Directed by John Farrow
USA 1953

 

  There may be a strong case that this film's stylistic rigor ventures far enough into Film Noir territory that it deserves to be recognized with that desirous moniker. Even Diana Lynn might be considered a poor-woman's Gloria Grahame. The plotline is expressed through infrequently narrated flashback by Glenn Ford's character Al Colby who is held by Mexican authorities hoping to determine his 'full story'. The atmosphere is thick and even after nearly an hour of shadowy adventure we are still unsure if our protagonist is a typical Noirish anti-hero or the stand-up Hollywood norm. The 'Plunder' which, in this case, refers to a large cache of gold and jade from an ancient Zapotecan temple, lies with 3 pieces of parchment that detail its location - if it can only be translated. The characters are all greed-driven and one dimensional - a stranded American insurance adjuster; a zealous collector; a scheming archaeologist, one, or possibly two, true femme fatales. Unfortunately, the well directed story seems to race to the finish leaving much to be taken for granted. Still, an excellent build to a weak climax with Ford as good as he ever is and the supporting cast play their roles to a 'T' in the exotic locales sought out by the independent production team of John Wayne and Robert Fellows. I enjoyed it very much.

Gary W. Tooze

Poster

Theatrical Release: August 26th, 1953

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DVD Review: Paramount (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

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Part of the The Batjac Suspense Collection which includes Ring of Fear / Track of the Cat / Plunder of the Sun and Man in the Vault.

               

Distribution Paramount Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:22:09 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.4 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate:

Audio English (Mono)
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Paramount Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by: Peter Ford and Frank Thompson
• The John Wayne Stock Company: Sean McClory
• On Location with Glenn Ford
• Batjac Trailer
• Original Theatrical Trailer
• Photo Gallery
• Plundering History
-Introduction
-The Oaxaca Valley
-The Codex
-The Ball Court
-The Great City of Monte Alban
-The Hall of Columns at Mitla

DVD Release Date: June 6th, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 8

 

 

Comments:

Everything is kind of 'status-quo' with this Paramount Collector's Edition DVD - an acceptable but unremarkable image - solid, consistent audio and it is stacked with relevant extras (and a commentary which I will report on soon). There is no extensive damage and faux-grain is not a big issue - in fact, detail is quite tight if contrast is comparatively weak. I think The Batjac Suspense Collection is a no-brainer buy with great value for what we are getting. I'll report on the other two soon (See Track of the Cat HERE)

Gary W. Tooze

 





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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Part of the The Batjac Suspense Collection which includes Ring of Fear / Track of the Cat / Plunder of the Sun and Man in the Vault.

               

Distribution Paramount Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC



 

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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

Thank You!