Twilight Time and Screenarchives.com Present A Limited Edition Blu-ray Release
Major Dundee (1965)
Twilight Time is a boutique brand that produces high quality, limited edition transfers of mainstream and lost Hollywood Classics. They only produce 3000 copies per title and are available exclusively through Screeenarchives.com. I was interested in the company and their releases when they put out 1985s Fright Night in a limited run of which I didn't get a copy (so if you are interested in a release, act quick!). I am happy to report that their transfers are superb and the utmost care has gone into their releases.
Legendary writer-director Sam Peckinpah’s 'Major Dundee' tells the brutal tale of an ill-fated Civil War-era cavalry expedition into Mexico, starring Charlton Heston as an obsessive, ambitious Union officer hot on the heels of a rogue Apache chief and his murderous band. Also starring Richard Harris as Dundee's old friend and Confederate adversary, Senta Berger as a potential love interest, James Coburn as a grizzled, one-armed scout, and members of the Peckinpah stock company, including Warren Oates, Ben Johnson, R.G. Armstrong, and L.Q. Jones. This two-disc set includes the original theatrical release of the film, plus the 2005 extended version.
Run Time: 136 mins, Rated PG-13, Audio Format: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1, Region FREE, Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 15th, 2013. Limited Edition of 3,000 Units.
Never hearing of this one, I was super interested because it was from Director Sam Peckinpah (The Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs), and starring Charlton Heston and Richard Harris didn't hurt either. After watching the longer cut (Twilight Time gives us two discs one with an extended, disc 2 with theatrical) I was left wondering how something that started off so strong dwindle into a long-winded boring wanna-be epic? Simple, really. After a bit of research (AKA googling) I found that Pekenpah was off the film before he finished writing the third act, his vision of a grand David Lean-esque epic was destroyed, edited and finished by others. Too bad really, as it had lots of promise...
The video here is OK, but I don't see too much effort ever going into restoring this one. Colors are a bit pale and generally favor a brownish look, even flesh-tones suffer. There is evidence of DNR and there are some other artifacts that do get in the way. Fine details have a tendency to show in close-ups, but softness does win the majority of the time. The Lossless DTS-HD 5.1 track is a reworking of an original mono mix that does comes up ahead. Dynamic range is wide, fidelity impressive, and effect channels are used with taste, lending the sound to a proper balance of weight in the front sound-stage.
· Isolated Score Track
· Audio Commentary with Film Historians Nick Redman, Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons, and David Weddle
· Exhibitor Promo Reel Excerpt
· Trailer Artwork Outtakes
· Silent Extended Outtakes
· 2005 Re-Release Trailer
· Extended Scene: "Major Dundee and Teresa"
· Incomplete Deleted Scene: "Knife Fight"
· Original Theatrical Trailer.
· Julie Kirgo liner notes
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