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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Denver and Rio Grande [Blu-ray]


(Byron Haskin 1952)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Paramount

Video: Olive Films



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:29:24.400 

Disc Size: 15,556,846,298 bytes

Feature Size: 15,425,992,704 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.00 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 29th, 2012



Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 867 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 867 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)






• None





Description: Between 1951 and 1952, director Byron Haskin (The War of the Worlds) and star Edmond O'Brien (Silver City) collaborated for three westerns. Edmond O'Brien plays Jim Vesser, a former U.S. Cavalry Officer, now in charge of getting the Denver and Rio Grande tracks across the Rockies first to secure a right-of-way. Standing in his way is the less scrupulous and more ruthless McCabe (Sterling Hayden, The Killing) who's trying to lay his Canyon City and San Juan tracks first. The conflict between the two men turns into guerilla warfare between the two outfits. The excellent cast includes Dean Jagger as General William J. Palmer, Vesser's former commanding officer and Lyle Bettger as Johnny Buff, McCabe's slimy chief gunman.



The Film:

Nevertheless, Director Byron Haskin has managed to cram some becoming movement and muscularity into all the routine skulduggery, with excellent, galloping camera work and picturesque settings that might well have frozen the cast in and on their tracks. Such is not the case, by any means, for Mr. O'Brien, Mr. Sterling and their respective confederates bang the rails and each other as though their lives depended on it. The lovely Miss Elliot is equally effective on the sidelines. Mr. Holt has, in fact, gone to a great deal of trouble to duplicate the railroad construction camps of the Eighteen Seventies.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Denver and Rio Grande has a modest Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films. This is only single-layered and is quite thick. Contrast is not a premium levels - and colors are loose. The outdoor scenery is impressive and is the best part of the 1080P presentation. Detail is weak and there is no real depth but there is some grain. The Blu-ray improved the presentation over an SD rendering and, aside from speckles, any minor flaws had no detrimental effect on my viewing. There is not much to extol here.
















Audio :

How about 'authentically bland'- the DTS-HD Master mono track has no remarkable moments but is consistent and, without any form of remix, probably a decent representation of the film. Paul Sawtell did the score - he's done many a western with TV series - Maverick, Lawman and Cheyenne on his resume. Again, it sounds clear with no real depth.  There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with their releases.



Another neat little western...  but not a film you'd think worthy of a 1080P transfer. I'd agree. I can only see this Blu-ray appealing to fans the both the period and genre. Don't get me wrong - I was entertained and I think many others will be too but hardly a premium choice for the new format. 

Gary Tooze

May 14th, 2012

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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