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191 of 201 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clint Eastwood's best movie: an American Classic
Although Clint Eastwood gained his greatest critical acclaim as a director for 1992's "Unforgiven" and 2003's "Mystic River" -- both of which are incredible pieces of American cinema -- his best film remains this perennially popular Western from 1976. Here's Eastwood's own take on it: "I do believe that if I'd made that picture in 1992, in place of `Unforgiven,' it might...
Published on March 27, 2004 by Claude Avary

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Movie just ok
Ok movie for me
Published 2 months ago by greg grant


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the Contrary, Great Eastwood, May 15, 2006
By 
Wilson Pupps (Blacksburg, VA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Outlaw Josey Wales (DVD)
There is something about Clint Eastwood that allows him the luxury of delivering a cheesey macho line without looking like an ass. In a movie full of such lines, Eastwood really shines in this epic western. I have always wondered why the critics never gave this western its due, while normal every day joes continue to give it the thumbs up. I believe the answer lies in the sympathic portrayal of the Confederate outlaw who is Josey Wales. How dare anyone cast anything wearing a Confederate uniform in anything less than an evil light? Moreover, How dare anyone portray Union Soldiers as a bunch of marauding murderers who looted and pillaged their way through a defeated South? These are the type of thoughts likely dancing through the heads of liberal wine drinking cheese eating newspaper types while sitting down to disparage what is Eastwood's best movie.

If this is really what troubles the crtics, then the everyday joes are left ot wonder why. After all, this is one of the first westerns to positively portray the Native American. Gone are the the usual "Indian" stereotypes of broken English, firewater references, and raids on helpless pioneers. In their place, stand references to the Trail of Tears and good hearted attempts to conform with the "white man's world". Furthermore, Josey Wales was never a slave owner but a man seeking vengeance on a rogue group of Union cavalrymen who murdered his family. Taken in its proper context, the war supplies merely a backdrop that allows Josey Wales to develop as a character.

Amidst all the seriousness of vengeance and social commentary regarding the treatment of Native Americans lies several instances of black comedy which keeps the movie from becoming too bitter and preachy. Sure Josey Wales blows away several men with his pistols, but he always makes us laugh by splattering their dead foreheads with tobacco juice, or uttering another of those macho cheesey lines. His elderly side kick supplies a few laughs along the way by bedding a young woman and shoving horny toads in the sleeping face of Josey Wales.

As many times as the Outlaw Josey Wales has been replayed on cable, I guess is the same amount of times I have seen a negative review placed next to its title in the newspaper television guide. With such unfavorable reviews, it's a continued wonder that people continue to discover this film. I guess that in itself is a testament to how good a film this really is.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Masterpiece Josey Wales, February 19, 2005
This review is from: The Outlaw Josey Wales (DVD)
Clint Eastwood surpasses the realm of just a "good classic western film," here he has managed to create a masterpiece. Eastwood himself refers to this as one of his most important films, following the equally great "Unforgiven."

The 1976 film opens with Josey's family being violently slaughtered, sending the Outlaw into a remarkable wrath of revenge. Without giving too much away, the road to death soon becomes the road to redemption.

Eastwood and company incorporated wonderful two handed gunplay, laugh out loud humor, magnificent character development and overall a masterpiece that will stand the test of time.

The remastered edition is a God sent. The anamorphic widescreen has never looked better. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack brings new life to the picture.

I personally loath the Warner Bros. snap cases, but the Clint Eastwood Collection is well worth the frustration. Eastwood's films deserve so much better, such as the treatment of the 2004 3 Disc set release of the dark and spectacular "Mystic River."

The Outlaw Josey Wales throws away the formula of the standard "Western." Maybe that's why it's charm and the power and patience of Eastwood is undeniable.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Outlaw Josey Wales on Blu Ray, July 28, 2013
To be honest, I wasn't expecting much in the way of quality when I bought this movie on Blu Ray. Many of Eastwoods films have suffered from poor video transfer quality and lossy audio codecs. Happy to say I lucked out on this release. Since everyone else has already provided their summaries of the storyline, their opinions on the acting and everything else, I will, as I always do, only focus upon the quality of the transfer of this film to Blu Ray.

VIDEO....Other than some early, and mild, light film grain, the video transfer to Blu Ray is as clean as you can hope for. Colors all looked vibrant and restored, not popping as you might see in some Sci Fi films, but proper and lifelike. Much of the early part of the film is color graded with a very cool appearing bluish cast but once the film establishes both the characters and acting there is a warmth of color to the rest of the film. While I saw no artifacting or un-natural DNR it does appear that they have crushed the blacks a touch so that some detail is lost in the darker or shadow scenes. However, this does not detract from the transfer to a significant degree. Contrast is really very good and much better than I expected this older film to be. Mbps rate averages in the low to mid twenties. The video quality is a significant step up from the standard definition dvd release.

AUDIO....Many of Eastwood's films, even on Blu Ray, come with a lossy audio. The Outlaw Josey Wales brings a lossless DTS HD MA 5.1 audio that surprised me with its very good use of the front stage left and right surrounds for directionality and panning of the audio. Even the rears are used intermittently when necessary. Audio levels are set properly between foley effects and soundtrack so once you set your volume you shouldn't have to go back to it. For the most part, the rears and LFE channel are used for ambience but never the less, the audio for this movie is heads and tails above many of the Eastwood releases.

Extras...A very interesting documentary on Eastwood's origins in the Western genre beginning with the Rawhide TV show I used to watch as a kid. There is also the typical commentary by Richard Schickel and two other featurettes called 'Eastwood in Action' and 'Hell Hath No Fury' as well as a 'making of' and trailer. No deleted scenes, but no advertisements for other movies either.

If you already have the Standard Def on DVD release, it is my suggestion that buying the blu ray version will be an excellent upgrade.

All my reviews focus solely on the quality of the transfers to Blu Ray of both video and audio and I do hope that this review has been of some help to you in deciding upon your purchase decisions and that I am on the correct path with this type of review.

Thanks for reading.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Man Like Wales, Lives By The Feud, May 28, 2004
This review is from: The Outlaw Josey Wales (DVD)
Some 16 years before the Oscar laden and equally brilliant "Unforgiven", this movie is seen by many as one of Clint Eastwoods finest movies, particularly in the Western genre. Playing the title role himself, we meet Josey Wales, a quiet farmer, abruptly thrown into the civil war after his land and family are attacked by Union soldiers, who joins up with the confederate fight in an almost guerilla / mercenary way. The civil War aspect of the story is little more than an opening skirmish however, as it is the subsequent fugitive aspect of the character that moves us through most of the picture. I have to disagree with those that think this is just a revenge movie, or that a single viewing is all one can manage, as the story unfolds in a multi faceted way with each succesive viewing, despite the viewer knowing the ending. Wales comes to be the guiding scout and protector to an unlikely and very mixed bag of characters (all played with sound realism)as he is continually and almost reluctantly hounded by his former ally Fletcher. Charged with hunting him down, Fletcher (played with a salty almost poetic grace by John Vernon) must accompany a band of "red leg" Union soldiers, with more than questionable morality, to the border and this long pursuit helps the picture move at an even pace. Add some interesting subplots, commancheros, some imaginative and lively characters (with many of Eastwoods regular screen stars in various roles)and the overall effect is just right, without trying to be moralistic. Often brutal in it's depiction of the "wild" west, and at times graphically violent keeps the deserved R rating, but some moments of comedy and pathos bring an unmistakable Eastwood handprint of direction, without overtaking the excellent story or script. Already widely received as a classic piece of filmaking, it has stood the test of time extremely well, and has become one of the movies that have benchmarked the genre since it's release almost thirty years ago. Extremely enjoyable movie.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Eastwood's finest hours, July 16, 2000
This review is from: The Outlaw Josey Wales (DVD)
In recent years, Clint Eastwood's "The Outlaw Josey Wales" has been elevated to a higher plain than it occupied when released in summer 1976. Praised by a handful of critics, the film did well at the box-office but really acquired a following through no less than six highly rated airings on NBC, ABC, and CBS. Now it's often considered Eastwood's finest hour as director and star, even surpassing his Oscar winning "Unforgiven" in some eyes. Among its fans was the late Orson Welles who praised it as one of the finest Westerns ever made, and praised Eastwood as a director worthy of notice long before it was fashionable to do so. In 1996, Eastwood's fifth film as a director was even recognized by the Library of Congress when it was added to the National Film Registry, that collection of films deemed historically, artistically, and/or sociologically important and deserving of protection from tampering by anyone but the original director.
At first glance, I found it overlong and meandering, enlivened only occasionally by some trademark Eastwood gunplay. But if it's a little short on the action for which Eastwood made his name, repeated viewings make it clear that there is much more happening beneath the surface. The Outlaw Josey Wales is very much a film about community and trying to find a place in one. Josey Wales is an outlaw only because he avenged the death of his family at the hands of murderous Union soldiers. Now a hunted man, this peaceful farmer is an Angel of Death wandering the west in search of vengeance but also a place to call home. Its scope is much bigger than the revenge tale at its center, and the film represents an important step in Eastwood's maturation as a director.
Beautifully photographed, splendidly acted (especially by John Vernon), and capably directed, "The Outlaw Josey Wales" is one of Eastwood's finest hours (although "Unforgiven" is superior in my book), and one of the finest hours for the western, as well.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Dyin' ain't much of a livin', boy.", March 18, 2003
Okay, I'll admit it: this film has some goofy quirks, uneven moments, and scenes where Clint mumbles his lines as if he were a ventriloquist, yet THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES remains one of my very favorite westerns. I saw this movie when it first came out in 1976, watched it every time I could find it on cable, then purchased the VHS tape when it first became available. After all these years--after countless viewings--this film remains as entertaining and as enjoyable as the night I first saw it on the big screen.
The story is compelling: Josey Wales, a quiet, peaceful Missouri farmer, joins a band of Confederate soldiers to avenge the brutal murders of his wife and son (played by Eastwood's son, Kyle), then refuses to surrender at the end of the war. He becomes an outlaw, hunted relentlessly by the very Union soldiers who killed his family, a manhunt that sends Wales and an ever-growing group of stragglers deep into Texas. "Sometimes trouble just follows a man," Wales laments prophetically. And sometimes a character--like Josey Wales--portrays such a rich depth of anger, anguish, and an overwhelming desire to live in peace, that the viewer is mesmerized by the injustice of it all.
Clint Eastwood directed this movie, his very first to direct, and gave notice to Hollywood that he was also a force to be reckoned with behind the camera. The cast is uneven, but Chief Dan George, Will Sampson, and John Vernon stand out and give impressive performances. And for those of us who have on occasion enjoyed a plug of chewing tobacco, the "spitting scenes" are hysterical. THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES is a keeper, a grand "shoot-'em-up" with a heart of gold.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eastwood's alltime best, May 29, 2005
By 
C. Wynes (Dyersburg, TN) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Outlaw Josey Wales (DVD)
This film meets and surpasses all expectations. If you are a fan of westerns, or of Clint Eastwood in particular, this film is a must-own.

Eastwood plays a man whose family is brutally murdered by the Redlegs, a band of guerilla warriors who fought for Kansas under the leadership of the dastardly Jennison and his "Jayhawkers" during the Civil War. They were the foil of William Clarke Quantrill and his followers who fought for Missouri during the war. (For more on this conflict, albeit with an unfortunate Jayhawk-slant, see the recent film "Ride with the Devil".)

As for its treatment of the Civil War, this film follows "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" in the sense that it does not explicitly take a side. It does, however, present characters that are much more aware of a war going on and who are much more partisan about it than were the bit-players in that last of the Leone trilogy.

Yet Eastwood's film here abandons the partisanship that so embodies even a contemporary discussion of the war in the American South. Despite his family being brutally murdered by Kansans, Josey Wales ultimately rises above the conflict in his attempt to get what he wants out of life. Josey is rightfully distrustful of the Union, but he doesn't translate that into a political vendetta. The conflict does not destroy him, even when the prejudices of anti-Confederate Kansans are poised to strike him down.

The story finds Josey making unlikely friendships with those he encounters along his way, and provides many good-natured comic moments in those encounters. Josey Wales is the quintessential Western character, an average farmer who is dragged into conflicts larger than his own by the circumstances around him, forced to play a role that he never is fully willing to embrace.

Eastwood, despite being new to directing, delivers on the potential of this film in full. The cinematography is consistently engaging, the soundtrack is interesting, and the performances are stellar. This is definitely a 70's style western, and Eastwood practically defines the era with this picture.

If you are a fan of the Leone trilogy wondering whether Eastwood was ever as good apart from those films, then this is the one to see. If you are an Eastwood fan from his recent films, then this is a great introduction to the skills he would consistently display as a director in the future. If you are looking at this film from the viewpoint of a typical western-genre fan, you will not be disappointed by this film's excellent story and great performances. Basically, everyone who would be lead to this review on amazon.com is a person who would enjoy this film.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Wonderful Offering By Clint Eastwood!!!, July 26, 2005
This review is from: The Outlaw Josey Wales (DVD)
This would have to be one of my favourite Western movies. It concerns a farmer named Josey played by Clint Eastwood whose family are brutally murdered by renegade Northern soldiers in the Civil War. Josey then joins the fight and he is soon on the run to the Indian Nations. This movie is very funny at times which is quite rare for a Western. Josey is a loner who just wants his solitude but by the end of the movie his entourage includes two Native Americans, one old lady, a pretty young girl (Sondra Locke), a couple of guys who frequent the local dry saloon, a dance hall girl PLUS a dog!!! The late Chief Dan George is also wonderful in this movie and helps to reveal Josey's humanity. Do yourself a big favour and rent or buy this movie!!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Eastwoods Best Action Packed Westerns, May 29, 2006
By 
This review is from: The Outlaw Josey Wales (DVD)
At the time of its release, this was the best western that Eastwood had ever done with the exception of "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". Eastwood skillfully plays a sympathetic character whose wife and child are killed during the Civil War near Kansas by the Union "Redlegs" who are virtually roguing military. Seeking revenge for his loss, he joins a Bloody Bill Anderson's guerrilla unit that strikes unmercifully against the union forces. As the war ends, the majority of the unit comes in to surrender except for Josey and they are slaughtered by the Redlegs who seek retaliation. And there is your story; Josey becomes the hunted as he and one escaping companion are hunted virtually to eternity. Eastwood plays the character perfectly as he carries multiple pistols and weapons as Confederate cavalry did to even fire power, even with loaded cylinders that he can interchange with his pistols. Comical at times, as Eastwood seems to pick up lost souls from Indian Dan George (Little Bigman), to an abused female Indian, a cranky granny and her attractive yet pensive daughter (Locke) and even a red boned cur dog who suffers the indignity of Josey's spiteful but accurate tobacco spit (but the dog follows anyways). George has several lines that work as commentary on the plight of the 'Civilized Tribes' and the Cherokees choice of backing the south. He also invokes great humor with lines like, "I didn't surrender, but they took my horse. He surrendered". The movie is a thrill a minute as Josey frequently has to shoot his way out of traps, accidental discoveries, the rescue of one of his lost souls and the climatic ending where he finally finds a peaceful place until he is found again not only by his old enemies but the Indians in his adopted home. In each circumstance where he finds himself confronted with danger and as always outnumbered, he always seeks an edge to give him some advantage, and when he spits, there is going to be some shooting. And there is a sub-climatic moment where Josey meets with his Indian counterpoint, recognizing that they have recently lived parallel lives, each being hunted and perhaps abused, making a statement that each deserves a better life. Not as sensitive as his best film the "Unforgiven" or perhaps as realistic, but action packed and entertaining.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie on Two Levels, February 25, 2006
This review is from: The Outlaw Josey Wales (DVD)
This movie is appealing in two ways. First, it is a rip-roaring action-filled western. Second, it is a movie about personal transformation.

Filled with great one-liners, Clint Eastwood lays some old Kansas style vengeance on the those who killed his family and destroyed his life. There is a ton of pseudo-history implied with the Kansas Redlegs and the nature of the insurgency in Missouri during the American Civil War. It is clear from some of the reviews that the author of the original book, perhaps, had some agenda to advance on this issue. Regardless of how one feels about these things, it still is an exciting Western to watch.

But the best part of the movie is how Clint Eastwood goes from being a simple and happy farmer to being a cold blooded killer back to a decent human being again. Actors are at their best when they portray those going through personal transformations. Clint Eastwood begins to show the skills that he has since honed to perfection.

One ironic message in this movie - intended or unintended - is that Clint Eastwood's character actually achieves the complete vengeance by resuming a normal life after the pain of war.
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The Outlaw Josey Wales [Blu-ray Book]
The Outlaw Josey Wales [Blu-ray Book] by Clint Eastwood (Blu-ray - 2013)
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