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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r
USA 1955


Joel McCrea brings law and order to the range in Stranger on Horseback. McCrea portrays a circuit judge Richard Thorne, who comes to a small western town in the course of making his rounds. There he finds the town and surrounding area under the feudal thumb of an oldline family headed by Josiah Bannerman (John McIntire). Despite wholehearted opposition and obstacles, Thorne fingers Bannerman s spoiled son, Tom (Kevin McCarthy) for murder and smokes out the necessary frightened witnesses and defies the whole clan by seeing that justice is done. In doing so he even wins the grudging respect of the old cattle baron, gains the love of the latter s strong-willed niece, Amy (Miroslava Stern), and awakens the sheriff (Emile Meyer) to a new sense of duty.


Theatrical Release: 23 March 1955 (USA)

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DVD Review: VCI - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:05:44

1.85 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.50 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 Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: VCI

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85

Edition Details:
• Radio Show: Tales of Texas Rangers - Bad Blood 1&2 (29:57)
• Radio Show: Tales of Texas Rangers - Trigger Man 1&2 (29:31)
• Joel McCrea - Audio biography (11:34)
• The Making of SOH - Audio biography (6:08)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:25)

DVD Release Date: September 16th, 2008
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Stranger on Horseback is one of the least known Jacques Tourneur titles, mostly due to its unavailability on home video until now. After their first collaboration in Stars in My Crown, Joel McCrea personally hand-picked Tourneur as a director for this independently produced western. Also starring is beautiful and tragic Miroslava, who also was in Luis Bunuel's The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz before committing suicide at age of 30. With all that in mind, this is very entertaining and short B-picture that will hold viewer's attention and has a couple of surprises up its sleeves.

The film starts with a disclaimer, informing that film's negative was unavailable and VCI used a print stored at British Film Institute. The interlaced transfer is anamorphically enhanced, but there are many issues with the quality of the print. The image is muddy and color palette is inconsistent. Compare two images at the bottom that are just seconds from each other - notice how the long shot is very grainy with poor colors. Still, the film is watchable and English mono soundtrack is fine. To make up for poor print quality, VCI makes up with some very good and informative extras. To start, there are two episodes of a western radio show Tales of Texas Rangers starring Joel McCrea. Next, there are some audio-only biographies of Joel McCrea and a story of the film. To finish, there is a theatrical trailer.

  - Gregory Meshman


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Region 0 - NTSC


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