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Abilene Town 1946
Topic Started: Oct 16 2016, 11:08 AM (170 Views)
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Balcony Gang, Foist Class
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Watched this last night on a new Blu-Ray put out by a Scottish company called Paramint.

The movie itself is a little confused and seems to meander in spots. Most of this because it overdoes the musical saloon numbers and the comic bits primarily supplied by Edgar Buchanan (with a handlebar mustache this time instead of his usual grizzled beard) who plays a cowardly braggart of a county sheriff in contrast to Scott's stalwart town marshal. The plot is also a bit confused since it starts out seemingly to concentrate on a local gang led by a saloon owner to a story about the familiar 'war' between cattlemen and homesteaders who want to raise wheat and fence in their fields. So it's not Scott's finest hour but Scott is Scott (and I still love him even in his weaker movies.) Ann Dvorak, Lloyd Bridges and Rhonda Fleming are also in. Dvorak is the dance hall girl who is supposedly a man-hater but is attracted to Scott. Bridges is one of the homesteaders and Fleming is the local general store owner's daughter who eventually becomes romantically involved with him. None of them distinguish themselves in this. At best a 2 1/2 out of 4 and probably mostly for Scott fans.

While hardly perfect, it looks far better than any of the gray market versions of this Randolph Scott western that have been floating around for years. This seems to be one of those movies released through United Artists in the first decade after WWII that has a questionable copyright status (maybe RR can shed some light on this). The Blu-Ray is clearly taken from a British source since the British censor approval message occurs at the beginning so it is from some fairly well preserved film elements at least a couple of generations away from the original negative. There is some fluctuation of brightness but the general picture is very good to very good plus. Unlike a lot of UK Blu-Rays from small companies this one is region-free. It is available from Amazon.com. It is cheaper on the Amazon UK site but the seller there seems to not ship to the U.S. so you pretty much have to buy from Amazon if you want this one. It does come with a nice little booklet, a brief couple of frames of tribute to Rhonda Fleming and the trailer for another Fleming film (Inferno) from a decade later. It also has subtitles for those with hearing deficits.
You can't get there from here.
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