Cat Ballou (1965)
Garden of Evil (1954)
Company: Twilight Time
Starring: Jane Fonda, Lee Marvin, Dwayne Hickman, Nat King Cole, Stubby Kaye, Gary Cooper, Rita Moreno, Huge Marlowe, Susan Hayward, Cameron Mitchell, Richard Widmark.
My Review and Thoughts:
Cat Ballou: 4 out of 5
Garden of Evil: 4 out of 5
Here we adventure into two Westerns of totally opposite from one another. Each different in their own ways. Twilight Time has brought out two very memorable features on Blu-ray. Each one looks beautiful. The Transfers are amazing.
Cat Ballou is not your typical western. This is a comedy western musical. Kind of a spoof of westerns. Catherine Ballou played by Jane Fonda has a desire to be a school teacher. She is coming home to her father’s ranch, while on the way she mistakenly help’s Clay Boone who happens to be a cattle rustler. She soon realizes that the Wolf City Corporation is trying to take her father’s ranch. Clay the one she helped get away joins and agrees to help her and her father. She hires a legend in the gun play reality named Kid Shelleen played fantastically by the one and only Lee Marvin. Soon add in the bad guy gunslinger Tim Strawn also played flawlessly by Lee Marvin. His dual roles as two different gunslingers won him an academy award.
In Garden of Evil your main character is Hooker played wonderfully by Gary Cooper. Now Hooker along with two others, Fiske and Luke Daly are on their way to California to seek out gold through prospecting. While stopping over in a village they are contacted by Leah Fuller. She hires them to rescue her husband John, who happens to be trapped in a mine in very hostile Indian country. So beings their journey to rescue and also to fight off Apaches and there growing desire for Leah the one who hired them.
Cat Ballou was directed by Elliot Silverstein. He worked on many TV series and TV movies, Cat Ballou was his biggest accomplishment in film. He actually directed a really great western starring Richard Harris, 1970’s A Man Called Horse. He actually directed one of my favorite thriller films of all time. The often over looked and underrated 1977’s The Car. The Car is mainly hated by critics but it’s still a childhood favorite of mine.
Garden of Evil was directed by one of my favorite directors of the past. He had a total expertise in creating memorable films, and executing those characters on screen into a believable reality. If you know me, you know I mention growing up on Westerns. Staying at my Uncles house most of my childhood, there was always westerns on and many of those westerns where directed by Henry Hathaway. Hathaway was a passionate director. He worked with all the greats, the one of kind, amazing Randolph Scott. The legend and Icon John Wayne. The sexy, handsome Gary Cooper. He partly directed one of my favorite Westerns of all time 1962’s How the West Was Won. Also directed the one and only 1969’s True Grit.
My Rating: 5 out of 5
Both features are truly excellent in my viewpoint. Vibrant in imagery. Solid sound. Twilight Time always amazes me in how much they put into their products.
For Cat Ballou:
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 1.85:1
AUDIO: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA / English 2.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
For Garden of Evil:
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 2.55:1
AUDIO: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA / English 4.0 DTS-HD MA / English 2.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
Cat Ballou: 4 out of 5
Garden of Evil: 5 out of 5
Both of these are packed with an excellent array of special features. Many of the products put out by Twilight Time are blessed with amazing Special Features. Many times Twilight Time gathers existing special features and brings them all together with new ones.
For Cat Ballou:
Isolated Score Track: Three people was involved with the music of the film. The main score was by Frank De Vol. The songs where written by Mack David and Jerry Livingston. De Vol was not only a composer, but also an actor. De Vol was a powerful creator of music scores. He was nominated for 4 Academy Awards, responsible for the great scores of Pillow Talk, Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. All one has to do is look at his vast career in music scores. From What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, The Flight of the Phoenix (1965), The Dirty Dozen, Hustle, and many others. He was a gifted soul and an amazing musician that left the movie world with dynamic pieces.
Audio Commentary with Actors Michael Callan and Dwayne Hickman. A great listen.
Audio Commentary with Film Historians Eddy Friedfeld, Lee Pfeiffer, and Paul Scrabo. Really loved hearing this one. I am a huge fan when it comes to film historians. I love hearing people who have a passion for cinema. There is nothing more satisfying to a movie buff then being educated on a particular film.
Lee and Pamela: A Romance. A great watch about the relationship between Lee Marvin and his wife. With a runtime of a little over 34 minutes, this was a fantastic journey about the one and only iconic actor.
The Legend of Cat Ballou. Running a little over 12 minutes. These are archived pieces.
Original Theatrical Trailer.
For Garden of Evil:
Isolated Score Track: The man behind this music score is the one and only Bernard Herrmann. The man behind the music really needs no introduction to cinema lovers. He is the master behind some of the greatest music scores of all time. He was a regular on Hitchcock films composing such masterpieces as Psycho, North by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Vertigo and many, many other Hitchcock films. Now he also did beyond Hitchcock films such as the masterpieces Citizen Kane, Cape Fear, Fahrenheit 451, and Taxi Driver. Whatever he graced with his master talent, was a true one of a kind music orgy of total perfection that left a movie, with so much more glory, when it had his, musical talent. He was a multi-award winning master composer. He worked his talent from 1941 all the way until 1976. His last four movies in the 70’s was an array of his talent from, De Palma’s Sisters and Obsession, to Cohen’s, It’s Alive, to Scorsese’s, Taxi Driver. He left his stamp in the music and movie world for all generations to experience. He also has been graced by other Twilight Time releases with his music score from The Bride Wore Black and Journey to the Center of the Earth. His music is still being used today in films and TV, most recently in the awesome first season of American Horror Story, and on the big screen in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.
Audio Commentary with Film and Music Historians John Morgan, Nick Redman, Steven C. Smith and William T. Stromberg. This was a fantastic listen. Not only getting to hear film historian’s, but also music historian’s.
Travels of a Gunslinger: The Making of Garden of Evil (13:26)
Susan Hayward: Hollywood’s Straight Shooter (6:55)
Henry Hathaway: When the Going Gets Tough… (11:41)
TV Spot / Original Theatrical Trailers.
As always you get the important booklet insert in both films by Film guru and historian Julia Kirgo. Always a fantastic read for any movie lover.
Two Excellent products. Two products packed with special features. Beautiful transfers to Blu-ray. Amazing audio. Both these Blu-ray’s are must own in my viewpoint. Each one has its own merit and importance in cinema history. Any movie lover, movie buff, cinema fiend, should own these.
Cat Ballou is a laugh out good time and is one of those films that make one smirk, giggle and just plain enjoy. Garden of Evil is a fantastic western with fantastic performances.
Another two amazing releases by Twilight Time.
Make sure you head over to www.screenarchives.com to buy all the wonderful Twilight Time Blu-rays. The main page that gives you these beautiful releases on top quality Special Editions.
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