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Category:    Home > Reviews > Western > B-Movies > High Lonesome (VCI/1950)

High Lonesome (VCI/1950)


Picture: C     Sound: C-     Extras: C     Film: C



Some Westerns stick with a formula and will not let go, no matter how bad they get.  Alan Le May wrote and directed High Lonesome (1950) in a story where a series of murders lands suspicion on an unknown visitor (John Barrymore Jr.) when authorities cannot (or will not) figure out who did it.  The result is a possible witch hunt, but then a strange twist intercedes, though it cannot save the film in time.


Chill Wills and Jack Elam show up, as they did in most films of the genre at the time, but everyone else is an unknown and the film is often confused with an equally unfamous non-Western with Louis Gossett Jr. made decades later.  The other obnoxious thing about the film is the use of children as filler for a problematic script.  Without them as padding, this could have been a bad Gunsmoke episode, with a better cast by default.


The film was shot in three-strip Technicolor by cinematographer W. Howard Greene and the problematic print shown here is presented at 1.33 X 1 (though was it 1.66 X 1?  We cannot say for certain) has softness and colors that are starting to go.  It is also color that seems a shade too dark.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is worse, very choppy in places, with some sound dropouts from the several-generations down source and some brittleness to boot.  Extras include a stills gallery with poster art, text bios, a VCI promo for other Western DVDs and an average episode of Stories of The Century that only is better than the film, because it is shorter.  For completists only.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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