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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Hangman [Blu-ray]


(Michael Curtiz, 1959)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Paramount Pictures

Video: Olive Films / White Pearl Classics (Germany)



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

Runtime: 1:26:59.214  / 1:26:21.426

Disc Size: 17,247,796,262 bytes / 19,529,828,803 bytes

Feature Size: 17,124,538,368 bytes / 19,457,789,952 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.00 Mbps / 24.91

Chapters: 9 / 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 26th, 2012 / January 27th, 2017


Video (both):

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 905 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 905 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)


DTS-HD Master Audio English 1678 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1678 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit / DN -2dB)

DUB: DTS-HD Master Audio German 1618 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1618 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit / DN -2dB)


Subtitles (both):



Extras (both):

• None




1) Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) White Pearl Classics - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



Description: A Federal Marshall (Robert Taylor) nicknamed "The Hangman" traces a robbery suspect (Jack Lord) to a small town, but the convict has turned his life around, he's now married and he and his wife are expecting a child. Not only is he supported by his friends and neighbors, but also by the town's sheriff (Fess Parker). The Marshall offers the convict's ex-lover (Tina Louise) a new lease on life; all she has to do is to finger the man she still loves and walk away with the reward. For the first time in his career, the lawman is faced with a serious challenge to his method of justice as the citizens band together to stop their friend's capture. Directed by Michael Curtiz, the legendary director of Casablanca and Mildred Pierce.



The Film:

After a deputy U.S. Marshal is killed tracking the four outlaws who robbed a Wells Fargo stage, Marshal Mackenzie Bovard, known as "The Hangman" for his relentless tenacity in the line of duty, manages to capture three of the gang. Two hang, and the third, Zimmerman, awaits his death sentence. Mac is desperate to catch the fourth outlaw, John Butterfield, before Zimmerman's execution, so that Zimmerman, the only remaining eye witness, can identify his accomplice. Because Mac does not know what Butterfield looks like, he travels to Butterfield's old cavalry station, Fort Kenton, hoping that someone there can identify him. There, the colonel refuses to allow Mac to take one of his men to the town where Butterfield is rumored to be living, but the colonel's aide tips off Mac that Butterfield's ex-girl friend, Selah Jennison, might help him.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

The Hangman is a stock western, about a rigid, U.S. Marshal. Mackenzie Bovard (Robert Taylor) takes his job working for the federal government very seriously, and when he goes out to get the riff-raff that defy the laws of the land, he finds them and hangs them. This one-two punch does not sit well with a local community when he comes into their midst to pick up Johnny Bishop (Jack Lord). Johnny has turned himself around and is not only supported by his friends and neighbors, but also by the sheriff (Fess Parker). For the first time in his career, Mackenzie is faced with a serious challenge to his method of justice.

Excerpt from located HERE


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

The Hangman on Blu-ray from Olive Films shows early patches of inconsistency but generally looks pretty solid through the body of the presentation. Contrast has some impressive sequences and also a few muddier, flickering, ones. This is only single-layered and shows some speckles and noticeable scratches but is certainly watchable. The frame has been altered to 1.78 from 1.85:1. It is easily superior to SD but doesn't shine as a premium example of 1080P from this era. This Blu-ray does a decent job without any restoration and there is no digital manipulation. It seems an accurate representation of the source that dual-layering may have marginally bumped up.


Looking at the bitrate graphs - you might consider that is probably duplicate image. But the White Pearl Classics, out of Germany, is from a different source and has inconsistencies (look at the capture of deviant Tina Louise below) and more speckles, light damage - occasionally looking thin. It's not fatally poor, and, like the Olive, does settle down. For the most part, it shows pleasing grain texture. It is also, single-layered, in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio.         




1) Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) White Pearl Classics - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



1) Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) White Pearl Classics - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



1) Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) White Pearl Classics - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM












Audio :

No boost going on here - its an authentic mono track pushing through the center channel via a DTS-HD Master at a modest 905 kbps. It sounds unremarkable - predictably flat and the film is passive for a western. The few instances requiring depth had it in puny, but I presume accurate, proportions. There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Similar, lossless, 16-bit English audio in the form of a DTS-HD Master track - but they add an optional German DUB. We have the pleasing score by Harry Sukman (Forty Guns, Verboten!, The Crimson Kimono, Underworld U.S.A., Someone's Watching Me!) There are also no subtitles and the German Blu-ray disc is region 'B'-locked.


Extras :

None - typical of Olive. Same with the White Pearl Classics - which also has only two menus screens.

Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray



White Pearl Classics - Region 'B' - Blu-ray



Taylor is looking his age a bit and Tina Louise (Yes, Gilligan's Ginger) struts her stuff quite frequently. Jack Lord and Fess Parker give impressive one-dimensional support. It's a kind of mystery-western with little-to-no violence. Curtiz wasn't especially challenged by the material but did a good job creating an intriguing story. Western genre fans may be the ideal candidates to purchase The Hangman on Blu-ray. I was entertained and it may be a film to revisit one day.


I like The Hangman more every time I see it. For fans of the genre, this is definitely worth watching and owning on Blu-ray. Both packages are bare-bones, so we endorse only if you can get it at a reasonable price.  

Gary Tooze

June 5th, 2012

April 26th, 2017



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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