DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Three Violent People

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Scott Kimball, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

    May 8, 2000
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    Three Violent People

    Studio: Paramount

    Year: 1957

    Rated: NR

    Length: 99 Minutes

    Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1, Anamorphic

    Audio: Dolby Digital English Mono

    English Subtitles

    Closed Captioned

    Special Features: None

    S.R.P..: $14.99, USD

    Release Date: April 19, 2005

    Charleton Heston is Colt Saunders, a Civil War vet returning to his Texas ranch after years spent on the battlefield. He is welcomed by a group of ruthless carpetbaggers who have created a corrupt provisional government and find great pleasure in tormenting anyone with an allegiance to The South.

    Anne Baxter, fresh off her appearance with Heston in The Ten Commandments, appears as his love interest, Lorna. She has a wild past, which she tries to hide from her new husband.

    This film is a bit of a soapy western. While I’m fascinated by the political overtones in the film, the relationship between Colt and Lorna is a distraction. The idea that Colt wouldn’t suspect that Lorna had a shady past is ludicrous, given how the two met. The whole situation around their relationship serves as dramatic, romantic filler in a film which could have been much more interesting if filled out with more action surrounding the dispute between the corrupt carpetbaggers and the people trying to live an honest life in post Civil War Texas.

    I like the film, but feel the focus was in the wrong place.

    The film was directed by Rudolph Maté, written by James Edward Grant (based on a story by Leonard Praskins and Barney Slater). Costarring in the film are Tom Tryon, Gilbert Roland, Forrest Tucker, Bruce Bennett, Elaine Stritch and Robert Blake.


    The picture is presented in an anamorphically enhanced 1.85:1 aspect ratio.

    Dust and scratches are issues of note on the source print, ranging from mild to moderate over time. Colors are well saturated, sometimes seem to be skewed slightly to magenta, though at other times the color seems more neutral. Contrast is good, with solid black and white levels. Detail is preserved at the extremes.

    The image is presented with average detail, with mild ringing around high contrast borders.

    This is an average transfer, overall - not poor, but not excelling in any single area.


    The audio is mono only. The track has good fidelity, delivering a full range of frequencies for music, effects and voice. There are no defects of note. It is a good sounding track, considering its age.

    Special Features


    Final Thoughts
    An average Western with an average transfer. Look for this in your local bargain bin.
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator

    Dec 9, 1998
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    Actually, I thought the transfer was pretty good about the same as other Paramount releases. Did you notice a young Jamie Farr and Robert Blake playing two of Gilbert Roland's sons? I'm a sucker for westerns, since that was the prevalent film genre, that I watched as a kid, so I'm more forgiving when it comes to grading westerns.

  3. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

    May 8, 2000
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    Yes, the transfer is "pretty good." But with some of Paramount's recent catalog releases being much better (On a Clear Day..., The Matchmaker), I still have to call it average.

    I'm not a big fan of the Western genre. The ones that I like are generally cut from a different mold... "Tin Star" or "Once Upon a Time in the West" for instance. I didn't buy in to the whole relationship between Colt and Lorna. If they took the half hour spent developing that relationship and focused on the politics of the time, this could have been among the best of the genre.

    Granted, my lack of interest in westerns probably creates a negative bias in the review... but reviews are all about opinions....

    Thanks for the feedback.


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