Two Mules for Sister Sara (1969)
|Year Of Production||1969|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (55:49)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Don Siegel|
Universal Pictures Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Clint Eastwood has made a lot of Westerns. Don Siegel has directed Clint Eastwood in several films. However, this is the only Western starring Clint Eastwood that Don Siegel directed (The Beguiled isn't a Western).
Clint Eastwood plays Hogan — a typical Eastwood Western character (except that he has a name) — fairly stoic, and highly skilled with a gun. He's riding through arid country in Mexico when he comes across three bad guys and a near-naked Shirley Maclaine. He deals with the men, and gets a bit of a shock when Shirley Maclaine gets dressed and reappears in a wimple. She introduces herself as Sister Sara. He doesn't help her bury the men — "why deprive the buzzards of a meal?" is his attitude. He would be happy of the chance to pass responsibility for her to an approaching troop of French cavalry, but she is terrified to hear of their approach — apparently they are looking for her because she has been raising money for the Mexican rebels. He helps her hide.
This film is set in a time about which I know little. Apparently the French occupied Mexico at this time, but the Mexican resistance fighters, called the Juaristas, were fighting back. We are given the impression that the French occupying troops were brutal.
Hogan and Sister Sara find they have common interests, and stick together for practical reasons.
The setup is a little unusual, but this is a classic mismatched-pair movie. Eastwood and Maclaine work rather well together. Not quite the same as Bogart and Hepburn in The African Queen, but not a whole lot different, with the French in this film standing in for the Germans in that one. If you liked The African Queen, and you like Eastwood Westerns, then I think you'll like this one. If you didn't like The African Queen, then you may still like this film. But if you don't like Eastwood Westerns, then forget this film.
The video looks rather good for a film now over thirty years old.
The DVD is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and is 16x9 enhanced. That's the original aspect ratio, as it is for every Eastwood Western (he loves the scope ratio).
The picture is sharp and clear. Shadow detail is good, but not wonderful — colours drop off into black a little fast on some shots. There's no significant grain. There's no low level noise.
Colour is a bit difficult to judge — the sky is a decent blue, but almost everything else is faded, dusty, and dull — that's production design, I think. There's no colour bleed or over-saturation.
There are not a lot of film artefacts, particularly for a film from 1969, and what there are, are untroubling. Even examples like the blob at 19:14, the white rub at 46:33, and the white marks at 81:08, are momentary. There's quite a bit of aliasing, on pretty much anything that could alias, but it's not overly distracting unless you are really sensitive.
There are subtitles in seven languages, including English. I only checked the English. They are somewhat abbreviated, but well-timed and easy to read.
The disc is single sided and RSDL-formatted; the layer change is at 55:49, in the middle of a scene, but at a moment that is both static and silent — it is very hard to spot.
There is only one soundtrack; English Dolby Digital 2.0, not surround encoded. There are no audio artefacts on this disc.
The dialogue is clear and easy to understand (in a couple of places, almost too clear). There are no obvious audio sync glitches.
The score comes from Ennio Morricone — how very apt for an Eastwood Western! It is a bit melodramatic, but suitable enough.
Neither surrounds nor subwoofer gets anything to do with this soundtrack.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu is static and silent. It offers only Play, Scenes, and Subtitles.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This film is not yet available in R1 on DVD.
Two Mules For Sister Sara is a decent Eastwood Western on a decent DVD.
The video quality is very good, except for a lot of mild aliasing.
The audio quality is perfectly acceptable for a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.
There are no extras on this disc.
|DVD||Sony DVP-NS905V, using Component output|
|Display||Sony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5|