Escape from Fort Bravo

( 1 )

Overview

This reviewer (who knew John Sturges) finds himself almost glad that the director isn't here to see the level of disrespect with which Escape From Fort Bravo has been treated with on the Warner Home Video DVD. Not that all of it is the fault of Warner Home Video -- some of the blame for this movie not being more obviously a candidate for special treatment lies with MGM, the studio that originally made the picture; but rather than rescuing a deserving movie, Warner Home Video has missed an opportunity, and managed...
See more details below
DVD
$11.62
BN.com price
(Save 10%)$12.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (DVD)
  • All (17) from $1.99   
  • New (12) from $4.64   
  • Used (5) from $1.99   

Overview

This reviewer (who knew John Sturges) finds himself almost glad that the director isn't here to see the level of disrespect with which Escape From Fort Bravo has been treated with on the Warner Home Video DVD. Not that all of it is the fault of Warner Home Video -- some of the blame for this movie not being more obviously a candidate for special treatment lies with MGM, the studio that originally made the picture; but rather than rescuing a deserving movie, Warner Home Video has missed an opportunity, and managed to heap more neglect upon it. Sturges was a contract director at the time of the film's production, and had just begun to get really good within that somewhat limited role -- Mystery Street and The People Against O'Hara were already to his credit, crime pictures that showed a certain directorial flair, if not quite the finely-honed visual/thematic point that, say Anthony Mann was bringing to such subjects during the same period; but Sturges was always at his best in action settings, especially outdoor subjects, and Escape From Fort Bravo gave him the chance to work in both, with a tough script and the right cast -- especially William Holden and John Forsythe, and a young John Lupton (who probably got his lead role in the series Broken Arrow from his work in this film) -- and in color. But the color was a major part of the rub where this movie was concerned. MGM's bottom line was suffering terribly at the start of the 1950's, from the intrusion of television on their audience and also the loss of their theater chain; and in their quest to cut corners, the studio's management decided to try making its color films using a German-based process called Anscocolor. It seemed promising at first, as a cheaper alternative to Eastmancolor, and MGM went so far as to shoot Kiss Me Kate (1953), no less, in Anscocolor. But it turned out that Anscocolor didn't produce reliably lustrous results, and the color would also fade over time. As a major musical, Kiss Me Kate was the subject of extensive restoration in the 1990's, and it still looks gorgeous in the twenty-first century (even when shown in 3-D); but Escape From Fort Bravo hasn't been as lucky and isn't ever likely to be -- unless it happened to have been directed by John Ford, most Civil War and cavalry movies (of which this is both) just don't attract the same kind of interest as a major Cole Porter musical. So we have what we have on this DVD, a very uneven image, suitable letterboxed to the non-anamorphic aspect ratio of 1.85-to-1, but with very unstable color and clarity. All of the skin tones look the same, except when they get washed out in some shots, and there a large amount of grain that works its way into the picture as is especially obtrusive on any decent-sized monitor; and even the Union Army blue varies significantly in tone and density from shot to shot. So the color was a flaw going in -- but it doesn't change the fact that this is a flawed but great cavalry/Civil War drama, which Sturges and company elevate beyond the limitations of its script. Indeed, elements of the story anticipate Sam Peckinpah's Major Dundee (1965), another movie that took decades to receive the respect it deserved (though it did finally receive it). Warner Home Video has given it only a fair transfer, but also a paltry 10 chapter markers (which can't even be accessed on the menu -- they're not labeled), plus the original trailer (which is a peculiarly flaccid and unexciting mess -- you almost get the feeling someone at MGM was trying to sabotage this picture). But this is a movie that could easily have rated a commentary track -- Warner Home Video has budgeted the latter for far lesser movies, including The Giant Behemoth -- and begs for one, in terms of its cast and subject and director. Instead, they've almost dumped it on the market on the cheap, in this stripped down edition that will do little to enhance the reputation of the picture or anyone associated with it or, indeed, Warner Home Video.
Read More Show Less

Special Features

Theatrical trailer
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Hans J. Wollstein
Buoyed by a couple of fine performances and the aforementioned climactic Indian attack, Escape from Fort Bravo may not be John Sturges' finest hour and a half but remains a fairly entertaining if somewhat talky action thriller. The climactic standoff, in which most of the cast members are pinned down in the middle of the desert while the Apaches prove themselves efficient in psychological warfare, is a standout, but to get there you'll have to dispense with a great deal of disbelief. Eleanor Parker makes a very fetching spy indeed but the screenplay fails to make the ensuing romantic triangle drama little more than a contrivance.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/26/2008
  • UPC: 883929005123
  • Original Release: 1953
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:38:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 11,490

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
William Holden Capt. Roper
Eleanor Parker Carla Forester
John Forsythe Capt. John Marsh
William Demarest Campbell
William Campbell Cabot Young
John Lupton Bailey
Richard Anderson Lt. Beecher
Polly Bergen Alice Owens
Carl Benton Reid Col. Owens
Richard P. Beedle Confederate Lieutenant
Carl Benton Chavez
Harry V. Cheshire Chaplain
Michael Dugan Sims
Fred Graham Jones
Eloise Hardt Girl
Forrest Lewis Dr. Miller
Frank Matts Kiowa Indian
Howard McNear Watson
Alex Montoya Chavez
William Newell Symore
Phil Rich Barman
Charles Stevens Eilota
Glenn Strange Sgt. Compton
Valerie Vernon Girl in Bar
Technical Credits
John Sturges Director
Jeff Alexander Score Composer, Songwriter
George Boemler Editor
Malcolm Brown Art Director
Frank Fenton Screenwriter
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Ralph S. Hurst Set Decoration/Design
Stan Jones Songwriter
Nicholas Nayfack Producer
Warren Newcombe Special Effects
Michael Pate Original Story
Philip Rock Original Story
Helen Rose Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Surtees Cinematographer
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
Read More Show Less

Menu

Disc #1 -- Escape From Fort Bravo
   Play Movie
   Theatrical Trailer
   Languages
      Spoken Languages: English
      Subtitles: English (For the Hearing Impaired)
      Subtitles: Fran├žais
      Subtitles: Off
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    My favorite western

    A great western combining both yankees versus Rebs and fighting against the indians. the Romance part is maybe a little bit too easy but otherwise the characters are great . the final scene in the desert is a must-see for all westerns fans

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews