Sunset (1988)

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Released 24-Nov-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Comedy Trailer-Silverado, Buck And The Preacher
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1988
Running Time 102:13
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Blake Edwards

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Bruce Willis
James Garner
Malcolm McDowell
Mariel Hemingway
Kathleen Quinlan
Jennifer Edwards
Patricia Hodge
Richard Bradford
M. Emmet Walsh
Joe Dallesandro
Andreas Katsulas
Dann Florek
Bill Marcus
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $13.95 Music Henry Mancini

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 4.0 L-C-R-S (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Blake Edwards' Sunset, starring then television star Bruce Willis, was released in early 1988 just prior to Willis' career-making turn in the action masterpiece Die Hard. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and I imagine the Tristar executives were licking their wounds for not delaying the release of their entertaining turn of the century adventure until after the release of the action juggernaut. Sunset virtually vanished from theatres overnight upon release, which is a shame as the film is quite entertaining.

    Set in the late 1920s, Willis stars as Tom Mix, the legendary silent western film star who has just landed the role of Wyatt Earp in a film adaptation of the legendary Gunfight At The OK Corral. To assist with the authenticity of the project, the real Wyatt Earp, played by the charismatic James Garner, has signed on as the technical advisor. During production of the film, which is entitled Lawman, the two larger-than-life characters get tangled up in a murder mystery involving one of Earp's old flames. With high adventure beckoning, the two heroes team up and take on the corrupt underbelly of old Hollywood the best way they know how - with a whiskey in one hand and a six shooter in the other.

    I remember seeing Sunset during its `blink and you'll miss it' run in cinemas. I enjoyed it then and darn if it's still not a lot of fun 16 years later. Willis and Garner make extremely enjoyable leads, especially Garner who gives legendary lawman Wyatt Earp a real larger-than-life presence. As a director I can take or leave Blake Edwards. There's no question the guy is talented, but for every one of his films I've enjoyed like S.O.B., Blind Date, and The Great Race, there are others like Victor Victoria and the Pink Panther films that I despise with a passion. I consider Sunset to be one of the better outings for Mr Edwards. The film is simply too much fun not to enjoy on some level. Combine a delightful mix of humour and old fashioned adventure, then cap it off with a ravishing Henry Mancini score - you just can't lose.

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Transfer Quality


   Sunset has been presented in its original aspect ratio of 2:35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced for widescreen viewing.

   Columbia Tristar have once again delivered the goods for a catalogue title. The transfer has a strong, sharp image with little in the way of aliasing. Blacks are solid with reasonable shadow detail and grain is minimal at best. I could not detect any low level noise issues.

    Colours are natural with no image bleeding.

    There are the occasional film artefacts consistent with a film of this vintage, but they are less than obtrusive.

    Columbia never cease to amaze with the quality of their catalogue releases - I hope this trend continues.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The film has been given an English audio track in Dolby Digital 4.0 and four 2.0 tracks in Spanish, French, German and Italian. Obviously the 4.0 English track is the preferred option.

    Character dialogue is crisp and clean with no dropouts or audio sync anomalies.

    The film's score is by legendary film composer Henry Mancini, and he does not disappoint. Mancini provides a sweeping score that captures both the sense of adventure and the time period of the story.

    I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of surround channel usage in the 4.0 mix. The rear channels contain a number of directional effects that are well placed, and add nicely to the more robust aspects of the film.

    The subwoofer adds enough reverberation and bass to support the lively audio mix.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    Non-anamorphic trailer.

R4 vs R1

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

    All versions of this DVD currently available are essentially the same.


    Sunset is a thoroughly enjoyable action film from director Blake Edwards. If gunfights, bar room brawls and sly humour are your cup of tea then look no further. The disc has a very good transfer with no extras, but for a very inexpensive catalogue title it's hard to beat.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Greg Morfoot (if interested here is my bio)
Friday, November 12, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using Component output
DisplayLG 76cm Widescreen Flatron Television. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony HT-K215. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony HT-K215
Speakers fronts-paradigm titans, centre &rear Sony - radio parts subbie

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