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Directed by Jerry Hopper
USA 1953

 

The action in this loose adaptation of a popular 1925 silent tells the galloping (and largely untrue) tale if the formation of the U.S. rapid transcontinental mail system with a focus on the adventures of Buffalo Bill Cody (Charlton Heston) and Wild Bill Hickock (Forrest Tucker).

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Striking outdoor locations highlight Frank Gruber's story, which details the founding of the Pony Express and how it prevented California from becoming an independent republic. Ruthless killers (Henry Brandon, Stuart Randall) trying to incite a rebellion against the United States, employ devious schemes to prevent Buffalo Bill Cody (Charlton Heston) and Wild Bill Hickok (Forrest Tucker) from getting the Pony Express started. Rhonda Fleming and Michael Moore play siblings who are loyal Californians, violently opposed to the Pony Express and statehood. Directed by Jerry Hopper (The Secret of the Incas).

Poster

Television Premiere: June 5th, 1953

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DVD Review: Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:41:39 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.49 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 (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Olive Films

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• None

DVD Release Date: April 24th, 2012
Keep Case
Chapters: 8

 

Comments:

Olive Films has done some adventure films like Escape From Zahrain but this may be their first western diverging from comedies like My Favorite Spy , Where Love Has Gone, Knock on Wood, as well as Noirs Appointment With Danger, William Dieterle's Dark City and Rudolph Mate's Union Station and even science fiction with Crack in the World.

I was in the mood for a Heston flic and this has some historical relevance. It wasn't a bad way to spend 1.5 hours although only fans of the genre would probably revisit.     

Like all Olive Film DVDs to date this is dual-layered and progressive. It is in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The image quality is quite strong although colors can occasionally look wonky. Detail is consistent and there is a smidgeon of grain visible. Overall I was pleased and the impressive cinematography is surprising.

The unremarkable audio seems to have some buoyancy although a simple stereo Dolby track. It's flat but supports the film. There are no subtitles on the region 1 - NTSC DVD.

As this is not a 'champion' example of the western genre - but it has some true positives and may appeal to some in seeking a simple olde-west adventure without any frills. Solid performances and worth at least one spin. Considering no extras - the price may seem a shade high.  

Gary W. Tooze


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CLICK to order from:

Distribution Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC



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