Major Dundee, Sam Peckinpah’s ill-fated Western starring Charlton Heston and Richard Harris, opened in New York City on April 7, 1965—or at least some version of it did. Taken out of the director’s hands and cut by almost a third (an “extended version” DVD release restores some of the lost material), the movie was a textbook example of the “troubled production.” Unsupported by an ambivalent studio that got cold feet just before production, Peckinpah—as he would do repeatedly in the future—led his large cast and crew deep into Mexico on the wings of an unfinished script and with m
MidCenturyCinema is dedicated to the analysis and appreciation of the movies, in particular the films and filmmakers of the middle of the twentieth century (1941-1979), with an emphasis on America, France and Britain, and a special interest in the “New Hollywood” films produced between 1967 and 1976. But the range of interests implied by both “the seventies film” and “mid-century” more generally is quite broad. Forefathers and descendants, inspirations and legacies, and arguments and controversies stretch freely across the decades and the continents.
This site features two active platforms. One is for news and commentary, the other, “50 years ago this week,” revisits and engages the milestones and turning points of the New Hollywood as they occurred a half century ago. MidCenturyCinema also features access to my writings on film, and a set of links that should be of interest to those who share the passions reflected on these pages.