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Blood on the Moon [DVD]
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First official UK DVD release of this 1935 western from RKO Pictures. Part of the brand new Hollywood Studio Classics collection. Robert Mitchum stars in this atmospheric cowboy classic. Jim Gray (Mitchum) has been summoned by his old friend Tate Rilling (Robert Preston), who needs another set of guns to help in a dispute with his neighbour, John Lufton (Tom Tully). But Tate s got more on his mind than a simple feud: his scheme is to drive Lufton off his land and he doesn t care how he does it. Jim reluctantly supports Tate at first but, disgusted by his greed, switches sides. Joining Lufton and his feisty daughter Amy (Barbara Bel Geddes) Jim finds himself squaring off to his old friend. Extras include: Photo Gallery
Blood on the Moon is a terse, tightly-drawn western drama. There s none of the formula approach to its story telling. Picture captures the crisp style used by Luke Short in writing his western novels. --Variety
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Top Customer Reviews
Effective and tightly crafted Western that has garnered many favourable remarks, due in the main to its ability to veer away from formula suggested by the plot and the technical film noir touches brought about by the great Musuraca. With Mitchum turning in one of his great screen dominating performances, film is driven forward by the psychological aspects brought about by thematics such as duplicity, split loyalties and moral quandaries. Director Wise does a good job of pacing the film, keeping it on the slow burn whilst dialling into Jim Garry's mindset, and picture is further boosted by a great knuckle fight and a rip-roaring siege shoot out at the end. But it's the mood created by Musuraca and Wise that is the real winner. With the film set 90% at night or in darkened rooms, shadow play is high and an oppressive feel adds weight to the psychological clocks ticking away in the narrative. In support of Mitchum, Geddes does spunky cowgirl well, while the presence of Brennan, Faylen and the gravel voiced McGraw is keenly felt.
Good story, well acted and visually potent. 7/10
Director Robert Wise had previously made Curse Of The Cat People (1944) for Val Lewton, and would also helm Lady Of Deceit (1947), and The Set-Up (1949), respectively just before and after Blood On The Moon, so was already at home with the way of noir. He'd also been associated with Orson Welles - having been brought in to infamously 'finish off' The Magnificent Ambersons - and this influence can be seen in Blood On The Moon, especially in the saloon interiors, with their low angles and prominent low ceilings.
Wise's 1948 western stars noir icon Robert Mitchum as Jim Garry, a man with a suitably dubious past, sent for by former friend Tate Riling (Preston Foster) to take partnership in a grazing rights scam and to provide a strong arm for $10,000. Riling hopes to secure payment for a lucrative army cattle contract while convincing local farmers that his intentions are strictly honourable, and running off the current suppliers.Read more ›
Directed by Robert Wise
Mitchum is excellent as the brooding drifter with a conscience. Preston makes a despicable villain using all around him to attain his goals. Bel Geddes is good as the heroine but Thaxter takes the female honors as the gullible sister.
Mitchum is mesmerizing because you sense so much going on behind the cool, impassive facade. It's partly his film-style acting, which happens under the surface, not on the surface. But under-acting can't fully account for his mystery. There's something fundamentally inaccessible, unknowable about Mitchum's characters, and this is what makes them so real.
Completing the cast are wonderful character actors and familiar faces to western fans. Walter Brennan, Charles McGraw and Zon Murray play various homesteaders, Bud Osborne is Tully's trail foreman, Clifton Young and Tom Tyler play Preston's gunslingers and Richard Powers (aka Tom Keene) plays Tully's ranch foreman. If you watch closely you'll also see Harry Carey Jr., Iron Eyes Cody, Chris Pin-Martin and Hal Talliaferro (aka Wally Wales) filling in the smaller roles.
Fans of Robert Mitchum's noir catalogue will be aware that this western noir has a "companion piece" namely Pursued (1947)
From the novel by Luke Short - he also wrote Ramrod (1947), Station West (1948), Coroner Creek (1948), Albuquerque (1948), Ambush (1950), Ride the Man Down (1952) & Hell's Outpost (1954)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
I HAVE SEEN IT A COUPLE OF TIMES ON TV BUT NOT A CLEAR VERSION I THINK IT IS A VERY GOOD WESTERN WITH A GOOD STORY LINE ,WITH ROBERT MITCHUM & CO. Read morePublished on 6 Feb. 2013 by john molloy
I always thought that this was probably Mitchums best western role. I first saw it many years ago and when it popped up on your site I thought it would be a good chance to renew my... Read morePublished on 28 Jan. 2013 by John S. Roff
I wish I had a nickel for every lousy movie I've ever seen. If not rich at least I'd be able to buy a packet of ready rub. This is not among my list of lousy movies. Read morePublished on 27 Sept. 2012 by Ian Muldoon
Unfortunately, the picture quality is poor, mostly too dark and not sharp enough.
I should remember that non-US made dvd-s are not as good as a television played picture of... Read more