The Reivers Studio: Paramount Year: 1969 Rated: PG-13 Length: 106 Minutes Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Audio: Dolby Digital English 5.1, English 2.0, French Mono Subtitles: English Special Features: None S.R.P.: $14.99 USD Release Date: June 14, 2005 From the “better late than never” file - this DVD was released on June 14, 2005. When Boon Hogganbeck’s (Steve McQueen) boss, “Boss,” gets a shiny new yellow 1905 Winton Flyer automobile, and promptly must leave town on family business, what’s a guy to do? Ignore the boss, that’s what. After being told specifically not to drive the new car, Boon decides it would be a grand idea to take young Lucious (Boss’s grandson) on a weekend road trip to Memphis. Stable hand Ned McCaslin comes along for the ride. What could possibly go wrong? Based on William Falkner’s novel of the same name, The Reivers plays as much a Twain Adventure as a Falkner story. This is equal parts coming-of-age story and road movie. Before they even reach the highway, they run into their first problem. The Flyer falls into a mud trap, laid out by a local who charges unsuspecting travelers for a tow out of the pit. Upon arriving in Memphis, Boon stops to see his girl Corrie, who happens to live at and ply her trade at a brothel. This setting serves to teach young Lucious a thing or two about the world. Before the night is through, a drunken Ned trades the Flyer for a horse, in a hair-brained scheme to win the car back in a horse race and keep the horse as a prize. Nobody asked the horse if that was a good idea. Before the race, the whole crew is arrested by a crooked sheriff. They’ll need to use all their wiles to escape in time to race - and win. With Will Geer as Boss, Rupert Cross as Ned, Sharon Farrell as Corrie, Mitch Vogel as Lucious, and Clifton James as shady sheriff Butch, there’s loads of talent in this film by director Mark Rydell. It’s also got an Oscar nominated score - some fantastic early work by John Williams. Excellent period set design and nice photography add to the ambiance of this fun, slice-of-life adventure yarn. The Transfer The film is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is anamorphically enhanced. First off, the print used for the transfer is beautiful. For a film of over 35 years of age, the picture is mostly free of dust, scratches, etc. The picture is nicely detailed, with only minor ringing noticeable in occasional scenes. Colors are vivid - nicely saturated and accurate. Contrast is very nice, with nice deep blacks and bright, neutral whites. Detail is well maintained in shadow areas, and whites never bloom. The audio is presented in English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Stereo and French Mono. I honestly don;t know if the film was originally presented in stereo. Listening to the 5.1 track, the mix is front heavy, with dialog and effects seemingly pinned front and center. There are occasional forays into the rear channels by some effects. John Williams’ score seems to benefit the most from the multitrack mix, and it sounds quite nice. Frequency response is good, for the film’s period. There is a mild hiss throughout the film, however. This transfer, both video and audio, is nicely done. Special Features None. Final Thoughts A fun film, and a fine transfer. This one is definitely work checking out.