In 1864, due to frequent Apache raids from Mexico into the U.S., a Union officer decides to illegally cross the border and destroy the Apache, using a mixed army of Union troops, Confederate POWs, civilian mercenaries, and scouts.
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
The romance with Teresa was added by the studio. Some idea of what Harry Julian Fink and Sam Peckinpah's original script looked like can be gleaned from a novelization published in 1965, which adds several scenes and whole subplots, while changing the fates of several characters. The romance is completely absent. See more »
Although Mexico was occupied by French troops during the American Civil War and that occupation was not looked upon kindly by the Abraham Lincoln administration, there was never any fighting between US and French forces. 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 »
The 2005 restored version contains 12 additional minutes of footage originally edited by the studio without the director's consent. See more »
After the breakthrough success of Ride the High Country(1962), Sam Peckinpah would embark on a journey to Mexico to film a story about an obsessed major on the tracks of some renegade Apaches. Sam Peckinpah was on his way to making a classic until the interference of producer, Jerry Bresler prevented this from happening. The film begins with a prologue describing the massacre that leads to Dundee's quest for revenge. The film focuses on the hostile relationship between Amos Dundee(Charlton Heston) and Ben Tyreen(Richard Harris). Once friends, but now enemies due to the Civil War are reluctant to join forces and go after the Apaches. Major Dundee(1965) has to rank with Greed(1925), Que Viva Mexico(1931), Metropolis(1927), and The Magnificent Ambersons(1942) as some of the most maligned films in motion picture history. Major Dundee(1965) is a good movie that might have been great. This is an example of producers putting their dirty greedy palms where they don't belong.
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