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After years of suffering through poor quality pan and scan PD releases of John Wayne’s rollicking western comedy MCLINTOCK!, The Duke’s fans can rejoice because Paramount has issued the film in all of its widescreen splendor! And when I say splendor, I absolutely mean it- Paramount’s DVD release of MCLINTOCK! is absolute gorgeous! This official release of MCLINTOCK! comes from the highest quality materials retained by Wayne’s company, Batjac Productions, and this forty-plus-year-old motion picture looks as though it were filmed only yesterday.

Very loosely adapted from Shakespeare’s THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, MCLINTOCK! is a western tale of the domestic problems of wealthy cattle rancher George Washington McLintock (John Wayne). After an absence of several years, McLintock’s estranged and somewhat shrewish wife Katherine (Maureen O'Hara) returns home in an effort to claim the couple’s daughter Becky (Stefanie Powers), who is coming home from school. Of course, as a man that controls everything in the town that bares his name, McLintock has absolutely no intention of acceding to his wife’s wishes, but he allows the situation to simmer, until the film’s amusing climax where he finally shows Katherine that he wears the pants in their family. MCLINTOCK! has its fare share of skirmishes in its battle of the sexes, but the film’s funniest moments come in an out an out brawl that lands most every character in a mud pit. The delightful cast of MCLINTOCK! also features Patrick Wayne, Jack Kruschen, Chill Wills, Yvonne De Carlo, Jerry Van Dyke, Edgar Buchanan, Bruce Cabot, Perry Lopez and Strother Martin.

Paramount Home Entertainment has made MCLINTOCK! available on DVD in a 2.35:1 widescreen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. As I stated above, the film’s presentation on DVD is gorgeous. The image is bright, sharp and very nicely defined. There is a bit of softness that crops up in a few places, but seem related to the film’s opticals. Colors are rich, highly saturated and give one a very good idea what an original Technicolor print might have looked like. Blacks are accurate, whites are crisp and the image boasts very smooth contrast. The film elements exhibit very few blemishes and little apparent grain. Digital compression artifacts are never a cause for concern.

For this release, MCLINTOCK! has been upgraded to a Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack. The new sound mix isn’t particularly directional, but the sound is given a nice spread throughout the soundstage. Most of the age related background hiss and other audible anomalies have been cleaned up in the mastering process, leaving the track with a very respectable sonic quality. Fidelity for the film’s musical component has mild limitations, but never sounds harsh or brittle. Dialogue is crisply rendered and remains totally understandable. An English Dolby monaural soundtrack has also encoded onto the DVD, as have English subtitles.

Full motion video and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplemental materials. Starting things off is a two-minute Introduction By Leonard Maltin. Next up is a running audio commentary featuring Leonard Maltin and Frank Thompson, with additional comments from Maureen O'Hara, Stefanie Powers, Michael Pate, Michael Wayne and director Andrew McLaglen. The Making Of McLintock! is a forty minute program that is broken into three parts The Batjac Story: The Legacy Of Michael Wayne, Maureen O'Hara And Stefanie Powers Remember McLintock! and A Good Ol' Fashion Fight. The Corset: Don't Leave Home Without One! is a seven minute program that looks at the staple of women’s fashions during the period of the film’s setting. 2 Minute Flight School is a brief introduction to creating convincing movie fights for the camera. A Theatrical Trailer, Batjac Teaser and Photo Gallery close out the supplements.

Never available in a proper presentation, MCLINTOCK! is the western comedy delight that John Wayne fans have been waiting for. Paramount’s DVD looks fantastic and is certain to bring a big smile to every fan’s face. Additionally, the thoughtful extras make this must own disc even better. Absolutely recommended.



Mclintock (Special Collector's Edition) (1963)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2005 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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