Michael Schlesinger on

Major Dundee

Released 1965
Distributor Columbia Pictures

Cut from its over-4-hour length to 136 minutes, Sam Peckinpah’s beleaguered civil war epic was released in 1965 already showing the results of his own civil war with the studio – who then cut another 13 minutes after the film’s disastrous premiere. Over the years that footage and more as been reinstated burnishing the movie’s reputation and its place in Peckinpah’s canon. Other than Charlton Heston, it’s old-home week for the cantankerous director with a cast that includes James Coburn, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson and Slim Pickens.

About Michael Schlesinger

Michael Schlesinger is widely acknowledged as the dean of classic film distributors, having worked for more than 25 years at MGM, Paramount and Sony, keeping hundreds of vintage movies in theatrical release (and later DVD), and instigating the restoration of many more, including the completion of Orson Welles' 1942 documentary It's All True some 50 years later. Behind the camera, he wrote and produced the American version of Godzilla 2000, co-produced such Larry Blamire parodies as The Lost Skeleton Returns Again and Dark and Stormy Night, and has written, produced and directed several short films featuring the faux-1930s comedy team of Biffle and Shooster. No power on Earth will ever convince him that It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World is not the Greatest. Movie. Ever.