Zane Grey-Under the Tonto Rim/Sunset Pass (Double Pack 3) (1946)

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Released 16-Aug-2001

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Western Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1946
Running Time 120:55
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5 Directed By Lew Landers
William Berke
Studio
Distributor

Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Tim Holt
James Warren
Nan Leslie
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Paul Sawtell


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (224Kb/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 No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    This is the second Zane Grey double-pack I've reviewed - you'll find my review for the first one here. I won't repeat what I said in the first review - I'll assume you know who Zane Grey is, and what his work is like.

    The two movies on this disc are Under the Tonto Rim (1947 - 61:00 minutes) and Sunset Pass (1946 - 59:55 minutes). This time the hero is different: Under the Tonto Rim stars Tim Holt, while Sunset Pass stars James Warren. These two movies have different directors, but the screenplay was written by Norman Houston in both cases.

    To me, the strangest part is that both of these movies, and the two I reviewed earlier, have the same side-kick for the hero - a half Irish / half Mexican called Chito or Chico Rafferty. In three of the movies, this character is played by one actor. It seems odd to have the same sidekick for a variety of heroes.

    Under The Tonto Rim is the tale of a man who is out to avenge the death of a good friend and employee. He is willing to do whatever it takes to find and bring down the leader of the gang who killed his friend.

    Sunset Pass is a simpler case of a detective/security man who has been sent out to protect money in transit to a bank, and to bring to justice the gang who have been robbing the trains the money is on.

    The plots of these movies aren't too important. The heroes suffer little in the way of moral ambiguities, and the bad guys are either misguided (and redeemable) or simply evil (and must be brought to justice).

    If you feel like a visit to a simpler time, when good is good, and bad is bad, then these movies may suit you.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    These movies were never meant to be headline material. They served to fill in the gap between the newsreel and the interval, before the main feature. Considering all of that, plus the age of them, they are in remarkably good condition.

    These movies are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and are not 16x9 enhanced. That's very close to the original 1.37:1 aspect ratio.

    The image is soft, but there's no edge enhancement - the occasional back-lit shot looks slightly edge-enhanced, but this is an illusion. There's reasonable shadow detail on most shots, but a few of the outdoor shots must have been filmed on particularly bright days - they appear to have been reduced to almost pure black and white (very little grey). I don't believe I saw any low-level noise, but it could have been hidden by film grain and film artefacts.

    There are plenty of film artefacts, and quite an assortment, too. We have white flecks, dark specks, blobs, blotches, burns, hairs, and reel change markings; pretty much a full catalogue. There's virtually no aliasing, and I saw no MPEG artefacts. There's some wobble in both sets of opening credits, but I don't think that's telecine wobble - it looks more like an original part of the source material.

    Colour? One - grey. These films are in shades of grey, with near white, and near black (in a slightly wider range than the previous pair).

    There are no subtitles.



Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There's one soundtrack, which is English in Dolby Digital 2.0 mono.

    Dialogue is fairly clear and comprehensible. I didn't notice any glitches with audio sync.

    The score is standard Western fare - Paul Sawtell (who scored both of these, and both of the previous ones) does not stray from the tried-and-true Western mould.

    This is a mono soundtrack, with a restricted dynamic range, and limited frequency range. The centre channel speaker didn't have to work hard, and the rest of the speakers took time off.



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

Extras

    There are no extras. A brief advertisement for the other double-Westerns in this series appears at the end of the movies - that's not an extra.

Menu

    The menu system is a bit unusual, and not obvious. Once you work it out it is easy to use. 

R4 vs R1

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

    These movies appear to be available in R1 only on VHS. Given that the quality we have on the R4 DVD is no higher than VHS quality, the only clear advantages are that the R4 DVD won't wear out, and doesn't require rewinding.

Summary

    This is a fair transfer of old films. No harm, and a bit of fun.

    The video quality is adequate; the shortcomings lie in the source material.

    The audio quality is adequate.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Tuesday, July 31, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDArcam DV88, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left and Right: Krix Euphonix, Centre: Krix KDX-C Rears: Krix KDX-M, Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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