Blu-ray Company: Twilight Time
Starring: Fredric March, Paul Newman, Barbara Rush, Diane Cilento, Martin Balsam, Richard Boone, Cameron Mitchell
Plot: Product Description: John Russell, disdained by his "respectable" fellow stagecoach passengers because he was raised by Indians, becomes their only hope for survival when they are set upon by outlaws.
My Review and Thoughts:
It surprises me that this movie has not had an outlet of Blu-ray. Thankfully, Twilight Time has honored this important and unique western. What can really be said that has not already been said? This is one of those pivotal films in cinema history. Starring the icon of Hollywood. Sexy, a man’s man, Paul Newman. This is one of his great films that has always stood out to me. I remember watching this film over and over again when I would stay with my uncle growing up, he was a huge western fan.
I think what makes this film so memorable is the ordeal and plight inside the plot of the film. Paul Newman plays John Russell. He is on a stagecoach. The others in the stagecoach don’t like the idea he was raised by Indians. They look down upon him. But when the crap hits the fan, he is the only hope they have. He now has to help them as outlaws try to overpower them.
This was directed by Martin Ritt. Ritt was a genius at making films. He knew what he wanted, and displayed that reality through his direction. He gave the public, rich characters, tightly weaved on screen, and displaying thought provoking stories through those filmed characters. Ritt was an amazing detailed director that brought so many greats. If you get a chance I highly recommend you seek out Ritt’s films. 1960’s 5 Branded Women to 1965’s masterpiece thriller, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold are both great examples of his mastery.
Martin Ritt directed Paul Newman many times throughout his career. From the amazing drama 1958’s The Long, Hot Summer, to the wonderful cinema gem of 1963’s HUD, which is one of my personal favorites. Ritt used the dynamic persona and tough guy, yet sexy natured Newman, in wonderful detailed ways throughout many films. Hombre is one of those amazing films that stand out above and beyond many.
Now all one has to do is look at the cast of this film. Yes, icon Paul Newman is in it, but it also stars the one of kind masterly actor, Fredric March. If one is a movie fan, I should not have to describe him, but sadly this generation falters from the master craftsman of the past in cinema. March is a god of performance. March started his career in silent films and worked up until the 1970’s. He graced his presence in masterpieces of cinema throughout the years such as, 1935’s Les Miserables, 1935’s Anna Karenina, 1960’s Inherit the Wind, which Twilight Time also released on a special edition Blu-ray, you can read my review for it here: MY REVIEW. I think the one true movie I will always remember him in, is 1931’s horror tour-de-force of cinema, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He played that duel role with such utter perfection, it’s hard to describe it, unless you have seen it. March is joined alongside other pioneers of film acting. The amazing Richard Boone, who gives one of the best villain roles in this film. He stands out as being one of the true highlights of this piece of cinema. He mastered the role of Cicero Grimes with a mastery that actors should learn from. The top notch performer Cameron Mitchell. The brilliant Martin Balsam. The very beautiful and sexy ladies, Diane Cilento and Barbara Rush. Barbara Rush and Diane Cilento was, and is, true Hollywood glamor. Both are lookers and a half. Barbara Rush, a sexy leading woman, but so much more. She knew her roles and acted her butt off in such Drive-In classics like 1951’s When Worlds Collide, to 1953’s It Came from Outer Space, and to many drama’s such as 1972’s The Man. She also worked in countless Television series, four most prominent ones, Marcus Welby, M.D., The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Fantasy Island and the most recently from 1997 to 2007, 7th Heaven, playing the character Ruth Camden. Whatever she acted in, she owned and brought to life her characters. That is what is so strong about this film, all the performances are honesty, FLAWLESS.
Now I have to talk about two last things. One is the cinematography. Now if there ever was a god of Cinematographer, it would be none other than the master, James Wong Howe. His breathtaking, rich and vibrant eye for beauty, desolation and art in camera form is highly praised. He was a god of capturing perfection. He worked from the Silent films all the way up up the 70’s. Mastering such greats like Lon Chaney’s 1928 masterpiece, Laugh Clown Laugh, 1942’s Yankee Doodle Dandy, 1955’s brilliant Picnic, Spencer Tracy’s masterful 1958’s The Old Man and the Sea, Daniel Mann’s stunning 1959's The Last Angry Man and so many others. His career was amazing and diverse. I think what is so shocking and amazing, is James was a Chinese man during a time where hatred and bigotry ran rampant, and yet he succeeded with his mastery, and flourished as an amazing film making genius. His eye for cinema is beyond words, and it shows in Hombre. He also was the Director of Photography on Martin Ritt’s 1963 HUD.
The last thing I need to mention is the written script or dialogue exchange in the film. Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank wrote a genius script of conversation between the characters. Their word play is mind numbing, and something flows almost like a hypnotic exchange between the characters. The word play is beyond expression through review unless you have seen the film. Now the story of the novel, is based on one of the writing world’s master storytellers, Elmore Leonard. Leonard was a masterpiece writer with such greats like, 3:10 to Yuma, Jackie Brown, Joe Kidd, The Rosary Murders, Out of Sight, Killshot, Get Shorty, which all became movies, some greater than others. Leonard was a true writer that knew his characters and brought a violent grittiness to his books, or a dark humor that often times transcended on the big screen, or the small screen. His story of Fire in the Hole, ended up becoming the TV series, Justified on the FX Channel. Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank took the genius of Leonard’s story, and wrote an excellent script, rich with some of the greatest dialogue exchange in cinema, and that is why this is one those films, that stands the test of time as being one of the brilliance of movie history.
Twilight Time saw this film as what it is, an important piece of unforgettable cinema. They mastered the transfer of this film on a lovely Blu-ray that is a must own experience.
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 2.35:1
AUDIO: English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
I was happy knowing finally this was getting a Blu-ray and Twilight Time did an excellent job. The transfer of the film in HD is utterly amazing. There is not a fault or flaw in the audio of video. This is one of those worthy products to be owned and talked about. Absolutely loved seeing this film on a new outlet. A prominent outlet of high quality that does not disappoint in anyway.
Isolated Music Track: Now this special feature is golden to any music lover due to the fact, the amazing David Rose did the composing of the music. Rose is the very definition of man behind the western sound and beyond. Don’t get me wrong, he was a lot more than that, but he graced his expertise with the classic western TV series, Bonanza. From musician to composer and music department on many, upon many TV series, including one of my personal favorites, Highway to Heaven. He created many memorable tunes. From, Little House on the Prairie, to being composer on iconic animated series, like The Yogi Bear Show or The Huckleberry Hound Show. He did above and beyond the music reality, for he was a musician god, that displayed his talent through composing, playing and crafting soundtracks. He was and is, one of those music icons that should always be remembered. There is a reason why I speak highly of him, and that’s because I grew up watching the old Red Skelton Show, because my father was a huge fan, and he always had tapes of his or VHS’ of his program. David Rose was the music director for that show, all 21 years of it. So I always remember him, his name and his image. Plus like I have stated growing up with the TV series, Highway to Heaven, and reruns of Little House on the Prairie, and Bonanza, which my Uncle always had playing. I knew that David Rose had a part in the music for Hombre, and so that is one reason I was looking forward to this Twilight Time Blu-ray release. Having this special feature is truly great.
Also you get a wonderful Audio Commentary by two wonderful film historians Lee Pfeiffer and Paul Scrabo. Two excellent film lovers who know there stuff and appreciate film.
Also you get the original Theatrical Trailer.
Plus as always the wonderful booklet insert by film lover and guru, Julie Kirgo with her wonderful expertise.
An excellent product by Twilight Time. A must own Blu-ray experience of high class quality. Beautiful vibrant imagery, rich with sound quality and transfer. Twilight Time aced this film on Blu-ray.
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