Major Dundee (Sam Peckinpah, 1965)

I was just going through my Sam Pecinphah collection, and found I do not have this film.

Looking into purchasing The Extended cut, and have found some not bad prices, as did not want to pay to much, as there is still missing footage to this film according to various sources.

There has also been work on the music to the new cut.

Is anyone a fan of this film, or what did you think of the extended cut?

i haven’t seen it but i have been told that it is an Earlier Peckinpah film which he made before his “style” of filmaking

Yes, I have not seen the film since it was on T.V a long time ago in the none extended version, but I think I may give it a whirl on the cheap I think.

I enjoyed it when i saw it years ago on TV, but there is the feeling that the movie have to be a better one.The producer cut and change the movie from Peckinpah’s view,thats the point.

This is a very messed about film, just like Pat Garret and Billy The Kid was years later.

I did see the extended cut and I think it is is well worth the price. This version is more like Peckinpah intended the movie to be but it still has its major (?!) flaws, like being waaaay toooo looong. But Heston and Harris are great as is the rest of the cast as they physically and morally break down on their futile hunt. The exeption is Michael Pate as the Apache chief. He doesn’t look like he ever collected a scalp (allthough I read in the excellent book ‘Once They moved like the Wind’ that Apaches didn’t scalp their enemies, so maybe the depiction is correct :wink: ) I prefer the version with the new soundtrack. It is toned down and more sober instead of the pumped up military marches and songs of the old one. Beautiful landscapes and a good final battle, a small glimpse of the Peckinpah to come.

I have just ordered my copy from Amazon.

I hope you enjoy it.


For people who are interested how Major Dundee could have been if Peckinpah had become the chance to do it his way:

There’s another interesting piece on the same website at concerning the “extended” DVD release. Most notable is the following comment:

‘Most of the missing footage’ has not been found, and the film is not a ‘restored masterpiece’. it’s easily twenty or thirty minutes short of what Peckinpah screened earlier. Nobody can say what he would have ended up with because he never got the chance to finish the film. The film never raises the issue that Dundee’s men might be a greater threat than the Apaches - the tagline is meaningless. The pub copy asserts that Major Dundee is ‘at last presented as its legendary director intended,’ which is sheer nonsense.

The movie, even in the extended version available today, shows only the aftermath of Sierra Charriba’s raid. As I understand it, the “missing footage” was film of the (extremely bloody) raid itself. But I don’t recall where I read that.

I think the complete raid was filmed, but only small parts were used in the end. Question is if the Halloween party, which precedes the raid, was also filmed, or was one of the scenes Peckinpah had to drop.

Here is a quote of the Savant site which makes clear how different Dundee could have become:

"Imagine The Wild Bunch without an opening shootout, any of its flashbacks, and half of the character-building scenes removed. Take away the setup for the final battle, and remove any mention of what happens to the Angel character played by Jaime Sanchez. Rush the editing so that some sequences are too slow. Do little or no audio work, especially looping, so that ragged tracks from the set have to suffice. Edit the action scenes as quickly as possible and drop any violence or bloody detail that might be “in bad taste.” That’s what happened to Major Dundee. "

Yes, I distinctly remember reading that the Halloween party was filmed. The props are visible in the released product said my source, though I never went back to check.

We could never really get any proof.
The actors I talked to weren’t part of these scenes anyway, so they didn’t remember.
I have about 500 stills of DUNDEE, some 50 of deleted scenes (some restored by now)
but not a single still of the party or the raid (only the indians leaving - which is in the

Of course this ‘extended’ version is not the version Peckinpah wanted. We embraced
it nevertheless because a.) it was great Sony restored it in the first place (it’s none
of Columbia’s hits anyway) b.) because it’s so much better than the 122 min. version
which we had to fall back on for over 40 years.
As a film it works quite well now (the to hour version just didn’t. Without the capture
of Tyreen at the beginnng it started quite awful). They tried their best and those missing
scenes are just gone for good. So of course we would love to see a 155 min. version
(or whatever), but since that’s not possible a 136 min. version is better than a 122 min.

Peckinpah said he experimented with slow motion violence in his cut (I guess one
shot is left), that stuff is gone and the violence in general was tamed down.

The death of Tyreen was longer and much more violent, The scene that explains
how Dundee winds up on a mule is missing, the knife fight (Coburn & Adorf) -
some silent footage of it is on the DVD (due to missing shots & sound it couldn’t
be restored).


It’s a masterpiece, with-or-without the ‘lost’ footage. Every scene works. -And most pay direct homage to John Ford… especially when they’re leaving the prison-fort, with all-3 groups (Union cavalry, rebs, prairie riff-raff) singing their-own ‘anthems’ simultaneously. Even the character-name; Tyree, is a Ford-tribute… whose films had about 3-to-6 various ‘Tyree’s’.

Every cam-shot of Charriba was accompanied by a short, chaotic harpsichord-ish theme (alluding-to sinister devilishness), which was sort-of a forerunner to the ‘Morricone approach’ of musically-abstract characterization. Charriba’s " Who you send against me now? "-line gave the film of a-taste-of Akira Kurosawa.

I love it. -And Senta Berger.

I couldn’t agree more.

[size=12pt]The Major has arrived …[/size]



Enjoy the read, and I hope you can all live with my ideas

Has anyone pre-ordered the Twilight Time Blu Ray?

It’s got two versions of the film on it, which is the best one to watch?

The longer one of course. It also has a new score. Which is not that good.

On the DVD you were able to watch the 136 min version with both scores.