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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Shoot Out at Warlock" or "Ultima notte a Warlock" or "Der Mann mit den goldenen Colts")

 

directed by Edward Dmytryk
USA 1959

 

When the town of Warlock is being terrorised by some wild cowboys, the pillars of the town hire the gunslinger Curt Blaisdell (Henry Fonda), who has made a career of killing troublemakers. Along with his companion, the silver haired Tom Morgan (Anthony Quinn), they now begin to clean up the town, killing everyone who doesn’t obey their rules.

Growing both tired of the terrorizing the town and the new order, one of the cowboys, Johnny Gannon (Richard Widmark), takes on the position as sheriff in the town, but at eighth times less the pay than the gunslingers, and with twice the work, as he not only has to expel the gang, but also the gunslingers.

What makes “Warlock” such a great Western is the complexity of the story. On one side we have a homosexual variation of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday in form of Blaisdell and Morgan. On the other side we have an impotent sheriff and finally we have Lily, who is set to revenge the killing of her fiancée. These “three” characters form several triangles: A triangle of love (Blaisdell, Lily, Gannon), a triangle of jealousy (Blaisdell, Lily, Morgan) and a triangle of power (Blaisdell/Morgan, Gannon, Lily).

Being Dmytryk, and considering the HUAC, the political reading of the film is rather interesting. In many ways Gannon reminds one of Terry Malloy in Kazan’s “On the Waterfront”, as he turns on his friends in order to set the record straight. But more interesting is the triangle between the town, the gunslingers and the sheriff. The men of the town are cowards, who rather pay killers to protect them, than take matters into their own hands, and even when the town gets a sheriff, they rather stick by the professionals. The law is openly castrated in order to live in controlled fear rather than in uncontrolled fear.

One of the early "thinking man's" Westerns, and by some hailed as Dmytryk’s masterpiece, "Warlock" is a monumental Western by all accounts, featuring an incredible use of the scope format, by the cinematography of Joseph MacDonald, who also shot films as “My Darling Clementine” and Dmytryk’s “Broken Lance”, and some great performances by especially Widmark and Fonda. A must see.

Henrik Sylow

Posters

 

Theatrical Release: April 1, 1959

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Comparison:

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Optimum - Region 2 - PAL vs. Sidonis - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Sidonis - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

Distribution

20th Century Fox

Region 1  - NTSC

Optimum Releasing
Region 2 - PAL
Sidonis
Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:01:16 1:56:26 (4% PAL speedup) 2:01:25.152
Video

2.34:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.78 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.34:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.80 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,273,774,810 bytes

Feature: 32,406,411,264 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Fox

 

Bitrate:

 

Optimum

 

Bitrate:

 

Sidonis Blu-ray

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 4.0), English (mono), DUBs: Spanish (mono), French (mono)

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby) 

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2008 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2008 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 1573 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1573 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles English, Spanish, and none None French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.34:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer
• 6 other western trailers

Movie-Tone News reel

DVD Release Date: May 24th, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio: Optimum Classics

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.34:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: February 21, 2005
Keep case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Sidonis

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.34:1

Edition Details:
• Patrick Brion (13:25)

• B. Tavernier (15:30)

Blu-ray Release Date: April 24th, 2012
Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Chapters 12

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Sidonis - Region 'B' Blu-ray - May 2012: Shameful... as Bill informs us - some of these new French Blu-rays (like Pork Chop Hill) - on many players - will NOT remove the French subtitles when the original English audio is chosen. We've seen this in the past from some DVDs out of France. In a word 'silly'. As opposed to making a list of Blu-ray machines that will play the film in its original theatrical state (English language without forced subtitles) - we only confirm that HTPC software may be the most reliable method for viewing. If you know you player is capable of removing subtitles both 'on the fly' and when 'forced' with a specific language option - you will probably be safe. The menu screens do not allow this option - which we can now presume means many players will be ineffectual at desired viewing.

Warlock may looks better than SD-DVD - but its isn't enough of an improvement to get excited about. The image remains muddy and colors continue to bleed. This doesn't look very good - or, hopefully, not as clean and crisp as it can. It's a fab western so lets hope that is resolved one day. Audio goes lossless with the original and the French DUB but the subtitle foible remains. Patrick Brion and Tavernier talking about the film - in French - as the extras.

No - again, I suggest patience - and wait for a superior 1080P transfer without the forced subtitle faux-pas.

 

***

 

ON THE DVDs: We can duplicate some of our comments from "Forty Guns" in this comparison. The Optimum is slightly sharper and has minutely better color balance than the Fox. Both have a small degree of edge enhancement. The image differences are pretty negligible though.  The Fox has well-appointed optional subtitles and the Optimum has none. The Fox has a trailer for the film and six other westerns and a short 'Movie-Tone news reel', where the Optimum has nothing. I don't see any significant cropping issues and as both are so cheap I'm glad I own the Optimum for image and Fox for the trailers + bumped stereo audio if I'm in the mood for that.

 

Gary W Tooze

RE: the Optimum: Except for some occasional edge enhancements (see frame #3), this is a great transfer.

Being a discount release, it lacks subtitles and extras, and of all the releases in this batch of Western Classics, this is one film that really would benefit of an audio commentary.

While it is great that this film finally is available on DVD, those deaf and hard of hearing are left out, and those who seek more information on the film, has to resort to literature. Still, a most welcomed and great DVD.

 - Henrik Sylow


Menus

(20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 
 

 

Sidonis - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Samples

 

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Sidonis - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

NO SUBTITLES ON OPTIMUM DISC


Screen Captures

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Sidonis - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Sidonis - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Sidonis - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Sidonis - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Sidonis - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Sidonis - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


Recommended Reading for Western Genre Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

Check out more in "The Library"


Box Covers

 

Distribution

20th Century Fox

Region 1  - NTSC

Optimum Releasing
Region 2 - PAL
Sidonis
Region 'B' - Blu-ray

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...