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The Night of the Grizzly (1966)
Topic Started: Nov 26 2016, 12:43 PM (89 Views)
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The Night of the Grizzly (1966) Dir. Joseph Pevney

Lawman Clint Walker inherits a prime piece o' land and so relocates wife Martha Hyer and kids to work it as a ranch. Troublesome neighbor Keenan Wynn covets his neighbor's goodies, though, and tosses up nothin' but trouble at husky Clint. Mr. Walker has bigger troubles, though, a massive mound o' fur with claws: Satan, a vicious grizzly who kills for pleasure and BOY does he like his pleasure. After the reward for bringin' in Satan, Walker finds himself competing against nasty Leo Gordon, an ex-con with a grudge against Clint as much as he does against Satan.

The Olive Signature series so far is an eclectic mix of great films and popular favorites, a cult hit, and this family Western that was a big hit in its day but doesn't seem to warrant the stupendous edition it's been given. Still, as "family films" of the 1960s go, I've seen worse. The cast - which includes Ron "Tarzan" Ely and Jack "I'm in everything in the 1960s" Elam - shouts out that the main reason for seeing the film, let alone making it, is to watch a bunch of TV favorites on the big screen. And the grizzly is played by a real bear (or more likely a few of 'em), a guy in a bear suit, and what appears to be a bear puppet.

Million-dollar Dialog:
Extremely accurate description of a guy who had tried to deal with that bear: "He's deader'n a BEE in a BLIZZARD."

Clint Walker is, of course, rightly remembered as Cheyenne in the long-running Warner Bros. Western TV series, but the guy had a successful movie career, what with this and Yellowstone Kelly and even The Dirty Dozen. He's got some theatrical appeal, too, no great shakes as an actor but heck, he looks good without a shirt and he gets to beat up Tarzan, so that's not half bad. Don Haggerty is the Gabby Hayes-like sidekick and Nancy Kulp is the film's big misstep, a horny townswoman with the hots for Haggerty. The VistaVision cinematography (by long-time Paramount great Loyal Griggs) is beautiful and really glows on the Blu-ray. Extras include commentary, a terrific half-hour interview with Walker on the making of the film, and a featurette on the film's premiere, with several stars in tow.

Fans of the film will absolutely love this ultimate edition.
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