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The Young Land
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This "Sincere western..." (according to Leonard Maltin), set in 1848 California, stars Patrick Wayne as a lawman with high morals and co-stars Dennis Hopper as a rebellious gunslinger. Hopper goes on trial for killing a young Mexican, which tests the American system of justice in the newly formed state. Produced by John Ford's son, who brought together an excellent supporting cast of Hollywood extras. Features a great western score, with composer Dimitri Tiomkin and songwriter Ned Washington garnering a Best Song Nomination at the 1959 Academy Awards. Bonus Features: Movie Trailers| Scene Selection. Specs: DVD5; Dolby Digital Mono; 89 minutes; Color; 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio; MPAA - NR: Year - 1959; SRP - $9.99.
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What we have here is a 4:3 letterboxed image that looks rather poorly cropped. It's not the most terrible DVD I've ever seen, but it is not very good. There is choppiness throughout and a lot of fuzziness to the image. Having watched releases from companies like Blue Underground who specialize in releasing off-the-beaten-path films, I can't imagine Troma's excuse for this transfer. Having seen what people can do with HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY and the like, I know the sky is the limit. In this instance, it seems Troma put a lot of effort into the packaging and wore themselves out by the time they were supposed to upgrade the transfer for us. I will admit that I became used to the shoddy image quality once the film got going, but that does not make up for what could have been. This feels more like something I'd find on a Mill Creek collection than a standalone 2-disc rerelease. Definitely a letdown.
Audiophiles will likely cringe throughout. There are spikes for gunshots and much of the dialogue is muddled. This leads to frequent adjustments of the volume setting which is never any fun. I wouldn't mind so much if not for Troma's obstinate refusal to include subtitles on their DVDs. What year is this?
Since I bought this movie fairly cheaply used, I won't mind purchasing another copy that promises (and delivers) a real anamorphic transfer. I can't imagine it would be a loss to the distributor since Dennis Hopper seems like a reasonable selling point, no matter how unknown the film.
In conclusion: If you really need to see the film, you can watch it in terrible quality on Troma's youtube page. If you're like me and a completist, this is the best you'll get for a while. It goes for fairly cheap since it isn't OOP and I don't see another release of this in the US forthcoming. We're stuck with this, but the quality of the film itself makes it an easier pill to swallow.
Here he portrays Mad Dog Morgan, a crazed Irish, an outlaw. Being raped in prison and put in hard labor cutting down wood he is not in the best of moods when released to freedom. The scenes in which is is in the hard labor camps, is gruesome. You can really feel the heat, pain and agony of hard labor here.
My only issue with this Troma release if the picture quality of the main feature, its really bad. Compared to the Austrailan Umbrella release its really crappy. Troma should've done a better job here.
But there are a commentary track by Philippe Mora and a second disc with bonus like interviews with Dennis Hopper and cast.
I can recommend this movie, but not this release. The picture quality is way too bad. But the Austrailan Umbrella release is hard to find so i think you can make do with this one.
And yes, it's uncut. Prison scenes are nasty, even for a seasoned movie buff like me.
Buy it, but beware the picture quality.
and if your an aussie check out all the stars from homicide thru to division four.what a hoot
And the film is based on a fascinating true story and is original and unique - and uses all authentic locations, music, etc.
Moving, highly entertaining, beautiful cinematography, 1st class all the way
That said the DVD itself is a disaster. The picture is out of frame and slightly blurry, the color is washed out and the soundtrack is full of clicks, pops and other noises. What always makes these rip-off releases even more of a joke is they sport the phrases "Digitally Re-mastered" and "5.1 Digital Dolby Surround Sound" on the back. Try to imagine 5 speakers all blasting clicks, pops and other annoying noises. If the manufacturers would just be honest (and some are) and say that the disc contains anomalies, people might be more forgiving.
What a waste of money.