(aka ' Far West' or 'La charge de la 8ème brigade')
Walsh's last film, saddled with an average script and a colourless lead performance from Donahue, but nevertheless emerging as a majestically simple, sweeping cavalry Western, a little reminiscent of Ford in mood and manner. Brilliantly shot by William Clothier, it tends to have its cake and eat it by indulging in a spectacular massacre before introducing the liberal message, but still goes further than most in according respect to the Indian by letting him speak his own language (with subtitles). The laconic mastery here belies the accusations of decline levelled at Walsh, even if many of his later films were disappointing.
Theatrical Release: May 27th, 1964
DVD Review: Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL
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|Distribution||Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL|
Average Bitrate: 7.68 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
Excellent2.35:1 anamorphic transfer here from Warner Europe - progressive, very sharp and fairly artefact free. Colors look excellent with no apparent digital manipulations. The print used was very healthy with hardly any damage marks. This is transferred to a dual-layered DVD (6.46 Gig) which is almost exclusively for the feature film as there are no digital supplements. There is a slim black border circumventing the frame meaning horizontal resolution is slightly impaired and could have been marginally improved with a tighter transfer, but as it stands it still looks quite spectacular overall and it even received a # 1 vote in our DVD of the Year 2006 ballot. There were some moments of minor moiring. There are optional French subtitles and an optional French DUB to go along with the original mono English track which seemed fairly consistent throughout.
No extras again from Warner Home Vidéo and I'm sickened to see PAL DVDs adopting the forced 'Don't Steal' opening advertisement with that annoyingly loud music (kind of like the hypno-toad from Futurama).
This is a good old-fashioned western and my only problem with it was Donahue who has never been able to carry as film as far as I was concerned (can't think of one anyway). Pleshette is as lovely as ever and despite some weak dialogue it has some riveting and tense moments.If you are a western fan this DVD sure looks as good as any I can recall - great cinematography of the open plains and brilliant Arizona and New Mexico vistas.