Ranown in Hi-Def

FIVE TALL TALES: BUDD BOETTICHER & RANDOLPH SCOTT AT COLUMBIA, 1957-1960

THE TALL T (1957)
DECISION AT SUNDOWN (1957)
BUCHANAN RIDES ALONE (1958)
RIDE LONESOME (1959)
COMANCHE STATION (1960)

Release date: 21 May 2018
Limited Blu-ray Edition (Blu-ray premieres)

Five classic, iconic and slyly subversive westerns collected on Blu-ray for the very first time. Containing a selection of new and archival extras – including interviews with director Budd Boetticher and an appreciation by film critic Kim Newman – this collectable five-disc box set also contains an 80-page book with newly commissioned essays, archival interviews and full credits, and is strictly limited to 6,000 units.

INDICATOR LIMITED BLU-RAY EDITION SPECIAL FEATURES:
• 2K restoration of Ride Lonesome
• HD restorations of The Tall T, Decision at Sundown, Buchanan Rides Alone and Comanche Station
• Original mono audio
The John Player Lecture with Budd Boetticher (1969): archival audio interview conducted by Horizons West author Jim Kitses at the National Film Theatre, London
The Guardian Interview with Budd Boetticher (1994): an extensive filmed interview conducted by film historian David Meeker at the National Film Theatre, London
Budd Boetticher on the Ranown Cycle (1999): excerpts from Eckhart Schmidt’s documentary Visiting… Budd Boetticher
• Kim Newman on the Ranown Cycle (2018): an appreciation and analysis by the critic and author of Wild West Movies
The Guardian Interview with Elmore Leonard (1997): the celebrated author, and writer of the short story upon which The Tall T is based, in conversation at London’s National Film Theatre
• Original theatrical trailers
Ride Lonesome trailer commentary (2013): a short critical appreciation by filmmaker John Sayles
Comanche Station trailer commentary (2014): a short critical appreciation by screenwriter Sam Hamm
• Image galleries: extensive promotional and on-set photography, poster art and marketing materials
• Limited Edition exclusive 80-page book containing newly commissioned essays by Pamela Hutchinson, Glenn Kenny, James Oliver, Neil Sinyard and Farran Smith Nehme, archival interviews with director Budd Boetticher and screenwriter Burt Kennedy, a critical anthology, and full film credits
• World Blu-ray premieres of The Tall T, Decision at Sundown, Buchanan Rides Alone and Ride Lonesome
• UK Blu-ray premiere of Comanche Station
• Limited Edition Box Set of 6,000 numbered copies
• …AND MORE TBC
• All extras subject to change

Wonderful news about some films which cannot be praised highly enough! This set can be ordered direct from the distributor here. If anyone is unfamiliar with the films and wants a quick overview, here are some pieces I wrote after the DVD release some years ago:

The Tall T

Ride Lonesome

Comanche Station

Buchanan Rides Alone

Decision at Sundown

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33 thoughts on “Ranown in Hi-Def

  1. I was in the audience at the 1994 Guardian interview too! Watching The Tall T on the big screen beforehand, with the man himself in attendance, was a treat. I shook his hand as I was leaving the theatre afterwards.
    One particular thing I remember at that event was the fact that (at the time) Boetticher was obviously preparing a new film. He mentioned it quite a bit during the interview. “A Horse For Mr Barnum” was the title as I recall. It was to be written (had been?) scripted by Burt Kennedy. According to Boetticher, it was about two cowboys (I remember him saying “my cowboys” with the emphasis on the word “my”) being sent to Spain to buy a special horse for the famous showman. The man who was subject of a more recent film of course. One of the actors in the film was to be Assumpta Serna who was in the audience that day as well. Boetticher acknowledged her presence from the stage. (I’m only familiar with her from her work on the “Sharpe” TV series from a few years later).
    A Boetticher / Kennedy collaboration from the 1990s would have been a fascinating project to see. Sadly, I never heard of it again. I wonder if a screenplay exists?

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  2. Wonderful news. Thanks for the alert. This box-set is totally and completely bought, as they say in California. I wonder if it will be region B locked. No matter, I’m equipped.

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    • I’m not sure at the moment what the score is regarding region coding, Richard, but no doubt more info will be available in due course. It is exciting news either way though.

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  3. Colin, I couldn’t agree with Toby more. This is great news. I like the whole body of the Ranown/ Boetticher work. Although, THE TALL T(1957) is my favorite.

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    • Of the five films here, I’d be hard pressed to decide on a favorite between The Tall T, Ride Lonesome and Comanche Station. The other two are weaker, although that’s only in comparative terms and I’ve grown much fonder of Decision at Sundown over time. And of course, the film which kicked it all off in the first place, Seven Men from Now, would have to up there at or near the top.

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  4. Great that you alert we followers to these outstanding forthcoming releases, Colin – thank you! Am very tempted by this Indicator release even though I have the Sony set. Took the opportunity just now to read your reviews of the movies. They’re fine reading and have me wanting to watch the films straight away. I note your judgment that you regard Randolph S as the greatest cowboy, above even Wayne and Cooper. That sits comfortably with me.

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    • Steve, I think watching Randolph Scott movies on Saturday afternoons on TV when I was a kid is a major reason, maybe the major reason, why I am so fond of the genre. It’s great to see his work getting this kind of treatment.

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  5. The Ranown cycle deserved such a treat. But, as you say, Colin, it all started with “Seven Men From Now”, aptly described by Jim Kitses as “a neglected gem, a true masterpiece”. “Arguably the best movie by Boetticher”, according to Peter Bogdanovitch. “Tall T”, “Ride Lonesome” and “Comanche Station” being wonderful variations on “Seven Men”, oustanding westerns one can never get bored with. An everlasting pleasure. I keep on watching them twice a year, at least. And I guess I’m not the only one.

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    • Salut, Samuel! Always nice to hear from you, and I think the fact we can watch these films multiple times, never getting bored and indeed finding new aspects to engage us, is the most eloquent testament to their greatness.

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  6. Yep! I also was in the audience at the NFT lecture and I remember Budd very excited about A HORSE FOR MR BARNUM. He hoped to get Robert Mitchum and James Coburn to star who he described as “my kind of Cowboys” Too bad it never happened.
    I also was there when the restored version (thanks in many respects due to Mr Scorsese) of SEVEN MEN FROM NOW was shown-Budd was there too and I had the opportunity to have a long chat with him and he signed my copy of his autobiography When In Disgrace.
    Of the seven films I like COMANCHE STATION the best-Scott is heartbreaking in that film as the terse, puritanical hero. I think it was Chris Petit of Time Out London who described the film as an emotionally dead man who teams up with three younger men who soon will be literally dead. The series certainly went out on a high note and the ending really chokes me up every time I watch it.

    During the 70’s and 80’s revival cinemas in London were virtually dead and apart from the NFT the only place you could see these films was at The Scala,and
    The Electric mainly supported by young film fanatics like Stephen Woolley and Geoff Andrew. Stephen has of course gone on to much bigger things-he became a
    Randolph Scott junkie at one point -he even remarked that I walked like Randolph Scott. These days I’m afraid I tend to walk more like Gabby Hayes.:)
    Randolph Scott is my favourite Western actor and Joel McCrea my favourite overall actor. I also love the films Scott made with De Toth-not in the same class as the Boettichers but decent entertainments. The best of these was the first MAN IN THE SADDLE and I feel De Toth had a lot to do with the film’s Noirish tones-it’s streets ahead of the other five. I also don’t think De Toth was very impressed with Scott as an actor,he was full of admiration for Gary Cooper and Robert Ryan. I get the impression De Toth would have liked more creative control over the films that he made with Scott. He did consider Scott and Harry Joe Brown nice gentlemen. Scott’s true potential really shined with the Boetticher films-especially with the flawed heroes he often played in them. We had glimpses of that in earlier work like WESTERN UNION,THE WALKING HILLS and indeed MAN IN THE SADDLE. I’m finally very encouraged by the huge reaction to the Indicator set on their Facebook page-I’m dismayed by many UK Western fans that I know who reject the Blu Ray format-for reasons I just don’t understand.
    Apart from cats like Mike Richards and Nick Beal I find it hard to communicate with people who are not as delighted as I am with the high def format. The huge amount of classic Westerns now appearing in high def is wonderful and I can only quote Toby regarding the Indicator set-“as essential as essential gets-” AMEN.

    BTW Great to see Walter joining in the fun at RTHC his contributions have been a breath of fresh air over at Toby’s.

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    • I’m starting to think I’m the only one here who wasn’t part of that audience! I’ll freely admit I’m envious, horribly so.

      Yes, John, I suppose Comanche Station does have the most heartbreaking ending of this group of films, but again we’re really just talking a matter of degree as there’s not much that’s weak there.

      And I quite agree on the most welcome contributions of Walter – such voices are always a pleasure to host.

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  7. It was odd when Stephen Woolley decided to host the
    B Western Convention at The Scala previously
    The Odeon King’s Cross.
    It was sort of surreal seeing a Buster Crabbe PRC quickie
    on the massive screen.
    There was a culture clash concerning the trendy Scala cafe,
    all these gnarly old geezers from The North and Midlands
    complaining bitterly…”WOT…no white bread”

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  8. John K, thank you for your most appreciated words on my account. I want to say I have learned so much from your posts. Colin, you are such a good writer and so knowledgeable, it is a pleasure. Yes, my favorite Western Star of all time is Randolph Scott, also. That goes back to when I was a youngster watching his movies on the old Channel 3 WREC-TV EARLY MOVIE. I’m envious that you’ve had the opportunity to attend revival houses and conventions.

    I had read in an interview, with Budd Boetticher, that he was very encouraged that he might get a chance to make more Westerns during the so-called revival of the Western, which was going on during 1989-95(seems there is always a revival going on). Budd mentioned A HORSE FOR MR. BARNUM. Robert Mitchum and James Coburn would have been good. Shame it didn’t happen. Again, thank you and keep doing what you do.

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    • Ah, a late effort with Mitchum, Coburn and Boetticher is a thought to savor.
      And thanks very much for the kind words – for people like myself who do this for no financial reward and simply for the love of cinema, that type of comment is much appreciated.

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  9. Thanks Walter you are most kind especially considering
    the wealth of information contained in your posts over at Toby’s.
    I tend to see Indicator as a hip young imprint…perhaps I’ve got
    that wrong.
    I seem to think they are trending a hip young audience, perhaps I’ve got that wrong as well. At any rate the amount of “likes” the Boetticher set has generated on their Facebook page is very encouraging. It’s always a treat to see younger film fans picking up where us “oldies” have left off. I remember years back discussing movies with Stephen Woolley who is 10 years younger than me not such a difference these days. I remember our discussions on people like Raoul Walsh,Gordon Douglas and Ray Enright.people we shared a similar passion for. Stephen was engaging and charismatic I don’t think any of us at the time knew the heights he would eventually scale. Which brings me to Colin who is, I think, about 23 years younger than me – again, it’s wonderful to see someone from a different generation as a torch bearer for the great films of yesterday.
    RTHC is a very highly regarded blog and a wonderful showcase, often for totally unheralded movies. I’m sure Colin eventually, will be able to pass the torch
    onto a younger movie fanatic and further carry on spreading the word – especially with so many obscure films getting wonderful restorations.

    I guess I’m not alone on this one but wouldn’t it be wonderful to have Colin contribute commentaries on DVD and Blu Ray releases – I hope it happens one day.
    Finally, Colin many thanks for you edit on my previous post and sorting out those horrific line breaks.

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    • John, that’s incredibly kind of you, but (and this isn’t affected modesty or anything) I honestly don’t believe I deserve such high praise. I’m delighted to be able to host such enlightening discussions and exchanges here but I’m under no illusions regarding my own knowledge and I’m well aware that most of you guys who contribute to this place have forgotten much more than I’m likely to ever learn.

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  10. You are selling yourself VERY short there Colin,believe me.
    You can certainly teach us oldies more than a thing or two.

    A vicious rumour going round the “Digital Underground”
    that “Our Jerry” has finally relented and is buying a Blu Ray player
    your latest thread being the clincher.

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  11. Thanks for the news and hosting the discussion. I came to the Scott-Boetticher-Kennedy films late, but right away considered them some of the finest westerns ever made. And I too would put COMANCHE STATION at the top. Nancy Gates was very good in that one. Scott was an interesting guy – part Hollywood movie star who co-produced his own pictures, and part Los Angeles businessman investing in oil exploration and wells.

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    • It’s the kind of discussion that is a real pleasure to be able to host.
      And yes, Gates was very good, as indeed were the women in general in the Ranown films. We tend to focus a lot on Scott (naturally) and the layered villains, but the contribution of the women isn’t always given the attention it deserves.

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