(aka 'Deadly Peacemaker' or 'The Trouble Shooter')

 

Directed by Joseph M. Newman
USA 195
9

 

A lean, fast-paced account of a key period in the life of frontier legend Bat Masterson, The Gunfight at Dodge City (1957) was supposed to be the final film for Joel McCrea who wanted to retire after its completion. It was filmed the same year as Comanche Station which starred Randolph Scott, another Western veteran, who wanted the Budd Boetticher helmed oater to be his farewell movie. Ironically, both McCrea and Scott would be lured back to the screen a few years later to co-star in Sam Peckinpah's ode to the vanishing West - Ride the High Country (1962) - but in the case of McCrea, The Gunfight at Dodge City was a more typical example of the actor's work in this genre. There's no elemental deconstruction, no psychological tinkering, no grand theme. Instead, The Gunfight at Dodge City is a streamlined, absorbing drama that doesn't neglect any of the elements that make Westerns such a quintessential form.

The film takes place in a notorious rough 'n' tumble town which needs somebody like Bat Masterson (Joel McCrea) to bring some semblance of order to the place. Masterson is pressured to take the job of sheriff and reluctantly agrees despite sure signs of trouble from the start. For one thing, he's distracted from the job at hand by two local lovelies, Pauline (Julie Adams) and Lily (Nancy Gates). If that wasn't enough Mr. Bat has to deal with both his old wrong-side-of-the-law gang and a passel of corrupt politicians. Yep, there's a gunfight, too.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Poster

Theatrical Release: September 24th, 1959

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DVD Review: MGM - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution MGM Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
May 12th, 2008 sees multiple Westerns coming to DVD, including:

The Big Trail (Raoul Walsh, 1930) 20th Century Fox, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid [Blu-ray] (George Roy Hill,1969) 20th Century Fox, Day of the Outlaw (André De Toth, 1959) - United Artists, Fistful of Dynamite (Sergio Leone, 1971) - United Artists, Fox Classic Western Collection (Rawhide / The Gunfighter / Garden of Evil) - 20th Century Fox, The Gunfight at Dodge City (Joseph M. Newman, 1959) - United Artists, John Wayne: The Fox Westerns Collection (The Big Trail, North to Alaska, The Comancheros, The Undefeated) - 20th Century Fox, Man of the West (Anthony Mann, 1958) MGM, Man with the Gun (Richard Wilson, 1955) United Artists, Navajo Joe (Sergio Corbucci, 1966) MGM, The Way West (Andrew V. McLaglen, 1967) MGM and The Westerner (William Wyler, 1940) MGM

Runtime 1:20:48 
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.10 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.

Bitrate:

Audio English (mono), DUBs: French and Spanish (mono)
Subtitles English, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: May 13th, 200
8
Keep Case
Chapters: 20

 

Comments:

Like the other pragmatic transfers released on this date from MGM DVD it is single-layered, competent and bare-bones. Colors are a shade washed and detail is a bit hazy at times, but nothing fatal - the final product is anamorphic (impressive 2.35:1 aspect ratio), progressive, and coded for region 1 in the NTSC standard. There are optional subtitles and mono DUBs - but there are no extras keeping the price excessively reasonable.

This was another film I watched when I was centered right into a western genre euphoria. It fit the bill to a 'T' - McCrea is grand as Bat Masterson and although certainly not a biopic - a few of the references have some factual steam behind them. It has some unexpected brutality from the protagonist, further cementing the realism and overall the film was a pleasure to watch. We certainly recommend to western fans - especially at this great price!  

Gary W. Tooze

 



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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution MGM Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
May 12th, 2008 sees multiple Westerns coming to DVD, including:

The Big Trail (Raoul Walsh, 1930) 20th Century Fox, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid [Blu-ray] (George Roy Hill,1969) 20th Century Fox, Day of the Outlaw (André De Toth, 1959) - United Artists, Fistful of Dynamite (Sergio Leone, 1971) - United Artists, Fox Classic Western Collection (Rawhide / The Gunfighter / Garden of Evil) - 20th Century Fox, The Gunfight at Dodge City (Joseph M. Newman, 1959) - United Artists, John Wayne: The Fox Westerns Collection (The Big Trail, North to Alaska, The Comancheros, The Undefeated) - 20th Century Fox, Man of the West (Anthony Mann, 1958) MGM, Man with the Gun (Richard Wilson, 1955) United Artists, Navajo Joe (Sergio Corbucci, 1966) MGM, The Way West (Andrew V. McLaglen, 1967) MGM and The Westerner (William Wyler, 1940) MGM




 

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