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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Blowing Wild [Blu-ray]

 

(Hugo Fregonese, 1953)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Warner Bros.

Video: Olive Films

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:29:44.379 

Disc Size: 19,793,407,673 bytes

Feature Size: 19,692,251,136 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.00 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 28th, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

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)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• None

 

Bitrate:

 

 

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).

 

 

The Film:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

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.

 

Extras :

No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with the majority of their releases.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
This has two of my favorite gals - Roman and Stanwyck. There are some worthy positives and Blowing Wild has some atmospheric hinting at Wages of Fear. Such a strong cast makes it worthy on its own. The Blu-ray is typical Olive - bare bones with an un-manipulated 1080P transfer. I appreciated seeing it as it is a film I had never come across before. It's a little like a western with cowboy hat conflicts and tension. No masterpiece but enjoyed my viewing. 

Gary Tooze

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.

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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