Major Dundee - The 'Extended Cut' coming August 30th

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Brent Avery, Feb 19, 2002.

  1. Brent Avery

    Brent Avery Supporting Actor

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    Major Dundee : Anyone shed light on missing 45-55 minutes cut from original theatrical release? I came across this information while reading a book on Charlton Heston ( Charlton Heston's Hollywood ).
    Sam Peckinpah ( director ) ended up cutting out 44 minutes
    -possibly 55- from the film in order to satisfy Columbia Pictures.The director's cut that Peckinpah assembled for an advanced screening - which was never shown - ran for 2 hours and 41 minutes. Mr. Peckinpah was qouted as saying it was possibly the best picture he had made in his life.
    To quote a line from the book: " Major Dundee could have been what The Wild Bunch became:a film that lifted the Western to a new level of creative potential.It was not to be.Major Dundee was released in April 1965,and came in for heavy criticism.Critics called it "bewildering" and lamented the "poorly edited footage".The reviewers,not knowing what had been going on behind-the-scenes at Columbia,ascribed the film's problems to the shortcomings of its director."
    Wouldn't it be great to see it fully restored on DVD? The problem is that the cut footage is probably long gone.
     
  2. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    I'd like to see it fully restored because the movie as it is just falls apart completely in the second half with sub plots that abruptly stop cold and supporting characters who just disappear it seems like.

    In the meantime though Columbia, release the film on DVD so I can get rid of my LD!
     
  3. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    I didn't know that Peckinpah had to cut it down so much, but that does explain the uneveness of the film.
     
  4. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Caught this snippet in this interesting interview between Robert A. Harris and Grover Crisp (the Vice President of Asset Management and Film Restoration for Sony Pictures Entertainment) over at The Bits.

    RAH: ...If you can find the time, it might be instructive to discuss several of your other projects. For now, I'm sure the question that's going to be asked on HTF is "When is Major Dundee going to come out on DVD?"

    GC: We are rapidly approaching completion of the restoration and will transfer it in HD in the next two months. Incidentally, I screened a work-in-progress print for about half a dozen of the top Peckinpah scholars just three days ago and they were really enthusiastic about it, both the quality of the work and the version we have. It is not, technically, a director's cut, of course, since the director is not with us, but we have put back scenes that they had only heard about before, including from Peckinpah himself, and had never seen. The release for the new DVD looks to be around June of 2005. It will be preceded by a theatrical release, beginning in April in New York.


    I am flabbergasted. I had presumed many of the missing scenes to have been long since lost; I wonder if they'll keep the voice-over narration?
     
  5. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    Wow! Excellent news I didn't even know this was being worked on. Can't wait.
     
  6. Drew Reiber

    Drew Reiber Supporting Actor

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    This is astounding news, considering the Warner/Peckinpah re-releases and box set planned for next year. Now all they need are decent releases for "The Deadly Companions", "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia" (I think MGM owns it), "Cross of Iron" and "Convoy" to complete Peckinpah's filmography on DVD.
     
  7. Bob Graham

    Bob Graham Supporting Actor

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    This is great news indeed! And the fact that Sony is talking with Peckinpah scholars seems to point to a special DVD edition. Maybe Charlton Heston can participate. He had some great stories about Peckinpah and the filmin his autobiography (and he stood by Peckinpah, just like he stood by Orson Wells on TOUCH OF EVIL when Columbia wanted to fire him)

    I read a thread in another forum that essentially said, after Star Wars, what's left; how can you top 2004 as a year for DVD releases? Well, 2005 is promising the Warner Peckinpah box, restored versions of FISTFULL OF DOLLARS, FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE and DUCK YOU SUCKER, KING KONG, THE LOVED ONE, the Val Lewton box, and now MAJOR DUNDEE. Bring on the new year!

    ps. It's not that I'm greedy, but could we also have the complete WESTERNER on DVD next year?
     
  8. Mark Philp

    Mark Philp Second Unit

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    I'd order it right now if I could. Just watched it again the other night on the Westerns channel (sadly pan & scan) and I can't wait.
     
  9. Dorian Gray

    Dorian Gray Stunt Coordinator

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    News of the year ! No more, no less.
     
  10. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    This news has made my week! Amazing. I never dreamed that any of the lost footage would turn up. Bravo, Mr Columbia!
     
  11. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Glenn Erikson, DVD Savant over at dvdtalk.com, fleshes out some of what's contained in those missing scenes:

    "The restored scenes reportedly cover such essential material as Richard Harris' escape from the Fort Benlin prison (the short cut we've all seen does a poor job of establishing that Fort Benlin is a prison) and the eventual fate of the Indian guide Riago. Everybody talks about Riago in the short cut but he remains mostly a mystery."
     
  12. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    This is fantastic news! I always hoped that Colombia would seek out those missing chunks from the film. I can't wait til June. [​IMG]



    Sadly, a similar thread was here on HTF a few months ago. I grew up with & love the original Star Wars films but c'mon there's so much more in film to be interested in. To each his/her own I guess.
     
  13. Stefan Andersson

    Stefan Andersson Second Unit

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    Hi all,
    does anyone want to see the complete MAJOR DUNDEE script as a CD-ROM extra w/expert commentary on the forthcoming DVD?

    S Andersson
    SWEDEN
     
  14. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    Columbia will be releasing Major Dundee - Extended Cut on 5/31 for $19.95. The running time is 136 minutres but no other specs available yet. It is up for pre-order at DVD Empire.
     
  15. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    And it's screening -- at least in L.A. -- at the NuArt on April 15 (I think) for a week. I'm so there.
     
  16. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    I understood that there will be a completely NEW music score, as an alternative on the DVD.

    Wonder if it will be in the theatrical version?
     
  17. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    MINE! [​IMG]
     
  18. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Ho-ho-ho! [Rubs hands together]

    A real treat from Columbia. I take my hat off to them. [​IMG]
     
  19. Darren Gross

    Darren Gross Supporting Actor

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    The theatrical re-issue in April will be with the new score.
     
  20. Ken Koc

    Ken Koc Screenwriter

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    I'm surprised there is still no mention of who is the composer of the new score for "Dundee" Will the DVD have both scores?
     

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