DIRECTED BY SAM PECKINPAH
PRODUCED BY JERRY BRESLER
JERRY BRESSLER PRODUCTIONS
COLUMBIA PICTURES CORPORATION
Photo with the courtesy of lasbugas
Information from IMDb
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 scgary66
Charlton Heston ... Major Amos Charles Dundee
Richard Harris ... Captain Benjamin Tyreen
Jim Hutton ... Lieutenant Graham
James Coburn ... Samuel Potts
Michael Anderson Jr. ... Trooper Tim Ryan
Senta Berger ... Teresa Santiago
Mario Adorf ... Sergeant Gomez
Brock Peters ... Aesop
Warren Oates ... O.W. Hadley
Ben Johnson ... Sergeant Chillum
R.G. Armstrong ... Reverend Dahlstrom
L.Q. Jones ... Arthur Hadley
Slim Pickens ... Wiley
Karl Swenson ... Captain Waller
Michael Pate ... Sierra Charriba
John Davis Chandler ... Jimmy Lee Benteen
Dub Taylor ... Priam
Albert Carrier ... Captain Jacques Tremaine
José Carlos Ruiz ... Riago (as Jose Carlos Ruiz)
Aurora Clavel ... Melinche (as Aurora Clavell)
Begoña Palacios ... Linda (as Begonia Palacios)
Enrique Lucero ... Doctor Aguilar
Francisco Reiguera ... Old Apache (as Francisco Reyguera)
Whitey Hughes ... Confederate Trooper (uncredited)
Cliff Lyons ... (uncredited)
Jody McCrea ... Lt. Brannin (uncredited)
Marvin Miller ... Opening Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Dennis Patrick ... (uncredited)
Rockne Tarkington ... Jefferson (uncredited)
Harry Julian Fink (story & screenplay)
Oscar Saul (screenplay) and
Sam Peckinpah (screenplay)
Christopher Caliendo (2005 restored version)
During the filming of this movie, Sam Peckinpah was so obnoxious and abusive towards his actors that Charlton Heston physically threatened the director with a sabre. Heston later remarked that this was the only time he had ever threatened anybody on a movie set.
The studio wanted to fire Sam Peckinpah but Charlton Heston convinced them not to, when he threatened to return his $400,000 fee and pull out of the project.
Lee Marvin was Sam Peckinpah's initial choice for the role of Samuel Potts, but Marvin wanted too much money. Marvin's agent suggested 'James Coburn' for the part, and Coburn ultimately got the role.
Woody Strode was considered for the part that went to Brock Peters. Strode was part Native American and he wrote in his memoirs that he didn't get the part because he was told by Sam Peckinpah that he looked too much "like a half-breed" to play the part.
Shooting on the movie was wrapped up early by studio executives, in the interest of controlling costs, before some important scenes were filmed. Charlton Heston offered to return his entire salary for the movie if the studio would agree to film the opening scene - the massacre of soldiers and civilians by the apaches - and some re-shoots. The studio kept his paycheck and never allowed any more footage to be shot anyway.
After the success of Sam Peckinpah's later The Wild Bunch, Columbia told him that they would allow him to re-shoot parts of this film that had been cut from the release version. Peckinpah, naturally, declined the offer.
Sam Peckinpah had been pitching a movie about Gen. George Armstrong Custer and the Battle of the Little Big Horn, because he thought it was fascinating how Custer became a glorious, immortal American hero after being defeated in battle and killed. Nothing ever came of it, but Peckinpah thought the story of "Major Dundee" to be similar enough, and took this job instead.
The script was originally written with John Ford in mind to direct, but Ford was busy working on Cheyenne Autumn and in any case was uninterested.
Average Shot Length (ASL) = 4.7 seconds
The role of Capt. Tyreen was intended for Anthony Quinn, who pulled out.
Sam Peckinpah originally wanted Lucien Ballard, with whom he had had a good working relationship on Ride the High Country, as the director of photography, but producer Jerry Bresler refused the request, making him work with Sam Leavitt, whose credits included Diamond Head, a previous Bresler production, and Cape Fear. Although Leavitt did get along fairly well with Peckinpah, this was the first sign of tension between the director and the producer.
Despite his quarrel with Sam Peckinpah, producer Jerry Bresler fought very hard with Columbia to keep the 136-minute cut (the "Extended Edition" now on DVD) despite its poor reception at its preview, but was rebuffed by the studio.
L.Q. Jones narrates the trailer for the re-release of the extended version.
Many of the actors who came to be known as the "Sam Peckinpah Stock Company" appeared in this film and four years later in Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch: Warren Oates, Ben Johnson, L.Q. Jones, Dub Taylor, Aurora Clavel, Enrique Lucero.
Tyreen's quote, on finding Dundee in Durango, 'Awake for Morning in the bowl of night has cast the stone that puts the stars to flight ...' , is from the 'The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam', translated by Edward Fitzgerald
According to both Paul Seydor's book PECKINPAH: THE WESTERN FILMS, A RECONSIDERATION, and David Weddle's book IF THEY MOVE, KILL 'EM, MAJOR DUNDEE was originally budgeted at $4.5 million and scheduled for seventy-five days of principal photography, which was appropriate for a road-show release. But only two days before Sam Peckinpah, his cast and crew were to star filming in Mexico, a change in the top brass at Columbia occurred, and the new regime cut the budget down by $1.5 million, and the schedule down by fifteen days, making it a standard western release. As could be expected, Peckinpah considered this an act of extreme betrayal.
Continuity: In the final battle, Captain Tremaine is struck by Tyreen and falls from his horse into the river, but in the very next shot he is back in the saddle.
Factual errors: Prior to the final battle, Captain Tyreen is shown inserting cartridges into what should be a muzzle loading pistol.
Factual errors: The type of howitzer used by Lieutenant Graham in the M1841 12 pounder Mountain Howitzer, a small but effective piece used primarily as horse artillery. In the final battle, Graham orders that the piece be elevated to 28 degrees; the highest level that can be reached for this piece is ten degrees.
Factual errors: In the final battle, the French lancers signal their charge with an American bugle call.
Anachronisms: At the end of the battle attempting to cross a river, one of the black soldiers is shown easily carrying the howitzer in his arms. The man would have to be very strong, as the barrel of a 12-lb. Mountain Howitzer would have weighed over 220 pounds.
Continuity: When Ryan and Linda are talking to Tyreen and Dundee in the village, she has a bright red shawl wrapped completely round her, But in the shot as she and Ryan walk away, the shawl has dropped off her shoulders and is held around her upper arms.
Chilpancingo, Guerrero, Mexico
Churubusco Studios, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico (studio) (interiors)
Cuaútla, Morelos, Mexico (exteriors)
El Saltito, Durango, Mexico
Estudios Churubusco Azteca, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico (studio) (interiors)
La Marquesa, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico (ranch: Rostes)
Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico
Nuevo León, Mexico
Rio Balsas, Guerrero, Mexico (finale: battle)
Tehuixtla, Morelos, Mexico (exteriors)
Tequesquitengo, Morelos, Mexico (exteriors)
Tlayacapan, Morelos, Mexico
Vista Mermosa, Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico (exterior)