YMMV / Major Dundee

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Did Dundee really betray Tyreen by voting against him for a promotion as Tyreen claims, or did he really do what he thought was right by not showing favoritism towards his friend?
    • Was Dundee actually justified in sentencing O.W. Hadley to death for desertion, or was he stubbornly clinging to an unfair rule in the middle of an extreme situation?
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Sierra Charriba, after evading Dundee's command for months, is dispatched rather abruptly (by Tim the bugler, no less) late in the movie.
  • Cult Classic: Not one of the more famous films for either Charlton Heston or Sam Peckinpah, or the who's who of character actors who populate the film, but between its director, cast, its legendary troubled production and its reputation as "dress rehearsal" for Peckinpah's more famous The Wild Bunch has made it an object of interest among fans.
  • Ho Yay: A lot of the scenes of Dundee and Tyreen arguing evoke the image of bitter ex-boyfriends, bordering on Foe Yay. Gomez and Potts have moments of drunken bonding suggesting this, too.
  • Narm: Everyone referring to O.W. Hadley as a boy before and after his death becomes incredibly, unintentionally hilarious due to the fact that it's blatantly obvious that actor Warren Oates was clearly in his mid-late 30s and no amount of make up could hide that fact.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: With so many beloved character actors on hand, including but not limited to Ben Johnson, Brock Peters, R.G. Armstrong, Slim Pickens, Warren Oates and Dub Taylor, there is sadly only so much screen time that can go around for them. In the case of Lt. Graham we even get They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot, which is only glimpsed in the scene where Dundee, after returning from surgery and a drunken bender, chastises Graham for not carrying out his orders but Graham shuts him up with "You gave me a command. From then on I gave the orders." Graham says it with an unexpected forcefulness and pride, forcing Dundee to give him a cigar as a sign of respect. With all the scenes that weren't shot we can only wonder what happened with Graham in charge of the command.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Pretty much every article written about the 2005 restoration/re-release connected the film with the Vietnam War. While Sam Peckinpah later became an outspoken opponent of that conflict, the original script had been written in the early '60s while full-scale American intervention was barely underway when Dundee began filming.
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