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Directed by Richard Brooks

USA 1956

 

Robert Taylor (Quo Vadis) and Stewart Granger (The Prisoner of Zenda) team up in this "grim, fierce, raw-boned outdoor fare" (Variety) filmed on location in rugged Custer State Park, North Dakota. Charlie Gilson (Taylor), a mean-spirited hunter, joins reserved Sandy McKenzie (Granger) on a great government-sanctioned buffalo hunt that will keep the buffalo population under control and make the men rich. Joining them are Woodfoot, an old, one-legged skinner (Lloyd Nolan), and Jimmy (Russ Tamblyn), a half-Indian boy. But trouble begins to break the team apart when Charlie kills a group of Indians whom he accuses of stealing his horses. Charlie's subsequent mistreatment of the lone survivors - an Indian woman and her child - forces Sandy to realize that his partner is consumed with hate...and that he enjoys killing more than just buffalo. "Raw, real and rugged" (L.A. Examiner), The Last Hunt is so intense and powerful that its stark images will stay with you long after the film ends.

***

Sandy McKenzie (Stewart Granger) has a long history of hunting buffalo, but now that the herds have been so dramatically thinned out, he's come to regret it. Nevertheless, he partners up with Charles Gilson (Robert Taylor) for one last hunt that proves to be the worst of them all. Charles is a twisted, insensate killer of both buffalo and Indians -- and when he kidnaps and abuses a young Indian girl (Debra Paget), Sandy is pushed to the breaking point.

Posters

Release: April 30th, 1956

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Review:

Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray

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Distribution Warner Archive
Region
FREE Blu-ray
Runtime 1:43:29.328    
Video

Disc Size: 32,945,751,509 bytes

Feature Size: 30,262,265,856 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.98 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

Bitrate  Blu-ray
Audio DTS-HD Master Audio English 1978 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1978 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Archive

 

Disc Size: 32,945,751,509 bytes

Feature Size: 30,262,265,856 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.98 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
 MGM Parade Promo #1 (3:32)
 MGM Parade Promo #2 (7:45)
 Trailer (3:46)

Blu-ray  Release Date: August 21st, 2018
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters: 28

 

 

Comments:

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

"The Last Hunt" has been transferred by Warner Archive to a 1080P dual-layered Blu-ray with a maxed out bitrate. It has some softness looking fairly thick and a bit waxy with some potential 'Cinemascope mumps' but also very film-like in-motion but lacking detail. Russell Harlan's (Gun Crazy, Witness for the Prosecution, To Kill a Mockingbird) cinematography, especially the outdoors (shot in Badlands National Park and Custer State Park - both in South Dakota), looks strong although the visuals are never crisp and grain blotchy. I lean to this look being a reasonably authentic representation but I don't discount some digitization.

"The Last Hunt" is presented in 2.0 stereo on a 24-bit DTS-HD track. The gun effects and buffalo effects seem stable and realistic with depth. Dialogue is clear and there is another appealing score by Daniele Amfitheatrof (I'll Be Seeing You, Edge of Eternity, The Lost Moment, The Desperate Hours, Human Desire, Letter From An Unknown Woman). There are optional English subtitles on this Region Free Blu-ray.

The extras and 2 'MGM Parade' promos with Russ Tamblyn etc. and included the film's trailer.

"The Last Hunt" is an edgy western with Robert Taylor playing an less-savory character with the backdrop of the last buffalo hunts in the late 1880s. Warner Archive's robust transfer does not produce a premium image but, likely, a solid representation and the best this film will get. The extras are minimal but this Blu-ray is recommended to fans the genre. I found it very entertaining.     

Gary Tooze

 

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