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Directed by William A. Wellman
USA 1949

 

Wellman (The Ox-Bow Incident) helms this gem involving of a band of outlaws, led by strong quiet James 'Stretch' Dawson (Gregory Peck), who find themselves knocking at death's door after becoming lost in the treacherous western Badlands. Their only salvation is a lonesome town called Yellow Sky, where the inhabitants consist of a doddering old prospector (James Barton) and his mysterious, alluring daughter (Anne Baxter). But their deliverance from danger is short-lived when the gang discovers a fateful secret hidden within the dusty, rotting walls of this ghost town... GOLD! A perfectly cast genre pearl that seems to have been all but forgotten.

 

  Posters

Theatrical Release: December 1948


Reviews                                                                    More Reviews                                                             DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

 Box Cover

   

Also available on Blu-ray in the UK in July 2012

   

Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:38:36  1:38:47.963 1:38:44.919
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.5 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 18,588,781,932 bytes

Feature: 14,477,887,488 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 14.99 Mbps

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,657,173,024 bytes

Feature: 20,100,440,064 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 23.79 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate Koch  Blu-ray

Bitrate: Kino  Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Mono), DUB: Spanish (Mono)   DTS-HD Master Audio English 1597 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1597 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio German 1592 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1592 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1603 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1603 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps

Subtitles English, Spanish, None English, None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Poster Gallery
• Production Stills Gallery
• Behind the Scenes Gallery
• Theatrical trailer
• Fox trailers

DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 24

Release Information:
Studio: Koch Media

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 18,588,781,932 bytes

Feature: 14,477,887,488 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 14.99 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• Radio program (29:59)
• Slideshow Stills Gallery

Blu-ray Release Date: August 26th, 2011
Book-style
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 13

Release Information:
Studio: Kino

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,657,173,024 bytes

Feature: 20,100,440,064 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 23.79 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• Audio Commentary by William Wellman, Jr.
• Trailers Yellow Sky (1:40), Ox-Bo Incident (2:15), Man of the West (3:01),  Man With the Gun (2:24) and Billy Two Hats (3:59)

Blu-ray Release Date: July 12th, 2016
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 8

 

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray September 16': Kino's 2016 Blu-ray transfer is technically superior to the Koch. I was a bit lazy on exact frame captures but I found only slight video differences between the two 1080P releases. It could be a shade lighter, show a bit more grain and be marginally tighter. Only very discerning eyes, or systems, may pick up the difference.

Audio is likewise similar - effects consist of mostly horses, desert wind and gunplay. The score by Alfred Newman (The Diary of Anne Frank, Bus Stop, Blood and Sand, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Panic in the Streets, The Song of Bernadette etc. etc.) sounds excellent - very rich. Kino does not offer any subtitle options on their region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

Where Kino takes a definitive step forward is with the inclusion of the audio commentary by William Wellman, Jr. discussing his father, this film and and westerns in general. There are also a gallery of trailers which include Yellow Sky, Ox-Bo Incident, Man of the West Man With the Gun and Billy Two Hats.

This remains a cracking western - exceptional storytelling and a fine cast. Lots of conflict and a desolate locale. I think the Kino is the way to go for this... recommended!

***

ADDITION: Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray - September 11': Both technically speaking and simply perusing the captures - it is evident that this is a more robust transfer than The Ox-Bow Incident Blu-ray - also by Koch. This has some nice grain, decent detail and some depth creeps in - mostly in the desert scenes. It is single-layered with a modest bitrate but the image is solid, if not stellar, in-motion. It also shows more information in the frame on most edges.

Audio also improves but not in any dramatic fashion. The lossless treatment has crisp edges and is probably as good as it going to get via the DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1597 kbps. There is a German DUB and optional English subtitles. It plays on my Oppo and we determine it to be Region FREE!

Extras include a radio western - which is kinda cool as a supplements. It runs about 1/2 hour. There is also a bunch of stills galleries in slideshow/collage presentations.

GREAT western - love to see this again and the improved appearance that may not be stellar but it is a solid step-up. The disc being Region FREE is all the better!

***

ON THE DVD: The Fox DVD image has an impressive appearance. You'd be hard pressed to believe it was from a film over 56 years old. There  is a bit of digital noise showing itself in some of the sky scenes but contrast and grey-scale are fine. In my viewing I listened to the mono audio and it was consistent and clean. There is some minor marks that show themselves occasionally, but I am very impressed with how absent blemishes are on this print. I'll knock the yellow subtitles but otherwise we have no solid complaints. Great work by Fox finally bringing this gem to DVD.

This is a damn fine western and I'd say this dual layered DVD is a steal. Great cinema for western fans and those keen on the vintage classics. Buy now!

Gary W. Tooze

 





Menus

 

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT


 
 

 

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


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

 

Subtitle Sample

 

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

Screen Captures

 

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


Recommended Reading for Western Genre Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Check out more in "The Library"

 


 Box Cover

   

Also available on Blu-ray in the UK in July 2012

Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray



 

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