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H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Woman They Almost Lynched [Blu-ray]


(Allan Dwan, 1953)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Republic Pictures

Video: Olive Films



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

Runtime: 1:30:38.724

Disc Size: 22,345,353,299 bytes

Feature Size: 22,177,628,160 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.99 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: January 20th, 2015



Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1960 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1960 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)






• None





Description: All suspense in The Woman They Almost Lynched would seem to be dissipated by title, but director Allan Dwan holds the viewers spellbound throughout. Part of the tension arises from fact that there are two leading female characters: Kate Quantrill (Audrey Totter), wife of infamous Confederate raider Quantrill (Brian Donlevy), and Sally Maris (Joan Leslie), virginal sister of Kate's ex-lover, saloonkeeper Bitteroot Bill (Reed Hadley). Sally herself falls in love with Lance Horton (John Lund), ostensibly a mine foreman but actually a Southern spy. Rest assured that one of the two ladies is going to wind up with a noose around her neck for keeping "bad" company -- and that the other will somehow come to the rescue.



The Film:

Presumably, Woman They Almost Lynched, as a Republic property, started out as a relatively conventional, average western about a Civil War intrigue: the Confederate spy was the hero; in between his dealings with Quantrill, the neutral border town, and the Union Army, he had an affair with a nice girl who may or may not have been a saloon hussy; and Quantrill’s wife, if she rode along at all, just tagged along. There is every reason (including Dwan’s remarks on the film) to assume that Dwan was largely responsible for the enlargement of the two female roles to the main protagonists of the movie, and for the idea of making the town officials women, as a kind of chorus to the central pair.

Excerpt from BrightLighsFilmJopurnal located HERE

During the Civil War, Border City, an Ozark mountain town laying on the Missouri-Arkansas border, is prone to wartime fervor because it divides the Union and the Confederacy. As no man has been courageous enough to bring law to the often violent town, Mayor Delilah Courtney has tried to minimize the violence by declaring the town neutral. Neither Confederate nor Union troops are allowed within five miles of town without her permission and anyone caught breaking the neutrality is promptly lynched. Travelling from Michigan to Border City, genteel Sally Maris plans to join her brother, saloon owner Bitteroot Bill. Her journey is interrupted by Quantrill's Raiders, the legendary gang who once rode in defense of the South, but now terrorize the country for their own purposes. William Clarke Quantrill's men kill the Union soldiers escorting Sally's stagecoach, and then accompany her to Border City, where Quantrill hopes to buy lead from a mine owned by Courtney.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE


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

Woman They Almost Lynched has a, predictably, modest Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films. This is only single-layered, 1080P, but the bitrate is at the higher-end for the 1.5 hour western. The black levels appear acceptable - occasionally strong - and detail is right about when you might anticipate with some grain textures present. The outdoor sequences are bright and there is no damage - only minor speckles. There is no real depth but it looks quite pleasing in-motion. The Blu-ray improved the presentation over an SD rendering and any minor flaws had no detrimental effect on my viewing. The screen captures should give you a reasonable idea of the video quality.



















Audio :

Stanley Wilson composed for many 40's and 50's westerns as well as many later TV shows. His score here supports the film subtly and sounds solid in Olive's DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1960 kbps. There are some aggressive effects and gunplay and the audio exports some depth when called upon.  There are no subtitles and my Oppo 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 most of their BD releases.



This is a superior western effort - mainly thanks to Dwan's skills. Both gals carry the film well and it has many positives beyond the adept storytelling. The Olive Blu-ray (quasi-salacious cover and menus) does its usual competent, unmanipulated job of presenting the film in 1080P, but is still a bare-bones package. Those keen to see this special genre gem may consider picking this up. I can see myself re-watching Woman They Almost Lynched - it was that entertaining. 

Gary Tooze

January 26th, 2015

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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