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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Dust, Sweat and Gunpowder')

Directed by Dick Richards
USA 1972

 

Gary Grimes stars in this revisionist western as Ben Mockridge, a 16-year-old boy who has long dreamed of living the life of a cowboy. Wanting adventure, he persuades Frank Culpepper (Billy Green Bush) to take him along on a cattle drive, and Ben learns the hard way just how lonesome, exhausting, and violent the life of a cowhand can be. As one of the men on the drive puts it, "Being a cowboy is what you do when you can't do anything else." Hal Needham, who would later direct a string of successful films starring Burt Reynolds, can be spotted in a small role as Burgess, one of the cowboys.

***

Although a small movie, "The Culpepper Cattle Company" is arguably one of the top ten westerns of all time. It takes a fairly basic but relevant coming of age story and sets it in the American West. But the "been there-done that" stuff gives way to something that has extremely heavy Peckinpah influences. Like "The Wild Bunch" (and Bo Hopkins gets to reprise his Clarence "Crazy" Lee role) this becomes a violent anti-violence film with blurred lines between "good guy" and "bad guy". As with Peckinpah's "Straw Dogs", moral ambiguity is the theme and it is not until near the end that the four drovers, pressed to finally take a moral stand, redeem themselves with a final act of personal responsibility.

Excerpt of aimless-46 comments on IMdb located HERE.

Posters

Theatrical Release: April 16th, 1972

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Comparison:

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Signal One - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

Signal One - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  RIGHT

 

Box Covers

  

  

Part of the Classic Western Collection - The Outlaws which contains The Proud Ones, Forty Guns, Broken Lance, and The Culpepper Cattle Co.
Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Signal One - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:32:09  1:32:16.822  
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.58 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,134,527,320 bytes

Feature: 20,712,060,288 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 25.99 Mbps

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Mono) DUBs: French (mono), Spanish (mono) 

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, Spanish, None English (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Production Stills Gallery
• Behind the Scenes Gallery
• Theatrical trailer
• Fox Flix Trailers

DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 20

Release Information:
Studio: Signal One

 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,134,527,320 bytes

Feature: 20,712,060,288 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 25.99 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
 Audio commentary with actor Bo Hopkins and Western writer and cinema expert C. Courtney Joyner

 Introduction by Dick Richards (1:25)

  Black and White in Color - new interview with director Dick Richards (40:46)
 Location Stills Gallery (0:36)
 Promotional Materials Gallery (0:20)
 Original Theatrical Trailer (2:56)

 Radio Spot (0:30)

Blu-ray Release Date:
January 20th, 2017
Standard (UK) Thick
Blu-ray Case

Chapters 10

 

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDED Signal One Blu-ray January 2017: Well, the DVD that once looked great - now appears green beside the 1080P transfer from Signal One in the UK. It's not an overwhelming improvement in detail but the film textures are beautifully supported on the Blu-ray. In-motion it's a vast superiority. For such a visual film - this higher resolution seems mandatory now.

Linear PCM audio (24-bit) and the effects - gunplay, horses, carry some affecting weight. Jerry Goldsmith (The Burbs, Seconds, Hoosiers, The Blue Max, Breakheart Pass) and Tom Scott (who had done a lot of TV work) do a supportive, western-based, score and it sounds fittingly tight and clean in the uncompressed transfer. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles on the Region 'B'-locked Blu-ray disc.

Signal One continue to do the right thing and add some beneficial extras including an audio commentary with actor Bo Hopkins and western writer and cinema expert C. Courtney Joyner. It's quite educational and I enjoyed it a lot. The film starts with an optional introduction by director Dick Richards who also gets a 40-minute video piece entitled Black and White in Color - this new interview has plenty of stories and historical referencing - it's very valuable for those into the film. There are also some galleries, an original theatrical trailer and a radio spot.

This film doesn't get the respect it deserves - it's a brilliant western with some great character-acting performances. I've seen people who put it in the top-10 westerns of all time! It encapsulated the era, survival struggles, quite machismo of the pioneering men. It's either a masterpiece or very close to it. I feel that Signal One have given The Culpepper Cattle Co. some just rewards for their exemplary Blu-ray. Even beyond being a fan of the genre - this deserves 'must-own' status, IMO. Don't hesitate.


***

ON THE DVD: Shot with an intentionally gritty appearance, this image still shows some remarkable clarity at times with sunset vistas and impressive landscapes. Yes, there is some minor digital noise and a smidgeon of dirt but overall this is a very strong image. Well-done optional subtitles and clear resonant audio (also recorded initially with a realistic arc of background noise).

I was surprised and impressed by the film. It appeared to me to be the oddball of the box set (with all others being made in the 50's) but it really is a worthy western representative. We recommend!

Gary W. Tooze

 


DVD Menus


 

Signal One - Region Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 


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Subtitle Sample

 

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Signal One - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


Screen Captures

 

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

Signal One - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

Signal One - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

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20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

Signal One - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

Signal One - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

Signal One - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

Signal One - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


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

 

Check out more in "The Library"


Box Covers

  

  

Part of the Classic Western Collection - The Outlaws which contains The Proud Ones, Forty Guns, Broken Lance, and The Culpepper Cattle Co.
Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Signal One - Region 'B' - Blu-ray




 

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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

Thank You!