Sam Peckinpah’s first major studio picture was butchered by Columbia back in 1965, beset by production problems, plus allusions to Vietnam and the perils of foreign interventionism. Kudos to Sony’s Grover Crisp for supervising this extended version of this western, containing 11 more minutes of footage. It stars Charlton Heston as the jailer of a Union prison stockade who launches a search-and-destroy mission in Mexico after an Apache massacre during the last winter of the Civil War. It’s not one of film’s greats, but certainly it’s an intriguing one that is now more psychologically nuanced, thanks to the extra footage and an updated musical score by Christopher Caliendo. It’s lensed by vet Sam Leavitt and edited by Howard Kunin, William Lyon and Don Starling. A wealth of extras, including commentary by Peckinpah experts, provide historical context.
Written by Bill Desowitz