Moviedrome Mondays: Major Dundee (1965) and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

This week’s Moviedrome Monday entry consists of two films by late great legendary director Bloody Sam (a.k.a. Sam Peckinpah). If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Sam Peckinpah films (read here).

Major Dundee (1965)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to Peckinpah’s 1965 cavalry western Major Dundee. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was September 4, 1994 (read here). Though I still love the film, I do agree with Cox that Columbia Pictures (the distributor) meddling of Major Dundee is too hard to shake off. Major Dundee originally ran 278 minutes long (though this has been highly debated), before being cut down to a reported 156, 136 and finally, 123 (read here). That last one served as the theatrical cut. In 2005, the restored 136-minute cut became available here in the US on DVD (read here). Whether it is the theatrical or restored cut, I do agree with Cox’s eloquent assertion that even an incomplete Major Dundee being better than no Major Dundee at all.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Major Dundee

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Also, here is a youtube video link to film distributor Michael Schlesinger’s Trailers from Hell commentary for it

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

Once again, I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to Peckinpah’s vastly underrated 1974 Neo-Western gem Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was September 5, 1994 (read here). I am so glad that Cox reversed his opinion on Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia because like him, I too regard it as Peckinpah’s second greatest film after his 1969 magnum opus The Wild Bunch. Cox’s commentary is (as usual) articulate and insightful. Like him, I also think that Peckinpah may have seen Bennie (Warren Oates character) as a metaphor for himself.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Also, here is a youtube video link to screenwriter Josh Olson’s Trailers from Hell commentary for it

Moviedrome Mondays: Naked Tango (1990) and Apartment Zero (1988)

This week’s Moviedrome Monday entry consists of two films set in Buenos Airs.

Naked Tango (1990)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to late director/writer Leonard Schrader’s (brother of the legendary Paul) 1990 erotic drama Naked Tango. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 28, 1994 (read here). I actually have not seen this film, so I unfortunately can’t comment on it. It does look interesting though 🙂

Here is a youtube video link to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s intro to Naked Tango

Here is a youtube video link to what may be either the film’s original theatrical trailer or a TV spot

Apartment Zero (1988)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Martin Donovan’s 1988 political thriller Apartment Zero. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 29, 1994 (read here). As eloquent as his intro is, I have to respectfully disagree with Cox on Apartment Zero. Concerning it’s content, I was fascinated by it’s blending of it’s cinematic themes (our lead character owns a revival house) with that of it’s political drama (his opposite may be an assassin). I was even more intrigued by the central relationship between these two characters – a Brit (Colin Firth) and an American (Hart Bochner) in Buenos Aires.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Apartment Zero

Here is a youtube video link to what may be the film’s original theatrical trailer

Moviedrome Mondays: Excalibur (1981) and Nothing Lasts Forever (1984)

This week’s Moviedrome Monday is yet another double-bill of two very different films.

Excalibur (1981)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director John Boorman’s 1981 medieval fantasy Excalibur. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 21, 1994 (read here). Not much to add here except my two cents – as brief as my thoughts are. A majority of Excalibur is undeniably flawed, but at the same time, it does have great actors and Alex Thomson’s cinematography makes it atmospheric.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Excalibur

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Nothing Lasts Forever (1984)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to former SNL (Saturday Night Live) writer Tom Schiller’s 1984 directorial feature debut Nothing Lasts Forever. Readers can also read Cox’s intro here. The episode’s original airdate was August 22, 1994 (read here). Can’t really add much here since I have not seen the film – it has reportedly never got an American theatrical or home video release. I read that it has been uploaded on youtube a few times and then taken down.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Nothing Lasts Forever

Here is a youtube video link to what may be the film’s original theatrical trailer

Moviedrome Mondays: To Sleep with Anger (1990) and Contempt (1963)

This week’s Moviedrome Monday entry consists of an American film by an African-American director and a foreign film courtesy of a French filmmaker.

To Sleep with Anger (1990)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to underrated African-American director Charles Burnett’s 1990 comedy-drama To Sleep with Anger. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 14, 1994 (read here). While I have a considerable number of favorite Cox’s intros, this one for To Sleep with Anger tops them all as my number one favorite. Love his insights as always. As for myself, To Sleep with Anger is gracefully acted, directed, photographed and written. Not unlike the rest of Charles Burnett’s work, what makes To Sleep with Anger so unique (as other devotees of this film have implied) lies less in their plots and more in how they are presented. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Charles Burnett films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to To Sleep with Anger

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Here is a youtube video link to cinematographer/director/writer Ernest Dickerson’s Trailers from Hell commentary for the film

Contempt (1963)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to master French New Wave veteran filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard’s 1963 foreign classic Contempt. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 15, 1994 (read here). Not much to add here except to say that Cox offers another eloquent introduction. Cox’s analysis on GATT (General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade) was particularly insightful. As for Contempt itself, it undoubtedly ranks as one of my many favorite Jean-Luc Godard films. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Jean-Luc Godard films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Contempt

Here is a youtube video link to what may be the film’s original theatrical trailer

Here is a youtube video link to British film critic Mark Kermode’s commentary on Contempt as his BFI Player choice of the week