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The 1951 Rawhide (no relation to the later TV series) is a trim, satisfying Henry Hathaway picture that blends the leathery trappings of the Western with the claustrophobic atmosphere and intensity of a noir suspense film. At a remote swing station for the transcontinental stagecoach, several no-goods aim to help themselves to a gold shipment. But the next coach isn't carrying gold, so the intruders hold the stationmasters (Tyrone Power and Edgar Buchanan) and some stranded passengers captive while they wait. Power and Susan Hayward handle the heroics without larger-than-life posturing; Dean Jagger, Hugh Marlowe, and George Tobias relish the rare opportunity to play villainous or ambiguous types; and Jack Elam is, well, Jack Elam, reliably oozing viciousness from every pore. Screenwriter Dudley Nichols knew the territory, having scripted John Ford's Stagecoach thirteen years earlier. Hathaway also directed Garden of Evil (1954), Fox's first Western in the new CinemaScope process. (Very wiiiiide CinemaScope--the DVD preserves the 2.55:1 format, which was later modified to 2.35:1.) The story involves several fortune-seeking Americanos accidentally thrown together in Mexico and enlisted to help rescue a fellow countryman injured at his remote gold mine. Much of the film unreels as a journey Western exploring tensions among the strangers, especially those inspired by dreaming of gold and the man's redheaded wife (Susan Hayward). The dialogue reaches for profundity and comes up short, but Richard Widmark as a self-designated "poet" and Gary Cooper as a retired lawman give satisfaction as they one-up each other. The movie's distinction lies in Hathaway's no-sweat adaptation to the widescreen format, the awe-inspiring Mexican settings--a deserted village, a valley of black sand, a mountain town buried under volcanic ash--and the only music score ever composed for a feature Western by Bernard Herrmann.
Herrmann is just about the only thing the four commentators on Garden of Evil talk about (there's also a separate "making of" featurette). Nobody does commentary on The Gunfighter or Rawhide, but the disc for the former includes a featurette on master cameraman Arthur Miller, while a Rawhide addendum highlights the oft-used movie location of Lone Pine, Calif., and another pays tribute to gutsy leading lady Susan Hayward. Talking heads include some half-dozen film historians (e.g., David Biographical Dictionary of Film Thomson) plus Henry Hathaway's son and Gary Cooper's daughter. --Richard T. Jameson
Movie was great even though display was small and dark and expense of 9.95 was outrageous.Published 1 month ago by GlennStu
This is the best western collection I have ever bought in my life.. The center piece of this classic collection is Garden of Evil.. I call this move simply a masterpiece.. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jan
I love Westerns, and I had not seen any of these three classics. What a joy it was to watch them... Read morePublished 3 months ago by R. Edward Merrell, Jr.
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Why not a SUSAN HAYWARD box set !!!||
Yes I also think Susan Hayward fully deserves a great 5/6 movies boxset.
She has made lots of great movies and Fox owns lots of her biggest hits.
She remains one of the greatest and most beautiful female stars of the golden age of Hollywood.
Fox video please,we want a Susan hayward boxset...
Apr 9, 2008 by G. Van Der Grinten | See all 13 posts
|Glenn Ford Boxed Set||
Totally agree with The Gazebo. What I would love to see would be Advance to the Rear, Imitation General & The Sheepman. Glenn Ford was a very versatile actor & was especially good at comedy.
May 28, 2008 by Harry Brewer | See all 2 posts
|Garden Of Evil||
I sure hope it is. It should be in stereo as well.
Apr 15, 2008 by gobirds2 | See all 2 posts