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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend  [Blu-ray]

 

(Preston Sturges, 1949)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Video: Kino Lorber

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:16:46.602 

Disc Size: 16,601,402,436 bytes

Feature Size: 15,531,300,864 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.92 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: November 1st, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1556 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1556 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

 Trailers  I Wake Up Screaming (2:16), Daddy Long Legs (2:14), The Devil's Disciple (2:56), Support Your Local Sheriff (3:03)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend is a romantic comedy-western directed by the legendary Preston Sturges (The Lady Eve, Sullivan's Travels) and starring Betty Grable (I Wake Up Screaming), Cesar Romero (The Joker of TV's Batman), Rudy Vallee (The Palm Beach Story) and Olga San Juan (Blue Skies). In this wild six-gun farce set in the old west, Grable plays a hot-tempered racy saloon entertainer named Freddie who s as quick with a pistol as she is to kick up her heels. During a fray, Freddie accidentally shoots a judge while trying to protect her boyfriend (Romero) - she leaves town disguised as a schoolteacher and woos a mine owner (Vallee) while trying to escape persecution. Sturges co-wrote the screenplay with Earl Felton (The Narrow Margin), based on a story by Felton.

 

 

The Film:

Fast-moving and witty spoof of Western conventions from one of Hollywood's finest writer/directors of comedy. Grable is the crackshot chanteuse hiding from the law as a schoolmarm (after accidentally shooting a judge in the rear when two-timed by her lover Romero) and getting involved in the numerous shootouts between the local townsmen. It relies a little too much on zany slapstick, but the dialogue is sharp and the Technicolor photography by Harry Jackson adds a pleasant gloss.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

 

Preston Sturges' final American film was generally conceded to be a disaster in 1949; even star Betty Grable publicly bad-mouthed the finished product. When seen today, Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend, while no classic, seems a lot better than it did five decades ago. Grable plays a western dancehall girl named Freddie, who is forced to take it on the lam after accidentally shooting a judge (she'd been aiming at her faithless boyfriend Blackie Jobero, played by Cesar Romero). Arriving in the tiny burg of Bashful Bend, Freddie is mistaken for the schoolmarm whom the town elders have recently hired. Taking advantage of this mistaken-identity situation, Freddie puts the make on wealthy banker Charles Hingelman (Rudy Vallee, a Sturges "regular"), who owns a valuable gold mine. Before the film's 77 minutes are over, Freddie finds herself smack dab in the middle of a shootout between the Good Guys and a family of dimwitted outlaws. As was always the case in a Preston Sturges production, Beautiful Blonde of Bashful Bend is chock full of colorful supporting players, including Hugh Herbert (hilarious as a myopic dentist), El Brendel, Sterling Holloway, and Margaret Hamilton. Also on hand are stalwart Sturges stock company players Porter Hall, Alan Bridge, J. Farrell McDonald, Georgia Caine, Esther Howard, Torben Meyer, Dewey Robinson, and Harry Hayden--many of whom, in keeping with 20th Century-Fox's curious billing policy, are denied on-screen credit.

Excerpt from Barnes and Noble located HERE

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

The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend looks decent and consistent in 1080P. Primary colors (red, blues) have an impressive luster but otherwise the overall image is dullish and less-remarkable. The source is clean, and I noticed no noise. Detail is pleasing and contrast adept. There is depth. The bitrate is modest and that might have bumped visuals an impressive notch. This Blu-ray gave me a watchable viewing - superior to SD - in regards to the picture quality.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Kino use a DTS-HD Master at 1556 kbps (16-bit). It exports the films western and saloon motif with gunshots having some minor depth. The the score is by Cyril J. Mockridge (Where the Sidewalk Ends, Thieves' Highway, Desk Set, The Ox-Bow Incident, The Dark Corner, My Darling Clementine, Nightmare Alley) and you can also hear Grable performing Every Time I Meet You and In the Gloaming - it all sounds decent, if not dynamically crisp, in the lossless. There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Just trailers for I Wake Up Screaming, Daddy Long Legs, The Devil's Disciple, and Support Your Local Sheriff.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend is not premium Sturges but it's still pretty fun. I doubt the trigger-happy aspects would go over too well in today's environment - little girls firing guns etc. The musical aspects are pretty modest and it thrives on the cuteness and eccentricities of the characters. The bare-bones Kino Lorber Blu-ray is probably going to be the only way to see this in 1080P. I'm sure many will be entertained although it may not be something you re-watch often. Enjoy!  NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 33% OFF at Amazon.

Gary Tooze

October 21st, 2016

 

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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