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Author Topic: Major Dundee (1965)  (Read 68447 times)
Groggy
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« Reply #30 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 . . .  Shocked

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« Reply #31 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.

« Last Edit: October 09, 2005, 10:11:44 PM by boardwalk_angel » Logged

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« Reply #32 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.

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« Reply #33 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. . .  Grin 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.  Tongue

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 Grin).  But overall, no real complaints.

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« Reply #34 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?

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« Reply #35 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.

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« Reply #36 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.

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Tim
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« Reply #37 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


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« Reply #38 on: November 30, 2006, 08:19:36 PM »

Nice find

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« Reply #39 on: December 01, 2006, 04:33:26 PM »

xx

« Last Edit: September 23, 2007, 05:56:27 AM by mike siegel » Logged


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« Reply #40 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.

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« Reply #41 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  Undecided) 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. 

 

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« Reply #42 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!

« Last Edit: March 02, 2007, 08:15:48 PM by TucumcariBound65 » Logged



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« Reply #43 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.

« Last Edit: March 03, 2007, 10:47:02 PM by Tim » Logged
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« Reply #44 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.

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