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Gunfight at the O.K. Corral [Blu-ray]
(John Sturges, 1957)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Paramount Pictures
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 23,780,316,254 bytes
Feature Size: 23,704,301,568 bytes
Video Bitrate: 20.84 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: March 11th, 2014
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3013 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3013 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
English (SDH), French, Spanish, none
Description: Of the many filmed versions of the October 26, 1881, O.K. Corral shootout in Tombstone, Arizona, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was one of the most elaborate and star-studded. Burt Lancaster plays Wyatt Earp, the renowned lawman, while Kirk Douglas is consumptive gambler (and gunfighter) Doc Holliday -- the two meet in difficult circumstances, as Earp discovers that Holiday, for whom he initially feels little but loathing, is being held on a trumped up murder charge and being set up for a lynching, and intercedes on his behalf. The action shifts to Dodge City, Kansas, where Earp is marshal and Holiday, hardly grateful for the good turn, shows up right in the middle of all kinds of trouble, this time mostly on Earp's side of the ledger. And, finally, the two turn up in Tombstone, Arizona, where Wyatt's brother Virgil is city marshal, and where Wyatt finally gets to confront the Clanton/McLowery outlaw gang (led by Lyle Bettger as Ike Clanton). Since the time-span of the actual gunfight was at most 90 seconds, the bulk of the film concerns the tensions across many months leading up to the famous battle.
John Sturges' Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) was hardly the
first, and wouldn't be the last, film to cover the legendary shootout
involving Wyatt Earp, "Doc" Holiday, and those ornery Clanton Boys (see
My Darling Clementine (1946) for the heavyweight champ of this
particular story.) But Gunfight at the O.K. Corral features one
of the more thrilling shootouts ever filmed. Although Burt Lancaster and
Kirk Douglas (as Earp and Holliday, respectively) deliver the goods, the
thing people remember most about Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is...that
gunfight. Everything else is really just a well-crafted prelude to the
Students of American frontier history will know from the title that this film has to do with a famous gunfight that took place in Tombstone, Ariz., between a small posse headed by United States Marshall Wyatt Earp and five members of the lawless Clanton gang. And students of motion picture patterns will deduce from that knowledge that this film is mainly a build-up to that showdown, which comes in blazing fury at the end.
They will be right. Leon Uris, working from an article by George Scullin, has hacked out a screen play in which Wyatt Earp goes through a long lot of getting acquainted with the gambler-gunman Doc Holliday before he brings those two doughty heroes side-by-side and face-to-face with the Clantons at the O. K. Corral.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral appears far less manipulated than the simultaneously released Paramount Blu-ray Wayne flics (Hatari and El Dorado). I don't discount some digitization manifesting in a movement to moiring. Generally though, it has not crossed my personal threshold. It is a shade waxy and glossy but nothing I can't live with - you may differ. This is only single-layered with a more modest bitrate but the image is clean and shows crispness in close-ups. Colors seem authentic (flesh tones minutely warm). There are frequent examples of depth. Daylight scenes dominate and the Arizona and California 'big sky' scenes add to the flavor. This 1.78:1 Blu-ray is pretty consistent in the representation of the visuals. I enjoyed the presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Purists will find aless-necessary bump to a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3013 kbps and no option for the original mono. The separations are infrequent, but there and add some atmosphere to the olde west, I suppose. Of course, there is gunplay, that gets some punch from the lossless transfer. Score is by the iconic Dimitri Tiomkin (Angel Face, Strangers on a Train, The Men, Dial M For Murder, The Thing From Another World etc. etc.) and there are optional subtitles (and 2 foreign language DUBs.) My Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
None at all - not even a trailer.
February 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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