Jubal (1956)

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Released 5-Sep-2018

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Western None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1956
Running Time 97:09
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Delmer Daves
Studio
Distributor

Umbrella Entertainment
Starring Glenn Ford
Ernest Borgnine
Rod Steiger
Valerie French
Charles Bronson
Felicia Farr
Noah Berry Jr
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music David Raksin


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.50:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.55:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
French
German
Italian
Spanish
Dutch
Arabic
Bulgarian
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Norwegian
Portuguese
Swedish
Turkish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Cattle rancher Shep Hogan (Ernest Borgnine) finds Jubal Troop (Glenn Ford) beside the road on foot and freezing and takes him back to his ranch. Shep needs extra hands for the round-up so when Jubal recovers and shows himself a more than competent cowboy he is hired by Shep. Jubal quickly proves his worth and Shep makes him foreman, much to the chagrin of Pinky (Rod Steiger) who considers himself top hand at the ranch. Things are made worse when Shep’s young and bored wife Mae (Valerie French) turns her eyes on Jubal; Pinky had considered himself top hand with her as well. Jubal rejects Mae’s advances, both out of loyalty to Shep and because he has fallen in love with Naomi (Felicia Farr) who, with her father, are part of a wagon train who are temporarily camped on Shep’s land. Also riding with the wagon train is Reb Haislipp (Charles Bronson), who becomes a friend of Jubal. Pinky, jealous of Jubal, persuades Shep that Mae is sleeping with Jubal, with tragic consequences.

     Jubal, released in 1956, is not so much a horse opera as a horse melodrama. Based on a novel by Paul I Wellman the film was directed by the experienced Delmer Daves, whose credits included Broken Arrow (1950) and Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954) and who the next year would direct the excellent (original) 3:10 to Yuma (1957). Jubal was made in Technicolor and CinemaScope, the camera of cinematographer Charles Lawton Jr (The Lady from Shanghai (1947), The Black Arrow (1948)), lingering on widescreen tracking shots with the ranch or individuals on the prairie tiny compared to the backdrop of majestic mountains. Others have pointed out the similarities of the script of Jubal to Othello, and here we have a jealous husband, a devious, cunning, slighted and jealous individual, an innocent and honourable man and a spurned woman, creating a volatile mix.

     And what a cast. Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, Rod Steiger and Charles Bronson were, or would soon become, screen legends but the cast also includes other familiar faces such as Noah Berry Jr who had been in films since the 1020’s and ended up with 172 credits on the IMDb.

     Jubal is melodramatic and the motivations of the characters, and abrupt changes in character arc, are a bit hard to swallow but with its cast, galloping horses and glorious CinemaScope photography Jubal is an overlooked western that is a treat for the eyes.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The IMDb indicates that Jubal was filmed in CinemaScope in a 2.55:1 aspect ratio. The DVD cover of the release from Umbrella states a 2.35:1 aspect ratio but it looks more like 2.50:1. The film is presented in PAL and is 16x9 enhanced.

     The print looks beautiful. There is a wonderful depth of field with ranch buildings, individuals, wagon trains or cattle on the prairie showing out against the mountains in the background. Even in interiors, details in the foreground and background are equally clear. The Technicolor is luscious with deep and vivid greens for the grasslands and forests and blues for the sky and water. Blacks and shadow detail are decent, skin tones natural. There were a couple of slight variations in brightness at scene changes, frequent but not intrusive small marks and occasional motion blur against ribbed surfaces.

     Subtitles provided include English, English for the hearing impaired, Arabic and a wide range of European languages.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio is English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono at 192 Kbps and there are dubs in French, German and Spanish with the same specification.

     Dialogue is clear and easy to understand. The effects were understandably tinny but horses’ hooves and gunshots were reasonable. The score by David Raksin (who was nominated for Oscars for Separate Tables (1958) and Forever Amber (1947) sounds very generic.

    Lip synchronisation is fine.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     Nothing. The menu is silent.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     As far as I can tell no DVD releases anywhere of Jubal have any relevant extras or better presentation.

Summary

     A poster for Jubal from the 1950s cries “Trouble always clung to Jubal . . . like a wanton woman”. One could certainly question the attitude displayed as well as its accuracy as a description of the film but there is no question that Jubal is both melodramatic and beautiful to look at, with a cast that just about helps the script make sense. This is an overlooked western from the 1950s that is worth revisiting for fans of westerns or the cast.

    The CinemaScope presentation is great, the mono audio acceptable. There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, October 02, 2018
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
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