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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

McLintock! [Blu-ray]

 

(Andrew V. McLaglen, 1963)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Batjac Productions

Video: Olive Films

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 2:07:11.624

Disc Size: 24,026,620,414 bytes

Feature Size: 23,926,781,952 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.00 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 26th, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 847 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 847 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• None

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: John Wayne's most popular film of the 60s is a broad, boisterous comedy-western loosely based on William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Wayne in his two-fisted best stars as a George Washington Mclintock, a middle-aged cattle baron (John Wayne) who has his hands full with his estranged wife (Maureen O'Hara) - she walked out on him 2 years ago without a word and has returned to get a divorce in order to move back to the east with their daughter, Becky (Stefanie Powers). Verbal fireworks explode, slapstick pratfalls bloom, and the Wayne-O'Hara "reconciliation" culminates with the biggest mud-hole brawl this side of the Mississippi. Patrick Wayne, Yvonne De Carlo, Chill Wills, Strother Martin and Jerry Van Dyke are among the dazzling supporting cast in this wild, raucous and hilarious western.

 

 

The Film:

It takes a lot to vanquish John Wayne in a two-fisted free-for-all brawl—as several generations of filmgoers have learned by now. Furthermore, when it comes to a sparring partner for Mr. Wayne in a battle of the sexes, no one has ever approached the vigor of titian-haired Maureen O'Hara.

Putting them together once again in "McLintock," the broadly comic Western that arrived yesterday at the Astor and other theaters, sounded like a promising idea. Particularly so, since the scenery is opulent and the action out-of-doors, the color lush and the cast made up almost entirely of recruits from John Ford's long cinematic cycle commemorating the tradition of the American frontier.

The only thing missing to make a rousing Western variation of "The Quiet Man" is Mr. Ford himself. Instead, the direction was entrusted to a relative newcomer, Victor McLaglen's television-trained son, Andrew V. McLaglen. His style, casual and picturesque, shows a likable influence from his actors' erstwhile colleague, but good intentions, when the task at hand is as difficult as lusty farce, are not enough.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

George Washington McLintock (John Wayne) has a saddlebag full of trouble. The owner of the largest ranch in the territory, which also includes a mine and a lumber mill that he built up himself, should be a happy, fulfilled man, but he isn't. His wife, Katherine (Maureen O'Hara), walked out on him two years ago without a word of explanation and has been living back east and running in very fancy circles. He's getting older, a fact of which he's constantly reminded as friends around him decline in health. He's being challenged by their sons, eager to make their mark on the territory, and by the homesteaders who are pouring in with the support of the government, hoping to farm on land that's just barely adequate for cattle to graze on; he's got government officials underfoot, including an inept Indian agent (Strother Martin) and a corrupt land agent (Gordon Jones); the thick-headed, longwinded territorial governor, the honorable Cuthbert H. Humphrey (Robert Lowery), and the government back east are trying to push the Indians -- whose chiefs are some of McLintock's oldest enemies and his best and most honored friends -- by shipping them off to a reservation, where they'll be cared for like old women; and to top it all off, Katherine is coming back to secure a divorce and take custody of their 17-year-old daughter, Rebecca (Stefanie Powers), who's been at school back east and no longer likes anything to do with the West, any more than her mother does. All of that -- plus the presence of a young hired hand (Patrick Wayne) who's interested romantically in McLintock's daughter -- is the setup for a sprawling comedy Western with serious overtones, part battle-of-the-sexes and part political tract.

McLintock! was made mostly to keep John Wayne's production company solvent in the wake of the losses incurred from the production of The Alamo. Wayne needed a film that could be made quickly and have mass appeal, and he got more than he bargained for in James Edward Grant's screenplay, which owed a little to both The Taming of the Shrew and The Quiet Man. Shot in the spring of 1963 and premiered in late November of that year, McLintock! proved to be one of the star's most popular and successful films of the '60s.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

McLintock looks quite good on Blu-ray from Olive Films. This is only single-layered but colors are brighter than SD could relate. There is a thickness to the visuals that adds to appearing film-like. It looks like we have more 'cinemascope mumps' with the image being marginally horizontally stretched. The black levels do are strong and detail benefits. The outdoor sequences, naturally, looked the best and there is some depth notable. The Blu-ray improved the presentation over an SD rendering and any minor flaws had no detrimental effect on my viewing. I see the video transfer as a positive one.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD mono track at 847 kbps sounds flat but clean. Frank De Vol's (The Dirty Dozen, Kiss Me Deadly) score attractively runs beside the film's numerous 'gags'. There is a touch of depth in spots.  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 most of their releases.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
McLintock! is always fun to watch - Maureen O'Hara is great... and The Duke is The Duke (more than enough reason to indulge). I only wish we had more of my favorite, Yvonne De Carlo! The Olive Blu-ray is, as usual, bare-bones but provides an impressive presentation. Recommended!.

Gary Tooze

April 12th, 2013

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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