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Fox Western Classics (Rawhide / The Gunfighter / Garden of Evil)

4.4 out of 5 stars 296 customer reviews


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Disc 1: Garden of Evil (1954) Feature Film Disc 2: The Gunfighter (1951) Feature Film Disc 3: Rawhide (1951) Feature Film

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One of these three new-to-DVD Westerns is a universally esteemed classic, well worth the price of the set. But in happy fact, the whole package delivers the goods: sturdy genre entertainment from the Western's peak decade, the 1950s; solid Fox studio craftsmanship in every department; and breathtakingly crisp restorations that make you feel you've been time-warped back to a loge seat in your Bijou of choice on opening day. Henry King's The Gunfighter (1950) is the crown jewel--the film that deserves the credit (often awarded to High Noon) for ushering in the "adult Western," the '50s subgenre that emphasized psychological intensity over action and spectacle. Gregory Peck (topping his acclaimed performance in King's WWII drama Twelve O'Clock High) is excellent as Jimmy Ringo, a notorious shootist grown middle-aged and mortally weary of having to defend his legend. His trail takes him to a frontier town where an old comrade (the great Millard Mitchell) now serves as marshal, and where Ringo's estranged wife and the son he has never seen also reside, under an assumed name. Over one night and one day, Ringo dares to dream of a normal life. But there are avengers not far behind, and other threats yet to be counted. Although hailed by critics, The Gunfighter lost money for Fox; studio head Darryl F. Zanuck blamed the soup-strainer mustache--a stroke of period realism--director King ordered Peck to grow for the role. Well, a little red ink is a small price to pay for a masterpiece. Incidentally, the impeccable black-and-white cinematography is by three-time Oscar-winner Arthur Miller, capping a career that reached back to The Perils of Pauline.

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


Special Features

  • The Gunfighter (1950)
  • Arthur Miller: Painter with Light featurette
  • The Western Grows Up featurette
  • Restoration comparison
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • B&W, 1.33, English 2.0, English 1.0, Spanish 1.0, French 1.0, English and Spanish subtitles
  • Rawhide (1951)
  • Susan Hayward: Hollywood's Straight Shooter featurette
  • Shoot It in Lone Pine! featurette
  • B&W, 1.33, English 2.0, English 1.0, English, French, and Spanish subtitles
  • Garden of Evil (1954)
  • Commentary by film and music historians John Morgan, Nick Redman, Steven Smith, and William Stromberg
  • Isolated score track
  • Travels of a Gunslinger: The Making of Garden of Evil featurette
  • Henry Hathaway: When the Going Gets Tough... featurette
  • Interactive pressbooks
  • Advertising gallery
  • Still gallery
  • Color, 2.55, English 4.0, Spanish 1.0, French 1.0, English and Spanish subtitles

Product Details

  • Actors: Gregory Peck, Tyrone Power, Gary Cooper
  • Directors: Henry Hathaway, Henry King
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, Black & White, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: May 13, 2008
  • Run Time: 272 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (296 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0014BQR1A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,148 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fox Western Classics (Rawhide / The Gunfighter / Garden of Evil)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Three long overdue for DVD Westerns are together in one collection. Each of these movies are great individually, but together, makes this a must-have Western film. Here are the three films -

Rawhide - Rawhide deserves not only a DVD release, but recognition as one of the greatest Westerns ever. Taut, masterful direction by the great Henry Hathaway, and excellent perfomances by everyone makes this a must have film for anyone who loves the Western genre.

Tyrone Power and Susan Hayward are trapped at a stage way station by a gang of desperate criminals. Surprises and tragedy unfold as Power, Hayward, and Hayward's baby try to survive and outwit the criminals.

There are scenes in this film that are so tense that even today's hardened, jaded moviegoers will appreciate. This was not a film with larger than life heroes or cardboard cutout villains, but real people well portrayed with great lines from a magnificent script.

The Gunfighter - Gregory Peck, with his natural, spare acting style, and his folksy, plain demeanor, was a natural for Westerns, and his greatness in this genre was never more evident in this 1950 film, which was one of the earlier psychological Westerns.

Peck plays Jimmie Ringo, the most notorious gunfighter in the West, is running from the brothers of a man he killed. He shows up in a town where his ex-wife lives with their young son. Ringo holds up in the town saloon as a favor to the town marshal, who an old friend, while he waits for an opportunity to see his wife.

Meanwhile, the town is taken over with the nervous enthusiasm of people wanting to see a celebrity, a shootout, or a dead celebrity.
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At long last "The Garden of Evil"(Color 1954) even if it is included in a trilogy with two other great western movies "Rawhide" and "The Gunfighter", in a collection called "Fox Western Classics". These are great western films, but to me the crown jewel is "Garden of Evil". An extraordinary western with a star studded cast that includes, Gary Cooper, Susan Hayward, Richard Widmark, Cameron Mitchell, Victor Manuel Mendoza and Rita Moreno. This one alone "is worth the ticket". You will not be sorry in purchasing the unique box set. If you like westerns, do not miss this one. I highly recommend it.
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1954's GARDEN OF EVIL is a Western rich with characterization that seems stereotypical on the surface, but on analysis, runs much deeper. Susan Hayward (an enigmatic heroine) hires a group of stranded travelers in a Mexican waterfront town to follow her to a remote mine where her husband is trapped. The adventurous group is comprised of Gary Cooper (the upright, moralistic hero), Richard Widmark (a cynical witticism spouting gambler), Victor Manuel Mendoza (the good-natured Mexican guide) and Cameron Mitchell (the back-shooting kid gunslinger). They must traverse perilous and dangerous Indian territory to get to the mine, but their motives are unclear. Is it the trapped man, the lure of gold or the subdued sexual attraction that Hayward exudes that drives them? The narrative is a study of personalities in conflict, their motivations, loyalties, cowardice and heroism. Richard Widmark's character comes off as the most interesting. He lingers in the viewer's mind long after the film is over and the question is raised - which is the more honorable: the moralistic hero or the dubiously elegant yet noble rogue? Henry Hathaway is a director known for atmosphere, character and authentic locations. He combines mood and action. This film has all those elements. It is beautifully photographed, yet the picturesque landscapes are juxtaposed with disturbingly photographed death scenes, menacing ever-lurking Indians (always photographed from a distance) and even mysterious looking set designs. The church bell tower sprouting up from the dried lava is all that remains of the town outside the mine and is symbolically ominous in appearance. Frank Fenton's screenplay is filled with vague dialog and only adds to the total feeling of uneasiness that permeates this film.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
The Gunfighter DVD

Gregory Peck stars as the proverbial gunfighter who is forced into a kill-or-be-killed life.

Jimmy Ringo has legendary speed with a gun, hence every young cowpoke who thinks he's fast wants to kill him to get his reputation. Peck plays a superb role in this western classic.

Highly recommended for fans of Gregory Peck and western movies.

Gunner December, 2007
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By A Customer on February 22, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
One of the finest westerns ever made, and, by the lack of responses here, one of the least appreciated. The synopsis above pretty much explains the plot: an aging gunfighter, trying to escape his past, his enemies, and new challengers to his title of "big, tough gunny," attempts to convince his estranged wife and son to come away with him to a new life for all of them. His reputation, which he once reveled in, is now nothing but a curse. Will he ever be able to escape it? This not a shoot'em up. Peck's character, Jimmy Ringo, spends most of his time in a saloon reflecting on a life that holds no joy and, most probably, a violent end.
This movie hits upon the themes of the true nature of gunfighting and its real costs which has influenced such classics as "The Magnificent Seven," "The Shootist," and "Unforgiven." If you are a fan of westerns, you will not be disappointed in "The Gunfighter."
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