Eagle Pennell died a "hopeless
drunk," according to a memorial article in the Austin Chronicle by his friend
Louis Black. His other friends would have sadly agreed with that. He was 49 at
his death, in 2002. Twenty-three years earlier, in 1979, he wrote and directed a
film named "The Whole Shootin' Match" that you may never have heard of, but
which had a decisive influence on American independent film.
Theatrical Release: March 19th, 1978
DVD Review: Watchmaker Films (3-disc) - Region 1, 2, 4 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
CLICK to order from:
|Distribution||Watchmaker Films - Region 1, 2, 4 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 7.76 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 2.0) - Restored and Original 16mm elements|
|Subtitles||English, Spanish, None|
- In Front of the Camera
• Short - "A Hell of a Note"
• Audio CD - The Long Road
Cited from the Watchmaker website HERE:
of American independent film from 1978, The Whole Shootin' Match is a
rapturous rediscovery. Eagle Pennell's first feature details the tragi-comic
struggles of two small-time schemers, Loyd (Lou Perryman) and Frank
(Sonny Carl Davis), desperate to land their big break. Through its
anecdotal narrative and fresh, honest observation of its characters, the
film intimately captures a time and place (Austin, Texas, 1977) with its
atmospheric photography and rough-hewn charm, making it an inspiration
for filmmakers everywhere since its release. No wonder this is the film
that prompted Robert Redford to start the Sundance Institute. Missing in
action for close to 25 years, Watchmaker Films' is proud to present a
complete restoration from the only known existing print of 'The Whole
Shootin' Match' and a completely remastered soundtrack from the original
I'm impressed with Watchmaker Films as every facet of this DVD production seems in place. It is progressive, dual-layered and has obviously been restored. You can't escape the 16mm roughness but, in my opinion, it only adds to the charm of the presentation. I don't know if the below screen captures do justice to the film but the contrast is excellent and I'll wager most will be impressed with it in motion. It is fairly clean and in the original aspect ratio of 1.33:1. There is plenty of grain and some noise. It looks magnificent to me.
Audio gives the option of original 16mm elements or a cleaner restored track. the restored track seemed consistent enough to enjoy The Whole Shootin' Match. English or Spanish subtitles are offered as options.
Supplements include two commentaries on the feature disc. The first for the actors 'in front of the camera' - Davis, Perryman and Hardgrave - recorded in 2006 - and the second includes those 'behind the camera' including Doug Holloway and Lou Perryman. There is a second Special Features disc with A Hell of a Note, a 1977 30-minute short offered with an optional commentary by Sonny Carl Davis and Lou Perryman. There is also a full-length documentary on Eagle Pennell entitled; The King of Texas. Associates reflect on this colorful man from work colleagues to close friends and family. There is also a 20-minute interview with Pennell from 1981. It is all very substantial and worth indulging in. There is a 3rd disc - an audio CD with The Long Road and music from the film and a 46-page booklet with essays and interviews.
This is a fabulous package highlighting a memorable 'Indie' film and fascinating filmmakers career.