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Wild Rovers Blu-ray Review

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“Wild Rovers” is an underrated western.

“Wild Rovers” is a 1971 western film revolving around two cattle ranch workers named Ross and Frank. Ross is the older and wiser cowboy while Frank is the young buck. In an effort to live out their dreams, Frank suggests the two rob a bank and head to Mexico so they do just that. Alas, the cattle ranch owner (Walter) sends his two sons (John and Paul) to go after Frank and Ross. Can they get away and live out their dreams or are they doomed?

Written and directed by Blake Edwards (who is best known for helming comedies like “The Pink Panther”), “Wild Rovers” is a western through and through although it does have a good dose of humor scattered through. At 137 minutes (with an overture and intermission), it runs long but it never feels long as the journey and friendship between Frank and Ross is an engrossing one. Whether they’re engaged in a brawl or waxing about life, death, dreams, aging and pets, you’re invested in these two characters from start to finish. Basically, it’s a good old fashioned, simple, character focused western with a tragic bent to it (no spoilers as to why).

As much credit as Edwards deserves for the success of this film, the cast makes it even better. William Holden is one of the all-time great actors so it’s no surprise that he amazes here once again with a truly soulful performance. Ryan O’Neal seems an unlikely partner for Holden, but he has great chemistry with Holden and seems to be having a blast here. Although their screentime is limited, Karl Malden (Walter), Tom Skerritt (John), and Joe Don Baker (Paul) all turn in fine performances as well.

Last, but not least it must be said that the cinematography by Philip Lathrop is perfect. From the beautiful vistas to the interior of a salon, the DP clearly has an eye for visuals.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.4:1 1080p. How does it look? The transfer is not the best. Not only is it fuzzy, but the colors aren’t as rich as one would like.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? B+ worthy.

Extras:
* “Wild Rovers” trailer.
* “The Movie Makers”- A vintage 12 minute featurette that contains behind-the-scenes footage.

July 11, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , ,

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