Even the most casual viewer of The Wild Bunch or Straw Dogs has wondered: What exactly had Sam Peckinpah so angry? Mostly it was Major Dundee. The 1965 movie opens with a house imploding in flames; Peckinpah has already begun burning down his studio shelter. It’s a debacle about a debacle, with Charlton Heston playing the monomaniacal military major (read: film director). Heston threatened to stab Peckinpah with a saber; another actor called it “Moby-Dick with horses.” Columbia cut it to ribbons. In retrospect, it feels like self-sabotage—inside this studio movie is every anti-studio movie Peckinpah was ready to make. Laurelhurst.
- Best paired with: BridgePort Hop Czar.
- Also showing: Avatar (Academy, Laurelhurst, Kennedy School), Birdemic (Bagdad).