Day of the Outlaw – Coming on Blu-ray

This marvelous western, which I reckon may well be Andre de Toth’s finest movie, and which I’ve written about here in the past, is to be released on dual format DVD/Blu-ray by Eureka! as part of their Masters of Cinema line on December 7. I’ll definitely be picking it up and I have no hesitation recommending it. Here’s the press release info:

Eureka Entertainment to release DAY OF THE OUTLAW,the last western made by Andre De Toth set in a snowed-in Wyoming town and starring Robert Ryan and Burl Ives,available for the first time in the UK and on Blu-ray in a Dual Format edition for the first time anywhere in the world on 7 December 2015.

As in George Stevens’ Shane, the place of action of Andre De Toth’s demented Western Day of the Outlaw is once again the state of Wyoming and the contested land of the homesteaders. Day of the Outlaw was one of Westerns at the twilight of the studio era in which anything might go, and director De Toth, the creator of two infamous idiosyncratic films — the groundbreaking 3D House of Wax and the naturalistic Sterling Hayden-starring noir Crime Wave — here firmly established his pedigree as one of the maverick directors such as Nicholas Ray for whom boundaries proved only elastic consequence.

The magnificent Robert Ryan portrays Blaise Starrett (surname itself an evocation of the family in the earlier Stevens film Shane) who comes between a landowner (Alan Marshal) and his wife (Tina Louise). But after a band of outlaws ride into town headed by Jack Bruhn (Burl Ives), Starrett must rise to the occasion and defend the hostage townsfolk while redeeming his own advances towards the landowner’s wife.

Filmed on a shoestring budget, Day of the Outlaw proved to be an enduring touchstone for the directors of the French New Wave; it came to exemplify De Toth’s resourcefulness around budgetary limitations and the (here often snow-strewn) difficulties of the shoot. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Andre De Toth’s Day of the Outlaw in a Dual Format edition for the first time in the UK.

Watch what happens to the woman… Watch The West explode!

SPECIAL FEATURES including:

· Glorious 1080p presentation of the film on the Blu-ray

· A video appreciation by filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier

· Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing

· 24- PAGE BOOKLET containing a new essay, vintage writing on the film, the words of De Toth, rare archival imagery, and more!

EDIT – December 4 2015: The DVD Beaver review shows the film looking very nice indeed.

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21 thoughts on “Day of the Outlaw – Coming on Blu-ray

  1. I could be mistaken but I think I can detect some traces of enthusiasm in your announcement Colin! 🙂
    I agree entirely about this being something to look forward to. “Day Of The Outlaw” is a great western and I’m sure Eureka! will do it justice on blu-ray. This will be a pre-order for me.

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    • Ah, so you noticed! Yes, I’m more than a bit excited by this release, Dafydd. The film’s a firm favorite of mine and I can’t say I’ve had a disappointment from Eureka yet – just at the right time of year too.

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  2. Cracker of a western that actually benefits from its shoestring budget, emphasising the empty snowy wastes in glorious monochrome. And Robert Ryan starring……gotta get it!

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  3. Fantastic news Colin-Iv’e been waiting for this one to make it’s high-def debut.
    When done correctly high def black & white blows your socks off!
    A point in case is the recent lovely French Carlotta Blu Ray of 3.10 TO YUMA

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  4. Jeepers!

    Just checked out the artwork on Amazon UK and sadly it’s the same as that you have
    used on the header to this piece.
    Whoever green lit that-looks more like something promoting a soft porn flick-does nothing
    to convey the essence of De Toth’s film.
    I don’t think Eureka are ever going to win awards for their graphics but they have certainly
    outdone their low standards with this one!
    Is Robert Ryan really so unknown these days he cannot feature on the artwork-same goes
    for Burl Ives come to that.
    Eureka obviously think Tina’s tits are the selling points to this film- its a classic Western not some
    lad’s mag fantasy filck.

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    • Yes, I agree, John. The art is disappointing but it’s based on the original US poster art. I was kind of hoping they might have adapted the German poster I used as an illustration back when I wrote about the film.
      Poster

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  5. Firstly,I had no idea the graphic Eureka are using was part of the original poster campaign,
    it’s certainly not the one I remember being used in the UK.
    I see there are several versions of the poster and sadly the elements Eureka have chosen
    are from the artwork that tries to market the film as some kind of “exploitation” movie which
    it’s certainly not.
    I must admit the German artwork you have sourced is magnificent and is far more in line with
    the overall mood of the film.
    I also don’t think DAY OF THE OUTLAW is some sort of “underrated gem” it’s certainly
    out there and it’s reputation has risen over the years. De Toth’s reputation has also risen,
    especially with the likes of Oliver Stone fighting his corner.
    Also I don’t think Eureka would bother with an “underrated gem” as they are very cult driven
    especially as far as directors go.
    At the very least I would say that DAY OF THE OUTLAW is nowadays considered as a
    minor classic
    The Westerns I would call “underrated gems”are films like JACK SLADE and THE LAST
    POSSE,but there again their directors are way off the radar as far as cult issues go.
    I have noted that Eureka have some sort of arrangement with Paramount and I did
    e-mail them about the possibility of them releasing JACK SLADE ( an Allied Artists film
    now owned by Paramount) Perhaps if you have a contact at Eureka,Colin,you might want to.
    suggest it as well.
    Had JACK SLADE been directed by Sam Fuller or Joseph H Lewis it’s reputation as a cult
    item would be firmly forged by now.
    At least having investigated the original artwork I can now purchase the Eureka Blu Ray
    without any feelings of guilt.
    I think my favorite imprint at the moment is Kino-Lorber who are giving a whole host of
    minor unheralded films the Blu-Ray treatment.
    Colin you have also mentioned interest in STORM FEAR which Kino released recently.
    As a snow bound thriller I would be very interested to hear how you feel it stacks up against
    DAY OF THE OUTLAW.

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    • John, I fully endorse your admiration for this film, although I’m still not sure it’s widely known outside of western aficionado circles. I reckon this new HD release will get it greater exposure and draw in new fans, raising its profile further and that of De Toth too.
      I haven’t managed to get my hands on Storm Fear yet, but I will do so – I’m a sucker for a good snowbound movie.

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  6. Actually a lavishly packaged and expensive version of DAY OF THE OUTLAW appeared in
    France a couple of years ago from Classics Confidential. This was a DVD only release and
    that imprint have those “forced” subtitles we all hate so much.
    The French have always been ahead of the game in “re-discovering” directors.
    In my younger days I was an avid reader of FILMS AND FILMING a magazine no budding
    cineaste could be without. Sadly over the years I’ve evolved more into a B Movie Junkie.
    At that time (early Sixties) Films And Filming described De Toth as the “dullest of directors”
    Even in those days I thought this was somewhat unfair.
    Time,of course changes everything.
    Round about the same time the National Film Theatre in London held a season of
    “one shot” directors;i.e. directors who had only made one film or indeed one film of any note.
    Budd Boetticher was considered one of these “one shot” guys and the film they chose for the
    season was RISE AND FALL OF LEGS DIAMOND.
    As someone in Films And Filming noted the NFT seemed to be gleefully unaware of the
    Boetticher/Scott pictures despite them already having been championed by the French.
    One thing’s for sure is that DAY OF THE OUTLAW currently has a much higher profile
    than THE PROUD ONES another very fine Robert Ryan Western.
    It can only be a matter of time before that film also gets the Blu Ray treatment-it’s certainly a
    film that deserves to be more well known.

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    • It’s funny the way reputations grow and fade over the years, isn’t it? Even now, I reckon many people are only really aware of De Toth as the director of House of Wax. That’s why, apart from personal satisfaction, I think releases such as this via premium labels are important.

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  7. Colin, I haven’t seen this one as yet, but did see a very different De Toth film the other day – The Other Love (1947), starring Barbara Stanwyck and David Niven. On the face of it, it’s an emotion picture/melodrama about a woman at a sanitorium in Switzerland, but the photography and music and whole atmosphere feel very noirish, except that illness is the villain. Anyway I might get a chance to write it up, we’ll see…. and will certainly aim to see some of his Westerns too.

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