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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Run For Cover [Blu-ray]





Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Paramount

Video: Olive Films



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

Runtime: 1:32:46.561

Disc Size: 16,115,955,741 bytes

Feature Size: 16,000,235,520 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.00 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 29th, 2012



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 859 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 859 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)



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Description: James Cagney plays an ex-convict who survives a lynch mob and becomes the town's sheriff in this beautifully shot western directed by the great Nicholas Ray (Johnny Guitar). After serving a six-year prison term for a crime he didn't commit he's once again wrongly accused of robbing a train with a young man (John Derek) he had befriended during his trail. The two men barely survive the trigger-happy posse who would rather shoot first and ask questions later. When word of Cagney's prowess with a gun reaches the local townsfolk, he is offered the job of sheriff. The great cast includes Viveca Lindfors as Swedish farmer's daughter who falls in love with Cagney and Ernest Borgnine as the leader of a dreaded gang of outlaws. This was Cagney's first western since 1939s The Oklahoma Kid.



The Film:

The memorable hard-headed sheriff that Gary Cooper played in "High Noon" appears to have been the model for the one James Cagney portrays in Paramount's "Run for Cover," which came yesterday to the Criterion. Likewise the rolling ballad that was the musical theme of "High Noon" is strongly suggested in a similar ballad that introduces and rambles through this film.

Mr. Cagney's tin-star hero, like Mr. Cooper's, is sorely beset with a passel of Western small-town citizens whose livers are whiter than their hearts. These citizens, after naming him their sheriff, distrust and desert him when he needs their help in rounding up the bad men. So he, too, must go it alone.

And, as for the musical ballad—well, it is one of those things that attempts to appraise heroism and discretion in a few homely words.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

In his first western since 1939's The Oklahoma Kid, James Cagney is a pillar of integrity in the Pine-Thomas production... Run for Cover. Cagney plays Matt Dow, who at the beginning of the film has been released from prison after serving six years for a crime he didn't commit. Heading westward, Matt befriends young Davey Bishop (John Derek), whom he begins to regard as the son (or brother) he never had. When Davey is injured during a train holdup, Matt brings him to the farm of Mr. Swenson (Jean Hersholt) to convalesce. Here Matt falls in love with Swenson's daughter Helga (Viveca Lindfors). When word of Matt's prowess with a gun reaches the local townsfolk, he is offered the job of sheriff. Matt accepts, but on one condition: that the crippled Davey be appointed deputy. Matt's faith in Davey proves to be misplaced when the embittered boy throws in with the dreaded Gentry gang, but an 11th hour regeneration caps this "psychological western." The curiously Freudian relationship between Matt and Davey was par for the course for Nicholas Ray, who directed Run for Cover betwixt and between his more famous endeavors Johnny Guitar and Rebel without a Cause.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

Run For Cover - a forgotten Nicholas Ray film arrives on Blu-ray from Olive films.  The 1.78:1 framed image (marginally bastardized from original 1.85) quality looks like a straight 1080P transfer - ie. without any digital manipulations. This is only single-layered with some earthy fade to the colors but there is no noise and detail signifies it as HD - a full notch above SD. There was no damage but a few frame-specific speckles. Some of the New Mexico and Colorado scenery is impressive via Blu-ray. Overall the visuals weren't of the 'wow' quality but I didn't have any big complaints with my presentation.

















Audio :

Nutt'in but the straight goods with a DTS-HD Master mono track at a puny 859 kbps. It sounds - as it sounds - no power-packed depth but the action sequences carry some weight. The score is by Howard Jackson who composed for this film and for almost 400 titles in his career finding his calling in documentary shorts but did do features like Tobor the Great, Cry Terror! and Sam Fuller's Merrill's Marauders. Run For Cover's theme was reminiscent of other westerns and sounded quite good in lossless. There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE.


Extras :

None offered. It's a pretty simple western - not much to discuss but a trailer would have been, at least, something to add if not some chit-chat on Nick Ray.



This is a stand-up western - Cagney pulls it off - pudgier but just as tough. I wouldn't say there is an abundance of Nicholas Ray here but Run For Cover is still worthy for the genre fans and there are impressive locals and performances. I enjoyed it - it's no masterpiece but a wholesome adventurous western with noble heroes, bad men and injuns. The bare-bones Olive Blu-ray does its job and completist Ray fans may wish to indulge as well as western aficionados. There is competent a/v and bona-fide entertainment here. 

Gary Tooze

May 14th, 2012

Also available on Blu-ray in Germany:


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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