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Feature


One of Hollywood#s most prolific directors, William A. Wellman was responsible for more than 80 features and a string of masterpieces including Wings, the first film to win the Best Picture Oscar, The Public Enemy, which made a star of James Cagney, screwball classic Nothing Sacred, the original A Star is Born and this marvellous noir-inflected Western, The Ox-Bow Incident.

Set in a small Nevada town where tensions are running high thanks to a spate of cattle rustling, things reach boiling point when cowboy Larry Kinkaid is murdered. With the sheriff out of town, the residents form a posse and head to Ox-Bow Canyon to find the three men they believe to be guilty including Dana Andrews and Anthony Quinn in early major roles and enact their own form of justice.

A favourite of both Clint Eastwood and star Henry Fonda, who serves as the film s moral centre, The Ox-Bow Incident is a tough, complex picture whose uncompromising starkness continues to astound to this day.
[Offical Synopsis]

Video


The 4K restroation presentation here is a little soft and doesnt hold the sharpness other black and white films often hold in HD but it still looks pretty good. Wider shots look softest but close ups enable the film to shine. Strong shadows, light sources reflecting off of sweaty skin and a great deal of strong texture gives the flick the pop you'd expect.

The image is grain free (beside some of the hazier location shoots), it's full of bright faces and good detail and all in all this is a solid HD transfer even if its not on that one that really shows off about it. The image is full of noticable highlights, especially in the darker night scenes but it's just not a consistent affair in terms of sharpness.

Audio


The audio is generally simple dialogue or score to cover scene transitions. There's very little else going on and those two elements a clean and clear throughout.  The stronger, darker elements of the score drive that element to its show off points, never shrill or overbearing and always solid abd the dialogue retains a consistent level throughout.

Extras


The commentary by Dick Etulain and William Wellman Jr covers the film in enough detail to make for a rich added experience to viewing the film. The additional 'Commentaries by Peter Stainfield' are on select scenes, selectable within their own menu and are again full of background and detail.

The 'Introduction by Peter Stainfield' (12:32 HD) is a featurette more than an introduction and covers the film's history in a fair bit of detail.

'Henry Fonda: Hollywood's Quiet Guy' (45:01 HD) is a great all star documentary of Fonda's career. His costars and celebrity fans all discuss the Hollywood's legend work and life and it's a fine look at the star.

Last up is the 'Trailer'.

Overall


The Oxbow Incident is a fantastic focused piece on an event that changes everything for those it effects. Fonda brings so much extra to this film with his memorable performance and this short but effective film is a great piece of film history. The HD presenation is fine, though a little on the soft side, audio is again great at what it needs to do with very little to show off about but the extras carry the weight of the release and make this an all round good package overall.

* Note: The images below are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.

 Oxbow Incident, The
 Oxbow Incident, The
 Oxbow Incident, The
 Oxbow Incident, The
 Oxbow Incident, The
 Oxbow Incident, The


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