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Robert Harris

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John Sturges, probably best known for The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, is also represented by the 1959 Last Train from Gun Hill.

I'd not seen this film in years, and had minimal memories of it.

Paramount has gone back to original Vista film elements and created a beautiful looking new Blu-ray.

Virtually everything about the presentation is superb, although I'm seeing very, very minor indications of what appears to be fade in a small number of shots. No big deal.

Other than that, and I defy anyone to pick it up, color, densities, grain structure all appears normal and within proper parameters.

Before viewing this disc, I was trying to figure out precisely why my memories of this film lag behind some of Mr. Sturges other work.

The film looks terrific, and it should, as it was shot by Charles Lang in VistaVision.

Performances are typical of the actors involved, with Mr. Douglas and Mr. Quinn growling at each other a times.

The score is not one of Dimitri Tiomkin's best, but is more than serviceable.

No fault of the film, it appears to be a generic studio production c. 1959, and looks the part.

I guess what I'm feeling about this film, is that while it may have been a fine entertainment back in July of 1959, to my mind, it's not one of those films that we might consider a true classic, and falls short of standing that test of time.

In short, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, it ain't.

Image – 4.5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Yes

Recommended


RAH
 
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Robert Crawford

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John Sturges, probably best known for The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, is also represented by the 1959 Last Train from Gun Hill.

I'd not seen this film in years, and had minimal memories of it.

Paramount has gone back to original Vista film elements and created a beautiful looking new Blu-ray.

Virtually everything about the presentation is superb, although I'm seeing very, very minor indications of what appears to be fade in a small number of shots. No big deal.

Other than that, and I defy anyone to pick it up, color, densities, grain structure all appears normal and within proper parameters.

Before viewing this disc, I was trying to figure out precisely why my memories of this film lag behind some of Mr. Sturges other work.

The film looks terrific, and it should, as it was shot by Charles Lang in VistaVision.

Performances are typical of the actors involved, with Mr. Douglas and Mr. Quinn growling at each other a times.

The score is not one of Dimitri Tiomkin's best, but is more than serviceable.

No fault of the film, it appears to be a generic studio production c. 1959, and looks the part.

I guess what I'm feeling about this film, is that while it may have been a fine entertainment back in July of 1959, to my mind, it's not one of those films that we might consider a true classic, and falls short of standing that test of time.

In short, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, it ain't.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Yes

Recommended


RAH
I actually think it's a better film than "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" as that film has too much inaccurate historical BS in it for me. Again, Carolyn Jones performance in this movie elevates this western for me more today than when I was a kid watching it.
 

dpippel

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I actually think it's a better film than "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" as that film has too much historical BS in it for me. Again, Carolyn Jones performance in this movie elevates this western for me more today than when I was a kid watching it.
And the same goes for Kirk Douglas here, IMO. I really like his performance in this film for some reason, and I swear I could watch him reading the dictionary and be completely entertained. I picked up the HD streaming version on iTunes last week, and like the movie enough that I'm considering grabbing the Blu-ray even though the stream looks very nice indeed.
 

Rob W

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Viacom put this out ( along with several Elvis titles ) on Super 8 years ago in a gorgeous print that I borrowed several times from my public library. Haven't seen it in at least 20 years, but loved it at the time.

Am I the only one who thinks of this as a suspense film more than a western ( despite the western setting ) ?
 

Billy Batson

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I saw the film a couple of years ago (for the first time in decades), & what got me about it, was the guy who killed & maybe raped (not sure about that, but it was a fifties film, so they couldn't be too explicit) the Indian woman, wasn't blamed for doing that to an Indian woman: who cared, but because she was married to the Kirk Douglas character. You do get the impression that if she'd just been just an Indian, then no one would have given a monkeys. But the film is getting on for 70 years old, & if we sidelined every western that was unfair to the Indians (Native Americans), then that's three quarters of westerns gone (including many of my favourites). I have the new transfer recorded off TV, but I will get around to buying the Blu-ray.
 

old mole

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Viacom put this out ( along with several Elvis titles ) on Super 8 years ago in a gorgeous print that I borrowed several times from my public library. Haven't seen it in at least 20 years, but loved it at the time.

Am I the only one who thinks of this as a suspense film more than a western ( despite the western setting ) ?
Yes. Very much a suspense western. And I, too, like it better than Gunfight,
 

Robert Harris

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I saw the film a couple of years ago (for the first time in decades), & what got me about it, was the guy who killed & maybe raped (not sure about that, but it was a fifties film, so they couldn't be too explicit) the Indian woman, wasn't blamed for doing that to an Indian woman: who cared, but because she was married to the Kirk Douglas character. You do get the impression that if she'd just been just an Indian, then no one would have given a monkeys. But the film is getting on for 70 years old, & if we sidelined every western that was unfair to the Indians (Native Americans), then that's three quarters of westerns gone (including many of my favourites). I have the new transfer recorded off TV, but I will get around to buying the Blu-ray.
60 years old…
 

RICK BOND

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I actually think it's a better film than "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" as that film has too much historical BS in it for me. Again, Carolyn Jones performance in this movie elevates this western for me more today than when I was a kid watching it.
I like Gunfight a little more because it has Burt. A Perfect Double Feature to watch. Some of the same Actors, same Producer, Director, Music Composer and both in Glorious Paramount VistaVision ! :D I won't be getting mine until Thursday from Amazon. :(
aaaaa Last Train from Gun Hill- Le dernier train de Gun hill 1959.jpg
 
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David_B_K

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Am I the only one who thinks of this as a suspense film more than a western ( despite the western setting ) ?
I pretty much see it that way as well. The story could work as a modern crime drama as well as a western. For that reason, it does not strike me as a quintessential western. I still like it for the suspense and Douglas' single-minded purpose and intensity.

There is a western movie coming up soon on either HDNet Movies of MGM HD that I have never seen called Gun the Man Down. It stares James Arness as a member of a gang who execute a robbery. Arness is wounded and left behind by the gang and his girlfriend (Angie Dickinson) while Arness gets caught and put in jail. Arness gets out (don't know if he escaped or served time) and goes after the gang for revenge. That story sounds a lot like s plot that was made into two modern crime films - Point Blank with Lee Marvin as the guy left behind and Angie Dickinson (again!) as Marvin's unfaithful wife; and Payback with Mel Gibson as the guy left behind and Deborah Kara Unger as his faithless wife). Both the modern films are based on a novel by Donald Westlake. Whether Westlake got the idea for the story from that movie is anybody's guess, but they do sound similar to me. At least it shows that some stories work regardless of the stting.
 

Robert Crawford

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Viacom put this out ( along with several Elvis titles ) on Super 8 years ago in a gorgeous print that I borrowed several times from my public library. Haven't seen it in at least 20 years, but loved it at the time.

Am I the only one who thinks of this as a suspense film more than a western ( despite the western setting ) ?
It definitely has suspense elements to it, but you can say that about many westerns including some that have definite noir elements in them.
 

Robert Crawford

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I pretty much see it that way as well. The story could work as a modern crime drama as well as a western. For that reason, it does not strike me as a quintessential western. I still like it for the suspense and Douglas' single-minded purpose and intensity.
IMO, there aren't many quintessential westerns made after WWII.
 

Robert Crawford

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I saw the film a couple of years ago (for the first time in decades), & what got me about it, was the guy who killed & maybe raped (not sure about that, but it was a fifties film, so they couldn't be too explicit) the Indian woman, wasn't blamed for doing that to an Indian woman: who cared, but because she was married to the Kirk Douglas character. You do get the impression that if she'd just been just an Indian, then no one would have given a monkeys. But the film is getting on for 70 years old, & if we sidelined every western that was unfair to the Indians (Native Americans), then that's three quarters of westerns gone (including many of my favourites). I have the new transfer recorded off TV, but I will get around to buying the Blu-ray.
I think that was the point they were trying to make in the film that if she was any other Indian woman, nobody would care which is why you have Kirk Douglas and even Carolyn Jones act in an aggressive manner when certain characters said they thought she was just some squaw.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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I saw this for the first time the other night via the iTunes HD (thank you for the $3.99 deal mentioned here) and really enjoyed it. I think Robert's C.'s analysis above is spot on regarding the "Indian woman" issue.
 

John Hermes

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I like Gunfight a little more because it has Burt. A Perfect Double Feature to watch. Some of the same Actors, same Producer, Director, Music Composer and both in Glorious Paramount VistaVision ! :D I won't be getting mine until Thursday from Amazon. :( View attachment 100429
Gunfight at the OK Corral is my favorite Western but, being a Kirk fan, this one is great as well. I think Dimitri's score is also excellent The soundtrack CD has some great stereo tracks. Dang, I miss 50s & 60s Westerns.
 

Scott Merryfield

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I watched this film for the first time recently on iTunes (thanks to the $3.99 price). I thought it was a good film, mostly due to the performances of Douglas, Quinn and Jones. I would not rank it as high as Gunfight at the OK Corral for a couple of reasons -- the entire "waiting for the train" theme seemed like a rehash of 3:10 to Yuma, and I'm not much of a fan of Earl Holliman's acting.
 

Pictureman

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I still have the Super 8 print, mounted on a single big reel and it was screened many, many times for family and friends who have almost all passed away. Our regular postman complained that he never got to see any of the films he delivered to me, so a showing of "Last Train" had to be arranged for him and all his colleagues! It was a great night and the first question for every parcel that came afterwards was "Is it another western?"

There were two cinemas in our town but nothing they ever showed is as fondly remembered!
 

Robert Crawford

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I watched this film for the first time recently on iTunes (thanks to the $3.99 price). I thought it was a good film, mostly due to the performances of Douglas, Quinn and Jones. I would not rank it as high as Gunfight at the OK Corral for a couple of reasons -- the entire "waiting for the train" theme seemed like a rehash of 3:10 to Yuma, and I'm not much of a fan of Earl Holliman's acting.
TBH, Gunfight at the OK Corral is a rehash of prior films too and Earl Holliman was in that film too.:)
 

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