USA 1940


  Fox's follow-up to Jesse James was Lang's first Western and his first film in colour; if it's more conventional than the later Rancho Notorious, it nevertheless displays the director's interest in the psychology (and indeed the pitfalls) of revenge. At the start of the film, Frank (Fonda) is happy to let the law pronounce sentence on the Ford brothers, who killed Jesse; but when they are pardoned, he begins a deadly hunt that alienates him from society, imperils not only his own life but those of his friends, and threatens to destroy his long-held ideas of justice. For all its fine photography and sturdy performances, the film is finally little more than efficient and routine, with Lang rarely probing beyond the ironic if superficial twists of the narrative. Though it bears some slight thematic resemblance to the earlier Fury and You Only Live Once, he's clearly not as comfortable with dusty townships and baked landscapes as with the noir-like ambience of his contemporary crime movies.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE


Theatrical Release: August 10th, 1940

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DVD Review: 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:32:36 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.2 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: French (Dolby Digital mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital mono)
Subtitles English, Spanish, None

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Fox Flix trailers

• 6 page liner notes

DVD Release Date: March 6th, 2007

Keep Case inside a cardboard box
Chapters: 20




NOTE: I had some hesitation issue with the playback of this DVD. I will attempt to verify on other machines although it may be just mine. If you also experience these please inform us here.

Colors tend to look a shade 'irrational' at times but I have no idea how this film looked theatrically over 65 years ago. Regardless, the transfer from Fox is single-layered but holds up quite well with only minor speckles showing through in the damage department. Progressive in the original 1.33 ratio - the image has acceptable detail. It does shows some artifacts but basically is quite strong all things considered. 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 Fox Flix trailers and there is a short, but competent, essay by Tom Weaver in the liner notes.

It would seem impossible for me not to embrace this film - a western from Fritz Lang with Henry Fond and Gene Tierney... cone on! I love the older films of this genre and nothing about it disappoints on any front. Bottom line is that the price is right giving this high value - I considered it a must-purchase DVD so we obviously recommend! 

Gary W. Tooze



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Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC


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