|Year Released||1976||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||95 minutes||Other Extras||Cast & Crew Biographies|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Pan & Scan||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None||Dolby Digital||1.0|
|16x9 Enhancement||None||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 1.0)|
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
Scattered good moments fail to lift this otherwise ho hum Western out of slow boredom. Indeed, both John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart (Dr Hostetler) seem past their prime, and Jimmy Stewart in particular seems to have problems forgetting his lines. Of some historical note, a very young Ron Howard has a role as Gillam Rogers, Bond Rogers' son.
Several significant artefacts are present in the video stream; at 2:29 and 46:36.
The transfer was reasonably clear and sharp, and certainly far more so than Dune. Contrast was acceptable, with reasonably rendered blacks. Shadow detail was lacking, but this was a characteristic of the Technicolor process that was used to make this film. Low level noise was not a major problem with this transfer, unlike Dune which was affected severely by noise. I did not see any reel change marks, so either these were cut out by the Pan & Scan process, or the source for this transfer was an interpositive. Either way, this transfer is far more acceptable than the one used for Dune.
The colour saturation was muted, but consistent from one scene to the next, so overall I was quite happy with this aspect of the transfer. A few places exhibited some chroma noise, with false colour being introduced into the picture, such as at 50:49 - 51:04, however this was not of serious concern.
One significant area of MPEG artefacting is seen at 9:08, where the picture is littered with MPEG artefact blocks for a single frame. Other than this, MPEG artefacts seemed few and far between.
The major film-to-video artefact in this transfer was aliasing, which was frequently present, but fortunately never bad enough to be anything but slightly distracting. Film artefacts were present at an acceptable level given the age of this film.
The dialogue is reasonably clear and easy to hear, though there is not a lot of competition from music or sound effects. A moderate amount of hiss is present in the soundtrack, but this is not particularly troublesome.
The music is limited, and of a routine melodramatic orchestral nature. It was unremarkable.
The surround channels were not used.
The .1 channel was not used.
The video quality is acceptable, but only just.
The audio quality is acceptable for a monophonic soundtrack.
The extras are limited.
© Michael Demtschyna
14th January 1999
|DVD||Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 4:3 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||2 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|
|Speakers||Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer|