Ride Clear of Diablo (1954) (NTSC)

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Released 9-Oct-2019

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Western Introduction-Ben Mankiewicz Intro (1:38)
Gallery
Production Notes-TCMdb Article
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1954
Running Time 80:53
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Jesse Hibbs
Studio
Distributor

ViaVision
Starring Audie Murphy
Susan Cabot
Dan Duryea
Abbe Lane
Paul Birch
William Pullen
Russell Johnson
Case ?
RPI ? Music None Given


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Railway surveyor Clay O’Mara (Audie Murphy) returns home to Santiago after he receives a telegram from lawyer Tom Meredith (William Pullen) saying that his father and brother have been killed by cattle rustlers. Clay is bent on vengeance and visits Sheriff Kenyon (Paul Birch) for information. What Clay does not know and what we have already seen is that while saloon girl Kate (Abbe Lane) had kept Clay’s father’s two cowhands in town Sheriff Kenyon, Tom Meredith and Jed Ringer (Russell Johnson) had stolen the cattle and that it was Meredith who had shot Clay’s father and brother.

     Sheriff Kenyon suggests to Clay that notorious outlaw Whitey Kincade (Dan Duryea) may have been responsible; Clay is deputised and sent off to the nearby town of Diablo where Kenyon and Meredith expect Whitey will kill him. However, Clay proves to be a very fast draw indeed and captures Whitey, who of course had nothing to do with the death of Clay’s family, although he has a good idea who it was. Indeed Whitey, despite his better judgment, becomes quite fond of Clay and drops some hints which Clay misses. For catching Whitey Clay becomes a bit of a town hero and manages to fall in love with Kenyon’s niece Laurie (Susan Cabot). Kenyon and Meredith come up with a series of plans to get Clay killed, which fail, partly because Whitey, who has been set free after Jed lies to the jury, watches his back and guides him towards the real killers. Then, as thieves fall out after Jed betrays the other two over a shipment of silver, Clay and Laurie find out the truth and a final shootout looms.

     Ride Clear of Diablo was directed by Jesse Hibbs. He would later also direct Murphy in To Hell and Back (1955), Joe Butterfly (1957) and Ride a Crooked Trail (1958) but was thereafter a TV director with episodes of Gunsmoke, Wagon Train, Rawhide and especially Perry Mason on his resume. Ride Clear of Diablo is a rather standard revenge story with double crosses galore, but what sets it apart from other westerns of the period is some delicious and very funny dialogue (some laugh out loud funny) and the interplay between Murphy and a manic Dan Duryea. Indeed Duryea is a hoot and steals every scene he is in playing off against the more straight-laced Murphy. By now Murphy was gaining experience as an actor although at this stage of his career his films still work better where there is a solid supporting actor, such as Brian Donlevy in Kansas Raiders (1950), and here the juxtaposition of acting styles works perfectly; Murphy even breaks out in a smile occasionally. It also helps that the petite Susan Cabot (who had already worked with Murphy in The Duel at Silver Creek (1952) and Gunsmoke (1953)) and Murphy look good together and make an engaging couple.

     While there are shootouts, chases at the gallop and gunplay in Ride Clear of Diablo it is not really a full on action western. But with some wonderful funny dialogue, dastardly, conniving and duplicitous villains, a pretty love interest, a delightful Dan Duryea having ball of a time and an in form Audie Murphy, Ride Clear of Diablo is a gem and a very entertaining western indeed.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Ride Clear of Diablo is presented in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio, in NTSC and 4x3.

     Shot in Technicolor by cinematographer Irving Glassberg, the colours of Ride Clear of Diablo are rich with beautifully vivid blues and greens. Long shots on the prairie do look a bit soft but the sound stage scenes such as the night time social or the shootout in the mine shaft are sharp with solid blacks and good shadow detail. There are, however, copious instances of speckles throughout the film, some scratches, blurring in frames and some changes in brightness as well as motion blur. Nothing is too large or distracting, but the artefacts are there and certainly this films is not in as good a shape as some of the other films in the Audie Murphy Ultimate Western Collection.

     No subtitles are provided.

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.

     Dialogue is clear. The sounds of galloping horses and gunshots as well as dripping water in the mine shaft were good for a mono audio. There is no credit for the music which is somewhat generic.

     There was no hiss or crackle.

    Lip synchronisation is fine.

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

Extras

Ben Mankiewicz Intro (1:38)

     More an intro to Murphy than Ride Clear of Diablo.

Stills Gallery

     Divided into five separate sections, with an introductory screen for each section, the stills advance automatically or by using the remote. Silent. The sections are:

TCMdb Article

     Five silent text screens from the Turner Classic Movies database about Ride Clear of Diablo.

R4 vs R1

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

     There have been a number of releases of Ride Clear of Diablo over the years either as stand alone or in collections; details of any extras are scarce. In Australia the only other listing is in the Audie Murphy: Man of the West Collection II, which is part of this Audie Murphy Ultimate Western Collection. See the summary section below.

Summary

     Ride Clear of Diablo is very much a western of its period; a Saturday afternoon entertainment gem with humour, duplicitous villains, gunplay, a love interest, galloping horses andDan Duryea and Audie Murphy in good form. What’s not to enjoy!

     The video could be better and audio is acceptable. The extras are minimal, but there are some.

     Ride Clear of Diablo 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.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, October 21, 2019
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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