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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Pursued [Blu-ray]

 

(Raoul Walsh, 1947)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Warner

Video: Olive Films

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:41:35.255

Disc Size: 18,535,760,140 bytes

Feature Size: 18,314,317,824 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.00 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 4th, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 826 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 826 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• Introduction by Martin Scorsese (2:37)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Considered as Hollywood's first "western noir". Pursued written by Niven Busch (Duel in the Sun) co-stars Robert Mitchum (Out of the Past) as Jeb, a man emotionally scarred by his tragic past and inner demons. Judith Anderson (Rebecca) plays Mrs. Callum, a widow who rescues Jeb when he was a child and raises him as her own with her two biological children. Making Jeb's life even more complicated is the fact that he and his adopted sister, Thorley (Teresa Wright, Shadow of a Doubt) fall in love with each other, while his adopted brother, Adam (John Rodney) has come to hate him. Dean Jagger plays Grant, a one-armed stranger who seems bent on tormenting Jeb, Alan Hale plays Jake Dingle, a casino owner who becomes Jeb's business partner and Harry Carey, Jr. plays Prentice, a young man in love with Thorley. Pursued features gorgeous black-and-white cinematography by James Wong Howe (Hud), rousing musical score by Max Steiner (Casablanca) and great direction by legendary director Raoul Walsh (White Heat).

 

 

The Film:

Chased by a posse to a remote cabin, Jeb (Robert Mitchum) is joined by his fearful wife Thorley (Teresa Wright), awaiting the arrival of the men tracking them, as they try to reason out what has gone wrong in their lives. Jeb can't remember anything about his early childhood except for a horrible incident in which the people around him were killed by a mysterious stranger, whose flashing spurs were all the boy saw. He was raised by Ma Callum (Judith Anderson), alongside her two children, Thorley and Adam, as one of her own. But every time Jeb seemed poised to find peace, or even simple stability in his life, lurking nearby was Grant (Dean Jagger), a one-armed stranger who seemed bent on tormenting Jeb -- Jeb doesn't know who he really is, much less who Grant is, but Grant knows enough about him and is good enough at manipulating human nature to make Jeb a target for jealousy and murder. Making Jeb's life even more complicated is the fact that he and his adopted sister Thorley fell in love with each other, while Adam (John Rodney), his adopted brother, has come to hate him. The machinations around Jeb and Thorley come home to roost in multiple shootings and murder, a deadly chase and a long-planned lynching.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

A superb Western film noir, with Mitchum pursued through near-epic landscapes of the mind by the indistinct demons of childhood trauma, and the narrative boldly structured around flashback insights which gradually provide both a key to his identity and the inexorable impetus for a violent catharsis. Walsh's intelligent handling of Oedipal themes here and in White Heat gives the definitive lie to his self-cultured image as merely an adventuresome Hollywood primitive, while the film proves that the late '40s noir sensibility spread way beyond the bounds of the urban crime thriller.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

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

Pursued has a typically, technically, modest Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films. It is single-layered but contrast is strong. Detail rises to some impressive levels notable in the many close-ups. James Wong Howe's cinematography is scintillating with impressive New Mexico vistas and open skies. There is a hint of noise and a few speckles but otherwise the visuals are very pleasing in 1080P. The Blu-ray dishes-up a fine presentation of a wonderful and classic black and white film.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Max Steiner's score can get very lively and sounds solid via the DTS-HD mono track at 826 kbps. There is some depth and the music can overtake the dialogue in a couple of scenes. I played with the volume more than once. There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE.

 

Extras :

Nice to see another addition of a Scorsese introduction - albeit a short one. There is nothing else although the film deserves some discussion beyond Marty's 2-minutes.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The Noir link is there with the flash-back (remembered) narrative - however tenuous for a western - and Pursued is certainly a great film. This may be some of Teresa Wight's best work and Mitchum is at his maximum beefcake. Walsh helming, Steiner score and Wong Howe cinematography combine for some superb atmospheric cinema. The Blu-ray presents the film in fine form and I really enjoyed the presentation. Very strongly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

September 2nd, 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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