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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Sam Whiskey [Blu-ray]


(Arnold Laven, 1969)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Levy-Gardner-Laven

Video: Kino Lorber



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:36:54.934

Disc Size: 22,584,879,113 bytes

Feature Size: 20,378,886,144 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.96 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: November 11th, 2014



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1566 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1566 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)



English, None



Interview with Clint Walker (5:19)





Description: When it comes to trouble, make his a double! Welcome to America's Wild - and very wacky - West! Burt Reynolds (Gator), Clint Walker (More Dead Than Alive), Ossie Davis (The Scalphunters) and Angie Dickinson (Rio Bravo) star in this tongue-in-cheek tale of love, lust and larceny that's brimming with real charm and sharp wit. Thanks to ingenious plot twists, hilarious blunders and delightful chemistry, Sam Whiskey is a comely caper full of mischief and mayhem that is altogether intoxicating. Even crooks have standards - and keeping the loot is usually one of them. But when cowboy con artist Sam (Reynolds) falls head over spurs for a sexy widow (Dickinson), he finds himself compromising a lot more than his principles. After she seduces him into helping her break into the US Mint - to return a fortune in stolen gold - Sam begins to suspect that honesty might have some very ample rewards. Wonderfully directed by western specialist Arnold Laven (Rough Night in Jericho) with a great script by William W. Norton (White Lightning, Gator).



The Film:

This light western comedy finds the lovely widow Laura Breckenridge (Angie Dickenson) offering a $20,000 reward for the return of some gold her late husband had stolen from the Denver mint. She seduces the virginal Sam (Burt Reynolds) into leading a team to retrieve the gold, now lying at the bottom of the Platte River. With the help of local blacksmith Jedidiah Hooker (Ossie Davis) and the inventor O.W. Bandy (Clint Walker), the trio agrees to go for the gold in order to receive the reward and restore the good name to the Breckenridge family. Meanwhile, the villains (Rick Davis and Del Reeves) trail the heroes in hopes of grabbing the gold for themselves. The good guys must break into the mint to put back the money, but they need to fool the wary watchman and superintendent (William Shallert)

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Comedy Westerns aren't my favorite form of entertainment and "Sam Whiskey" is certainly not one of the best of the breed, but its pleasures are so unexpected that they deserve some modest appreciation. The movie, which opened yesterday with "The First Time" at the Lyric on 42d Street, will be at neighborhood theaters next week.

Sam Whiskey (Burt Reynolds), a notorious frontier character who is rather better at talking than fighting, is hired by an eccentric widow (Angie Dickinson) to salvage $250,000 in gold from a sunken river boat and smuggle it back into the United States Mint at Denver. The gold, it seems, was stolen by the husband of the lady, who wants to protect the family name.

Excerpt from Vincent Canby at the NY Times located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Like White Lightning, Kino's 1080P image has some thickness. This is single-layered with a reasonable bitrate and I expect this is as good as the film has ever looked on digital. It has some depth and consistent texture - probably a strong replication of the original source. The exterior shots are occasionally impressive. I saw no undue noise. The 1.85:1 visuals are clean and the HD produces a modest, if fairly unremarkable, presentation. This Blu-ray does an acceptable job with an adequate transfer.
















Audio :

Kino use a surprising DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1566 kbps. The light, but pleasant, score by Herschel Burke Gilbert (Riot in Cell Block 11, The Thief, While The City Sleeps) benefits from the lossless transfer. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked disc.


Extras :

Included another interview with the amiable Clint Walker reminiscing about his O. W. Bandy character from Sam Whiskey. There is also a trailer.



There is something extremely likeable about this film. Sam Whiskey is, certainly, no masterpiece - but it is above-average for what I was expecting. The characters are all very appealing. It balances fun with the crime-caper aspects. The Kino Blu-ray is adequate and I will admit to enjoying my viewing. You could do a lot worse by having this on as a 'Burt' double feature. Give it a spin.  

Gary Tooze

November 10th, 2014


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
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Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

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Gary W. Tooze






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