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Plunder Road [Blu-ray]
(Hubert Cornfield, 1957)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Regal Films
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 14,501,386,456 bytes
Feature Size: 14,436,593,664 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.42 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: September 24th, 2013
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 883 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 883 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Description: Plunder Road is a one-of-a-kind film noir beautifully shot in scope by the great cinematographer Ernest Haller (Gone with the Wind, Mildred Pierce). On a dark rainy night, five men stage a well-planned U.S. Mint train robbery and walk away with ten million in gold bullion. To throw the cops off the track, the gang split up the massive haul into three concealed truckloads and go off to three different directions hoping for a perfect getaway. No big stars, just a great cast of character-actor greats; Gene Raymond, Wayne Morris, Elisha Cook Jr., Stafford Repp and Steven Ritch. Soap opera legend Jeanne Cooper (The Young and the Restless) co-stars as Raymond's gun moll. Wonderfully directed by cult favorite, Hubert Cornfield (The Night of the Following Day).
Hubert Cornfield, an uneven director of the 50s and early 60s, supposedly reached his apotheosis with this, his third film. Gene Raymond and Wayne Morris star in a story of a train robbery, made in Cinemascope at a time when 20th Century-Fox was pushing the process on all of its productions, even the lowest budgeted (as this certainly was). My curiosity, at least, is roused.Excerpt from Dave Kehr located HERE
Not to be confused with the film noir classic Thunder Road, Plunder Road is nonetheless a fine little thriller on its own. Gene Raymond stars as the head of a robbery gang, whose latest caper involves the heist of a gold shipment from a US Mint train. To throw the cops off the track, the gang splits up and goes off in three directions. Two of the gang's gold-laden trucks are captured by the police, but the third makes it all the way to LA. At this point, Raymond melts down the gold and disguises it as fittings for his luxury car. On the verge of getting away scot-free, Raymond is involved in a freeway accident. Cast as Gene Raymond's gun moll is soap-opera favorite Jeanne Cooper (the mother of actor Corbin Bernsen).Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Plunder Road looks great on Blu-ray from Olive Films. Despite the single-layering the visuals appear crisp with multi-layered contrast and notable shadow detail. I don't know that dual-layering would have benefitted the image quality much more in this case. The black levels are strong indicating the source to have good density. There are a few speckles but no noise. AS the screen captures should attest the Blu-ray provides a strong presentation of an exceptional Noir.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
StandardDTS-HD mono track at 883 kbps. Irving Gertz (It Came From Outer Space, Blonde Ice and The Deadly Mantis among others) did the score which adds a nice layer of tension. Flat but hints at seething 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 24th, 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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