Angel and the Badman (Avenue One) (1947)

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Released 3-Mar-2000

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Western Menu Audio
Biographies-Cast
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1947
Running Time 99:30
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By James Edward Grant
Studio
Distributor
Republic
Select Audio-Visual Distrib
Starring John Wayne
Gail Russell
Harry Casey
Bruce Cabot
Irene Rich
Lee Dixon
Case Alpha
RPI $19.95 Music Richard Hageman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Angel And The Badman is an atypical Western. Unlike the great majority of Westerns, the hero here is not the Colt & Wesson six-shooter, and indeed the hero here is not the big, brawny Western gunslinger and outlaw, Quirt Evans (John Wayne). The hero here is the Quaker way of life - a peaceful co-existence with nature and their fellow man, and the positive effect this can have on all those who encounter them.

    Quirt Evans is a typical Western anti-hero. He is extremely handy with a six-shooter and his reputation precedes him wherever he goes. He is riding past a Quaker farm when he collapses, both from exhaustion and from a bullet wound. A Quaker family take him in and tend to his wounds, impartial to his background.

    Quirt is touched by the kindness of these strangers, and they in turn are touched by the kindness they see in his heart underneath his gruff exterior. Penelope Worth (Gail Russell) in particular falls for this tall, handsome stranger, despite his chequered past.

    A major turning point in the story is when Quirt rides over to a non-Quaker neighbour of the Worth's and manages to restore the water supply to the entire Quaker community, not by gunplay but by civility.

    Quirt is torn between returning to his former outlaw life or remaining with the Quaker community and becoming a farmer. His struggle between these two diametrically opposed ways of life leads to a thrilling climax where Quirt has to make a crucial choice.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    In short, this is a dreadful DVD that should be avoided at all costs. It exhibits copious quantities of every artefact you care to imagine.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. It is not 16x9 enhanced and has clearly been taken from an analogue NTSC video source which has been converted to PAL.

    This black-and-white transfer is lacking in any clarity whatsoever. The definition of this DVD is so poor as to make the finer print in the opening credits totally unreadable. There are no fine details whatsoever in this image at any time, and it is lacking in the larger details at times as well. The overall black and white levels of this transfer are all over the place, even varying within each individual shot. Whites frequently flare and subsequently lose even more detail, and the black level jumps up and down incessantly. It goes without saying that shadow detail is simply non-existent with this dreadful transfer. Low level noise is rampant throughout, marring any semi-deep blacks that are present in the image.

    Being a black-and-white transfer, there is no colour at all, other than on the menus and during the copyright message which has clearly been taken from a very poor quality VHS tape - the colour bleed and chroma noise exhibited during the copyright message is dreadful.

    MPEG artefacting reared its ugly head at times, with macro-blocking being the main culprit during fade-outs and pans.

    Film-to-video artefacts were frequently present, with a cornucopia of defects on display. Telecine wobble was a constant annoyance throughout this transfer as was a frequent herringbone effect that could be seen marring the darker aspects of the picture. Additionally, betraying the NTSC to PAL conversion of this transfer, there was considerable judder in each and every panned shot. Unforgivably, a number of videotape artefacts were present in the image which lead to severe image break-up and some MPEG artefacting at these times. The first instance of this was at 3:48 - 3:54, but several other instances occurred throughout the presentation.

    Film artefacts were variably present, from relatively clean to copiously present. All manner of film artefacts are on display here in all manner of severity. Scratches, vertical lines through the entire frame, blotches and missing frames are all variably but copiously present and distract from the image considerably.

Audio

    There is only a single audio track on this DVD; English Dolby Digital 2.0 monaural. This is in dreadful shape and has had no restoration effort made to it at all.

    The dialogue was usually easy to understand though there were significant times throughout the transfer when the noise and distortion of the soundtrack got so severe that dialogue was difficult to understand. Thankfully, there were no audio sync problems with the transfer to mar it further.

    Hiss and severe audio distortion were the order of the day and continued throughout the entire transfer. Low frequency hum also frequently intruded into the soundtrack and was quite distracting at times. An additional distraction which was frequently present in the soundtrack was flutter, making the sound very choppy indeed. The usual pops, crackles and skips were also copiously present in this soundtrack.

    The audio occasionally dropped out of one channel, moving the sound either left or right. The first incidence of this occurred at 4:01 - 4:04 where the audio moved into the left channel, but this happened a number of times throughout the transfer.

    The music on this DVD was written by Richard Hageman and was your typical Western fare - nicely melodramatic and symphonic in nature, it enhanced the on-screen action nicely but unremarkably, despite the distortion and flutter being all the more audible in the music.

    The surround and subwoofer channels were not used.

Extras

Menu

    This is in colour and carries background audio.

Biography-Cast

    A detailed biography of John Wayne and Gail Russell and filmography of John Wayne. Numerous typos are scattered throughout as well as the odd DVD menu authoring error to make navigating interesting.

R4 vs R1

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

    This disc is not available in Region 1. Another version of this movie is available in Region 4, distributed by Force Video. I never thought I'd say this about a Force Video release, but the Force Video version appears to be the version of choice - the quality is apparently much better, though I will get Ian to confirm this since he reviewed the Force Video version of this DVD. Given that the other release that I have recently reviewed of UniversalDVD's, Of Human Bondage, is equally dreadful in quality, it looks like we have a new winner of the "worst DVD producer" crown, since Force Video have generally improved the quality of their releases recently.

Summary

    The Angel And The Badman  is a decent film on a dreadful quality DVD that is so bad it deserves to go into the Hall Of Shame.

    The video quality is extremely poor.

    The audio quality is extremely poor.

    The extras are extremely limited.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Michael Demtschyna (read my bio)
Wednesday, March 08, 2000
Review Equipment
DVDStart SD-2001VNK, using S-Video output
DisplayLoewe Art-95 (95cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderDenon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital decoder. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
Amplification2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
SpeakersPhilips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Hsu Research TN-1220HO subwoofer

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