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Label:
Number: OOPTWILIGHT151-BR

HOMBRE (1967) (BLU-RAY)
Starring:  Fredric March, Paul Newman, Barbara Rush, Diane Cilento, Martin Balsam, Richard Boone, Cameron Mitchell
Directed By:  Martin Ritt
Composed By:  David Rose

BRAND NEW - FACTORY SEALED - ONLY ONE AVAILABLE

“One of Ritt’s best films, with fine performances all round, impressive Death Valley locations, and superlative camerawork from James Wong Howe.”
—Time Out London

“An absorbing, suspenseful film…Ritt directs with a steady hand, and the dialog by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank bears listening to. It’s intelligent, and has a certain grace, as well.”
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“Tremendously engrossing…Hombre is tough."
—Bosley Crowther, The New York Times

The outstanding filmmaking team of director Martin Ritt and screenwriters Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank Jr. brings us this adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s Hombre (1967), a revisionist Western that offers a variation on the theme of Stagecoach. Paul Newman stars as an Apache-raised white man, initially despised by his fellow stagecoach passengers, who is then appealed to for help when a savage robbery/kidnapping leaves them in peril. Also starring Fredric March, Richard Boone, Martin Balsam, and Diane Cilento.

LANGUAGE: English
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 2.35:1
AUDIO: English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
1967 / Color
111 MINUTES
NOT RATED
REGION FREE

Special Features: Isolated Score Track / Audio Commentary with Film Historians Lee Pfeiffer and Paul Scrabo / Original Theatrical Trailer

Limited Edition of 3,000 Units

  
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Posted by Mark Turner on March 22, 2016 9:28 PM
NEWMAN KEEPS HIS COOL

In 1967 motion pictures had yet to portray the American Indian in a positive light. That would take place within a few years. For the most part they were still represented as wildly screaming savages intent on killing John Wayne or Jimmy Stewart in the latest western. All that began to change in the late sixties and HOMBRE was one of the first films of this sort.

Paul Newman stars as John Russell, a white man captured by the Indians long ago and raised by them. Having been exposed to both of their lifestyles he finds more honor and respect among the Apaches. Word reaches Russell that his last white relative has passed away and he has inherited a boarding house. With no use for the house he intends to sell it and use the money to purchase a herd for the Apache, returning with them. He closes the boarding house ousting the Jessie the woman who has run it for several years.

To sell the property and buy the herd, Russell must board the only stagecoach that is still running from town, a coach on its last run. On board the coach are Mr. Favor (Frederick March), his wife Audra (Barbara Rush), a newlywed couple, Jessie and a dangerous looking man named Grimes (Richard Boone).
As Russell proceeds to board the stage the others aren’t favorable with his riding with them, looking down upon him for having lived with “savages” all his life. He joins the coach driver Mendez (Martin Balsam) up top and off they go.

It isn’t long before we discover what Grimes was really up to. Along the way his men meet up to the stage with the intent of robbing everyone on board, in particular Mr. Favor. It appears that while working for the Department of Indian Affairs Favor has embezzled a large sum of money that was intended for the Indians and Grimes has his eye on that money.

But things don’t work out as planned and soon the robbers are left with nothing and the stagecoach passengers are left with little water and no stage or horses. They travel back a ways to an abandoned mine where they hole up waiting for the bad guys to return along with Mrs. Favor who was taken hostage. With things looking to be their worst the passengers suddenly find that Russell is someone they must depend on if they are to survive. Rather than treat them the way he was treated, he does his best to insure they make it out alive.

The movie offers and interesting look at the prejudices that people have and how those can change at the drop of a hat when those they hate suddenly have value to them. While the passengers all look down their noses at Russell when their trip begins it is Russell who is their sole salvation if they want to remain alive. Through it all Russell acts unperturbed by the people around him, rising above their way of thinking and knowing full well that when it comes to life and death their concerns are minor in the long run.

Newman plays the character as the strong and silent type. There are no need for words and when there are he chooses them wisely. The same holds true for his actions as is witnessed in a scene early on when Grimes forces a young soldier to relinquish his seat and no one stand up to him. The rest turn to Russell thinking he is the only one capable but he does nothing. In return rather than look to themselves for their response they look down on him instead. It’s a subtle enough display of the difference between Russell and the rest offering a look at who and how they truly are and it works.

As with all Twilight Time blu-ray releases the picture quality here is fantastic making this movie that’s nearly 50 years old look brand new. Extras include an isolated score track, a commentary track by film historians Lee Pfeiffer and Paul Scrabo and the theatrical trailer. While these extras are small compared too many releases I find that they give more than enough of what we need rather than pad out extras in an attempt to make you buy for that reason alone. Twilight Time offers limited quantities on their releases so if you intend to buy this one I’d do so before they sell out.

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