To me, and to many others, the new release of a Sam Peckinpah production is a cause of celebration.
His 1964 Major Dundee, starring Charlton Heston and Richard Harris is not only not an exception, but carries with it another layer of Hollywood intrigue. When the film was taken away from the filmmaker by the studio, the resultant re-cut was little like what Mr. P had in mind.
It took four decades, with trims, deletions and out sitting in vaults at Columbia until Grover Crisp had the audacity to try to re-create the film as intended. And his work paid off. While not precisely what the film was to be -- parts of the film don't exist, the score had to be redone, etc. -- it gives us a good idea of what the film may have been.
I'm thrilled that Twilight Time has made this one of their sub-licenses releases, as the work performed in preparing Major Dundee for Blu-ray is nothing short of miraculous.
As is typical of a Columbia / Sony Blu-ray, the film looks like film. Grain structure, color, shadow detail, black levels are all at the Columbia standard that we've come to expect.
For those who have not yet studied the work of Mr. Peckinpah, you'll find that the two versions are different enough to enjoy both. And if you're really not yet into Peckinpah, run, do not walk, to your local Blu-ray vendor, and get thyself a copy of WB's The Wild Bunch (1969). Sit back and be prepared to be amazed.
Image - 4.5
Audio - 4