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How The West was really won,
This review is from: Soldier Blue [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Soldier Blue was made as a biting allegory of the Vietnam war. It divided critics at the time of its release and indeed, continues to do so. It is extremely brutal but not gratuitously so. The appalling acts depicted are shown from the point of view that this actually happened, as opposed to well lets give the audience some gore. People seeing the film tend to be shocked from the former point of view as opposed to the latter.
The film opens deceptively with a Cheyenne massacre of a US Cavalry troop guarding a pay chest. The survivors of the massacre are one naive boy soldier and a savvy, young frontier woman, played superbly by Peter Strauss, and Candice Bergen respectively. Their adventures and subsequent romance are then chronicled. Along the way they encounter Donald Pleasance's superbly sinister arms smuggler. The film's climax is a savage massacre of a Cheyenne village by the US Army - based on the real life events at Sand Creek, Colorado. In an orgy of blood lust, women and children are slaughtered and body parts are taken as trophies. By this time the film has swung 180 degrees from its opening, and has established the root cause of the suffering which is the white man's treatment of the native american. During all this, Strauss' character has changed from naive volunteer soldier to conscientious objector while the character of Candice Bergen remains the hope of reconciliation and co-existence.
The film is brutally honest and makes its point more effectively than other bigger budget films of the same genre eg. Dances With Wolves. Sadly the film is not readily available in the USA. I would strongly urge MGM who now own the rights to re release the film on dvd, preferably in its' completely uncut version (The film is available on vhs only here in the UK but it is the cut version). In the current climate where Fahrenheit 9/11 is generating massive interest in the US, the re release of a brutally honest recreation of a bloody piece of American history would be timely and well received. In the meantime, if you can get a copy, I strongly urge people to see this film and form their own conclusions.
As a footnote the film has been released on dvd in its completely uncut version in Germany, as of July 2004. The film looks absolutely fantastic on dvd, picture and sound quality are incredible for a film of this age. Having just seen this version, has made me realise that the 'uncut' version I saw in the UK years ago was in fact slightly cut. Therefore, be warned, this version is very strong viewing, indeed. Any previously 'uncut' version that you saw in the past probably was in fact censored to some degree. This version of the film is titled 'Das Wiegenlied Vom Totschlag' and is available from Amazon De, which is where I got my copy from. It is a Region 2/Pal dvd, so just be aware that your dvd player may not be able to play this format. Definitely a film worth upgrading to multi region play though.
Technical details as follows:
- Title is Das Wiegenlied Vom Totschlag
- Sound is Dolby Digital mono.
- Format is 16.9 anamorphic
- Area is Region 2/Pal
- Extras are a theatrical trailer
- Running time is 110 mins.
- Languages available are English, German, Italian, and Spanish
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Jan 2012 01:39:46 GMT
According to the IMDb :-
Argentina: 115 min | UK: 114 min (cut version) | USA: 112 min
so if the German version is only 110 minutes run-time, it is far from being an uncut version - and at circa £17 it is about £12 more than a standard uncut version on Amazon, so it is not worth it !
In reply to an earlier post on 13 Apr 2014 14:08:06 BDT
Olly R. says:
The full length version of Soldier Blue is 114 min on film. The transfer process to video / DVD results in a shortening of 4%, for technical reasons. So 114 min becomes 110 min on DVD. It is not cut, it just runs faster - although the eye cannot tell the difference. This is true for all films on DVD (at least on the region 2 PAL format), and it often causes confusion, making films appear to be "cut" when in fact they are not.
In reply to an earlier post on 13 Apr 2014 15:10:39 BDT
Last edited by the author on 13 Apr 2014 15:20:07 BDT
No, the full length version of this film was a few seconds short of 120 minutes, so whilst you are correct about the frame disparity between film [24 FPS] and PAL/DVDr2 [25 FPS] the DVD running time of the full film should be 115 minutes, as confirmed by the IMDb website
This German version has a running time (Laufzeit) of 110 minutes on DVD - I bought a copy of this and having seen the film originally in the cinema three times, I can assure you that this German version is not the original full film. The confusion arises perhaps because the German studio Kinowelt has apparently produced a full-length version of this film on Blu-Ray, which does show a product running time of 115 minutes, but the DVD version is not the complete version.
Soldier Blue (1970) (Blu-Ray)
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