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Category:    Home > Reviews > Western > Drama > Comedy > Supernatural > Clint Eastwood Western Icon Collection (High Plains Drifter/Joe Kidd/Two Mules For Sister Sara, Universal DVD-Video)

Clint Eastwood Western Icon Collection (High Plains Drifter/Joe Kidd/Two Mules For Sister Sara, Universal DVD-Video)

 

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

 

 

High Plains Drifter (1973) B

Joe Kidd (1972) B-

Two Mules For Sister Sara (1969) C-

 

 

Universal has decided to issue three of Clint Eastwood early Hollywood Westerns as The Clint Eastwood Western Icon Collection and it is the kind of set Meat Loaf could sing about, as two out of three here are very good.High Plains Drifter (1973) is about an unnamed cowboy (Eastwood) who comes to a small town to cause havoc and all kinds of trouble.However, the town itself is evil making the view question who are the lesser of two evils and does the stranger have a darker secret?Verna Bloom, Geoffrey Lewis and John Hillerman also star, while Ernest Tidymanís screenplay is tight.

 

Joe Kidd (1972) has Eastwood as the title expert gunfighter suddenly hired to settle a border dispute on behalf of some U.S. land owners, et al, but when he sees what is really going on and gets involved with a female amongst the rebels, he has some serious choices to make.Robert Duvall, John Saxon, Don Shroud and Dick Van Patten also star.

 

Two Mules For Sister Sara (1969) was a big star production with Shirley MacLean as a nun and Eastwood joining her in a disappointing romp about rebels and fighting the establishment in this comedy that simply backfires.The Mexican locations are a plus.

 

 

The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on all three films look good and were shot in real anamorphic Panavision.All made at a peak time for film release prints, all three were originally issued in three-strip dye-transfer Technicolor prints and though these prints are not that great all the time, they have their moments.Sara was lensed by veteran Director of Photography Gabriel Figueroa (Night Of The Iguana) and was even shown in 70mm blow-ups upon its original theatrical run, while longtime Eastwood cinematography Bruce Surtees (who began shooting with Eastwood and Don Siegel in 1971, as well as on films like The Outfit, Lenny and Night Moves) does an amazing job in taking lessons learned from the Sergio Leone/Tonino Delli Colli westerns Eastwood usually starred in.Canít wait to see these in HD-DVD.

 

The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is sufficient, continuing Universalís policy of keeping monophonic Eastwood films mono, while Warner has upgraded a few of his films to 5.1.Sara was a 6-track magnetic stereo film in 70mm prints, so why Universal does not use those tracks is a mystery, unless they are lost?Especially with a score by Ennio Morricone, it would make he film more interesting and watchable.Kidd was scored by the great Lalo Schifrin, while Drifter was scored very effectively by Dee Barton. The only extra on each film is the original theatrical trailer, though the serious Westerns call for special editions.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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