The Klansman (1974) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Terence Young
Starring: Lee Marvin, Richard Burton, Cameron Mitchell, O.J. Simpson
Rated: R/Region A/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Olive Films
A small southern town has just been rocked by a tragedy: a young woman has been violently raped. The white town fathers immediately declare that the attacker had to be black, and place the blame on Garth, a young black man. Assuming that the men in white sheets aren’t intent on holding a fair and impartial trial, Garth takes to the woods as the Klansmen lynching party hunts him down.
Well, this was certainly a wild one from 1974! Here we dive into a story about a small town KKK and their effects on the town. Most people are either in the group or in the groups pocket. The same could be said about the town’s sheriff played by Lee Marvin. He’s been sort of looking the other way but he’s about at the end of his rope here with the KKK after their actions seem to get even viler as this movie progresses. Also in the way of the group is a woman who’s husband is in with them but she’s slept with a black man and now their romance is over and another man letting black people stay on his property much to the annoying of the clan. Topping this whole movie off, however, is none other than OJ Simpson (YES, THAT OJ Simpson) who after seeing the KKK kill his friends is sneaking around and killing them off one by one. All in all, a lot of evil things happen to mostly black people and everything comes to a boiling point in the 3rd act with a bloody shootout. I found it to be fun stuff!
A movie like The Klansman really shows its age nowadays when you watch it, but it still seems to pack a lot of what can be found in small southern towns. It has a bit of blood and some awful stuff happens to people which make it feel like a bit of shined up exploitation film at heart. Was that the intent? I don’t know, but if that was what they were going for that accomplish that mission with flying colors. I would also say you could take a shot everytime you hear that dreaded N-word but you’d probably end up dead or in the E.R. by the time this one is finished. It is a little long but interesting none the less. It might not be the best-looking transfer you’ll ever find either, but more times than not is look really nice and also probably exceeds if we were to take a closer look at the source material. A lot of stuff happens in The Klansman. Most of what happens probably won’t be for everyone but I think it is still well worth watching and checking out for yourself.
Quality of Transfer: 78%