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Fox Western Classics  (3-DVD)
 

The Gunfighter (1950)         Rawhide (1951)         Garden of Evil (1954)

 


Titles

 

 


 

The Gunfighter (1950): A simple story with a unique angle - this is the first western to confront the issue of the aging gunslinger - his reputation dogging his attempts at a settled lifestyle. Gregory Peck is Johnny Ringo - reputed to be faster on the draw than Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid and Hikcock - and every cowboy looking to make his mark is foolishly prepared to test his mettle - to see how far he can be pushed. Then are those that mark Ringo as the killer of their son, or brother and they seek revenge. Helen Westcott plays the abandoned wife, a school marm with Johnny's son in tow. He is ready to return to her but circumstance and his blooded history prove his greatest hurdle. You can forget your past... but it won't forget you. This easily ranks as one the most enjoyable westerns I've ever seen. out of

Gary W. Tooze



Rawhide (1951): A competent Western, not improved by a redundant voice-over and a corny score, very similar in plot to the later The Desperate Hours (actually, it's based on a 1935 gangster movie, Show Them No Mercy). Power is a young Easterner, sent by his father to learn the Overland Mail business, who finds himself fighting for survival - along with a woman (Hayward) and her dead sister's little daughter - when four escaped convicts, led by the well-bred but ruthless Marlowe, take over his way station to wait for the stage carrying a shipment of gold. The action follows pretty predictable lines, but Marlowe's three henchmen are nicely characterised and played: Tobias, bovine and stolidly obedient; Jagger, grizzled and amiable, forever muttering crazily into his beard; Elam, leering, lecherously sadistic, gleefully potting off shots at the child (he misses, of course). By contrast, the three leads tend to declaim Dudley Nichols' stiff dialogue as though it were holy writ.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE.


***


Garden of Evil (1954): Stranded in Mexico, three gold diggers are hired by woman in distress to help her wounded husband. They road is long and full of dangers, both from the Indians and themselves. A routine western, very predictable, which seems more like a vehicle for the scope format, than its stars. Widmark is cock-sure as always, Cooper is wise as always, Hayward looks damn good and Bernard Herrmann made a great score.
 

Henrik Sylow

Posters

Theatrical Releases: Various from 1950-54

  DVD Reviews

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

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC
Time: Respectively - 1:24:27 + 1:26:30 + 1:40:03
Bitrate:

The Gunfighter

Bitrate:  

Rawhide

Bitrate:

Garden of Evil

Audio

English (mono and Stereo), Spanish and French mono DUB options on The Gunfighter

English (mono and Stereo) on Rawhide

English (Dolby Digital 4.0), Spanish and French mono DUB options on Garden of Evil

Subtitles English, Spanish, None (French is also an option on Rawhide)
Features

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios - 1:33 on
The Gunfighter and Rawhide

2.44:1 (box incorrectly states 2.55) for Garden of Evil

Edition Details:

On The Gunfighter

Featurette - Arthur Miller: Painting with Light
Featurette - The Western Grows Up
Restoration Comparison
Trailer
Advertising Gallery
Stills Gallery

 

On Rawhide

Featurette - Susan Hayward: Hollywood's Straight Shooter
Featurette - Shoot it in Lone Pine
Restoration Comparison
Trailer

Interactive pressbook
Advertising Gallery
Stills Gallery

 

On Garden of Evil

Commentary by Nick Redman, John Morgan, Steven Smith and William Stromberg
Isolated Score Track
• Featurette: Travels of a Gunslinger - The Making of Garden of Evil

• Featurette: Henry Hathaway: When the Going Gets Tough

Restoration Comparison
Trailer

Interactive pressbook
Advertising Gallery
Stills Gallery


DVD Release Date: May 13th, 2008

3 Slim Keep cases cases inside a cardboard box (see images above and below)
Chapters:
16, 20, 20 (respectively)

 

Comments:

NOTE: Although the 3 main features of this boxset are housed in individual slim keep cases (see images above and below) they are not sold separately at this time and can only be obtained in Fox's Western Classics Collection.

Technical specifications of the discs: Surprisingly two of the discs are single-layered (Garden of Evil is dual-layered)... and region 1 coded in the NTSC standard, progressive and anamorphic (for Garden of Evil) in the cinemascope 2.44:1 ratio (not 2.55 as advertised on the box).

Image: Where applicable we have compared below screen captures with the region 2 - PAL counterparts and in both cases (The Gunfighter - PAL reviewed HERE and Garden of Evil PAL covered HERE) these new Fox editions prove superior on all fronts. Frankly, these transfers look pretty amazingly good considering the discs are single layered (is my software reading these right?) and they contain fairly vast supplements tacked on. There are no glaring flaws - detail and contrast is very good (Rawhide perhaps a notch above The Gunfighter) - all are very clean, colors on Garden of Evil are somewhat muted and dull. They are all very watchable, and I'd say the screen grabs below can give you the best idea of the image quality. I am not disappointed in the least.


Audio - is a bit of a mix-an-match with English (mono and Stereo), Spanish and French mono DUB options on The Gunfighter, English (mono and Stereo) on Rawhide - with no DUB options and an English 4.0 track with Spanish and French mono DUB options on Garden of Evil. I noted no flaws - dropouts or undue hiss - very clean and clear with optional subtitles on all three (see samples below).

Extras - I'm not going to slice and dice these extras too much as I would strongly recommend this boxset, even without their inclusion. Each disc has a restoration split-screen sample (I've never seen too much variation in these and prefer our own method of comparison), trailers, galleries and two shortish featurettes. On The Gunfighter we have Arthur Miller: Painting with Light and The Western Grows Up. On Rawhide a decent one on Hayward - Susan Hayward: Hollywood's Straight Shooter and another on shooting westerns in Lone Pine. On Garden of Evil, the best supplements is an interesting commentary track by Nick Redman, John Morgan, Steven Smith and William Stromberg plus the isolated score (fdor those who care to indulge in Bernard Herrmann's bombastic symphony grinds. The two featurette are Travels of a Gunslinger - The Making of Garden of Evil and a better one on the director - Henry Hathaway: When the Going Gets Tough. To be honest none of the extra features are fabulous but their addition is appreciated and some valuable information is eventually imparted as you wade through them.

Overall impression: What's not to enjoy and is this price for real? It amounts to less than $5 a DVD-film and they look solid - have decent relevant extras and are wonderful westerns - The Gunfighter being one of my all-time favorites. No one can be disappointed at this price point -For genre fans it's a no-brainer. Buy Buy BUY!    

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus


 

Extras:

Featurettes - Painting with Light, The Western Grows UpSusan Hayward: Hollywood's Straight Shooter, Shoot it in Lone Pine, Travels of a Gunslinger - The Making of Garden of Evil and Henry Hathaway: When the Going Gets Tough, plus restoration comparisons, galleries etc.

 

 


 

Individual Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

 

(20th Century Fox - Region 2,4 - PAL TOP vs. Fox - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 
(20th Century Fox - Region 2,4 - PAL TOP vs. Fox - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)
 

 

 


 

Individual Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

 

 


Individual Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

 

 

(Optimum Classics (Western Classics) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Fox - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 

(Optimum Classics (Western Classics) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Fox - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 

(Optimum Classics (Western Classics) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Fox - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


 

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC

 


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