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(aka "Southwest to Sonora")

 

Directed by Sidney J. Furie
USA 1966

 

Southwest to Sonora rode the lustful, the lawless… living on the edge of violence! Screen icon Marlon Brando (The Missouri Breaks, On the Waterfront) stars in a tale of vengeance against a Mexican bandito and his gang of pistoleros. Matt Fletcher (Brando) has killed many men and sinned against many women. Vowing to give up his sordid past, he returns to his sleepy hometown on the Mexican border with a magnificent Appaloosa stallion. His hopes to start a horse ranch take a deadly turn when the Appaloosa is stolen by the sadistic bandit Chuy (John Saxon, Enter the Dragon, Queen of Blood), who controls the land with his bloodthirsty gang. Seeking revenge, Fletcher disguises himself as a Mexican and trails the gang back to their village. Barely escaping death, he flees with not only his horse, but also Chuy’s beautiful lover, Trini (Anjanette Comer, The Baby, Guns for San Sebastian). When the relentless Chuy stalks Fletcher across the desert into the snow-capped mountains in a final showdown, only one man will leave with the woman, the Appaloosa… and his life. Directed by Sidney J. Furie (The Ipcress File, The Entity) with a screenplay by James Bridges (The China Syndrome) and Roland Kibbee (The Midnight Man), based on a novel by Robert MacLeod (100 Rifles). Beautifully shot in Scope by Russell Metty (Spartacus) and co-starring Emilio Fernández (The Wild Bunch) and Frank Silvera (Valdez Is Coming).

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In this classic Western, buffalo hunter Matt Fletcher (Marlon Brando) plans on starting a horse breeding farm with his friend Paco (Rafael Campos) in the border town of Ojo Prieto. But when a Mexican bandit (John Saxon) steals his prized Appaloosa stallion, Matt crosses the border determined to get revenge. In search of his beloved horse, Matt falls in love with a beautiful woman (Anjanette Comer), battles a band of bandits and faces poisonous scorpions.

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 14th, 1966 (New York City, New York)

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Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:38:44.919        
Video

2.35:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,737,364,058 bytes

Feature: 20,525,316,096 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.45 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

TS-HD Master Audio English 1554 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1554 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

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

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

2.35:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,737,364,058 bytes

Feature: 20,525,316,096 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.45 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Audio Commentary by Lee Pfeiffer, Publisher of Cinema Retro Magazine with Film Historian Paul Scrabo
Theatrical Trailer (2:44)


Blu-ray Release Date:
January 2nd, 2019
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapter s8

 

 

Comments:

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

Kino Lorber bring the Brando western The Appaloosa to Blu-ray via a single-layered, 1080P transfer. This can look very impressive in HD with excellent detail in the film's many close-ups. It is in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and looks strong with beautiful consistent, fine, textures. You can actually see make-ups and facial costuming in the higher resolution. There is plenty of depth and authentic colors. Impressive.

The film is presented in it a mono 2.0 channel 16-bit DTS-HD Master track exporting the gunfire and horse-related effects.
Frank Skinner's dramatic score (Madame X, Magnificent Obsession, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, All That Heaven Allows, and The Naked City) has been described as 'evocative' and  works well for this deliberately-paced western. The audio quality is likewise impressive. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles on this Region 'A' Blu-ray.

Kino add a new audio commentary by Lee Pfeiffer, Publisher of Cinema Retro Magazine with film historian Paul Scrabo. They offer a lot in terms of the production, Brando, westerns, Techniscope (the non-anamorphic - economical way of shooting in widescreen avoiding royalties to Panavision). They work well together - it's worth the indulgence. There is also a very rough looking theatrical trailer.

This Brando-centric western, like many of his films, has a history regarding his indifference to the production. Yet, he is totally compelling and I was reminded of John Wick with its revenge-seeking elements (replace 'car' with 'horse'). Outside of Leone, I don't know that I have seen more close-ups in a western. Brando's character is a tough hombre, unafraid of his adversaries, yet has trouble backing up his unflinching bravado. His persistent defiance is appealing to the point of amusement.  The
Blu-ray transfer is top-shelf and the new commentary adds value. I thoroughly enjoyed this genre effort with extensive machismo showdowns. I will definitely revisit but is only recommended to fans appreciative of Brando. It's all 'him'.

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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