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The Night Of The Grizzly – Olive Signature Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Night-of-the-GrizzlyOlive Films is continuing its march toward newfound greatness with the release of another classic Western, The Night Of The Grizzly featuring Clint Walker.  Its not the last western that they’ll be dropping in this signature series, a Raquel Welch classic is coming next month.  That seems to be where their focus is right now with the Signature series.  If you’re reading, Olive Films, I want to put my request in for The Invasion Of The Body Snatchers as soon as you can get to it.  The original one, that you’ve already put a release out for.  Yeah, you knew that.  Shut up, Brandon and talk about The Night of the Grizzly?  Oh okay okay.  This new edition features a carry over interview and some neat archival videos.  Alongside John Ford’s The Quiet Man, The Night of The Grizzly Olive Signature Edition will be available 10/25/2016.

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Film 

“Big Jim” Cole, a former lawman who trades his badge for rancher duds when he inherits land in Wyoming. But no sooner has the Cole family begun settling into their new life when nature — in the form of a blood-thirsty grizzly bear — rears its ugly head. Adding to the terror and tension are a group of envious neighbors who want the Cole property for themselves, and the unwelcome return of an outlaw from Big Jim’s past who’s out for revenge.

Well, this is a very classic western and one that seems to have a really strong idea, but too many loose or wandering subplots to maintain and full locked in and engaging film.  This one just seems to hang out and it has a slew of characters that I really don’t care about that much or have a hard time really understanding why they are there or what their purpose is.

First off, Clint Walker’s Jim Cole is supposed to be this incredible, amazing human being, but I’m just not seeing it and the film really never acknowledges his faults.  Walker is an impressive human being in size though.  He’s a very large, tall and beefy man.  Unlike some of the goons in this film, I wouldn’t start a fight with him.  Jim Cole, however is not a great guy.  In this film he puts his family at risk in many of his stubborn and silly choices.  First he puts them into poverty by leaving home for this land that is actually complete junk. Then when he has a chance to have some financial gain on it and get them out of the situation, his pride won’t allow.  To further hurt things, when a bear is savagely haunting their house and land he refuses to move, get out of there or even just let his family leave til its over.  C’mon, he’s a complete asshole.  His animals and then friend gets killed.

Speaking of, what is the deal with Sam Potts.  What an out of place guy.  The shop lady in town seems to get all sorts of heated up around him, but I have no idea why he’s following this family around.  And, why would the family want him so close and around, the guy is a desperate drunk and doesn’t seem to provide much help at all.  Its just confusing really.  I’m probably thinking to hard and this is something that likely was a trope in westerns, but I just found it pretty funny.

Now, its not an awful film, I just wanted a tighter film or to explore more interesting threads.  The film has a good third act when an ex convict that Cole had previously arrested shows up to compete in finding the bear named “Satan” (There is some funny dialogue because of it having this name).  This also goes along with some good, bloody bear attacks and battles.  Overall the film features some really genuine, good looking landscapes too.  I’ve noticed there are many big fans of the film, but this one just seemed very middle of the road to me, lacking an “it” factor in front of or behind the camera.

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: The Night of the Grizzly transfer on this disc is from the same source as Olive’s previous release, but it has been remastered from even there.  Its strong image that features plenty of details on surface textures, clothing and the like.  Wood grains, worn leather, rocky roads or trails look plenty intricate and show more information than ever.  The grain is left intact and refined so you’re able to get the best possible and true look at what the picture is.

Depth:  Solid dimensional work here.  Characters are free from there environments and loose. Background imagery has good detail when focus is friendly.  Long, deeper exterior shots provide some of our best dimensional work.

Black Levels:  Blacks are really deep and dark.  No crushing witnessed during this viewing.  Shadows, shade and nighttime sequences look really rich.

Color Reproduction:  Colors take a very rustic look in appearance.  Very down colors like browns and grays come off really strong and full of different tints/shades.  Reds, blues and such look pretty reserved in a natural way.  Greens are solid. Blood shows up best.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and have a consistent appearance throughout the film.  Impressive facial details include make-up, lip texture, scars, wrinkles and stubble.

Noise/Artifacts: There is consistent layer of grain and spots/dirt here and there.  There is one moment where the sky at the top of the screen at night features some anomalies.

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Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English

Dynamics:  This features a rock solid mono track.  Good sound definition and the like.  There is about a 20 second moment where there was some sort of distorted sting humming on for a while.  I couldn’t tell what it was but I was able to replicate it.  Its not enough to really perturb your listening and some may not even notice it.  Overall this is a terrific experience though.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension:  N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is clear, with a solid crispness.  Characters are plenty loud and never drowned out by other music or noises.

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Extras 

The Night Of The Grizzly – Olive Signature Edition comes with a booklet featuring an essay C. Courtney Joyner entitled “Blood on the Claw: How Cheyenne Bodie Became a Movie Star.”

Audio Commentary

  • By Film Historian Toby Roan

Blood On The Claw: How Cheyenne Bodie Became a Movie Star (HD, 15:02) – Same as what is included in the booklet. White text on red background.

The Legend of Big Jim Cole (HD, 26:16) – Interview with Clint Walker.  A carry over from the original Olive Films release of the film.  Walker goes into good detail on making the film, from the true story origins to how to work a scene and what makes a successful movie.

The Night Of The Grizzly World Premiere Archival Footage (HD, 6:12) – A little narrated video that covers the premiere party and features some hilariously dated comments.

At Home With Clint Walker and His Home Gymnasium (HD, 12:03) –  An archival interview from yesteryear that is in pretty impressive picture quality.  Clint talks about his hobbies and shows off some of his home and his gym.

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Summary 

The Night Of The Grizzly just really wasn’t my thing overall.  I found some appreciation for it, but not enough that I’d pick it up again.  However, Olive Films has done another magnificent job with this one.  The picture and audio is quite impressive on another Signature release.  The extras here a bit lighter than the other films in the series, but it does feature some really groovy archival material that is a special treat for anyone interested in old Hollywood kinda things.  If you like the film, I think this is worth the double dip or first time purchase for sure, plus Olive has a great day one price set, too.

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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).

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