Sam Peckinpah, 1965
Many classic films are just as powerful today as when they were first released. We add such films from many genres to our schedule throughout the season. Many are shown on the occasion of their rereleases, in fresh, new or restored prints.
"To see Major Dundee is to see the smoking ruin from which Peckinpah's masterpiece [The Wild Bunch] arose."—J. Hoberman, New York Times
Members' ticket presale: August 1ñ14. Call (614) 292-3535.
What a way to inaugurate our renovated theater! An archetypal film maudit (or cursed film), Major Dundee is maverick director Sam Peckinpah's fascinating but flawed take on the cavalry film. Peckinpah called making the film "One of the most painful things that ever happened in my life."
Charlton Heston stars as Dundee, a zealous Union prison commander who leads a motley crew of deserters, Confederate prisoners, and free black soldiers against a band of Apaches who have been massacring area settlers. The film ran over schedule, over budget, and was taken away from Peckinpah, whose first edit ultimately faced studio cuts of more than 40 minutes. This version restores 12 minutes cut following a disastrous preview screening, and replaces a cheerful, studio-imposed score by Mitch Miller with one more appropriately somber. Also starring James Coburn, Richard Harris, Warren Oates, and Slim Pickens. (136 mins.)