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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Gunman's Walk' or 'Le Salaire de la violence')

 

Directed by Phil Karlson
USA 1958

 

Rancher Lee Hackett (Van Heflin) spends so much time trying to keep the violent streak of his son Ed (Tab Hunter) in check, he neglects the needs of his other son Davy (James Darren). When Ed's temper results in the death of an innocent Native American, Lee tries his best to cover his son's tracks by making a deal with unscrupulous horse trader Jensen (Ray Teal), who falsely testifies on Ed's behalf. But it becomes clear that Ed can't change, and a shootout between father and son ensues.

***

Lee Hackett (Van Heflin) became a rancher the hard way, and he has two sons - different but still part of him. His youngest (Tab Hunter), more in his mold, has learned to settle things with a gun and is accused of murdering a half-breed Indian. His eldest (James Darren) is sweet on the murdered man's sister (Kathryn Grant). Phil Karlson's Gunman's Walk weaves the story of these conflicts as adeptly as he's done in the Noir style. The tension mounts as the 'bad seed' can only be dealt with in one way. The result? - an excellent 50's western.

***

Teen sensation Tab Hunter wasn't exactly noted for his acting prowess, but he delivers a very creditable performance in this character Western as the trigger-happy son only too eager to be a wildcatter like pioneer daddy Heflin. Unfortunately, frontier life has moved on since it was being staked out in blood and bullets. Wearing a six-shooter is now frowned on in the town Heflin helped build, while quietly spoken son Darren's developing relationship with half-breed Grant is one indicator of shifting values. As Hunter's murderous intent to prove his mettle provokes an inexorable confrontation with the father who created this monster, Karlson allows us sympathy for these men caught up in the gears of history, yet leaves us in no doubt of the inexorability of change. Look beyond the admittedly low voltage casting and there's some forceful storytelling here.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: July, 1958

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Comparison:

Sidonis - Region 2 - PAL vs. Explosive-Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Sidonis - Region 2- PAL LEFT

Explosive-Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

   

 

   

 

Distribution Sidonis - Region 2 - PAL Explosive-Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:30:54 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:34:36.671
Video 2.60:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.1 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

2.55:1 1080P / 23.976 fps Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,248,662,456 bytes

Feature: 22,697,404,416 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0) LPCM Audio German 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Subtitles French, None (Non-removable for some machines when English audio is chosen) German, English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Sidonis

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.60:1

Edition Details:

• Patrick Brion
• Bernard Tavernier

DVD Release Date: November 23rd, 2010

Keep Case inside cardboard sleeve
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: Explosive-Media AG

 

2.55:1 1080P / 23.976 fps Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,248,662,456 bytes

Feature: 22,697,404,416 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video


Edition Details:

Gallery slideshow (2:12)

Blu-ray Release Date: November 6th, 201
5
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 11

 

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Explosive-Media (Germany) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - February 2017: The Sidonis DVD is flawed in that a number of people's DVD players won't remove the French subtitles when the English audio option is chosen. This is typical of Sidonis and I will no longer buy from their label. It is also pictureboxed with slim black bars down the edge and it clocks in a super-wide 2.6:1 showing some significant, abnormal, Cinema-scope 'mumps' phenomenon. The Explosive-Media, out of Germany, loses some information on the side edges and has an aspect ratio of 2.55:1 with reasonable 'mumps'. The widescreen is very impressive in 1080P. Now the Blu-ray can look a bit clunky with, what looks like, an occasional artifacts and perhaps dual-layering might have smoothed that out. It's a gritty genre and the image quality suits - even with an infrequent wart. Truthfully it looked wonderful on my 60" system.

NOTE: The film starts with the German title; "Duell im Morgengrauen", but the rest of the film and credits are 'English'.

Audio is offered in a linear PCM 2.0 channel (16-bit) in both the original English or the option of a German DUB. The sound is a significant part of this classic western. It's rich and flat with horse and gun effects coming through with just the right amount of depth. The score was composed by George Duning (The Man From Laramie, 3:10 to Yuma, Jeanne Eagels, The Shadow on the Window, Tight Spot, etc.) and sounds very pleasing shuffling between the serenity of the small town and the tension of the frequent conflicts. Explosive-Media add optional English or German subtitles and their Blu-ray disc is region FREE - playable worldwide (despite the label and box stating 'B'.)

The only extra is a gallery of posters, title cards and some black and white stills. This is a near masterpiece western. It's the only theatrical running time release (NO Pal speedup) that I am aware of. I don't think Van Heflin has ever given a bad performance. Tab Hunter is excellent as the inherent bad-seed. I'm still sweet on Kathryn Grant from Sinbad. It looks and sounds dramatically improved from the flawed SD. I'm very pleased with this Blu-ray that I will be revisiting - absolutely recommended

***

ON THE DVD: This is a classic western - a perfect genre fit in every sense. A damn pleasure to see. The patriarch role becomes complicated and there are obvious sentiments to racial discrimination of native Americans.

The dual-layered DVD image is slightly pictureboxed (black bars on the side edges) - limiting the horizontal resolution - and has a case of CinemaScope 'mumps' (horizontally stretched) caused by Bausch & Lomb lenses. It is listed on the box as 2.35:1 but end up being just over 2.60:1 on this Sidonis PAL DVD. Neither of these issues deterred my enjoyment of this fine western. It is progressive, anamorphic and sports optional French subtitles. It's a very clean and a decently detailed image - colors and contrast are strong. Overall I was given a pleasing SD presentation.

Audio is unremarkable but without disturbing flaws. There is an optional French DUB.

NOTE: We've been informed that some DVD players have trouble removing the French subtitles when the English language option is chosen.

There are two extras - but only in the French language with no subtitles. It amounts to 1/2 hour in total with Patrick Brion and Bernard Tavernier giving thoughts on the film and Karlson.

ListServ bud, Aussie Noel Bjorndahl, has it as one of his top SD releases of 2010 - and this brought it to my attention. Karlson helms the film so well - and it's a solid story with the always reliable Heflin turning his usual solid performance. Tab Hunter is surprising as another positive. A very appealing western with the DVD disc as an 'only-game-in-town' encouragement for recommendation to purchase. Vintage fans of westerns and the director should indulge... 

Gary W. Tooze


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Sidonis - Region 2- PAL TOP

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Sidonis - Region 2- PAL TOP

Explosive-Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Sidonis - Region 2- PAL TOP

Explosive-Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Sidonis - Region 2- PAL TOP

Explosive-Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Sidonis - Region 2- PAL TOP

Explosive-Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

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Distribution Sidonis - Region 2 - PAL Explosive-Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 



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