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Escape From Fort Bravo Blu-ray Review

“Escape From Fort Bravo” never quite reaches its potential.

In 1953’s “Escape From Fort Bravo,” the story takes place during the Civil War in 1863 at the titular Fort Bravo in Arizona where Confederate prisoners are being held under the watchful eye of Captain Roper. As if the tensions between the North and South weren’t enough, there are Mescalero Indians lurking nearby who are a threat to all. Elsewhere in the story there is a young woman named Carla who is visiting the Fort for a wedding, but she may have her own agenda. Captain Roper begins to fall for Carla, but is their romance doomed to fail?

Directed by John Sturges, “Escape From Fort Bravo” feels like 3 movies in one. The first part showcases the setting and introduces characters, the second part is a straight up romantic western tale, and the third part is prison break/intense shootout (I won’t spoil that though). Unfortunately, these 3 sections don’t really mix well together. The set-up has so much potential but it becomes bogged down by the romance. The action heavy third act is effective, but it feels like it could have been even more impactful had it taken place at the Fort or was entirely shot on location instead of the studio/location shooting combo. The Death Valley and New Mexico location shooting is really stunning here and the movie would have greatly benefited from less studio shots.

The cast is strong here with William Holden, Eleanor Parker, John Forsythe, and John Lupton being the highlights. I’ve long said William Holden is one of my favorite actors and his character arc here from a Captain with a tough exterior to a man with a heart elevated the flm. Eleanor Parker’s chemistry with Holden also benefited the movie as a whole.


Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? The film was photographed in the rare Ansco Color and this Blu-ray disc provides a nice crisp and colorful transfer.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? This 2.0 track does the job.

The lone extra is an “Escape From Fort Bravo” trailer.

“Escape From Fort Bravo” hits Blu-ray May 18 on Amazon and other sellers.

April 30, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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