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Doc Blu-ray Review

“Doc” is an underrated western.

1971’s “Doc” tells the story of the famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral against the Clanton family from the POV of former dentist Doc Holliday, but the movie is about much more than that. Pete Hamill’s script also explores Doc’s relationship with prostitute Kate Elder, his journey to Tombstone to meet Marshal Wyatt Earp (who wants to become Sheriff to clean up the town), his struggles with tuberculosis, and the dynamic between him and The Kid. 

Some folks may take issue with “Doc” for not being historically accurate as certain events do not take place during this era nor do certain individuals actually die as they do in this movie (no spoilers here). Of course, it’s not uncommon for movies to deviate from the truth so if you can look past that, you’ll find “Doc” to be an engaging and slightly unusual western film.

Directed by Frank Perry, “Doc” is more of an introspective western than an action heavy one. A lot of the film deals with Doc Holliday’s internal struggles with mortality, choices, his relationship with Kate, and decisions he has made. Obviously, comparisons will be drawn to “Tombstone” (which was released many years later), but they are entirely different movies. Personally, I was drawn to the more “day in the life” look at Doc’s life through a certain period of time. The pacing is also unusual here in that there are quick time jump edits (which I found refreshing) 

The cast is spectacular here. Stacy Keach brings a great deal of depth to Doc while Faye Dunaway is fantastic as always as Kate. I was really impressed by Harris Yulin (best known for “Ghostbusters 2” and “Scarface”) as the gruff Wyatt Earp. I really liked his take on the character.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? This new transfer impresses with crisp colors all while maintaining the grit and grain of the original print.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? Expect a quality 2.0 track.

Extras include an involving commentary by director and western fan Alex Cox (who also talks about history of the real events) and trailers for “Doc,” “The Long Riders,” “Street People,” “The Thomas Crown Affair,” “Narrow Margin,” and “Ladybug Ladybug.”

April 7, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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