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directed by Robert Aldrich
USA 1971

 

Three punks steal a diamond necklace from young heiress Barbara Blandish (Kim Darby) but foolishly kidnap her after shooting her boyfriend dead. A band of rural bandits run by the tyrannical Gladys 'Ma' Grissom (Irene Dailey) kill the punks and ransom Barbara as their own prize. Slick hood Eddie Hagan (Tony Musante) isn't perturbed by Ma's decision to kill Barbara after the ransom is paid, but her dim-witted son Slim (Scott Wilson) becomes pathologically attached to his prisoner, cleaning himself up to be worthy of her. Meanwhile, Barbara's father John Blandish (Wesley Addy) hires detective Dave Fenner (Robert Lansing), who gets a lead on the Grissoms through nightclub singer Anna Borg (Connie Stevens). The only problem is that after he finds out that Barbara has been sleeping with a degenerate hoodlum, Dad might not want his daughter back.

Robert Aldrich's Bonnie & Clyde-style rural gangster epic tells the story of the Ma Barker gang from a different angle and comes up as one of his less exciting movies. The performances are all good but the film lacks a sense of humor or other hook to keep us interested for its unusually long running time. Kim Darby and Scott Wilson's star-crossed 'romance' is doomed from the outset, so there's little fun to be had on the way. And Aldrich's hard-slugging style often overpowers the material.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 28 May 1971 (New York City, NY and Hollywood, CA)

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DVD Review: MGM - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Distribution

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 2:07:44
Video

1.75:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.5 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 Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
Subtitles English, Spanish, French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.75:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: November 2nd, 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 20

 

Comments

Adapted from the same source as British-made No Orchids for Miss Blandish, but staying closer to the once controversial book by James Hadley Chase, The Grissom Gang was directed in 1971 by a classic noir and neo-noir director Robert Aldrich (Kiss Me Deadly, Hustle). Currently owned by ABC Pictures, the film got first very disappointing release on DVD in 2000 by Anchor Bay in both non-anamorphic widescreen and pan-and-scan editions on one disc, but 4 years MGM licensed ABC Pictures library and released this disc in enhanced widescreen edition.

 

The framing seems right on this disc - there are slight black bars on the left and right sides. There is very little damage on the print and overall quality is very good. The colors are bight and you can see every drop of sweat on people's faces (and there is a lot of sweat!) I noticed one sequence when the image flickers, but it seemed to be issue with a print and not the transfer. Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono soundtrack is very good and betters previous Anchor Bay release as well. The choice of subtitles is English, French and Spanish and there are no other extras available. The disc is currently available new for only $3.98 at Amazon and comes highly recommended.

  - Gregory Meshman

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC

 

 




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