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Customer Review

29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware of the copy, (5 stars reduced to 2 by cuts), 3 Dec. 2005
This review is from: Ulzana's Raid [DVD] (DVD)
I saw a rated 15 version of this film with appro. running time of 99 minutes. The Amazon version is 96 minutes and rated 18, and Halliwell's is 103 minutes. More about this shortly.The film concerns the escape from a reservation of an Apache leader (Ulzana) who gathers some men (Apaches) and some horses (captured) and raids the area with the objective of killing MEN in order to get their 'strength'. This is done by horrid torture designed to keep them alive and suffering as long as possible for the longer it takes the stronger were the men and thus greater strength was absorbed. The Fort Commander sends out a green lieutenant whose father was a priest and the white scout is Macintosh (Lancaster). It is a very neat study of guerrilla warfare based on horses. The objective is to catch up with the Apache band without losing the cavalry mounts through excessive chase, the objective of the cavalry is to catch the Apache by initially killing their horses. 'The first to make a mistake will be digging holes.' The killing of horses though not the essence of the film is an important aspect. And the filming of Lancaster chasing a group of horses led by only two Apaches... bringing down the riders' horses first and then killing the riders who charge at him on foot, his own horse having now been brought down, is in my view one of the seminal 'western' scenes of the genre. And they CUT every sequence which showed the horses actually being shot down in the chase. Unbelieveably stupid editing. A man is riding a horse, next shot he is rolling on the grouund. The film was 3 minutes shorter than the Halliwell version... so God knows what else was cut. I suspect it was cut for the British audience (who love animals more than people - the tortured settlers were shown) which indicates the innate stupidity of American (or English)(or DVD) editors. I hate editing and the assumption that someone knows better than I do what is right for me. I think it was Montgomery or it could have been Wellington who said something to the effect that a horse in its stables should be treated as worth a hundred guineas, a horse in the chase should be treated as if it is not worth twelve pennies. So much for our view of horses. The Amazon version is a further 3 minutes shorter, perhaps they cut the smoking scenes. I shall buy one and let you know.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 Jul 2008 11:52:40 BDT
Mh Deitch says:
This masterpiece exists in varied versions in different territories. Yes, Aldrich did his version and Lancaster his, but some versions combine elements of both. There is a very detailed article in the BFI's old Monthly Film Bulletin from the early 80's that comprehensively details this. The BBFC cuts (done by Universal, VERY badly) are extreme and harm the film hugely. The BBC version of the film from the 80's (which they might still be using) is much more sensitively edited. I know. I did it!

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2013 21:44:47 BDT
Wil Andersen says:
So - help me. Which DVD should we be buying? Give me a reference

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Sep 2013 15:17:46 BDT
Ypres says:
But nobody did. Bloody hell . . .
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