them an extended and updated version of the documentary, no interest obviousely.
Maybe there will be an European release one day. Let me know if you ever hear of such plans..


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Novecento on March 23, 2013, 09:06:14 PM
Did they give a reason?


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 30, 2013, 02:20:18 PM
The obvious one is that it would have cost them money. TT as a general rule don't include supplements other than an isolated score track. From what I understand, they have a fairly rigorous business model that they don't deviate from. In this case, they've actually done something they don't usually do, which is to include two different versions of the film (the theatrical cut and the 2005 extended cut).

By contract (again, as I understand it) Sony U.S. can't offer any subsequent release of the title until 3 years have passed. So, if you want supplements soon, you are going to have to hope for a European or Asian release. Still, what supplements could be included other than Mike's documentary? As we on this board already have copies of that (don't we, fellas?), we probably wouldn't be getting much more than that on any future bells-and-whistles release anyway. Or would we? (Mike, what's this about an extended and updated version of the doc? Have you been holding out on us?).

There's another issue about whether to include the original score on the extended cut (the TT release doesn't do that; it has the original score for the theatrical version, and the new score for 2005 only) but that's a whole can of worms I don't want to open up. If you want you can follow the discussion about the matter over at hometheaterforum.com


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: T.H. on March 30, 2013, 03:38:35 PM
That's a shame they didn't go for the doc but I'm not surprised in the least. I know complaining about TT on message boards has become a little stale at this point but the company essentially holds movies for ransom. I really hate supporting them. I've only bought Fright Night and The Big Heat thus far.

I saw Dundee years ago, liked it, but think I'd appreciate it more now. I'd snag it if I wasn't already going to be paying this company 70+ for Leave Her to Heaven and The Driver - whenever they go up for pre-order.

It's one of those movies I'd buy no problem for 10-15 USD but don't feel like spending 40. I'm also extra conflicted because Peckinpah is one of my favorite 5-10 directors.

I might just wait two weeks and if it's sold out, it's sold out.




Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 30, 2013, 05:38:51 PM
That's a shame they didn't go for the doc but I'm not surprised in the least. I know complaining about TT on message boards has become a little stale at this point but the company essentially holds movies for ransom.
I don't see it that way. They are offering movies that their studio partners wouldn't otherwise release. Sony could have made and marketed a Blu-ray of Dundee--they couldn't be bothered. TT stepped in (after all, it's a favorite of Nick Redman's) and now offers the film to those willing to pay the premium price. Obviously they aren't intending to sell to a wide market--they just want to find the 3,000 people who are willing to pony up. If you're not one of them, fine. All transactions are voluntary. But having the opportunity to purchase the title is, in my opinion, better than NOT having the opportunity to purchase it.

I find it amusing that people are scared away by these kinds of prices. In 1994, investing heavily in LD technology, I bought a Criterion CAV disc set of North By Northwest for $125.00 U.S. and was glad to get it. That was what a state-of-the-art video disc went for then--and remember, those were 1994 dollars. According to my internet on-line calculator, those dollars had the buying power equal to nearly 200 2013 dollars. 200 dollars for an analog copy of a film! We didn't know any better then, but it sure puts things into perspective now. Two different versions of Dundee in 1080p for $35.00? To me it sounds like a steal.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Novecento on March 30, 2013, 09:34:27 PM
The obvious one is that it would have cost them money. TT as a general rule don't include supplements other than an isolated score track. From what I understand, they have a fairly rigorous business model that they don't deviate from.

That figures

Mike, what's this about an extended and updated version of the doc? Have you been holding out on us?
I think the one on the Major Dundee one was already extended from the one on Mike's 2-disc documentary set. The Cross of Iron and Killer Elite "Passion & Poetry" supplements on their respective BDs certainly contain more than on Mike's 2-disc documentary set.

There's another issue about whether to include the original score on the extended cut (the TT release doesn't do that; it has the original score for the theatrical version, and the new score for 2005 only) but that's a whole can of worms I don't want to open up. If you want you can follow the discussion about the matter over at hometheaterforum.com

Well you've mentioned it now. Anyway, the 2005 soundtrack was written for the 2005 release so isn't there a case for keeping it that way? I mean Peckinpah didn't like the butchered theatrical cut nor its score so doesn't it make some sense to keep them together with each other yet separate from the "restored" version?


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 31, 2013, 01:34:49 PM
It does, which is why Sony offered TT the two cuts of the film with the soundtracks appropriate for each. Apparently, Sony is taking a DCP of the extended cut on the road and, of course, only offering audiences the 2005 soundtrack in exhibition. If they were to circulate the (newly restored) theatrical cut, it would of course carry the original score. They don't have a cut of the film that is an extended cut with the original music--you'll never see such a thing in a cinema. The DVD had the extended cut of the film and offered a choice of scores, which is why people are squawking now. But that was a stop-gap measure because, at the time, they could only offer the extended cut and not the theatrical one. Now that they can provide both cuts of the film, the issue should be moot--but there are always those who are unhappy.

I'm slightly sympathetic to the whingers--I really miss not having the Dundee Stings on the the extended cut. Still, I'm not so sure I won't be playing the shorter cut more often than the longer one anyway. Anyway, I still have the DVD, so I can always play that if I really need to.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on March 31, 2013, 02:09:58 PM
Quote
I find it amusing that people are scared away by these kinds of prices. In 1994, investing heavily in LD technology, I bought a Criterion CAV disc set of North By Northwest for $125.00 U.S. and was glad to get it.

When you're working for minimum wage $125 is a hefty chunk of money.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: mike siegel on March 31, 2013, 03:49:53 PM
PASSION & POETRY is a living project, there's always new stuff coming in. The DUNDEE doc I made 8 years ago. Since then I filmed Mario Adorf for instance .. And since it was the first one it wasn't that great anyway. And new updated version would have been fun to make.

The main film PASSION & POETRY is 115 min. long and covers 14+ films, so the time devoted to each film is between two and eight minutes. Therefore all the 'single' docs feature mostly unused footage. (CROSS OF IRON doc alone is 48 min. long. The others, DEADLY COMPANIONS, STRAW DOGS, KILLER ELITE are about 30-40 minutes, so there's a lot of stuff I didn't use in the main film. I shot about 30 hours of interviews ..). I'm doing another one right now, which will be the longest so far. One hour +


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Novecento on March 31, 2013, 04:40:18 PM
I'm doing another one right now, which will be the longest so far. One hour +

Which is...?


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 01, 2013, 02:04:41 PM
When you're working for minimum wage $125 is a hefty chunk of money.
It's a hefty chunk at any point. But $35, not so much.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: T.H. on April 01, 2013, 03:56:45 PM
I don't see it that way. They are offering movies that their studio partners wouldn't otherwise release. Sony could have made and marketed a Blu-ray of Dundee--they couldn't be bothered. TT stepped in (after all, it's a favorite of Nick Redman's) and now offers the film to those willing to pay the premium price. Obviously they aren't intending to sell to a wide market--they just want to find the 3,000 people who are willing to pony up. If you're not one of them, fine. All transactions are voluntary. But having the opportunity to purchase the title is, in my opinion, better than NOT having the opportunity to purchase it.

I find it amusing that people are scared away by these kinds of prices. In 1994, investing heavily in LD technology, I bought a Criterion CAV disc set of North By Northwest for $125.00 U.S. and was glad to get it. That was what a state-of-the-art video disc went for then--and remember, those were 1994 dollars. According to my internet on-line calculator, those dollars had the buying power equal to nearly 200 2013 dollars. 200 dollars for an analog copy of a film! We didn't know any better then, but it sure puts things into perspective now. Two different versions of Dundee in 1080p for $35.00? To me it sounds like a steal.

I appreciate your optimistic view of the company, but I don't like their business model (why couldn't they price their stuff at 19.99?). Gun to the head - which is what they sort of do - you're right, I'd rather pay 35 for Leave Her to Heaven than to not to have that opportunity. I guess I should just leave it at that and begrudgingly pay the 40 bucks.

Is this the NxNW laserdisc you bought?

http://www.amazon.com/The-Criterion-Collection-North-Northwest/dp/B003XX4CPA


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 02, 2013, 11:59:53 AM
http://www.amazon.com/The-Criterion-Collection-North-Northwest/dp/B003XX4CPA
Ha! Yeah, looks like it. I remember it being a 3-disc set (in CAV the limit was 30 minutes to a side). Anyway, not too much demand for this anymore apparently. Makes you wonder what these 40-dollar Blu-rays are gonna be worth in 20 years.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on April 09, 2013, 01:34:39 PM
Here is the link to the "complete" film, to everything which was written for the film, to the complete stuff of the screenplay:

http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s1632dun.html

I doubt that, after the budget was shortened by a third, everything was filmed, especially as this would have become easily a 4 hours film, and even the original plan was only a 3 hours one.

But the following scenes were always named as the ones which were cut by the studio:

1.  The original opening scene: The Rostes Ranch, New Mexico Territory, the morning of October 31, 1864. Cowboys and shepherds watch the 37 mounted men of B Troop climb the hill and approach the Rostes compound. Some of the locals know the soldiers and trade jokes with them as they ride in.

B Troop's leader is 1st Lt. Brannin, an "Eastern book soldier" having a bad day. His exhausted men have been unable to track the renegade Apache raider Sierra Charriba. Bugle Boy Tim Ryan is eager to see the Rostes' teenaged daughter Beth. Tim has been in uniform almost a year and has never heard a shot fired in anger. He's also never kissed a girl.

A big Hallowe'en party is soon underway. The children of John and Mary Rostes and their neighbors the Romeros play in the yard dressed as ghosts and fierce Indians. The soldiers and cowpokes are drinking and carousing. Inside, Lt. Brannin angrily asserts that he's certain that his Indian Scout Riago has purposely led the troop on a wild goose chase. Riago sits shackled by the campfire, under arrest. Brannin wants Riago tried and hanged when they return to their fort.

2. Ryan catches up with Beth in the cornfield. She's costumed in a sheet as a ghost. They watch as the cowboys rope the outhouse and drag it off its foundation, and then Beth wanders back toward the main house with Ryan following. He gets his big chance and asks her for a kiss. A montage follows of cowboys and soldiers getting rowdy, inter-cut with the children yelling and screaming as they play ghost and wild Indian. Then we see a kid with very convincing Indian war paint aiming an arrow. It's a real Apache. In a quick succession of shots, Sierra Charriba's warriors attack and kill the sentries before an alarm can be raised. By the time anyone realizes what is happening, a massacre is in full swing. Riago is seen leaping to his feet amid the confusion. Trooper Jurgenson protectively throws Tim onto a horse and shouts for him to flee to Fort Benlin. Beth reaches for Ryan but is cut down by arrows. Ryan escapes alone.

3.  On the way back to Ft. Benlin, Sgt. Gomez tells Dundee he'll be going along on the mission against Charriba. As a boy Gomez was captured by the Apache and rode with them for two years.

4. Dundee orders Lt. Graham to distribute whiskey as a reward for the safe river crossing. Sgt. Chillum drinks to the Confederacy. Dundee tries to be diplomatic by directing his toast only to the mission. In response, Wiley mutters, "Hell, I drink to whiskey."
(this scene is described differently otherwise: "Sgt. Chillum makes a toast to the confederacy, Reverend Dahlstrom one to the Union, which results in the whole command spilling their whiskey except for the mule packer Wiley".)

5. After the river ambush: The miserable company prepares to move out but the Major cannot get the mule he now must ride to budge. He's finally thrown on his rear. The entire command breaks up in laughter, but silently.

6. At the fiesta: By themselves, Dundee and Tyreen remember better West Point days with talk about breaking curfew and admiration for their commandant, Robert E. Lee.

7. At the fiesta: (Sam Potts smiles at a woman, who snubs him.) Feeling lonely and mean, the drunken scout sees a girl he likes and picks a knife fight with her young man, Armando. The young Mexican is no match for Potts, so Gomez steps in to take his place. The two feint and nick one another with the crowd naturally favoring Gomez. Dundee doesn't realize that the fight has become an affectionate contest, and tries to stop it at gunpoint. Gomez tells him off. Potts brandishes his knife again. before Dundee can act, Tyreen now takes up the challenge. Then Potts smiles, throws his knife down and dances away with Gomez, laughing. In a few moments Gomez, Potts and Armando are drinking and laughing together. Amos is the outsider, who "doesn't get it".
(this scene is in an uncomplete form as bonus on the DVD, the beginning with Potts and the woman (in brackets above) is in the long version)

8. In Durango: Delirious, Dundee experiences a thought-montage of previous events: The massacre, the exit from the fort, Teresa, Melinche, the river battle, the dance. A woman he presumes to be Teresa is revealed to be Melinche. The waking nightmare ends with a vision of Lt. Brannin roasting over the fire.

Peckinpah's 156 min or 164 min version must have contained all these stuff except for the 2 opening scenes. And probably this short scene too:

4b. After the river ambush: Hobbling from his wound, Tim Ryan dips a ladle into the river and finds he's drawn a cupful of blood. Sickened, he must find a clear patch of water to take a drink.

With the opening scene the film's runtime would be around the originally intended 180 min. Looks all very promising ...


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 09, 2013, 02:10:57 PM
Muchas gracias!! O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 15, 2013, 04:31:41 PM
My blu has shipped!


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Novecento on April 15, 2013, 07:30:56 PM
Mine arrived today  :P


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on April 15, 2013, 10:01:12 PM
I expect screen caps.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 18, 2013, 01:54:02 PM
I expect screen caps.
Tough to do without a blu-ray drive on one's computer.

Blu-ray in da house! But with my order I also got the 3-disc CD set of The Wild Bunch soundtrack ("End of the Line Edition"--ha!). Gonna take me some time just to get through that, so Dundee will have to wait.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on April 18, 2013, 02:04:29 PM
That soundtrack sounds awesome. Is it original soundtrack or re-recording?


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 19, 2013, 03:56:27 PM
O-REE-JEN-AL!


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on April 19, 2013, 04:00:35 PM
Where can I buy this soundtrack?


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 19, 2013, 04:10:39 PM
http://www.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/24318/THE-WILD-BUNCH-3-CD/

It'll cost ya 35 clams plus shipping, though.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on April 19, 2013, 04:19:45 PM
That's awesome. I've always loved Fielding's work on TWB - very underrated, yet for me an indelible part of the movie.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 19, 2013, 05:48:33 PM
Terrific music. It's good on its own, too.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 20, 2013, 06:38:09 PM
Savant writes his Dundee dissertation:
http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s4150dund.html

And conveys some cutting-edge Peckinpah research:
http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s4155sam.html


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on April 20, 2013, 07:19:06 PM
Erickson had mentioned the latter to me years ago. Nice to see it online, finally.

Thanks for posting these, Jenkins. Erickson's at his best writing about Dundee. O0 I especially like his comments on Caliendo's new score.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 20, 2013, 07:23:25 PM
Here's what Groggy has been waiting for: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Major-Dundee-Blu-ray/59630/#Screenshots


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Novecento on April 20, 2013, 08:32:38 PM
And conveys some cutting-edge Peckinpah research:
http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s4155sam.html

Wow... thanks for sharing!


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: cigar joe on April 21, 2013, 03:58:50 AM
 O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on April 21, 2013, 04:19:30 AM
All this talk about the Blu made me re-watch Major Dundee 2 weeks ago. This time I chose the 134 min cut with the old score.
Actually I have no idea why Columbia did release on the Blu also the theatrical version. If they did not wanted to release both soundtrack versions via seamless branching (just like on the DVD for that one shot which credits the composer), they should simply have released the 134 min on the 2nd disc.

I'm following Jim Kitses who called Dundee "one of Hollywood's great broken monuments".
And as Kitses further states: "it is clear that the released version is a severely damaged work that Peckinpah could only look back on with pain and misgivings. However, for all this, in my view the power and meaning are still there, the structure and imagery clear, the deeply personal statement of the film undeniable."

It always worked well for me in the about 119 min fullscreen version I watched on VHS in the early 80s. Every single min which was added (at first via a British VHS with the 122 min version instead of the expected 134 min) only improved the film's quality.
The editing is very well done, even if not completely supervised by Peckinpah. The loss of more violence is a pity and I can easily imagine a cautious including of some inter-cut slo mo shots (I always felt that at certain points there could be slo mo in this film even before I read about it).
The well made battle scene at the end has an epic grandeur which reminded me of Griffith or Demille, but done in a different context here.

Like Kitses I never saw any plot holes (as so many do including Savant, only some of the secondary characters weren't brought to an end in the shorter version. But even in the longer version a few disappear towards the end (Dub Taylor and Slim Pickens also). And I think that the second half works as well as the first, no rambling there.

Also I think that the anti-climatic killing of the Apaches is exactly what the film needs. The film is about Dundee and his desire for glory or a career. The Apaches are only a chance for Dundee (but  a risky one) to get this. The end of the Apaches is not a glorious battle, nothing to be proud of, only an ambush closer to a slaughter than a battle. In typical Peckinpah manner he does not acclaim the victory over the Apaches but Dundee's final fight with the French, in which Dundee can only save his live, but it is a battle in which he has lost before it starts for what he went to Mexico. Dundee has lost his game, which he probably had already lost when he crossed the Mexican border, or at least after the early river ambush.
Btw there was an earlier, but then not realisable very daring idea of the Apaches becoming more and more like ghosts or phantoms, which in the film's second half completely disappear, while Dundee and his troop gets annihilated by their inner conflicts and in the ongoing skirmishs with the French soldiers.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 07, 2013, 07:18:08 PM
I just saw the movie for the first time, on TCM. Lord knows I don't agree with the Peckinpah worshipers on this board, but I actually enjoyed this film. The ending was kinda disappointing for me - no, not because we never get to see a final fight between Heston and Harris - I just thought it was a fun film but kinda ended nowhere. I'd rate it an 8/10 (which, btw, is the same rating I gave The Wild Bunch, and far higher than I'd rate the other 3 Pecker movies I've seen: BMTHOAlfredo Garcia, The Getaway, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.... But I digress....)

 One thing the Pecker does really well is the Mexican town celebration. Perhaps he was influenced by Vera Cruz (which seems to have been a big influence on subsequent Mexican-based Westerns). Or Maybe The Magnificent Seven? What Ford was to the Western town/army outpost square dance, Pecker was to the Mexican town celebration. Difference is that the Ford towns are new places, where they are trying to establish a sense of community, or a God-forsaken outpost trying to keep together as a community; whereas the Mexican towns, you get the feeling they have been there for a long time, there's noting particularly "hopeful" or "looking to the future" or Manifest Destiny or whatever about it - it's a firmly rooted tradition that's been there for a while.

Anyway, I don't have the patience to read through all 16 pages of this thread, but I gather that a big portion of this movie was chopped then restored. If anyone knows offhand what version is shown on TCM, and how it differs from earlier versions - what scenes were chopped - and can summarize it here briefly, or point me to a specific post that does so, I would appreciate it  O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Novecento on September 11, 2013, 07:07:41 PM
A talk with Nick Redman about many things regarding his company, Twilight Time, including news about their upcoming Dundee Blu-ray.
http://www.hometheaterforum.com/t/317186/interview-with-twilight-time-nick-redman-on-who-they-are-their-business-model-and-more

New interview with Nick Redman here:

http://nixpixdvdmoviereviewsandmore.blogspot.com/2013/09/conversations-with-nick-redman.html


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 17, 2015, 09:01:45 AM
Major Dundee - 5.5/10

First viewing. I like the premise, the whole execution greatly varies:
- good direction by Sam, although every battle scene except for the last one is terrible. I didn't expect that.
- the script doesn't do justice to the premise. A few key scenes still sell the thing.
- Heston, Coburn and co all give a powerful performance but the lack of subtlety destroys many scenes.

I'm not sure about which version I saw. It was on replay on TV, mostly in French but many lines were in VOST. Weird.

Gone Girl (2014) - 5/10. First Blu-ray viewing. Immaculate images and a very interesting sound design. The plot is utter shite. What's up with the cat?

Like with most good movies, you need to think a little above the concept of "plot" to judge the script of this one.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on January 17, 2015, 09:45:28 AM
Major Dundee - 5.5/10

First viewing. I like the premise, the whole execution greatly varies:
- good direction by Sam, although every battle scene except for the last one is terrible. I didn't expect that.


Peckinpah did not cut the film, which was done by an aged studio cutter, who was used to the classical film cutting. Still the river ambush and the final battle are powerful stuff.
I assume that the killing of the Indians, which is closer to a slaughter than to a battle, is done in an unspectacular way by purpose. At least it does fit the film's intentions. Dundee's victory over the Apaches lacks any glory, while typical for Peckinpah he celebrates the defeats, the downfall. Even if Dundee survives the battle physically.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 17, 2015, 10:16:56 AM
Peckinpah did not cut the film, which was done by an aged studio cutter, who was used to the classical film cutting.

This is not surprising. It probably adds a lot to the "somewhere between good old AW and The Wild Bunch" overall feel of the film. Thanks for the input.

Still the river ambush and the final battle are powerful stuff.

I was disappointed by the river ambush although there are some great premises to Pecknipah's future style in it. The final battle is great.

I assume that the killing of the Indians, which is closer to a slaughter than to a battle, is done in an unspectacular way by purpose. At least it does fit the film's intentions. Dundee's victory over the Apaches lacks any glory, while typical for Peckinpah he celebrates the defeats, the downfall. Even if Dundee survives the battle physically.

I agree but something doesn't work here. The abrupt ending of the scene is weird. The whole thing may be due to the editor.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Novecento on January 17, 2015, 03:08:51 PM
Peckinpah did not cut the film...

I think Peckinpah did supervise the initial cutting of the film. Afterwards it was taken away from him and huge chunks were removed with some sequences undoubtedly re-cut, but I don't think it's entirely accurate to say he had nothing to do with it.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on January 18, 2015, 02:28:38 AM
I think Peckinpah did supervise the initial cutting of the film. Afterwards it was taken away from him and huge chunks were removed with some sequences undoubtedly re-cut, but I don't think it's entirely accurate to say he had nothing to do with it.

Sure, but he couldn't chose the cutters, and he claimed that, apart form the large parts which were completely dropped, most of the rest was wrongly cut. He had to work with guys who were experienced, but not risky. I'm just reading a lot of interviews with Arthur Penn, and it is quite fascinating what idiotic struggles he had with people who were only used to do films like they always were done. Penn worked only twice within the studio system, and in both cases he wasn't allowed to cut the film. And for The Chase (1966) he said already in 1965 that it was not his film, but the producer's. Cause substantial decisions were made without him.

Peckinpah wanted to use slo mo and squibs for the action, and nothing of that survived. And then a director shoots every scene with a certain rhythm in mind, and if he then isn't allowed to control the cutting the fil must suffer inevitably.
Ok, but I don't think that Dundee is a badly cut film, actually I think it is still a very strong and unusual film (for 1965), but the action scenes would surely have become very different if Peckinpah had controlled the complete film.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on January 18, 2015, 02:41:29 AM
This is not surprising. It probably adds a lot to the "somewhere between good old AW and The Wild Bunch" overall feel of the film.  

In many respects The Wild Bunch is a reworking of Major Dundee crossed with Ride the High Country, and for that a sum of his early work.

Quote
I was disappointed by the river ambush although there are some great premises to Pecknipah's future style in it. The final battle is great.

I don't see much of a difference. It is still a well made scene compared with everything which was done before.

Quote
I agree but something doesn't work here. The abrupt ending of the scene is weird. The whole thing may be due to the editor.

I don't know what you mean. What is abrupt?

Your rating of Dundee is surprisingly low, anyway.

The version you saw was most likely the 135 min version, which represents the producer's cut. If at the beginning is a scene in which Dundee captures the escaped Confederates, it is the 135 min version.
And this is a scene which does not work. It surely was cut down to a narrative minimum filled up with voice-over narration. In this form this scene does not work, and the film would be better without it. Otherwise all the other new scenes add to the complexity of the story.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 18, 2015, 04:32:12 AM

I don't know what you mean. What is abrupt?

They're killing the Indians, and suddenly, fade to the morning, they're standing on the dead bodies. You don't see the ending of the "battle".

Your rating of Dundee is surprisingly low, anyway.

It isn't a bad 5.5. It's a 5.5 that contains both 8/10 and 3/10 stuff. It's still surprisingly low when you think of what the movie had for it:

- Great although classical starting point: enemies that have to work together and are bound to their word... That's Grande Illusion and Bridge Over The River Kwai material.
- Peckinpah, Coburn and Heston!
- Real attempts against classicism

The version you saw was most likely the 135 min version, which represents the producer's cut. If at the beginning is a scene in which Dundee captures the escaped Confederates, it is the 135 min version.
And this is a scene which does not work. It surely was cut down to a narrative minimum filled up with voice-over narration. In this form this scene does not work, and the film would be better without it. Otherwise all the other new scenes add to the complexity of the story.

Not sure about this scene. I was going back and forth to the kitchen at that time and was surprised to see them talking about the escape while I hadn't witnessed much about it. My guess is that it was the 135min version. That part was confusing although I'm partly responsible for it.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 18, 2015, 04:38:52 AM
I think Peckinpah did supervise the initial cutting of the film. Afterwards it was taken away from him and huge chunks were removed with some sequences undoubtedly re-cut, but I don't think it's entirely accurate to say he had nothing to do with it.


Sure, but he couldn't chose the cutters, and he claimed that, apart form the large parts which were completely dropped, most of the rest was wrongly cut. He had to work with guys who were experienced, but not risky. I'm just reading a lot of interviews with Arthur Penn, and it is quite fascinating what idiotic struggles he had with people who were only used to do films like they always were done. Penn worked only twice within the studio system, and in both cases he wasn't allowed to cut the film. And for The Chase (1966) he said already in 1965 that it was not his film, but the producer's. Cause substantial decisions were made without him.

Peckinpah wanted to use slo mo and squibs for the action, and nothing of that survived. And then a director shoots every scene with a certain rhythm in mind, and if he then isn't allowed to control the cutting the fil must suffer inevitably.
Ok, but I don't think that Dundee is a badly cut film, actually I think it is still a very strong and unusual film (for 1965), but the action scenes would surely have become very different if Peckinpah had controlled the complete film.

At my own little scale, I guarantee you that if someone recuts one of my videos behind my back, the result may or may not end up being better than my own cut but it sure wouldn't look like anything by me. Every single cutting decision is subjective and has a lot to do with what you were exactly trying to capture when shooting. I've had clients that asked for my rushes with the final video when signing the contracts. I have no problem with that but I always demand they NEVER include my name on footage that I shot but didn't edit. As a matter of fact, up until now, none of them actually used the images so I guess it's very hard to get something out of them anyway.

Back to great directors: the editor that was in charge of the Once Upon A Time In America 2 hours version is a very talented man. He got an Oscar for The Matrix and you can think whatever you want about the Matrix it probably features some of the best editing ever, right in the GBU/OUATITW/Apocalypse Now/The Social Network/The Wild Bunch league. I have no doubt, however, that the 2 hours version of OUATIA is pure garbage. It wasn't written and shot to be 2 hours in chronological order.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Novecento on January 18, 2015, 05:10:04 AM
Sure, but he couldn't chose the cutters, and he claimed that, apart form the large parts which were completely dropped, most of the rest was wrongly cut. He had to work with guys who were experienced, but not risky. I'm just reading a lot of interviews with Arthur Penn, and it is quite fascinating what idiotic struggles he had with people who were only used to do films like they always were done. Penn worked only twice within the studio system, and in both cases he wasn't allowed to cut the film. And for The Chase (1966) he said already in 1965 that it was not his film, but the producer's. Cause substantial decisions were made without him.

Peckinpah wanted to use slo mo and squibs for the action, and nothing of that survived. And then a director shoots every scene with a certain rhythm in mind, and if he then isn't allowed to control the cutting the fil must suffer inevitably.
Ok, but I don't think that Dundee is a badly cut film, actually I think it is still a very strong and unusual film (for 1965), but the action scenes would surely have become very different if Peckinpah had controlled the complete film.

Yes - 100% agreed.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Novecento on January 18, 2015, 06:15:33 AM

At my own little scale, I guarantee you that if someone recuts one of my videos behind my back, the result may or may not end up being better than my own cut but it sure wouldn't look like anything by me. Every single cutting decision is subjective and has a lot to do with what you were exactly trying to capture when shooting. I've had clients that asked for my rushes with the final video when signing the contracts. I have no problem with that but I always demand they NEVER include my name on footage that I shot but didn't edit. As a matter of fact, up until now, none of them actually used the images so I guess it's very hard to get something out of them anyway.

Back to great directors: the editor that was in charge of the Once Upon A Time In America 2 hours version is a very talented man. He got an Oscar for The Matrix and you can think whatever you want about the Matrix it probably features some of the best editing ever, right in the GBU/OUATITW/Apocalypse Now/The Social Network/The Wild Bunch league. I have no doubt, however, that the 2 hours version of OUATIA is pure garbage. It wasn't written and shot to be 2 hours in chronological order.

Take a look at the two cuts of "The Osterman Weekend". The Peckinpah cut is vastly superior in several scenes (most notably the one where he cross-cuts between the main characters as they are introduced), but the majority of the film is still the same. While this of course gives Peckinpah every right to wash his hands of it, to say he was not involved at all would be an over-statement. Even in a more extreme case like "Convoy" where it seems the film has been almost entirely re-cut outside of Peckinpah's supervision, there are still flickers of Peckinpah such as the scene when the cop pulls Kristofferson over.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 18, 2015, 07:31:55 AM
Exactly, even in the worst case scenario, there is still something that feels like Peckinpah. However, the main (and may be only) job of a director is to be responsible for the final product. So when you take away from him decisions that happen very late in the process...
When you edit a little, you understand the key importance of the slightest cut. Even cutting 2 images (= two 24th of a second) sooner sometimes completely transforms the performance of the actor, the meaning of a line and the feel of the scene.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 18, 2015, 08:05:34 AM
You know, we have a thread for MAJOR DUNDEE: It's very own private room in which you all can get venereal disease sucking Peckinpah's cock :p


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: PowerRR on January 18, 2015, 09:03:03 AM
I hated The Wild Bunch, liked Straw Dogs but it put me to sleep at times. What'll get me to have a new outlook on Peckinpah: Cable Hogue, Cross of Iron, Pat Garrett, Alfredo Garcia? Haven't seen any of them yet.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Dust Devil on January 18, 2015, 10:41:01 AM
You know, we have a thread for MAJOR DUNDEE: It's very own private room in which you all can get venereal disease sucking Peckinpah's cock :p

Sometimes people need some help: it's alright now. O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on January 18, 2015, 12:18:36 PM
They're killing the Indians, and suddenly, fade to the morning, they're standing on the dead bodies. You don't see the ending of the "battle".

That's fine for me. I never thought that it should have been different
Quote
It isn't a bad 5.5. It's a 5.5 that contains both 8/10 and 3/10 stuff. It's still surprisingly low when you think of what the movie had for it:

- Great although classical starting point: enemies that have to work together and are bound to their word... That's Grande Illusion and Bridge Over The River Kwai material.
- Peckinpah, Coburn and Heston!
- Real attempts against classicism

For me the film works pretty well. I prefer it to both Grande Illusion and Bridge Over The River Kwai. Which are also both for me flawed films.

Quote
Not sure about this scene. I was going back and forth to the kitchen at that time and was surprised to see them talking about the escape while I hadn't witnessed much about it. My guess is that it was the 135min version. That part was confusing although I'm partly responsible for it.

What happens to the Apache Scout in the version you saw?

For the DVD a new score was composed. The DVD contains now both the old score and the new one. But the dubbed versions are only available with the old score


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 18, 2015, 02:23:00 PM
I hated The Wild Bunch, liked Straw Dogs but it put me to sleep at times. What'll get me to have a new outlook on Peckinpah: Cable Hogue, Cross of Iron, Pat Garrett, Alfredo Garcia? Haven't seen any of them yet.

who says you need a new outlook on Peckinpah? Your outlook is just fine. I found Cable Hogue unbearable. Okay, so you know I don't like comedy.
But IMO the peeps around here waaaaay overrate Pat Garrett and Alfredo Garcia. Then again, I can say that about just about every Peckinpah movie.) I mean, I thought The Wild Bunch was decent but nowhere near the greatest AW ever like some people seem to think. I saw The Getawayquite a while ago and it was probably decent. Junior Bonner is good; I gave it a 7.5/10. And his tv episode Noon Wine, which someone posted somewhere on these boards, is good.
But please don't feel like you aren't a legitimate SLWB member if you don't ejaculate every time you hear Peckinpah's name.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 18, 2015, 03:14:48 PM
But please don't feel like you aren't a legitimate SLWB member if you don't ejaculate every time you hear Peckinpah's name.

Come on, I don't have to ejaculate every single time? Dude, couldn't you tell this before?

What happens to the Apache Scout in the version you saw?

Bad things. He's tortured, and the voice over feels bad for not trusting him.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: cigar joe on January 18, 2015, 03:46:40 PM
I hated The Wild Bunch, liked Straw Dogs but it put me to sleep at times. What'll get me to have a new outlook on Peckinpah: Cable Hogue, Cross of Iron, Pat Garrett, Alfredo Garcia? Haven't seen any of them yet.

Garcia, hands down.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: PowerRR on January 18, 2015, 09:30:37 PM
who says you need a new outlook on Peckinpah? Your outlook is just fine. I found Cable Hogue unbearable. Okay, so you know I don't like comedy.
But IMO the peeps around here waaaaay overrate Pat Garrett and Alfredo Garcia. Then again, I can say that about just about every Peckinpah movie.) I mean, I thought The Wild Bunch was decent but nowhere near the greatest AW ever like some people seem to think. I saw The Getawayquite a while ago and it was probably decent. Junior Bonner is good; I gave it a 7.5/10. And his tv episode Noon Wine, which someone posted somewhere on these boards, is good.
But please don't feel like you aren't a legitimate SLWB member if you don't ejaculate every time you hear Peckinpah's name.
Lol I'm not forcing myself to like Peckinpah; I'm just asking for recommendations for a second chance (I own Straw Dogs - its a good film, worth the $4 I paid). The last thing I care about is impressing SLWB members with my movie tastes. I'll take ejaculating over Inherent Vice over enjoying movies as dull and boring as A Fistful of Dollars or The Wild Bunch any day of the week.
Garcia, hands down.
I'm in. I noticed a davejenkins 10/10 a few days back, which means at least a 6 or 7 for me.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 18, 2015, 09:33:51 PM
Lol I'm not forcing myself to like Peckinpah; I'm just asking for recommendations for a second chance (I own Straw Dogs - its a good film, worth the $4 I paid). The last thing I care about is impressing SLWB members with my movie tastes. I'll take ejaculating over Inherent Vice over enjoying movies as dull and boring as A Fistful of Dollars or The Wild Bunch any day of the week.

do you really not like FoD?


I feel bad for your parents, I feel bad for your girlfriend, and if you ever manage to get it up I'll feel bad for your kids


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: PowerRR on January 18, 2015, 09:54:30 PM
do you really not like FoD?


I feel bad for your parents, I feel bad for your girlfriend, and if you ever manage to get it up I'll feel bad for your kids
Hahaha I like it. A little. It's like a 6-ish. But I'll take Yojimbo any day, and I don't even like Yojimbo that much.

But, no fear. Don't worry. I love FFDM/GBU/DYS/OUATTIW and America is and forever will be the best movie ever made.

My dad only likes Starman and Cool Hand Luke, my mom only likes Everybody Loves Raymond, and I don't have a girlfriend right now (neither does Groggy I presume). but one day, yes, when I can achieve those full 2 inches (that's average, right?), you can feel bad for my kids.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on January 19, 2015, 02:52:56 AM

Bad things. He's tortured, and the voice over feels bad for not trusting him.

Then it was most likely the longer version.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 19, 2015, 03:27:55 AM
I thought so. The constant switches between French and English are probably caused by scenes and lines that were never dubbed. Why do they even try to present a "French" version then? The good thing is that you could clearly see what was from the theatrical cut and what was added afterwards. It's still available for free in replay, I'll check the arrival at the fort to be 100% sure about what I have seen.

By the way 5.5 isn't that low, it's just 0.5 points under FoD for me too.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on January 19, 2015, 04:15:37 AM
6 for FoD is also low. From one who likes Leone.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 19, 2015, 11:09:44 AM
6 for FoD is also low. From one who likes Leone.
It's not absurdly low, though. I rate the film a "7."


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Novecento on January 19, 2015, 08:49:06 PM
Garcia, hands down.

Cross of Iron, but make sure you watch it on Blu-ray.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 19, 2015, 09:55:24 PM
It's not absurdly low, though. I rate the film a "7."

absurdly low


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 20, 2015, 01:32:37 AM
You're absurdly low.
FoD has some great scenes where early Leone perfection can be spotted and I don't deny the importance of the film as a landmark in the history of cinema. That doesn't make me blond. I see it's flaws. Even better: not seeing it's many flaws is an insult to Leone's later works. That's because he saw the flaws too that Leone did better afterwards. But what can you expect from someone who thinks that A Most Violent year is dark?


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 20, 2015, 01:36:13 AM
It's a shame it doesn't make you blond, because then I'd find you incredibly sexy ...


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 20, 2015, 01:39:43 AM
 ;D

It's the last time I reply from an iPad. I meant blind, of course.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on January 20, 2015, 02:14:30 AM
Yes, FoD has several flaws, but then it also has some pretty strong stuff. And in such a case the ability to create masterful scenes dominates over the obvious flaws. Another point is that Leone created the basic SW story and style, and despite of having watched too many of the films influenced by him, FoD still looks pretty fresh. 8/10

Major Dundee could have had a similar impact if the 180 min version had been realised. But Hollywood wasn't ready for such a film in 1965. Dundee came 2 years too early.

The early idea of the Apaches disappearing more and more the longer the film runs, and Dundee and his men getting wiped out in the battles with the French army was even more daring. What has remained from that idea is that Dundee's men look like savages when they went into their final battle against the civilized looking French lancers.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 20, 2015, 02:29:06 AM
Quote
What has remained from that idea is that Dundee's men look like savages when they went into their final battle against the civilized looking French lancers.

This makes me think of the use of music in the film. I have no memory of a film where music is used so heavily to reference the nationality of the characters being on-screen. Everytime you see a mexican, they launch a Mexican folk song. The French lancers are coming? Trumpets! While I thought it was quite heavy-handed, the diegetic version of it was amazing. The singing scenes where they oppose Southern and Yankee songs (probably Dixie Land and When Johnny Come Marching Home, I don't remember) is a good example. You even get another Shall We Gather At The River scene.

Another interesting point is that you get many scenes showing Mexico as some kind of paradise even-though people there suffer from the very violent history of the country. That's classic Peckinpah.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 20, 2015, 11:15:57 AM
;D

It's the last time I reply from an iPad. I meant blind, of course.
Really? I thought you were using a really clever metaphor. And why should we have to give it up just because you tell us differently now? No, no, in the tradition of "What planet are you smoking?" I'm going to continue to view your original phrase as correct. And I'm going to use it myself.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Dust Devil on January 21, 2015, 06:40:47 AM
In the midst of all this talk I decided to watch it again: it's still the (around) 7/10 movie for me, but with that feeling telling you it easily could have been great. Because you can feel there was an inspired man (one or more) behind this, from the characters, the look, the dialogue, and everything else. Great pity.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Dust Devil on January 21, 2015, 06:41:19 AM
The extended version, that is.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: T.H. on January 25, 2015, 11:00:57 PM
RE: A Fistful of Dollars

I don't think it's fair to compare this movie to Leone's later work. In my arrogant opinion, movies should be judged for what they are trying to accomplish. FoD is a great, great low budget exploitation/b movie/action flick. It's quick paced with many memorable scenes and a killer ending - and the music is obviously amazing. I don't think it's fair to slight the movie because the director became a legendary filmmaker. It's an easy 9/10 for me.


As for Major Dundee, I still haven't got around to watching my copy of the bluray. It's been years since I've seen it so I'm pretty excited.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 26, 2015, 01:39:37 AM
RE: A Fistful of Dollars

I don't think it's fair to compare this movie to Leone's later work. In my arrogant opinion, movies should be judged for what they are trying to accomplish. FoD is a great, great low budget exploitation/b movie/action flick. It's quick paced with many memorable scenes and a killer ending - and the music is obviously amazing. I don't think it's fair to slight the movie because the director became a legendary filmmaker. It's an easy 9/10 for me.


As for Major Dundee, I still haven't got around to watching my copy of the bluray. It's been years since I've seen it so I'm pretty excited.

yeah, if you just do a straight-up comparison of FOD to FAFDM or GBU or OUATITW, it's no contest; the others are all better. But FOD is a great movie on its own, and if you look at FOD for what it is – a first Western by a director working with a tiny budget and an first-time lead movie actor, creating a new prototype of a movie character, a new prototype for the Western, a new prototype of movie hero, hec, a new prototype of movie – it's even more precious. Is FAFDM clearly a better movie than FOD? Yes. But if I was gonna be marooned on an island for the rest of my life and could only bring a few movies with me, would I take any non-Leone Western before I take FOD? No.

Ideally, a great artist should start out making great films and then get even better as time goes by – but that shouldn't diminish how we view the earlier work.

If Leone had never made another movie, or if he had never made another good movie, would I like FOD as much as I do now? I dn't know. And I don't think about it. All I know is that FOD is a great and very special movie.
The fact that the director went on to make all-time greats should not diminish one's opinion of FOD; to the contrary, it should improve one's opinion of the greatness and preciousness of FOD  :)


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Dust Devil on January 26, 2015, 01:47:46 AM
My appreciation of FOD grew over time.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Dust Devil on January 26, 2015, 01:50:54 AM
Whatever its form or excuse is, it's worth the 8/10. (FOD)

MD on the other hand could have been the one that in overall terms comes closest to GBU, but destiny had other plans...


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 26, 2015, 01:55:57 AM
Whatever its form or excuse is, it's worth the 8/10. (FOD)


Whatever its form or excuse, it's worth the 10/10.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on January 26, 2015, 03:05:05 AM

The fact that the director went on to make all-time greats should not diminish one's opinion of FOD; to the contrary, it should improve one's opinion of the greatness and preciousness of FOD  :)

Back to Peckinpah. Cause if that is a fact, then it is a fact too for Peckinpah.

The fact that Peckinpah made some all-time greats should then not diminish your opinion of The Wild Bunch; to the contrary, it should improve your opinion of the greatness and preciousness of TWB and other Peckinpah films. 

But it ain't a fact in both cases.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 26, 2015, 06:40:34 AM
Whatever its form or excuse, it's worth the 10/10.

You should update your "post your ranking system" thread. If FoD is 10/10 and GBU is way above FoD then your ranking system goes from 1 to 15.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 26, 2015, 07:57:03 AM
You should update your "post your ranking system" thread. If FoD is 10/10 and GBU is way above FoD then your ranking system goes from 1 to 15.

 ;D

remember, the ranking is the beginning of the discussion, not the end. There are more than 10 levels (or 20 including halves) of enjoyment of movies. If I used a 1-100 ranking, maybe GBU would be a 100 and FOD would be a 98. But using a 1-10 system, I give FOD a 10/10. Or maybe the greatest of all 9.5/10's. Again, I'm not denying that my opinion of the movie may be improved cuz of the movies Leone went on to make. And I'm not apologizing for it.
This is another one of the many flaws of a ranking system.

Isn't it wonderful how we hijacked a Peckinpah thread to talk about a Leone film   >:D ;D


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 26, 2015, 09:21:35 AM
remember, the ranking is the beginning of the discussion, not the end.
Words to live by, Lloyd. Words to live by.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 26, 2015, 09:27:04 AM
Isn't it wonderful how we hijacked a Peckinpah thread to talk about a Leone film   >:D ;D

The guy is in "Films of Sergio Leone > Other Films". He had it coming.   >:D

Back to Sam once again: I haven't seen the Getaway for years. He's next on my Peckinpah re-watch list. As far as I remember it's a good Peckinpah meets Hollywood movie.
On the other hand, a DVD of Junior Bonner has been sitting on my shelf for over 6 years and I still haven't tried it. You guys have been discussing it lately so once again it's on my to-watch list but I'm really really afraid to find something worst than Convoy.


________________________________________________

Here is how I rank those I have seen:

The Wild Bunch 9/10
His masterpiece

Pat Garett & Billy The Kid 8.5/10
More flawed but more touching The Wild Bunch 2

Straw Dogs 8.5/10
Best pre-Gravity survival

Cross Of Iron 8/10
Really flawed but Coburn + the way they show WW2 + the scene with the Russian women sell the thing

Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia 7.5/10
Really too cheap/amateurish for its own good but also very powerful

The Getaway 7-7.5/10 ?
Very good 70's thriller + good old Peckinpah action + best romance in a Peckinpah movie + they jump in the lake

Major Dundee  6/10
Powerful but flawed. But notice how I raised its ranking since the start of the discussion. Another 4 or 5 pages and we can bring it to 7.

Ride in the High County 5.5/10
Peckinpah but made for TV

Convoy 4/10
the only one I didn't like, but I saw it only once and was quite young. On the other hand, they destroy buildings with trucks.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 26, 2015, 12:22:54 PM
You should watch Junior Bonner. It's good. Also the tv show NOON WINE which has been posted around here.

Back to Leone. FOD is awesome. :D


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on January 26, 2015, 12:58:24 PM
Noodles, your rating of Ride the High Country is also insane. And it doesn't look or feel like TV for a second. Are you sure you really watched it?

And if your DVD of Junior Bonner is the European full frame one, throw it immediately in the garbage.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 26, 2015, 05:11:39 PM
Noodles, your rating of Ride the High Country is also insane. And it doesn't look or feel like TV for a second. Are you sure you really watched it?

It doesn't look like TV but yes many things in it feels like TV. Everything in this movie that comes directly from Sam raises it way above where it should be. It's just a shitty project that ended up in the best hands. It makes a good movie, in the end. To me, everything above 5 is good. Most movies that are done are under 3/10. This one made by pretty much anyone else would be under 3/10.
I'll give it another shot some day.

And if your DVD of Junior Bonner is the European full frame one, throw it immediately in the garbage.

Thanks, I'll check that. I fear it is the European full frame (don't know for sure but where I bought it they tend to sell the garbage editions... my copy of From Dusk Till Dawn comes from the same place, it's a terrible quality pan and scan that only features French audio).


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 26, 2015, 05:34:12 PM
To me, everything above 5 is good. Most movies that are done are under 3/10. This one made by pretty much anyone else would be under 3/10.
I'll give it another shot some day.


in all seriousness, I think n_l's rating system and stanton's rating system are very similar. Without going back and checking the thread where we each discussed our rating systems, I recall that you both consider 6/10 to be a good movie.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Novecento on January 26, 2015, 07:38:41 PM
And if your DVD of Junior Bonner is the European full frame one, throw it immediately in the garbage.

Talk about a neglected gem. The US DVD is at least widescreen, but it's not even anamorphic.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: T.H. on January 26, 2015, 09:45:59 PM
yeah, if you just do a straight-up comparison of FOD to FAFDM or GBU or OUATITW, it's no contest; the others are all better. But FOD is a great movie on its own, and if you look at FOD for what it is – a first Western by a director working with a tiny budget and an first-time lead movie actor, creating a new prototype of a movie character, a new prototype for the Western, a new prototype of movie hero, hec, a new prototype of movie – it's even more precious. Is FAFDM clearly a better movie than FOD? Yes. But if I was gonna be marooned on an island for the rest of my life and could only bring a few movies with me, would I take any non-Leone Western before I take FOD? No.

Ideally, a great artist should start out making great films and then get even better as time goes by – but that shouldn't diminish how we view the earlier work.

If Leone had never made another movie, or if he had never made another good movie, would I like FOD as much as I do now? I dn't know. And I don't think about it. All I know is that FOD is a great and very special movie.
The fact that the director went on to make all-time greats should not diminish one's opinion of FOD; to the contrary, it should improve one's opinion of the greatness and preciousness of FOD  :)

I basically agree with everything you've said but there are a lot of US Westerns that I'd take over FOD. But you hit the nail on the head for mentioning its importance as an action movie and a western. As for non-Leone spags, I think I'd only take The Great Silence and Face to Face over it.

It's almost like Mean Streets, people hate on that movie because it doesn't have the scope of Goodfellas and Casino when it's a totally different kind of movie: a coming of age (or lack there of) compared to frenetic coke-rock epics.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 26, 2015, 09:59:56 PM
I basically agree with everything you've said but there are a lot of US Westerns that I'd take over FOD. But you hit the nail on the head for mentioning its importance as an action movie and a western. As for non-Leone spags, I think I'd only take The Great Silence and Face to Face over it.

If Leone had never gone on to make another (good) movie, I can't tell you whether or not I'd take some AW's over FOD. But I don't have to consider that. The situation being as it is now, I absolutely would take FOD over any AW if I was marooned on an island.

If I was gonna be marooned on an island and could only take 6 movies with me for the rest of my life, I'd probably take all Leone movies besides DYS, plus one more movie that I'd have to think about long and hard. Maybe Casablanca, maybe Double Indemnity, maybe The Godfather, maybe Red River, maybe .... well, Thank God I don't have to make these decisions  ;)

That's a good topic question for a thread (or better yet, to continually hijack a Peckinpah thread  ;)) : You're gonna be on an isolated island for the rest of your life and all you can bring with you are six movies (no pornos!) which would you choose?

It's almost like Mean Streets, people hate on that movie because it doesn't have the scope of Goodfellas and Casino when it's a totally different kind of movie: a coming of age (or lack there of) compared to frenetic coke-rock epics.

I love Mean Streets on its own. I absolutely love it. It may well be my favorite Scorsese movie, period. Yeah, the characters are much younger than in Scorsese's later gangster pictures (and there's definitely much more toughness in older characters; I think Cagney was one guy who could really project a great toughness even looking very young) and maybe it's less polished or whatever than some of his other movies, but IMO Mean Streets is a clear-cut all-time great movie even if it was the only movie Scorsese ever made.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: T.H. on January 26, 2015, 10:17:57 PM
You should make that thread.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 26, 2015, 10:57:12 PM
sorry, you'll have to do that  ;)


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on January 27, 2015, 02:23:07 AM
It doesn't look like TV but yes many things in it feels like TV. Everything in this movie that comes directly from Sam raises it way above where it should be. It's just a shitty project that ended up in the best hands. It makes a good movie, in the end. To me, everything above 5 is good. Most movies that are done are under 3/10. This one made by pretty much anyone else would be under 3/10.
I'll give it another shot some day.



A shitty project?

It's a milestone of the western genre. A landmark film which was for the cycle of the US twilight westerns a similar starting point like FoD was for the Italian western. Only that Ride the High Country was in its own way already some kind of masterpiece. It is a very personal and deeply felt film by Peckinpah which established a lot of themes and motives which became almost a cliche in 70s westerns. Even OUTW could be viewed as a variation of its ideas. And My Name Is Nobody stand definitely in this tradition, with both feets.
And Lucien Ballards autumnal photography is still outstanding.

And it is a very intelligent western, one in which several typical western motives were turned upside down. There's a lot in it to explore for those who like to interpret movies and find deeper meanings.

I know that your rating is not really bad (9,3 drink scaled), but this film deserves more form one who likes the director.

Junior Bonner is at the moment the Peckinpah film with the worst release. I have no clue why in Europe only an un-watchable full screen version was released. The non anamorphic US release is nothing to write home about either, but at least not an insult. Junior Bonner is overdue for a high quality release. I assume there are maybe problems with the rights.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 27, 2015, 02:50:55 AM
A shitty project?

I'm talking about the project that was brought to Pecknipah, not the finished film!
It was supposed to be just a "consumable" movie: quickly done, quickly seen, quickly forgotten. Sam managed to make art out of it, that's amazing but there still are flaws that come from what the project was when he said "yes".
Evidence supporting the previous statement: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0831694/

I agree with pretty much everything that you wrote afterwards, just with less enthusiasm, hence the rating.  ;)

Also to be clear: if I had to bring movies on a desert island, I'd chose RitHC or FoD over any film that I gave a similar rating, because I like the directors so I know that I can watch these movies and focus on the classic/soon to be Peckinpah and Leone stuff in it and forget about the TV part. That doesn't mean that the flaws aren't there, so they have to be in my rating.


A quick note on Peckinpah:
To me, there are directors that try to make flawless films (Fincher, Cameron, Leone...) and directors that focus on doing great things and don't really care for flaws (Eastwood, Allen, Noe...). Both kind can suck and both kind can be great. Peckinpah doesn't really care for flaws. Not sure where I would put Scorsese.
Leone, I think, is the only one that managed to make two flawless masterpieces (GBU and OUATITW, his other ones are flawed, even if I still consider DYS and especially OUATIA as masterpieces).


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 27, 2015, 03:54:20 AM
.
Leone, I think, is the only one that managed to make two flawless masterpieces (GBU and OUATITW, his other ones are flawed, even if I still consider DYS and especially OUATIA as masterpieces).

I consider FAFDM up there with Leone's greatest work. It didn't have the money (and therefore) the size/scope of some of Leone's other movies, but it is an absolutely flawless movie IMO. I know you have some problems with the way Massimo Dalamano lit it, thank God I am too dumb (or too smart or too different than you or whatever you wanna call it) to notice that. FAFDM is perfection. Not a wrong moment. (I mean, if you wanna get nitty-gritty, you can find a flaw in any movie. Like, wtf is Manco doing in blackface in that scene where he goes to get the money from the safe?  ;D And a long time ago, I used to think that once the gang reaches Agua Caliente, the movie goes slightly downhill, that that last third or so isn't as good as the first 2/3. Certainly, the El Paso town set is so beautiful, it feels a shame to leave it and go to a shitty Mexican town of Agua Caliente. But for me, FAFDM is as unflawed as a movie can be. ) God, I love this movie. The look and feel and texture makes this so great. The production design is my favorite of any Western ever (OUATIA is my favote among non-Westerns.) The towns, especially El Paso – my favorite movie set, period. The beat-up wooden look of the towns. You can just feel the smell of cigar smoke in those lovely saloons in White Rocks and El Paso. The trains. Did I mention the great beat-up wooden buildings? So great. The cigars. The saloons. The faces. ... The opening shootout between Mortimer and Guy Calloway. Incredible.
Oh, and the music. The main theme. The musical stopwatch. The duel theme. The amazing song "The Vice of Killing" that plays as the gang flees El Paso after the bank robbery.
Oh, and did I mention that fat sandwich the bank guard in El Paso is eating when the safe blows up?
The beautiful hotels in El Paso. Beautiful in a rough and rustic sense. The red brick and wood structures. The LOOK of this film. God Almighty.
And the characters. The Man with No Name, Colonel Mortimer, and the greatest villain in Western history, Indio.  Less serious themes than GBU and OUATITW; FAFDM is more fun and games. But every bit as great

Okay, I'll spare you and stop here. I can go on endlessly about this baby (and that's pretty much what I just did). Like talking about a girl you love, you can delineate (and repeat) her wonderful attributes and it never gets tired. I just wanna throw my arms around this movie and hug it.

Flawless, buddy. A flawless masterpiece. A great movie. Not because it's an early film of a filmmaker who went on to be great or for any sentimental value like that. No, FAFDM is one of Leone's great works. Maybe his greatest. If you said it was the greatest movie of all time, I wouldn't argue. But hey, who needs to rank stuff and make lists of best, second-bst,m third-best, etc.? Not me. This baby is a masterpiece by a filmmaker who made masterpieces, and I'll leave it at that.

Oh, and btw, did I mention the LOOK of this movie?

 :) :) :) :) :) :) :)


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on January 27, 2015, 12:14:49 PM
Being an 8/10 film FAFDM has its share of flaws though which conflicts with the stronger parts. It is a bridging film for me. Everything which is great in FAFDM is better in GBU. In the 2nd half of FAFDM Leone ran often out of ideas and went on with some silly story telling.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 27, 2015, 02:03:04 PM
Incoming D&D rant in 3... 2... 1...


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: T.H. on January 27, 2015, 03:31:28 PM
I'm talking about the project that was brought to Pecknipah, not the finished film!
It was supposed to be just a "consumable" movie: quickly done, quickly seen, quickly forgotten. Sam managed to make art out of it, that's amazing but there still are flaws that come from what the project was when he said "yes".
Evidence supporting the previous statement: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0831694/

http://www.coldbacon.com/writing/mannyfarber-termiteart.html


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on January 28, 2015, 05:57:05 AM
I'm talking about the project that was brought to Pecknipah, not the finished film!
It was supposed to be just a "consumable" movie: quickly done, quickly seen, quickly forgotten. Sam managed to make art out of it, that's amazing but there still are flaws that come from what the project was when he said "yes".
Evidence supporting the previous statement: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0831694/

And?

Peckinpah re-wrote most of the screenplay. What it was supposed to be I don't know, but when Peckinpah began to shoot it, it was "his" film.

I'm sure I can turn a dumb screenplay with a few changes into an intelligent one, and when one re-writes a third or half of it, it can have turned into a completely different movie. Which maybe betrays then the intentions of the original writer.



Quote
A quick note on Peckinpah:
To me, there are directors that try to make flawless films (Fincher, Cameron, Leone...) and directors that focus on doing great things and don't really care for flaws (Eastwood, Allen, Noe...). Both kind can suck and both kind can be great. Peckinpah doesn't really care for flaws. Not sure where I would put Scorsese.
Leone, I think, is the only one that managed to make two flawless masterpieces (GBU and OUATITW, his other ones are flawed, even if I still consider DYS and especially OUATIA as masterpieces).

I think I can't really agree with that. But I thin we agree that a film must not be perfect to be a  complete masterpiece.

2001 is probably a flawless film, but GBU and OUTW have some minor flaws. A few things which I could imagine to be better. Nothing important. The sheer overwhelming power of The Wild Bunch easily swipes away some flaws.
But in Leones early westerns the flaws are touching essential parts of the films.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 28, 2015, 09:10:11 AM
And?

... and I see it in the final film. That's where we disagree. The thing is that what I felt when watching the film was confirmed afterwards, when I read about the way it was done.


I think I can't really agree with that. But I thin we agree that a film must not be perfect to be a  complete masterpiece.

2001 is probably a flawless film, but GBU and OUTW have some minor flaws. A few things which I could imagine to be better. Nothing important. The sheer overwhelming power of The Wild Bunch easily swipes away some flaws.
But in Leones early westerns the flaws are touching essential parts of the films.

Hum, perfection doesn't exist in real life but GBU and OUATITW's flaws are so minor that I call them perfect, while I see bigger flaws in 2001. Apart from that we agree at 100%, so I sincerely don't understand what you "can't really agree with"...
By "perfection" here I mean removing flaws. It has very little to do with the film being worth something outside of the value of craft itself.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Dust Devil on January 28, 2015, 11:28:01 AM
The best movies (whatever that is) are rarely the flawless ones (whatever that means). You show me one person who would, on a min. 10 movie-evenings sample, watch 2001 more times than either GBU or OUATITW and you have a beer from me. O0


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 28, 2015, 12:04:32 PM
In my top 20, about a third of the movies are flawless to me, the other ones are (sometimes heavily) flawed. Considering how hard it is to remove every flaw, which means that flawless movies are very rare, that's still a good score for the flawless ones.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on January 28, 2015, 12:07:18 PM
What's a "min. 10 movie-evenings sample"?

If you mean that people would never watch 2001 more than the 2 Leones you are wrong.

I have at least watched 2001 as often as those 2. Eight and a Half also. But not sure which was the most. The Wild Bunch and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid are 2 more thread r4elated contenders.

2001 alone in the theatres about 12 or 15 times. OUTW also in that region. Unfortunately GBU not a single time. It was never shown nearby (sob). The 2 Peckinpahs I watched about 6 or 7 times, which was every time that was possible. Eight and a Half maybe 5 times. Apocalypse Now also 5 or 6 times. If I have lived in a big city there would be others.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Dust Devil on January 29, 2015, 07:55:52 AM
10 evenings the picked audience would have to watch a movie.

I respect your input, but then again, I doubt it would correlate much to the bulk of the movie goers.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on February 21, 2015, 04:57:06 PM
Jumping in a bit late: I don't think Dundee was hurt by studio editing, though that's an appealing argument for auteurists to make. The script was still being written during shooting and it badly shows. I guess some of the pacing issues might be resolved but there's still a ragged, improvised feel to the second half that I doubt more footage would resolve. Did the long scenes of Dundee getting wasted in Durango add much to the 2005 cut? (I did like the strategy scene where they find Riago's body, it at least makes sense of the final battle.)


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on February 22, 2015, 02:11:32 AM
How a film can be hurt by wrong editing is tricky to say. Dundee works fine enough for me as it is, but there was so much cut out that it is very likely that a cut supervised by Peckinpah with a runtime of 160 - 180 min and a differently used score would change a lot.
There is a meal brawl scene in The Left Handed Gun which works for me, but Arthur Penn says that it was wrongly edited, and he shot if for another way of editing. He also says that the editing did hurt the film generally. They did not cut out much, but it affected the film's rhythm, and changed the meaning of other scenes. Penn: "The rhythmic monotony is really the biggest problem of the film".

I also never saw any pacing issues in any version I watched. And (apart from a childhood watch) I started with an 118 min version followed by the the 122 min one. And Dundee became better with every scene added. For example in the 122 min version is a brief scene which shows Warren Oates and one of the black soldiers changing a smile while observing the French troops. This short segment gives the shortly thereafter happened execution scene of Oates a different feeling.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on February 22, 2015, 02:18:11 AM
... and I see it in the final film. That's where we disagree. The thing is that what I felt when watching the film was confirmed afterwards, when I read about the way it was done.



Coming back to this, Noodles, I still don't have an idea which problems you have with RtHC? What is wrong caused by the original script?


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: noodles_leone on February 22, 2015, 02:27:07 AM
Coming back to this, Noodles, I still don't have an idea which problems you have with RtHC? What is wrong caused by the original script?

I'd have to watch it again before answering this. I can only remember the feeling I got while watching (only once) it years ago and then getting my feeling "confirmed" by what I read afterwards about the film.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on February 22, 2015, 03:15:07 AM
Yes, but what did you read?

As far as I know RtHC was a film which Peckinpah could make with a lot of freedom, but later was fired before the editing and the scoring was completely finished.

And the film looks much better than the small budget might suggest. The photography and the atmosphere is excellent. And it may be one of the richest westerns if you begin to analyse its content and its use of metaphorical stuff.




Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Groggy on February 22, 2015, 07:26:19 AM
I also never saw any pacing issues in any version I watched. And (apart from a childhood watch) I started with an 118 min version followed by the the 122 min one. And Dundee became better with every scene added. For example in the 112 min version is a brief scene which shows Warren Oates and one of the black soldiers changing a smile while observing the French troops. This short segment gives the shortly thereafter happened execution scene of Oates a different feeling.

See, I think the movie slows to a crawl with that long interlude in the Mexican village (even longer in the extended cut). That's the first sign of the plot going off the rails. After another lengthy scene with Dundee recovering from an arrow wound we zip through two battle scenes in about 20 minutes' time (neither of which gets much set-up). Dundee just seems to jerk around between leisurely pacing and rather abrupt development.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: stanton on February 22, 2015, 09:09:55 AM
Works fine for me as it is.

Dundee's recovery from the arrow wound is the scene in the village, and it is less about recovery but about a total psychic breakdown.

My only problems with the film are some pretentious sounding dialogues, and otherwise mostly stuff which I connect with the fact that the film was cut and scored by others. But I like Major Dundee a lot in the current version, and already did in the 118 min full screen VHS version.


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Moorman on January 06, 2017, 06:47:12 AM
Gonna check this out over the weekend to see what all the raucous is all about...lol


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Moorman on January 06, 2017, 09:33:19 PM
I had to force myself to watch this whole movie.

First, things i didn't like:

The pacing of the movie kept going all over the place.

Was this a comedy/western? I couldn't tell what the intended mood of the film was.

The plot itself. Did not like.

What i did like:

The cinematography was ok.

The characters were ok.

My overall verdict is i don't like this movie. 


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 07, 2017, 07:01:32 PM
Stop falling for the Peckinpah fanboys' crap around here. Don't feel a need to like every (or any) Peckinpah film.

The best Peckinpah films I have seen (far from all) are Noon Wine - a TV movie - and Junior Bonner, a rodeo film with Steve McQueen. Both get 7.5/10

Major Dundee has the whole backstory of being messed with by the studio - like lots of Peckinpah films - but we've got some Leone fanboys around here that you do not have to feel any need to pay attention to  >:D


Title: Re: Major Dundee (1965)
Post by: Spikeopath on May 24, 2017, 03:58:57 AM
Hee Hee, quite a thread.

Review >

What could have been gives way to an enjoyable curio piece.

Originally intended as a searing epic by director Sam Peckinpah, Major Dundee was taken away from his guiding hands post production and edited into an almost incoherent mess. Here in the new millennium we are able to see a restoration of the film with added scenes that gives the film are more cohesive structure, and yes it improves the film ten fold because the characters have flesh on their bones, yet still we are only really glimpsing three parts of Peckinpah's vision since there is another 30 minutes of film seemingly lost forever, and that is a crying shame because this film could have been a western masterpiece had it been allowed to flourish.

There is still a lot to enjoy here tho, Major Dundee leads a rag tag army of Union soldiers, Confederate rebels, convicts, loonies, and a one armed James Coburn into Mexico to hunt down an Apache army who are responsible for deadly attacks on U.S. bases in Texas. It's not so much The Dirty Dozen, but more like the dirty army! And in the main here it's the fractious nature of this assembled army that gives the film its vigour and selling point. Almost certainly the film is one of the forerunners of Vietnam allegories, and like it or not it's the thematic undercurrent of soldiers under prepared that keeps the film above average.

The cast are fine, it's like a roll call for the macho assembly, Charlton Heston is Dundee, a big square jawed brash man who tries to keep this army in line whilst dealing with his own nagging ego. Richard Harris owns the film as Tyreen, his on going personal war with Dundee gives the film added impetus. James Coburn plays a very interesting character, but it's a character that demands more time on screen than we actually get (perhaps the victim of the cretinous cuts?), and it leaves a hankering feeling that never quite leaves you.

It's a fine journey, it's a fine character piece, and everyone also note that the wide screen shoot is gorgeous, but at the end of the day Major Dundee is only hinting at the genius that would deliver The Wild Bunch four years down the line, but it could have been so much different...

Forgive them for they know not what they do. 7/10