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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Budd Boetticher
USA 1969

 

The final western from one of the genre’s greatest directors, Budd Boetticher (Ride Lonesome), and the last screen appearance of war hero-turned-movie star Audie Murphy (To Hell and Back), A Time for Dying is an offbeat, elegiac look at the Old West, prefiguring Don Siegel’s classic western, and John Wayne’s final picture, The Shootist.

Richard Lapp stars as a young man with fine shooting skills who crosses paths with real-life figures, such as Jesse James (played by Murphy) and Judge Roy Bean (Victor Jory), only to discover the true violence of the West.

Beset by post-production and distribution problems, A Time for Dying is overdue the recognition it deserves. This world Blu-ray debut, featuring an all-new restoration and a host of insightful extras, will finally enable the film to find its rightful audience.

***

Cass Bunning, a farm boy with a talent for shooting, meets up with Nellie, a naive woman from the East, who has been lured West by the promise of a waitressing job which turns out to be in a brothel.

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 15th, 1969

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

or buy from Indicator:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:12:50.699        
Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,902,485,248 bytes

Feature: 21,500,495,424 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.01 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Indicator

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,902,485,248 bytes

Feature: 21,500,495,424 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.01 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary with screenwriter and novelist C Courtney Joyner and film historian Henry Parke (2022)
• A Sense of Poetry (2022, 14:00): filmmaker and novelist Christopher Petit discusses his fascination with A Time for Dying and his reasons for selecting it for the Sight & Sound Greatest Films of All Time poll
• The Men Who Shot Jesse James (2022, 20:05): Kim Newman, critic and author of Wild West Movies, explores the many film portrayals of the infamous outlaw
Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with a new essay by Paul Duane, archival interviews with director Budd Boetticher and actor Audie Murphy, and film credits


Blu-ray Release Date:
March 21st, 2022
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 11

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Indicator Blu-ray (February 2022): Indicator have transferred Budd Boetticher's A Time for Dying to Blu-ray. It is cited as being from a "new restoration from a 2K scan of the original negative by Powerhouse Films". There are two presentations of the film: in its original 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio; and 1.37:1 open matte shooting ratio. These have approximately the same disc space and bitrate. Strangely, the open-matte always tends to look a shade sharper. The widescreen only has information lost on the top and bottom (not the side edges) - see comparison example below. Composition seems fine for the 1.85:1 framing. The image is consistent with good grain textures. The bitrate is max'ed out and colors have an appealing vibrancy - reds of the brothel and stagecoach and Anne Randall pink dress - and contrast supports rich black levels.

NOTE: We have added 50 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Indicator use a linear PCM mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. A Time for Dying is a western and, hence, has aggressive scenes (gunfire) that come through with modest depth. There is an interesting score by Harry Betts (Black Mama White Mama), that seems less suitable for a western but adds to the film unusual-ness. Indicator offer optional English subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Indicator Blu-ray offers a new commentary by C. Courtney Joyner (author of The Westerners: Interviews with Actors, Directors, Writers and Producers) and Henry C. Parke (Henry's Western Round-up.) They discuss Boetticher life and career, his obsession with the documentary on his friend, the bullfighter Carlos Arruza, plus plenty on Audie Murphy and his fascinating life. I appreciate the anecdote about who shot the rattlesnake in the first scene - it was, of course Audie - who was also producer of the film. They talk about Playboy magazine's Playmate of the Month, May 1967 Anne Randall and her role of Nellie Winters in the film. These guys know everything there is to know about these studio westerns, the performers, and crew. They are always enlightening to hear from. There is more. A Sense of Poetry has filmmaker and novelist Christopher Petit discusses his fascination with A Time for Dying and his reasons for selecting it for the Sight & Sound Greatest Films of All Time poll. Amazing. It runs shy of 1/4 hour. The Men Who Shot Jesse James is also new and has Kim Newman, critic and author of Wild West Movies: Or How the West Was Found, Won, Lost, Lied About, Filmed and Forgotten, exploring the many film portrayals of the infamous outlaw for about 20-minutes. What film fan doesn't love Kim Newman? The package also has a limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with a new essay by Paul Duane, archival interviews with director Budd Boetticher and actor Audie Murphy, and film credits.

Budd Boetticher's A Time for Dying is an odd duck to be sure. I think the commentary mentions that the director stated that it wasn't supposed to be made. It had a small budget and the odd resemblance of lead Richard Lapp to Audie Murphy, plus a very surprising ending. Minor characterizations for both Judge Roy Bean and Jesse James add to its curious appeal. I'm always keen to see Boetticher's work - even this 1/14 hour effort and I only wish there was more of Audie. Western fans should be keen to this is unexpected genre film. Indicator have done another strong Blu-ray with edifying commentary and probing new supplements. Certainly recommended to the right crowd.

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


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1) Indicator (1.37:1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Indicator (1.85:1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

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Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

or buy from Indicator:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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