Total Pageviews

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Trivia


John Davis Chandler (Jimmy Lee Benteen) had complained to Warren Oates that his character was to be killed off. Chandler thought he should survive and Oates lobbied Peckinpah on his behalf and the director agreed. On a weekly salary of $600 Chandler was only too pleased to have brought up the subject. It meant extra work. It lent credibility too since not all the unsavory characters neatly get killed off.
...................................................................................................
 Slim Pickens and R.G. Armstrong met the grandson of Pancho Villa during the filming in Durango.
.....................................................................................................
There were more stuntmen employed on this movie than in any other previous Hollywood production.
.......................................................................................................
Richard Harris's salary was equal to that of Charlton Heston's, which was $300,000. Harris had bluffed Columbia studios into paying him this amount since he really did not care to do the movie in the first place and thought they would probably not agree to his fee.
..........................................................................................................
When Peckinpah was first asked whom he might suggest to play the Major his first choice was Brian Keith. Keith balked at the idea of spending long months in Mexico with Peckinpah.
..........................................................................................................
Charriba's ambush in the river took 6 days to film. On screen it lasted 90 seconds.
..........................................................................................................
The film borrows themes from non-Western movies such as Lawrence Of Arabia and The Guns Of Navarone. In both films an execution is called for. In Lawrence it was to keep two factions from destroying each other. In Navarone it was to rid the group of a traitor.
The idea of 'galvanized Yankees' a joint force of Union and Confederates with a mission to destroy an even greater threat appears in  Robert Wise' Two Flags West.
John Ford's movie Fort Apache was also a source for Major Dundee as was Howard Hawks' Red River. " I don't want to look up at him" was a line uttered by Tom Dunstan (Wayne) and echoed by Dundee when  O W Hadley is caught after deserting.
Robert Aldrich's Vera Cruz also had some influences - the exterior shot of the cafe where the Countess meets the sea captain is almost identical to the cafe where Dundee's wound is being treated.


R.G. Armstrong was to point out to Peckinpah that Major Dundee was "Moby Dick on horseback!" (sometimes quoted as Moby Dick in the desert.) Interesting to note here that both films share the same initials - MD.
...........................................................................................................
There were no Civil War prisons in New Mexico
..........................................................................................................
The first draft of the script ran to some 136 pages and only covered one third of the film. Usually 1 page of script covers one minute of screen time.
.........................................................................................................
After the ambush in the river Dundee is shoveling dirt onto the graves and glances upwards to see vultures circling overhead. For this shot they actually shot a burro and staked it out. No presence of The AHA here!
............................................................................................................
Note the slow moving truck in the scene where Dundee and Teresa talk under the arches.

Also visit this blog -
http://letsnottalkaboutmovies.blogspot.com/2009/06/major-dundee.html  the author points out that "A broken arch does not connect (and thus dooms any romance) between Major Dundee and Teresa Santiago." Well spotted, that man!!


No comments:

Post a Comment