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During the last winter of the Civil War, cavalry officer Amos Dundee leads a contentious troop of Army regulars, Confederate prisoners and scouts on an expedition into Mexico to destroy a band of Apaches who have been raiding U.S. bases in Texas. Written by
L.Q. Jones recalled an occasion when he, Ben Johnson and Sam Peckinpah went driving through the Mexican town where they were filming, when Peckinpah shouted, "Look, there's a bar" and jumped out of the car. Jones and Johnson found him in a rough, dingy bar. Peckinpah called for a bar, tasted it, then spat it in the bartender's face, saying "Your cow's been pissing the beer again". This started a brawl. "Jones recalled, "Ten minutes later, Ben and I found ourselves in a corner, back to back". We're dodging knives, broken bottles, the works; they're trying to kill us. And we look around and Peckinpah's gone. He's just walked off and left us. Not only did he walk off and leave us, he took the car with him". See more »
Although Mexico was occupied by French troops during the American Civil War and that occupation was not looked upon kindly by the Lincoln administration, there was never any fighting between the U.S. Army and the French. See more »
In the territory of New Mexico towards the end of the Civil War, an Indian, Sierra Charriba, and his Apache warriors raided, sacked and looted an area almost three times the size of Texas.
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Opening credits prologue:
1864 JOURNAL 1865
In the territory of New Mexico, toward the end of the Civil War, an Indian Sierra Charriba, and his 47 Apache warriors raided, sacked, and looted an area almost three times the size of Texas.
On October 31, 1864, an entire company of the 5th United States Cavalry sent out from Fort Benlin to destroy him, was ambushed and massacred at the Rostes ranch.
We are indebted to Timothy Ryan, bugler 5th United States Cavalry, the company's sole survivor, for his diary, the only existing record of this tragedy and the campaign that followed. See more »
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.
Major Dundee 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.
Recommended for Sam Peckinpah fans, others need not apply.
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