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Lunch » Tags » Western » Reviews » Major Dundee » User review

Sam Peckinpah's flawed masterpiece.

  • May 8, 2009
  • by
Major Dundee (1965) was a test of wills between Sam Peckinpah and the studio heads, it was also a proto-type for his true master piece The Wild Bunch. The movie seems to be edited by foreign hands and out of place music has been added to the soundtrack. The most annoying thing about this film (besides the bad editing and music) is the narration, it seems so out of place.

The film is about a drunken battle harden officer who must lead a rag tag bunch of p.o.w.s, prisoners and calvary men across the southwestern desert and into Mexico searching for some "wild Indians". As they travel further and further across the arid plains, the people within the troop discover death, disease and horror along the way. They also learn something about themselves. What could have been an epic western drenched in booze and blood was sloppily edited so it theaters could fit in more viewings and the content shocked the movie board. This led to Sam Peckinpah to become disillusioned with Hollywood and drift in and out of television before he got another chance at making another film within the studio system.

I bought a copy of the restored version of Major Dundee.  The restoration crew did their best in trying to piece together what was originally Peckinpah's "director's cut" of the film.  I was impressed with the finished product becuase not only does it look good but the new soundtrack is miles better than the one tacked on the original release.
Sam Peckinpah's flawed masterpiece. Sam Peckinpah's flawed masterpiece. Sam Peckinpah's flawed masterpiece. Sam Peckinpah's flawed masterpiece.

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Joseph Ulibas ()
Ranked #30
I have been working on my web series Fine Feather Friends.
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