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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Tell Them Willie Boy is Here [Blu-ray]


(Abraham Polonsky, 1969)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Universal Pictures



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

Runtime: 1:37:42.857

Disc Size: 22,840,293,144 bytes

Feature Size: 22,798,872,576 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.94 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 29th, 2012



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit



Japanese, None



• None





Description: Based on true events, Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here, tells the story of one of the last Western manhunts, in 1909. Willie Boy, a Native American, kills his girlfriend's father in self defense, and the two go on the run, pursued by a search posse led by Sheriff Christopher Cooper.



The Film:

Set in California near the beginning of the century, the story, based on fact, concerns a young Indian (Robert Blake) who after a long absence returns to his reservation and in self-defense kills the father of the girl (Katharine Ross) he loves. He flees with her into the mountains. Forced by the doctor (Susan Clark) in charge of the reservation, the local sheriff (Robert Redford) reluctantly organizes a posse to catch Willie Boy, whom he admires, and return the girl. 

Excerpt from NY Times located HERE

After being blacklisted from Hollywood for 21 years, writer/director Abraham Polonsky made a healthy comeback with Tell Them Willie Boy is Here. The title character, played by Robert Blake, is a Paiute Indian living in 1909 California. After several years in the White Man's world, Willie Boy returns to his reservation, hoping to renew his romance with tribeswoman Lola (Katherine Ross). Old Mike (Mike Angel), Lola's father, strongly disapproves of her relationship with Willie Boy and attacks the youth. Acting in self defense, Willie Boy kills Old Mike. Under tribal rules, Willie Boy is now permitted to claim Lola as his woman. But white lawman Christopher Cooper (Robert Redford) is forced to charge Willie Boy with murder. The Indian and his girl escape the reservation, pursued by the essentially decent Cooper and a less-than-decent crowd of white vigilantes. What begins as comparative minor incident, snowballs into a huge political crisis, with the bewildered but defiant Willie Boy as the catalyst. Tell Them Willie Boy is Here is distinguished by the fine performances of leading players Redford, Blake, Ross and Susan Clark, and by the haunting cinematography of Conrad Hall.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

Decent, straight forward single-layered Blu-ray transfer Japan (Region 'A' - plays in US and Canada). It has a reasonably high bitrate but can have a tendency to lean to looking glossy with some marginal edge enhancement. Generally it gives a nice presentation. The black levels may have been boosted but it is not at the moiring stage. The outdoor sequences dominate the film, detail shows strength and the earthy colors appear to be a close approximation of how Tell Them Willie Boy is Here looked more than 40-years ago. The Blu-ray improved the presentation over an SD rendering but I don't discount some digital tinkering for those who are ultra-sensitive. Still I thought it looked better than I was anticipating.


NOTE: The opening credits are heavily windowboxed for some unusual reason (also true of the Universal MOD DVD - thanks Miles).
















Audio :

The linear PCM track - a 2.0 channel effort at 1536 kbps is probably a strong representation of the film. There are gunshots and effects but none make a significant impact on the Home Theater environment. Dave Grusin does an interesting western motif score that sounds excellent in the lossless rendering.  There are optional Japanese subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

No supplements at all.



There is a lot of like about Tell Them Willie Boy is Here. It has a unique and memorable style with a solid cast. The relationships and human interaction are keys to its impressiveness and off-kilter appeal to the genre. The Japanese Blu-ray has benefits - providing a fairly strong 1080P presentation. 

Gary Tooze

June 7th, 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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