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Author Topic: Major Dundee (1965)  (Read 70311 times)
stanton
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« Reply #300 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.



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« Reply #301 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.

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stanton
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« Reply #302 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.

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Moorman
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« Reply #303 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

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« Reply #304 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. 

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« Reply #305 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  Evil

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« Reply #306 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

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