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Category:    Home > Reviews > Western > Hour Of The Gun (1967/MGM DVD)

Hour of the Gun (1967)


Picture: C+†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: C†††† Film: B-



The story of Wyatt Earp has been translated on-screen countless times and with more mixed results than just about any story out there.Director John Sturges would direct Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in 1957 and then 10 years later with Hour of the Gun, which would star James Garner in the lead role as Wyatt Earp.So the question that might be on the minds of most is why he would decide to direct another film about the same subject matter in such a short period of time.


The answer to that might be as simple as the fact that in those 10 years Sturges would become a bigger name after the success of such classics like The Magnificent Seven (1960) and The Great Escape (1963), which is also reviewed on this site.He also directed a handful of noble films in that time as well, which were not as memorable, but equally strong such as The Last Train From Gun Hill, which is reviewed on this site too.Sturges now had bigger clout to direct a film that he wanted to make as well as tell the story in a different light than the previous film.


Hour of the Gun is drastically different from your typical versions ranging from My Darling Clementine (1940) all the way up to the two 90ís versions Tombstone and Wyatt Earp.The immediate difference is that the climax part of the other versions is almost right at the beginning of this film with the main showdown taking place at the O.K. Corral.The remainder of the film actually gets to some of the details that occurred after that and focuses more time on other characters besides just Wyatt.


What kills the film is itís fake Western feel that it has going for it with really poor sets that just scream for attention.This is as typical as it gets for a Western, so if thatís what you are looking for you are in the right place.The acting is good and the overall film works pretty good with some minor setbacks.I wouldnít go into this one expected a Sergio Leone film or a John Ford one either, but if you enjoy those B-Western variety than you will this is a masterpiece.


MGM has issued Hour of the Gun to DVD with a scaled back DVD only containing a trailer and the full-frame version on the flip side of the disc.The anamorphic 2.35 X 1 transfer looks fair with muted colors and a lackluster amount of detail.You can quickly tell from the beginning that the film is going to be slightly distracting to watch, unless you are looking at it in a tube TV, which makes it slightly more bearable.This problem occurs often with some of MGMís lesser-known titles, especially older titles.The speculation of course is that not much money was invested in doing a proper transfer since they do not expect to make much back on it.The audio is sticktly Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, which can be spread further to two-channels if your receiver is capable of doing so.Even by doing this, the film does not really have much sound pouring out of it with mostly dialogue and a few sound effects or music.†† There are noticeable amounts of hiss still on the soundtrack, which can be heard at higher volume levels.


All around this is just a totally sub-par edition that deserves little attention unless you are a huge fan of the film.If this is your first time experiencing the film than hopefully the quality of the disc will not keep you from enjoying the film, but thatís a very subjective question at hand.



-†† Nate Goss


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