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Blowing Wild [Blu-ray]
(Hugo Fregonese, 1953)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Warner Bros.
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 19,793,407,673 bytes
Feature Size: 19,692,251,136 bytes
Video Bitrate: 27.00 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: May 28th, 2013
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 829 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 829 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Description: In 1930s South America, bandits led by El Gavilan (Juan Garcia) destroy the wildcat oil well owned by Jeff Dawson (Gary Cooper) and his partner, Dutch Peterson (Ward Bond). The two desperate men accept a dangerous job of transporting nitroglycerin, but are swindled out of their payment. Broke and nowhere else to turn, Dawson and Peterson are hired by their old friend, Ward 'Paco' Conway (Anthony Quinn), now an oil baron and married to Dawson's ex-love Marina (Barbara Stanwyck). The bandits threatens to dynamite Paco's eighteen wells unless he pays them a bounty of $50,000 as the predatory Marina still in love with Dawson will stop at nothing to get back the only man she ever loved. Ruth Roman also stars and adds to the romantic entanglement. Frankie Laine sang the memorable title song "Blowing Wild (The Ballad of the Black Gold)" with lyrics by Paul Francis Webster and music by Dimitri Tiomkin (High Noon) who also scored this one-of-a-kind classic. Beautifully shot in black-and-white by Sidney Hickox (Three Secrets) and directed by Hugo Fregonese (Man in the Attic) with a screenplay by Philip Yordan (Johnny Guitar).
With Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck in the cast, Blowing Wild was a guaranteed hit even before the cameras began turning. Cooper plays oil wildcatter Jeff Dawson, who does his best to bring in a gusher in Mexico despite continual bandit raids. Dawson asks for help from his ex-employer Ward Conway (Anthony Quinn), but Conway, now married to Dawson's ex-lover Marina (Barbara Stanwyck) refuses, fearing that his wife will want to renew her romance with the other man. The predatory Marina, still in love with Dawson, murders her husband, admits her crime to Jeff, and pleads to be taken back to America with him. A timely bandit attack solves everyone's problems in ultra-violent fashion. Blowing Wild was filmed through the facilities of Mexico City's Churubusco Studios.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
The calculated absurdities and violent romanticism of this Johnny Guitar precursor (also scripted by Philip Yordan) were greeted with derision on the film's first appearance. It's set somewhere South of the Border, where bandidos, chests criss-crossed with cartridge belts, open fire on trucks laden with nitro-glycerine. Things are no less volatile back at the rancho, where Stanwyck can't have Cooper ('You're no good, Marina') and consoles herself with booze and a state of permanent fury, as a symbolic oil well pumps away outside her bedroom window. It's clear from the off that most of the characters will wind up killing one another. Inventive, unrestrained film-making, and another under-appreciated entertainment from the uneven but talented Fregonese.Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Blowing Wild arrives on Blu-ray from Olive Films. Again, only single-layered and has some inconsistencies - a few more troubled spots (heavier scratches and speckles) - but they are brief. Contrast looks solid in 1080P. No restoration or digital manipulation and the source is in decent shape. Detail looks strong in close-ups. Outdoor sequences dominate and look strong in HD. There is some grain - not overwhelming. Mostly, the Blu-ray provides a healthy and easily watchable presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Olive provide an expected simple, flat, but lossless DTS-HD Master mono track. The highlight would be the subtle score of the iconic Dimitri Tiomkin(Angel Face, Strangers on a Train, The Men, Dial M For Murder, The Thing From Another World etc. etc.) that plays well in uncompressed. There are no subtitles and my Momitsu 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.
May 28th, 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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