The Far Country (1954) (BLU-RAY REVIEW)

The Far Country (1954) (BLU-RAY REVIEW)

The Far Country (1954) (BLU-RAY REVIEW)

0 comments 📅02 May 2020, 03:29

The Far Country (1954) (BLU-RAY REVIEW)
DIRECTED BY: Anthony Mann
Starring: James Stewart, Ruth Roman, Walter Brennan
RATED: UR/REGION A/1.85:1 and 2.00:1/1080P/NUMBER OF DISCS 2
AVAILABLE FROM Arrow Video

An archetypal example of its genre, The Far Country is one of five superb westerns the screen legend James Stewart (Vertigo, Man of the West) made with acclaimed Hollywood auteur Anthony Mann (El Cid, The Man from Laramie). Mann’s film tells of Jeff Webster (Stewart) and his sidekick Ben Tatum (Walter Brennen, My Darling Clementine): two stoic adventures driving cattle to market from Wyoming to Canada who come to logger heads with a corrupt judge (John McIntire, Psycho) and his henchmen. Ruth Romain (Strangers on a Train) plays a sultry saloon keeper who falls for Stewart, teaming up with him to take on the errant lawman.

The Far Country comes to us by way of Arrow Video on their Arrow Academy line. It’s an old school western about a no-nonsense cowboy who rides into a town run by a crooked authority with a sidekick in tow. He soon finds a woman interested in him and he also soon finds himself in a whole lot of trouble that gets worse when he screws the said evil authority of the town after being cheated first. This puts him and a group in Canada, out of the jurisdiction of the bad guys but soon things still come to ahead. It’s one of those Westerns you remember seeing on TV way back in the day that you’d just watch for the sake of watching. It’s really just THAT watchable. That watchability remains here and you at least get to see it looking way better than you probably ever remember it looking before.

Arrow gives us two transfers on two discs here with this. I will say this about the transfer of the movie. While this movie does look better than you’ve seen it before, it is still really soft for a Blu-ray from Arrow Video. The first disc as the best looking version and ratio of the film with the 1:85, but it still doesn’t really pop like you’d probably want your old Westerns on Blu-ray to pop. That being the case, it still has some nice extras and it is still a movie that pulls you in and holds you there until the end. This is just a really well-done movie that doesn’t blow you away but it doesn’t do a thing you make you not want to watch it either. I’d say it is a solid as they come and this is a solid release despite the rather disappointing transfers.

Extras

  • Two presentations of The Far Country in both original aspect ratios of 1.85:1 and 2.00:1
  • Brand new 4K restoration from the original film elements by Arrow Films
  • Original 1.0 audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Limited edition booklet with new writing on the film by Philip Kemp and original reviews
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the film in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1
  • New audio commentary by film scholar Adrian Martin
  • American Frontiers: Anthony Mann at Universal, an all-new, feature-length documentary with Mann biographer Alan K. Rode, western author C. Courtney Joyner, script supervisor Michael Preece, and critics Michael Schlesinger and Rob Word
  • Mann of the West, a newly filmed appraisal of Far Country and the westerns of Anthony Mann by the critic Kim Newman
  • Image gallery
  • Original trailer
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the film in the alternate original aspect ratio of 2.00:1

Quality of Transfer: 86%

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