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Ride The Pink Horse Blu-ray Review

Ride The Pink Horse Blu-ray

“Ride The Pink Horse” is a strange film noir.

Robert Montgomery directs and stars in this film noir about a tough guy GI (Gagin) who arrives in New Mexico with the intention of blackmailing a wealthy man (Mr. Hugo). Throughout his journey, this stranger in a strange land encounters an FBI agent (Retz), a lively carousel owner (Pancho), a mysterious young Indian woman (Pila), and, of course, a femme fatale (Marjorie). The film is based on a book by Dorothy B. Hughes.

While “Ride The Pink Horse” has many standard film noir elements, it’s also rather novel in other regards. For one, the New Mexico setting is decidedly unique. Most film noir tales take place in dark city streets or seedy locations, but this one takes place in a busy New Mexico town during the popular Fiesta season. Truth be told, the setting and locals are easily the best thing about the move as they set the tone for the story and offer up some interesting symbolism.

In terms of the story, this somewhat obscure film noir has its fair share of issues. Not only is the general story clunky and vague, but very little actually happens during the 101 minute film. Most of the screentime involves Gagin simply wandering around. It would have been nice to see more character development (or perhaps some flashbacks) for Gagin, but alas, that’s not the case.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? The B&W transfer is gorgeous.

Audio Track: Uncompressed Mono. How does it sound? A soft, but adequate track.

Extras:
* A booklet featuring an essay by filmmaker Michael Almereyda.
* “In Lonely Places”- An interesting 20 minute interview with author/film noir expert Imogen Sara Smith who defines film noir.
* A 1947 Lux Radio Theatre radio drama for “Ride The Pink Horse” with several cast members reprising their roles. Always happy to see radio dramas on Criterion discs.
* An informative, but dry commentary by film scholars Alain Silver and James Ursini.

Overall Thoughts: Although “Ride The Pink Horse” has become somewhat of a cult classic, it’s largely a meandering film noir. I’d recommend this one strictly for Criterion collectors and film noir aficionados.

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March 26, 2015 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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