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Robert Harris

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Wichita is an important film from a number of perspectivess.

Directed by Jacques Tourneur, the son of Maurice, who directed some wonderful early silent films before returning to Europe.

Jacques will probably be best known here for his 1940s work at RKO, inclusive of three films for the Lewton unit - Cat People (1942), and I Walked with a Zombie and The Leopard Man - both 1943. In addition, he directed Out of the Past (1947) The Flame and the Arrow (1950), Curse of the Demon (1957) and The Comedy of Terrors for AiP in 1963.

Wichita was his first film in CinemaScope, for which the process was used magnificently by DP Harold Lipstein, who later shot Von Ryan's Express.

Another connection is that it was one of the new mid-budget Allied Artists productions (formerly Monogram) via producer Walter Mirisch, who went on to make some other films - some with larger budgets.

The Allied Artists connection is also interesting as they brought in Joel McCrea and Vera Miles for the leads, as well as some excellent supporting players. Jody McCrea, aka Joel McCrea Jr. appears as a gunman. He's probably best known for a series of Beach Blanket productions.

Warner Archive has created a new master for this film. I'll not call it "Restored," as that moniker has been relegated to almost every new release, inclusive of new films, inclusive of the "Miraculously Restored Barbie!" Near the top of that list was the brilliantly restored The Little Mermaid from Disney.

A great deal of work has been done, but I have't yet come up with the proper name. Once I do, that will also most assuredly be purloined by marketing people. I need something that can be trademarked.

So...

Wichita has not been "Restored." It's been attended to in other ways.

Bottom line. It looks and sounds terrific. Color has been ummm... brought back to appear as it did in 1955. Grain, density black levels all fall in line with this type of ummm... work.

Wichita is also a bit of an oddball film, as it may come across of impersonal, or oddly indirect, which seems to be part of the Tourneur texture of filmmaking.

This is the first time that I've seen it looking as it does since the initial theatrical run, as a youth, and seeing it again in CinemaScope leaves an indelible impression.

This is a film, possibly unknown to many, that is absolutely worth the price of admission, especially as funds were spent doing "stuff" to it.


Image – 5

Audio – 5 (DTS-HD MA 2.0 Monaural)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Worth your attention - 8.5

Upgrade from DVD - Without a doubt!

Slipcover rating - n/a

Highly Recommended

RAH
 
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Robert Crawford

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I'm looking forward to seeing this upcoming Blu-ray release. I've always liked this western, but it's not one of my favorites from that film genre like "Westward the Women". However, I've watched it several times over the years from childhood to my most recent viewing just a few years ago.
 

Mark-P

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The word you’re looking for is rejuvenated. Or combine that with celluloid and call it recelluvated™. :D
 
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Robert Harris

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The word you’re looking for is rejuvenated. Or combine that with celluloid and call it recelluvated™. :D
“Rejuvenation” was a scratch removal/covering process. Already has a meaning.
 

OliverK

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“Rejuvenation” was a scratch removal/covering process. Already has a meaning.
Wasn't the last known 70mm roadshow print of The Alamo given the kind of chemical "rejuvenation" treatment that instead caused its accelerated deterioration?
 

Robert Harris

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Restore is actually the correct term, but it’s been plundered. Any true restorations will no longer be considered “restorations” in few words.

Possibly “Nizz,” which is dirt or dust in a camera aperture or printer gate.
 
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Colin Jacobson

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Never heard of this movie until I saw it on the release schedule.

Watched today. Perfectly decent meat and potatoes Western.

Even if Joel McCrea was waaaaay too old for the part.

He was four years older than the actor who played his love interest's father! :unsure:
 

Robin9

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Never heard of this movie until I saw it on the release schedule.

Watched today. Perfectly decent meat and potatoes Western.

Even if Joel McCrea was waaaaay too old for the part.

He was four years older than the actor who played his love interest's father! :unsure:
I'm sorry to say I agree with you. I like Joel McCrea a lot and always have, particularly in Westerns but at this stage in his life he was too old to play a man attractive to someone as young and good-looking as Vera Miles.
 

Robert Crawford

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Even if Joel McCrea was waaaaay too old for the part.

He was four years older than the actor who played his love interest's father! :unsure:
I'm sorry to say I agree with you. I like Joel McCrea a lot and always have, particularly in Westerns but at this stage in his life he was too old to play a man attractive to someone as young and good-looking as Vera Miles.
You can say the same thing about countless movies made during that film era and many of them weren't westerns. It's called star power and without it, the movie doesn't get made because there's no financing and box office receipts are iffy at best.
 

Colin Jacobson

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You can say the same thing about countless movies made during that film era and many of them weren't westerns. It's called star power and without it, the movie doesn't get made because there's no financing and box office receipts are iffy at best.

I'm betting they could've found someone under the age of 40 who had "star power" enough for the part.

I don't think the options were "man older than actor playing leading lady's father or nothing".
 

SuperClark

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I read that Joel McCrea was offered the role of Gil Favor in Rawhide but he turned it down saying the filming schedule was too grueling.Instead he starred in 'Wichita Town' for 1 season /30 minute series with his son Jody 1959-1960.
 

Robert Crawford

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I'm betting they could've found someone under the age of 40 who had "star power" enough for the part.

I don't think the options were "man older than actor playing leading lady's father or nothing".
Well, I'm not going to play the "what about" game about a movie filmed about 70 years ago. Again, Hollywood made those casting choices in a number of movies from that film era.
 

cadavra

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McCrea was three years younger than Jimmy Stewart, who played Miles' love interest/husband in THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE, and two years younger than John Wayne, who played Stewart's rival.
 

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