McLintock! (Blu-ray Review)

McLintockMy intro here kinda has nothing to do with the film I’m about to review.  But, its something I’ve kind of always wondered.  When a film has an exclamation point in its title, how are we supposed to talk about the film in a discussion.  To appropriately pronounce the film when talking about it would be to raise my voice or shout it as I said it within my sentence.  I’ve never seen anyone do that before, but that would be correct, wouldn’t it?  I know I’m being facetious and its really not a big deal, but its just one of those silly things a film geek such as myself has wondered over the years.  So, I’ll  just leave that there and get back to reviewing this MCLINTOCK!!!! Blu-ray.

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GW McLintock is a wealthy ranch owner.  He’s married, but separated, living single at his rather large estate.  He’s got some trouble with a local gadfly and the governor, who want to discredit him and settle all his land, kicking the Native Americans out of town.  Mclintock also has his hands full when his daughter comes to town, meaning the return of his rather abrasive and somewhat crazy wife.  He’s also hired himself an attractive cook as well as her two kids to be in the mix.

MCLINTOCK!!!!!!! is a western take on the Shakespeare’s classic Taming of the Shrew.  This was a production that John Wayne starred in and was produced by his son.  It was done under John Wayne’s own production company Batjac Productions.  The film was a pretty sizable hit and sort of a needed success for Wayne at the time.  It also was a “reunion” film of sorts as the film brought together a lot of notable John Wayne collaborators, be it actors, producers or crew members that were known for working in many films with The Duke.

This is the second time the film has come to Blu-ray, too.  Last year, if you’ll recall, this was brought out in a bare bones release from Olive Films.  While that was a sublicense, this film actually fell into the realm of public domain for many years and all of the VHS era.  It wasn’t until 2005 that Paramount became the sole rights holder on the film.  I’m surprised they sublicensed the film first before doing their own release, but that’s how the cookie crumbles.

I found it pretty funny how every person in the film seems to be set on one pronunciation of John Wayne’s character’s name.  This is easily a product of the time, but its humorous as he’s either called “Mick-Clin-Tock” or “Mick-Clin-Nick”.  Even people within the same conversation in the same scene WITH each other are calling him different things.  Nowadays you’d have someone on set making sure everyone was on the same page.  Back in 1963, nobody really seemed to give too much of a damn on the matter.

John Wayne’s shrew taming is a charming little comedic western that is quite a bit old fashioned, but still pretty enjoyable.  I think it runs a bit excessively long.  That is more a product of its era than anything, though.  It’s paced pretty slow and has a lot of just “hanging out” sequences that don’t really forward anything and make us wonder why we’re even watching.  The film does have plenty of moments that bring you back though, especially an especially muddy brawl that seems to be the big, iconic, memorable moment from the film (aside from a couple spankings).  If you’re a fan of older western’s pre-Leoni, then this is one of the tops there is and you can’t really go wrong with checking it out.

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2:39.1

Clarity/Detail:  I can’t say anything for the Olive Films edition of this title, but Paramount’s new transfer on McLintock! is absolutely amazing.  This thing is sharp and highly detailed.  Clothing texture is eye popingly detailed, from fabric to scuffing on leather.  Also the rough wooden surfaces of the architecture and even the direct is impressively detailed.  Fans of this movie are going to be blown away.

Depth:  Depth looks really grand, there’s plenty of really impressive shots for scale that feature an awesome sense of distance between foreground and background objects/characters.

Black Levels:  Black levels are really good, masking very little detail.  For as old as this is, the deep tone of them is pretty impressive.

Color Reproduction:  Colors pop and are very bold and lifelike.  Reds and yellows look particularly grand.

Flesh Tones:  Solid and consistent erring on the warm side.

Noise/Artifacts:  Some very light specs throughout, but its impressive how minimal it is.

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Audio Format(s): English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD, English Mono Dolby TrueHD, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

Dynamics:  Stick with the mono track on this one.  The 5.1 isn’t really impressive at all as it stays very front heavy and center specific, making you think “hey why didn’t they just go with mono and be done with it?”  The track doesn’t give way of making you feel like you’re in the setting.  There’s few instances of playing right to left, but nothing to really build that sense of atmosphere.  Music, effects and vocals are well balanced, but really the mono track will do you good here.

Low Frequency Extension:  Not really much to speak of.  There was some very light usage.

Surround Sound Presentation:  Once again, this is a very front loaded track.  There’s barely anything of mention to talk about from the surround.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is clean, clear and very much dominantly in the center.

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These bonus features appear to be ported over from a previous release and are all displayed in 4×3 letterbox.

Commentary By Leonard Maltin, Frank Thompson, Maureen O’Hara, Stefanie Powers, Michael Pate, Michael Wayne And Andrew McLaglen – The Maltin-Thompson portion seems to dominate the discussion as they go over production history and anecdotes while the others will chime in here and there with a memory or note of their own.

Introduction By Leonard Maltin (HD, 2:39) – Maltin gives a brief production history of the film and touches upon its success and legacy.

The Making Of McLintock!

  • The Batjac Story Part II: The Legacy Of Michael Wayne (HD, 15:59) – A restrospective on Michael Wayne’s work on the film and his work with Batjac as well as his life and relationship with his father.
  • Maureen O’Hara And Stefanie Powers Remember McLintock! (HD, 13:23) – The actresses talk about shooting the film and working with The Duke.
  • A Good ‘Ol Fashion Fight (HD, 10:55) – Focuses on the big mud fight sequence in the film and looks back at the stunt work on McLintock!

The Corset: Don’t Leave Home Without One! (HD, 7:49) – A fashion curator discusses all things corsets.

2 Minute Fight School (HD, 2:18) – Two stuntmen quickly go over the basics of executing a fight sequence in a film.

Photo Gallery – 36 images ranging from promo photos, lobby cards and posters.  I think there was a photo of a mug in there too.

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2:46)

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Well, its easy to tell fans of the film to toss aside the Olive Films release as (even though I have not seen that one) this one surely tops it.  This new transfer is outstanding and there’s plenty of very informative supplemental material to enjoy after you’re done with the film.  Its a solid comedic western that maybe you gotta be in the right mood for, but nonetheless its a charming twist on an old Shakespearian tale.  Oh, and its backed up by a great looking Blu-ray release.  Easy to recommend for fans of westerns, John Wayne, or great looking vintage films on Blu-ray.



Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

1 Response to “McLintock! (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Brian White

    I can’t help but liking the contemplation in the intro paragraph here!