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HELL BENT FOR LEATHER (1960) and SIX BLACK HORSES (1962)


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#1 of 20 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted October 20 2012 - 02:33 AM

Two of Audie Murphy's strongest performances in two of his best westerns are unavailable in the USA. Universal has seen fit to release them only in region 2 countries. The least pricey editions are from Australia. Has anyone seen those? Do you know if they're widescreen and anamorphic and in good picture quality? or is there some other edition you've seen and can recommend?

#2 of 20 OFFLINE   Livius

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Posted October 20 2012 - 03:48 AM

The only release of Six Black Horses I'm aware of is the Dutch R2, and it's not very good - non-anamorphic and a weak image.

Hell Bent for Leather is another matter entirely. The German release by Koch boasts a simply excellent anamorphic scope transfer. I reviewed it a while back here.


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#3 of 20 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted October 20 2012 - 11:15 PM

Thanks for your helpful response, Colin. Dead-on accurate review, as always on your blog, of HELL BENT FOR LEATHER. I'll look underground for SIX BLACK HORSES, POSSE FROM HELL and a few others. I think you'd enjoy TCM's Audie Murphy Westerns Collection. The four films don't have seem to have clicked with HTF's readership, but I like them. I wish Universal would appoint someone who knows what's what in their back catalog and release some of their old genre films in proper transfers.

#4 of 20 OFFLINE   Livius

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Posted October 21 2012 - 12:37 AM

Richard, if you're looking for a good copy of Posse from Hell then I definitely recommend the UK release from Odeon - it's a good anamorphic widescreen transfer.


That TCM Murphy collection sounds very good. However, I already have two of the titles (Ride Clear of Diablo and Ride a Crooked Trail)  from Koch in Germany, and Drums Across the River is getting an individual UK release early next year.


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#5 of 20 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted October 21 2012 - 02:03 AM

I think, then, I will spring for both POSSE FROM HELL and HELL BENT FOR LEATHER despite the problematic PAL speed-up. There is another edition of HELL BENT FOR LEATHER on American ebay. Have you seen Optimum's U.K. edition of CHINO / VALDEZ HORSES ? Can't find a review anywhere that mentions picture quality and whether or not it's widescreen.

#6 of 20 OFFLINE   Livius

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Posted October 21 2012 - 02:10 AM

Valdez Horses is 1.33:1, but a very clean, smooth transfer all the same.


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#7 of 20 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted October 21 2012 - 02:25 AM

I wonder if the Optimum disc is open matte, then. John Sturges stopping shooting 1.33 in 1953 so that can't be right. There seems to be no proper source from this film. Maybe I'll get it anyhow for the quality of the image.

#8 of 20 OFFLINE   Livius

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Posted October 21 2012 - 03:06 AM

I'd imagine open matte, whether it's also zoomed a bit I couldn't say. Some images here.


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#9 of 20 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted October 21 2012 - 03:45 AM

Soon as I saw your captures I went over to amazon.uk and clicked Buy It Now, together with Posse From Hell. That's the best THE VALDEZ HORSES / CHINO ever looked. USA editions look like junk in comparison. Your captures suggest this is an open matte transfer. So whatever the correct ratio is -- and there's no documentation that I know of -- at least the image is all there in the open matte. The budget may have been low, but the film is extremely well crafted by director John Sturges. This is a very fine, intelligent western drama about racial prejudice, perseverance and loss. It also features heartfelt performances by Charles Bronson and his co-star Jill Ireland. She always put a light in his eyes and a spring in his step that made their collaborations special. It's nice watching them work together. Thanks for your help.

#10 of 20 OFFLINE   mustang

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Posted October 26 2012 - 12:04 AM

Just Got Hold Of HELL BENT FOR LEATHER The Picture Quality Is Great And It Is In Widescreen, a Good Picture With Plenty Of Action.

#11 of 20 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted October 27 2012 - 06:11 AM

Colin, you may want to check out MASTERSON OF KANSAS (Columbia 1954) from the Sony MOD archive. It is the first really interesting portrayal of Doc Holliday and sets up the characterization for all the Earp / Holliday films that follow. Wyatt Earp has a smaller part in it, but he's not yet a stereotype, either. Last night I watched an off-air recording of SIX BLACK HORSES. SIX BLACK HORSES continues the themes writer Burt Kennedy started with director Budd Boetticher and actor Randolph Scott in 7 DAYS FROM NOW, THE TALL T, RIDE LONESOME and COMANCHE STATION. Although this film comes from Universal - International instead of Columbia, is directed by Harry Keller instead of Boetticher and stars Audie Murphy instead of Scott, it's a lean, terse western in the exact same mold. It must be considered a legitimate continuation of those films on the strength of Kennedy's writing alone.The ruddy landscapes of St George, Utah provide the same dusty hardscrabble aesthetic as Boetticher's beloved Lone Pine and Alabama Hills of inland California. Scott's flinty character is divided into two characters here, the other played by Dan Duryea. Their relationship keeps shifting between the voice of conscience and the pull of opportunity to earn some serious money. The two men are constantly testing each other as they cross hostile Indian country to escort a woman to a distant settlement where her husband is waiting. The woman's motives are not what they seem, and she soon has the men on whom she depends at each other's throats. Some of the same dialog and situations appear from the previous films, but the narrative plays out differently.The dialog is wonderful. The ending and denouement are memorable. SIX BLACK HORSES is a substantial western that packs a lot of dramaturgy and action into 80 minutes.

#12 of 20 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted October 27 2012 - 04:41 PM

Just Got Hold Of HELL BENT FOR LEATHER The Picture Quality Is Great And It Is In Widescreen, a Good Picture With Plenty Of Action.

Which edition are you referring to? The Koch from Germany or the Australian edition? A French edition of Six Black Horses: http://www.amazon.fr...duct/B001W2Z0SW Whether or not is widescreen, anamorphic and in good picture quality, I don't know.

#13 of 20 OFFLINE   Livius

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Posted October 28 2012 - 03:08 AM

Richard, I agree with your assessment of Six Black Horses - must do a piece on it actually.


I've never seen Masterson of Kansas but I'm very keen to do so. There's a nice review/article on the film here - a site I highly recommend by the way.


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#14 of 20 OFFLINE   Livius

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Posted October 28 2012 - 03:14 AM

Originally Posted by Richard--W 


A French edition of Six Black Horses:
http://www.amazon.fr...duct/B001W2Z0SW
Whether or not is widescreen, anamorphic and in good picture quality, I don't know.


Judging from the reviews on the site, I reckon that's a clone of the disappointing Dutch release I mentioned above.


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#15 of 20 OFFLINE   mustang

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Posted October 29 2012 - 12:10 AM

Which edition are you referring to? The Koch from Germany or the Australian edition? A French edition of Six Black Horses: http://www.amazon.fr...duct/B001W2Z0SW Whether or not is widescreen, anamorphic and in good picture quality, I don't know.

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#16 of 20 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted October 29 2012 - 07:34 PM

I wish you'd be more specific, Patrick. Did you buy the Australian blu-ray or the Koch blu-ray from Germany?

#17 of 20 OFFLINE   Livius

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Posted October 29 2012 - 08:31 PM

Just to prevent confusion Richard, the Koch release of Hell Bent for Leather is DVD only - an excellent DVD though. I'm pretty sure the Australian release is also DVD only.


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#18 of 20 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted October 30 2012 - 02:44 AM

Oops. I mis-spoke. I meant DVD. A one-track mind, over here. The Australian DVD is $15 cheaper for me to buy.

#19 of 20 OFFLINE   mustang

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Posted October 30 2012 - 11:43 PM

Colin Is right Richard Hell Bent For Leather Is Only On dvd, But You Wont Be Disappointed With The Quality.

#20 of 20 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted October 31 2012 - 04:54 AM

You have a way of missing the point, Patrick.




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