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The Last Hunt Blu-ray Review

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“The Last Hunt” is a thinking person’s western.

Wanting to get out of the buffalo hunting business, Sandy is hesitantly roped back in after Charles proposes a business plan to set out on a money-making hunt. Joining them in this job is a one-legged drunkard (Woodfoot) and a half Native American young man (Jimmy). As the hunt goes on, it becomes quite clear to Sandy and the rest that Charles is a seriously messed up, violent individual. This is especially evident after he kidnaps an Indian woman and her child. Since they are not violent individuals themselves, how will Sandy and company deal with Charles?

When it comes to the western genre, I’m always eager to see films that think outside of the conventions of the genre. I like seeing western films that deal with challenging subject matters that other westerns seldom do. 1956’s “The Last Hunt” is one of those films. This is a very dark, psychological movie that is short on story, but big on ideas and characterization. The concepts of PTSD, death, ideologies, cultures, and the atrocities of man are heavily focused upon. One of the biggest takeaways from this movie is that it has a central character in Sandy who is a kind hearted man that is quite literally haunted by the work of buffalo hunting. He is disgusted by it and doesn’t want to do it anymore. On the other end of the spectrum, there is Charlie who is a born killer and, quite possibly, one of the biggest scumbags you’ll ever see in cinema. He is everything Sandy is not. With each passing minute, he becomes more vile and inhuman. The contrast and tensions these two characters really drives the story as the plot progresses. “The Last Hunt” also has a very timely subplot about cultural intolerance and racism that is also explored through the ghastly actions by Charles.

On the subject of Sandy and Charlie, it has to be said that both Stewart Granger and Robert Taylor are spectacular in their roles. At first, they seem a bit stiff and perhaps trying too hard, but once they settle into their characters as the drama ratchets up, their acting talents really become evident. Look for winning supporting performances by Russ Tamblyn (Jimmy), Debra Paget (the Indian woman), and Lloyd Nolan as Woodfoot as well.

If I had any complaints about the film (aside from the usual whitewashing of the time), I would say that a few minutes could have been trimmed off. The countdown until the climax goes on for a bit too long in the final act (although the end does pay off).

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 1080p. How does it look? While fuzzy in spots, this hi-def print does the job.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? Far better than the average 2.0 track. It has some depth to it.

Extras: “The Last Hunt” trailer and 2 MGM Parade promos.

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August 26, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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