Release Date: May 20, 2003
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Michael Curtiz's The Comancheros will prove something of a disappointment on DVD, at least for those of us who owned or have seen the laserdisc of the movie. The latter, also produced by Fox, contained a very enjoyable and rewarding commentary track by movie co-star Stuart Whitman that is nowhere to be found on this digital disc. The movie itself is transferred well enough here, at least by the standards of the early 21st century, though there are limits to the resolution of both the source print and the transfer technology. One longs to see how a high-definition transfer, even bumped down to NTSC, would look on this movie; between the expansive outdoor locales and the fact that Curtiz filled just about every corner of the Cinemascope screen with something worth seeing, it will probably be mighty impressive. Until then, we have this more modest effort, proportioned in letterboxed format to fit the 'Scope image (2.35:1), fairly sharp and reasonably crisp, even if the reds bleed a bit and the finest printing on the opening titles blurs slightly. The bonus features include the original American trailer and one in Spanish as well; a brief Fox Movietone newsreel clip of singer Claude King and composer Tillman Franks, who wrote the song "The Comancheros" (which was never used in the movie) accepting an award; and trailers for two other John Wayne movies released by Fox. It's not much of a supplement compared to the laserdisc, but at least the two-layer menu accessing all of it -- which opens automatically on start-up -- is easy to use.View full details