Directed by Henry King
The first film on the notorious James brothers that attempted historical authenticity led to dozens more on the subject. It sets out, in a rather sprawling manner, to prove that the outlaws were wronged. (Jesse's granddaughter is given a research credit.) According to this version, they were defenders of a rural Southern Arcadia against Northern capitalism, represented by banks and railways, becoming outlaws only after killing the man trying to force their mother off their land. There is some splendid Technicolor photography, and Power's and Fonda's performances as Jesse and Frank, and Scott as the sheriff, are superb.
Theatrical Release: January 13th, 1939
DVD Review: 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
CLICK to order from:
|Distribution||20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 5.64 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.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUBs: Spanish (Dolby Digital mono)|
|Subtitles||English, Spanish, None|
News: "Hollywood Spotlight"
• 6 page liner notes
Although imperfect I thought the Technicolor looked very impressive for a film from 1939. The progressive image has very strong detail and frankly this DVD has an exceptional appearance. The transfer from Fox is dual-layered and has a few minor speckles. The mono audio seemed clear with no dropouts, hisses or pops - I didn't check the 2.0 channel stereo. There are optional English or Spanish subtitles.
No real extras - 2 MovieTone Newsreels, a trailer and there is a short, but competent, essay by Tom Weaver in the liner notes.
No one could tell me I wouldn't love a classic western with Power, Fonda and Scott. This was great fun with the era's standard obvious plot twists and one-dimensional characters. I love the older films of this genre and nothing about it disappoints on any front - I was especially enamored with the DVD image quality. We obviously recommend to fans of both classic and western films!