A few words about…™ Trigger, Jr. — in Blu-ray

Kino Lorber's Blu-ray is a quality affair, and overall even for those who might not ever consider watching the work of The King of the Cowboys, Trigger, Jr. is worthy of your time. 4 Stars

Paramount has done Republic proud, with their restoration (from original elements) of Trigger, Jr. the 16th of 19 TruColor westerns from Republic with Roy Rogers in the leads, made between 1947 and 1950.

It’s a far more interesting film than I might have surmised.

At 66 minutes (one record has it as 68), it’s short and to the point. As inclusive of a few western ballads, the films actually weighs in at closer to ten minutes shorter.

But the main point of my interest was that it was far from being a totally kid-friendly production.

Some 42 minutes, in when Roy dons his six-shooters to take on the bad dudes, it takes a dark turn. A couple of killings, albeit without blood, and some other minutia that I won’t get into, could leave a kid in 1950 wondering what he or she had walked into.

Normally, cut for TV, I bet it was the violence that went missing.

Making note of Paramount’s overseeing of the work on the film, they’ve made TruColor, a two-color process that was well below that of 3-strip Tech, look amazing colorful – and correct. Of course, part of this is do to color production design, bending the spectrum toward those colors that look best in the process – but they look terrific.

Kino Lorber’s Blu-ray is a quality affair, and overall even for those who might not ever consider watching the work of The King of the Cowboys, Trigger, Jr. is worthy of your time.

Occasional mis-registration at cuts, which is part of the norm for the process, along with very minimal processing anomalies, make it look like film, and probably the way that it always looked.

Are we getting better color via digital technology? Possibly.

I’m told by a friend who is working on an article (and who led me to view the film), that Trigger would come up behind Roy and “nudge” him when he was singing on stage. The reality was, that he was chewing through Roy’s shirt, and biting his back, knowing that Roy couldn’t stop the song and whack him. Apparently, Roy lost lot of expensive shirts that way.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Recommended

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

18 Comments

  1. Yes, I ordered this as well and now am more eager now to receive it after Mr. Harris' review. I ordered based upon Josh's review and the quality of Sunset in the West which is another Roy Rogers Republic Trucolor Kino title you should buy if you haven't already.

  2. The screen-caps posted on bluray.com look just amazing considering this process, although not surprisingly you can see the registration struggling a bit in some shots. Its really startling sometimes to see what's always been there slumbering on the OCN (or close to), waiting to be revealed. I've always wondered what source material was used for the 2 successive Blu-ray releases of Johnny Guitar (filmed 4 years later in one of the several processes named Trucolor).

  3. bigshot

    They should do a budget priced box set of Roy Rogers Trucolor features. I'd buy that, but not full price for one.

    $7.99 for each of the Roy Rogers Truecolor Westerns during the recent Kino sale, You pay more for a meal at McDonald's or Burger King, and honestly, neither of those are as comforting as the films.

  4. I expect there would be a better market for these films at a budget pricepoint, but these are high-end restorations that probably haven't covered their costs. In the dvd era they could maybe price them like that and sell enough that even with a lower margin they could still make up the expense.

    I feel I can justify paying a little extra when the restoration is this good. I'd recommend checking out at least one of these if you can pick it up for a price you are comfortable with. I was blown away with how good these look.

  5. Interdimensional

    I expect there would be a better market for these films at a budget pricepoint, but these are high-end restorations that probably haven't covered their costs. In the dvd era they could maybe price them like that and sell enough that even with a lower margin they could still make up the expense.

    I feel I can justify paying a little extra when the restoration is this good. I'd recommend checking out at least one of these if you can pick it up for a price you are comfortable with. I was blown away with how good these look.

    Until I watched Roy Rogers "Sunset in the West," I never realized that Trucolor could look anywhere near this good. Really a revelation.

  6. There are also several closeout book/media sellers which sometimes carry Kino titles at some very good prices, incl. Hamilton Books (found at erhbc.com). They charge just a single flat rate for shipping.
    (Of course, if one truly wants to do their part to support the continued creation of releases such as the above, I wld try to resist going that route as it IS the movement of first-hand/retail product that really matters)

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