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The Americano [Blu-ray]
(William Castle, 1955)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Robert Stillman Productions
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 18,850,483,626 bytes
Feature Size: 18,774,939,648 bytes
Video Bitrate: 27.00 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: September 24th, 2013
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 820 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 820 kbps / 16-bit (DTS
Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Description: Glenn Ford (3:10 to Yuma) stars in this modern day "south-western" as Sam Dent, a rancher who travels to South America to deliver a cargo of valuable Brahma bulls to a Brazilian rancher only to find the buyer has been murdered. Cesar Romero (Coney Island) co-stars as a dashing and jovial bandito, "El Gato" who becomes Sam's guide and friend. Also co-starring Frank Lovejoy (Retreat, Hell!) as an unscrupulous and homicidal land grabber, Bento Hermany who offers Sam a job as his Ramrod with strings attached. And just when we thought things couldn't get more complicated; Sam finds himself caught between the loves of Teresa (Abbe Lane) and Marianna (Ursula Thiess). Those are merely the human obstacles; there are also piranhas, deadly snakes and other jungle predators to contend with. Luxurious cinematography shot on location and in Technicolor by William E. Snyder (The Loves of Carmen) and featuring the music of legendary bandleader Xavier Cugat. The Americano was one the few larger-budgeted directorial efforts by exploitation king William Castle (The Tingler).
The Americano is Glenn Ford, a north-of-the-border cowboy working in Brazil. Ford has been assigned to deliver a cargo of Brahma bulls to a South American ranch. His progress is impeded by homicidal land-grabber Frank Lovejoy and jovial bandido Cesar Romero. Those are merely the human obstacles; there are also piranhas and jungle predators to contend with. Ford also finds tie to romance Ursula Theiss and Abbe Lane. Luxuriously location-photographed in Technicolor, The Americano was one of the larger-budgeted directorial efforts of exploitation king William Castle.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
The noted naturalists who have been exploring and extolling exotic
Brazil are all wrong. For in "The Americano," which arrived at
the Mayfair yesterday, we have Technicolored proof that cattle ranchers
and homesteaders in the Matto Grosso area are involved in the same
standard situations that apply in Texas. As a matter of fact, if it
weren't for the lush setting and accents, an occasional glimpse of the
deadly piranha fish devouring a luckless reptile and Cesar Romero in the
guise of a gaucho, the scene easily could accommodate a sheriff from one
of the tougher Pecos counties, rustlers and marauding Indians wildly
charging down from the hills.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Americano comes to Blu-ray from Olive Films. There are quite a few very soft, inconsistencies, in the source and I have no idea whether the original film had this as well as some sort of production limitation. This is aside from the stock footage (gator) which is clearly unique. This is, predictably, single-layered in 1.78;1 and colors are slightly faded but contrast supports pleasing detail in close-ups of Ford. The grain is fairly healthy giving some impressive texture to the visuals. Outdoor sequences dominate and seem to show the most benefit of the 1080P appearance. There are varying degrees of light damage and speckles sprinkled about the film but this wasn't a major concern. The Blu-ray improved the presentation over an SD rendering but obviously we aren't talking about anything remarkable for the HD medium.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio comes in a, predictably flat, DTS-HD Master in a 1.0 channel mono at 820 kbps. The original score by Roy Webb (Clash by Night, I Married a Witch, This Is Cinerama, Easy Living, The Window, Journey Into Fear, I Walked with a Zombie etc.) benefits more than anything although there is some aggression that exports some bass depth. There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with the majority of their releases.
September 23rd, 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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