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Robert Harris

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Between WB and Warner Archive, two Howard Hawks films are being released this month - a new restoration of Rio Bravo (1959) in 4k, and Land of the Pharaohs (1955) in 2k. With four years between the two films, one might believe that there were others made during that period, but Rio Bravo follows Pharaohs.

Warners' new 4k of Rio Bravo is an interesting candidate for the format, as there's very little evident resolution to be found outside of a bit of detail in some exteriors.

The film seems to have been shot filtered by long time Hawks DP Russell Harlan, (I'd not recalled this), so it has a soft texture to it that I'm presuming did not come from digital work, but is in the OCN.

I did note some extremely minor digital anomalies, probably from clean-up, but not only will they not be noted by 99% of viewers, but are invisible from a nominal seating distance.

Color and densities are quite nice, and a good upgrade from the original Blu-ray. Grain structure seems fine, although dupes and some of the digital work performed to make them pretty, doesn't look wonderful to my eye. Something is just a bit off.

I had remembered Ricky Nelson being a reasonably horrific actor in this film. I was wrong. He's worse.

All in all, a nice upgrade from the previous release, but as with quite a few new 4k UHD titles, a new Blu-ray would have done quite nicely. No 4k required here.

One of the nice things here is seeing that long-lost RR belt buckle in color.

Packaging, sans slipcover (which I prefer), is attractive. And those following the WB100 series will note that the logo is neatly hidden as part of the upper band of information.

Image – 4.5 (Dolby Vision)

Audio – 5 (DTS HD-MA 2.0)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Makes use of and works well in 4k - 6

Worth your attention - 7.5

Upgrade from Blu-ray - Yes

Slipcover rating - n/a

Recommended

RAH


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Robin9

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Thank you for this review. I'm pleased but not at all surprised that this is an upgrade from the awful Blu-ray disc. I'll place my order within a few days of this going on sale. I'm not going to wait for a sale.

I like Ricky Nelson in this film. I've never had any problem with his performance.
 

JoeDoakes

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Between WB and Warner Archive, two Howard Hawks films are being released this month - a new restoration of Rio Bravo (1959) in 4k, and Land of the Pharaohs (1955) in 2k. With four years between the two films, one might believe that there were others made during that period, but Rio Bravo follows Pharaohs.

Warners' new 4k of Rio Bravo is an interesting candidate for the format, as there's very little evident resolution to be found outside of a bit of detail in some exteriors.

The film seems to have been shot filtered by long time Hawks DP Russell Harlan, (I'd not recalled this), so it has a soft texture to it that I'm presuming did not come from digital work, but is in the OCN.

I did note some extremely minor digital anomalies, probably from clean-up, but not only will they not be noted by 99% of viewers, but are invisible from a nominal seating distance.

Color and densities are quite nice, and a good upgrade from the original Blu-ray. Grain structure seems fine, although dupes and some of the digital work performed to make them pretty, doesn't look wonderful to my eye. Something is just a bit off.

I had remembered Ricky Nelson being a reasonably horrific actor in this film. I was wrong. He's worse.

All in all, a nice upgrade from the previous release, but as with quite a few new 4k UHD titles, a new Blu-ray would have done quite nicely. No 4k required here.

One of the nice things here is seeing that long-lost RR belt buckle in color.

Packaging, sans slipcover (which I prefer), is attractive. And those following the WB100 series will note that the logo is neatly hidden as part of the upper band of information.

Image – 4.5 (Dolby Vision)

Audio – 5 (DTS HD-MA 2.0)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Makes use of and works well in 4k - 6

Worth your attention - 7.5

Upgrade from Blu-ray - Yes

Slipcover rating - n/a

Recommended

RAH
Compared to Fabian or Franklie Avalon, I think Ricky Nelson holds up pretty well. Plus you get that wonderful duet with Dean Martin. Even John Ford would approve of that:
 

jim_falconer

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I wish this came with a BD disc as well. I’ve lived thru and owned multiple VHS, Laserdisc, DVD and BD players, along with all the tapes and discs that go along with those players. I’m done upgrading to another physical format.
 

Robert Harris

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Compared to Fabian or Franklie Avalon, I think Ricky Nelson holds up pretty well. Plus you get that wonderful duet with Dean Martin. Even John Ford would approve of that:

Don’t get me started on the hairstyle. Nothing wrong with his singing. Sweet voice, but it just shuts the film down for me. I always wondered if it was in his contract that he get a song that could be a single.

Still a quality Hawks film, followed by El Dorado and Rio Lobo - all similar vehicles. This is the best of the three.
 

jim_falconer

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You could say John Wayne and Ricky Nelson were opposites in their professional careers. One could act, but not sing, while the other could sing, but definitely struggled with acting.
 

Stephen_J_H

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No mention of my two favourite parts of this film: Angie Dickinson (drop dead gorgeous here) and Dean Martin (doing his drunk act again, but infusing it with pathos absent in his Vegas residencies). Disappointed to hear that some digital futzing is not up to snuff, but it sounds like it will look better than the old HD DVD/BD master.
 

Robert Crawford

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No mention of my two favourite parts of this film: Angie Dickinson (drop dead gorgeous here) and Dean Martin (doing his drunk act again, but infusing it with pathos absent in his Vegas residencies). Disappointed to hear that some digital futzing is not up to snuff, but it sounds like it will look better than the old HD DVD/BD master.
Based on the 4K/Dolby Vision stream I watched three times in its entirety back in April, it looks much better than that HD DVD/BD releases.
 

Robert Harris

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No mention of my two favourite parts of this film: Angie Dickinson (drop dead gorgeous here) and Dean Martin (doing his drunk act again, but infusing it with pathos absent in his Vegas residencies). Disappointed to hear that some digital futzing is not up to snuff, but it sounds like it will look better than the old HD DVD/BD master.
I’d not be terribly concerned about “digital futzing,” as I’ll bet no one will notice it. I merely make for transparency.
 

sbjork

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The only real problem with Ricky Nelson is that he isn't James Caan. Caan ended up owning the reworked sidekick part in El Dorado.
 

lark144

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Are you saying there is no new Blu-ray included in this package???
Rio Bravo.jpg
The Amazon page lists only one disc and as you can see from the cover above, no mention is made of a Blu-Ray.
 

Robert Crawford

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View attachment 189594 The Amazon page lists only one disc and as you can see from the cover above, no mention is made of a Blu-Ray.
I do wonder if this is another cost-saving blunder by Warner as the MSRP hasn't decreased from prior 4K/UHD releases with Blu-rays like Cool Hand Luke and Rebel Without a Cause? IMO, a bad PR move by Warner Home Video!
 

lark144

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I do wonder if this is another cost-saving blunder by Warner as the MSRP hasn't decreased from prior 4K/UHD releases with Blu-rays like Cool Hand Luke and Rebel Without a Cause? IMO, a bad PR move by Warner Home Video!
Robert, absolutely agree.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Are you saying there is no new Blu-ray included in this package???

Unfortunately, Warner has for the most part stopped providing updated Blu-rays from the new masters with their 4K releases for about five years now.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Another bad PR move!

Don’t disagree, but I’m sure they must be looking at how many people never touched the DVDs in the “BD + DVD” combo packs they did for over a decade and come to a conclusion that the number of people not buying from lack of remastered BD didn’t come close to the savings from not including a disc most buyers won’t ever touch.
 

John Hermes

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Thank you for this review. I'm pleased but not at all surprised that this is an upgrade from the awful Blu-ray disc. I'll place my order within a few days of this going on sale. I'm not going to wait for a sale.

I like Ricky Nelson in this film. I've never had any problem with his performance.
Yeah, let's see Laurence Olivier try to sing "Travelin' Man".
 

JoeDoakes

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The only real problem with Ricky Nelson is that he isn't James Caan. Caan ended up owning the reworked sidekick part in El Dorado.
Of the three Hawkes films, El Dorado is my least favorite. I don't really like any of the replacement actors in it. Rio Lobo is probably the least serious of the three, but I think it's a lot of fun, and I enjoy the Civil War intro and all the people in it. Short of Walter Brennan, Jack Elam is a pretty good choice. Think I saw it at the Drive In with my Dad.
 

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