The Kid from Texas (1950) (NTSC)
|Year Of Production||1950|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Kurt Newman|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.37:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
1879: Lincoln County, New Mexico. A range war has erupted between big landowners Major Harper (Dennis Heoy) and Roger Jameson (Shepperd Strudwick), both using hired guns and hired lawmen. William Bonney (Audie Murphy), a young gunman on the run, arrives in Lincoln and is hired by Jameson to work on his ranch. There Jameson shows Bonney kindness and persuades him to start a new life without his guns. Bonney becomes infatuated with Irene Kain (Gale Storm), the much younger wife of Jameson’s lawyer and friend Alexander Kain (Albert Dekker). To try to stop the violence Governor Lew Wallace (Robert Barrat) forces a truce upon Harper and Jameson which is, however, broken by Harper’s gunman Minninger (William Talman) and a gang who shoot and kill Jameson. Bonney vows vengeance and takes up his guns encouraged by Kain who takes over Jameson’s ranch; the range war erupts again, and the legend of Billy the Kid develops.
A year or so later Governor Wallace brokers a peace deal and declares an amnesty for all those who had been involved in the war. Bonney, however, refuses the amnesty because he has not as yet caught up with everyone who had been involved in killing Jameson, especially Minninger. As a result he becomes a hunted fugitive with a price on his head, partially funded by Kain who now has disowned him. Billy is captured, tried for murder and sentenced to hang, but he escapes gaol shooting and killing Minninger in the process. But rather than leaving the area as his friends O’Fallon (Will Geer) and Morales (Martin Garralaga) urge, Billy stays because of his feelings for Irene. Of course, with Sheriff Pat Garrett (Frank Wilcox) on his trail, this will not end well for Billy the Kid.
Over the years there has been no shortage of films featuring Billy the Kid; the first, King Vidor’s Billy the Kid (1930), was right at the advent of talkies. A diverse range of star names including Paul Newman, Val Kilmer, Robert Taylor, Emilio Estevez and Kris Kristofferson have played Billy on the big screen, enhancing or detracting from the legends about him. As portrayed by Murphy in The Kid from Texas, William Bonney is a polite and respectful young man, only embarking on his killings because the only man who had ever shown him compassion and understanding had been gunned down. His end, when it comes, was a result of his chaste love for a married woman. How much of this is accurate, and how much is mythological, is probably impossible to tell. However, it is likely this film is more reliable than films like Billy the Kid Verses Dracula from 1966!
The Kid from Texas was directed by Kurt Newman. He had been making features since the early 1930’s, including three Tarzan films with Johnny Weissmuller, and later he made the original The Fly (1958). Shot in Technicolor The Kid from Texas looks good courtesy of veteran DP Charles Van Enger. He had been shooting films for 3 decades, including the silent The Last of the Mohicans (1920); a few afters after The Kid from Texas he moved almost exclusively into TV including shooting many of the episodes of Lassie.
The Kid from Texas has the distinction of being Audie Murphy’s first, of many, westerns. He is, it must be said, still learning his craft and is stilted in his performance, although that could be said for most of the performances in this, essentially, B film. Some things about the film do feel dated, such as the stereotyped depiction of Mexicans and the “comic” sidekick, but with some nice looking Californian locations, Audie Murphy, lots of gunplay and galloping horses, The Kid from Texas has its moments.
The Kid from Texas is presented in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio, in NTSC.
Although not without its blemishes The Kid from Texas looks pretty good for a film going on 70 years old, the Technicolor process producing some beautiful rich colours, especially in the outdoor locations. Detail can be rather soft and there is a range of mostly small marks and colour splotches throughout the film. The most obvious is at 73:15, but nothing is too distracting. There is also some aliasing on checked shirts and occasional motion blur. The couple of night scenes were filmed day for night and have solid blacks and good shadow detail. Contrast and brightness are consistent, skin tones natural.
No subtitles are provided.
The audio is English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono at 192 Kbps.
Dialogue is clear and the horses’ hooves and gunshots are decent for a mono audio. There is some slight hiss in a couple of the quieter moments, but nothing serious. The music, credited to Milton Schwarzwald, was generic.
Lip synchronisation is fine.
|Surround Channel Use|
Nothing. The silent menu offers only “Play” as an option.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Kid from Texas is not exactly a high profile film. There are only some standalone releases from France and Italy listed. The only other listing is in the Audie Murphy: Man of the West Collection, which is part of this Audie Murphy Ultimate Western Collection. See the summary section below.
Although it has a good Technicolor print, gunplay, galloping horses and a chaste love story, the prime interest in The Kid from Texas, unless one is a collector of Billy the Kid films, is to watch Audie Murphy at the start of his illustrious career in his very first western.
The video and audio are acceptable. There are no extras.
The Kid from Texas is included in the 14 disc / 14 film set Audie Murphy Ultimate Western Collection. The 14 movies, made by Murphy between 1950 and 1966, are all westerns except for the army comedy Joe Butterfly. The Audie Murphy Ultimate Western Collection is made up from the Audie Murphy: Man of the West Collection and the Audie Murphy: Man of the West Collection II. Both of these individual Man of the West Collection packs have been released previously. But if you are a fan of westerns or a fan of Audie Murphy and don’t have those two earlier collections, this Audie Murphy Ultimate Western Collection is a good buy.
The Audie Murphy Ultimate Western Collection was supplied for review by Via Vision Entertainment. Check out their Facebook page for the latest releases, giveaways, deals and more.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 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 Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|