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Denver & Rio Grande [Blu-ray]
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Between 1951 and 1952, director Byron Haskin (The War of the Worlds) and star Edmond O’Brien (Silver City) collaborated for three westerns. Edmond O’Brien plays Jim Vesser, a former U.S. Cavalry Officer, now in charge of getting the Denver and Rio Grande tracks across the Rockies first to secure a right-of-way. Standing in his way is the less scrupulous and more ruthless McCabe (Sterling Hayden, The Killing) who’s trying to lay his Canyon City and San Juan tracks first. The conflict between the two men turns into guerilla warfare between the two outfits. The excellent cast includes Dean Jagger as General William J. Palmer, Vesser’s former commanding officer and Lyle Bettger as Johnny Buff, McCabe’s slimy chief gunman.
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Olive Films has been licensing and releasing a number of Paramount Westerns, including SILVER CITY (with O'Brien), PONY EXPRESS (with Heston), THE JAYHAWKERS (with Jeff Chandler and Fess Parker), RUN FOR COVER (Jimmy Cagney' best of his three Westerns), THE NIGHT OF THE GRIZZLY (with Fess Parker) and THE HANGMAN (with Robert Taylor). Let's hope that this very fine series of releases will continue with such excellent Westerns as WARPATH (also with O'Brien) and FLAMING FEATHER (with Sterling Hayden), both superior entertainment and in need of the professional release that Olive Films can give them.
Olive Films' Blu Ray release of Denver & Rio Grande is solid as well. There are a few shots that are soft, but most of them are fairly crisp and clean. There are a few instances where there is a lot of dust and debris on the print, but that doesn't happen too often. This is a solid encoding of a good (but not great) print. Both the picture and sound are very good for a film from 1952.
If you like Westerns or movies about railroads do not hesitate to buy this blu ray. It's a fun movie and a very good blu ray release.