10,000 Bullets   Exploring the world of Cinema from the Arthouse to the Grindhouse™

Outlaw, The – Kino Lorber (BluRay) 
Written by: on February 8th, 2018

Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1943
Director: Howard Hughes
Writer: Jules Furthman
Cast: Jack Buetel, Jane Russell, Thomas Mitchell, Walter Huston, Mimi Aguglia, Joe Sawyer, Gene Rizzi

BluRay released: February 27th, 2018
Approximate running times: 116 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: NR
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: N/A
BluRay Release: Kino Lorber
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.95

Synopsis: Billy the Kid steals Doc Holliday’s horse, even so, the two develop a close friendship. This doesn’t sit well with Pat Garrett, who has a hissy fit.

The strawberry roan is more important to the story than Rio (Jane Russell), but it is Russell’s sultry appearance and ample cleavage that make this horse opera an icon of American cinema. It was filmed in early ’41, but didn’t see release until two years later due to censorship problems. It’s not a good film, but is a strangely compelling experience.

The score is terrible and better suited to a Looney Toons cartoon than a feature film. There is hardly any action, but there’s lots of talk. The ludicrous dialog is akin to something Ed Wood, Jr. would write. The sets are small, the back projection is horrible, and it looks like the second unit might have filmed some Indians from away off, but you can’t really tell for certain.

But, like an Ed Wood film, there are intriguing aspects that make the whole mess not only bearable, but even memorable. Walter Huston was one of the screen’s greatest character actors. He plays the part straight but with a twinkle in his eye that says, “can you believe this thing?”. Jane Russell scowls and pouts throughout, and Mimi Aguglia steals every scene as Aunt Guadalupe. Jack Buetel is adequate as Billy the Kid, and Thomas Mitchell hams it up as a histrionic Pat Garrett.

Just like the chicken that wants to peck Billy’s eyes out while Aunt Guadalupe laughs, you know you should leave this one alone, but it’s morbidly fascinating. After the first viewing, when you discover that nothing ever happens throughout the entire film, then you are free to marvel at this one-of-a-kind relic.

The BluRay:

Note: The Blu-ray portion of this review was written by Michael Den Boer

The Outlaw comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. This release has been flagged for progressive playback and the film is presented in its intended 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The transfer for this release has been sourced from a brand new 2k restoration. Black and contrast levels remain strong throughout, the image looks crisp and grain looks natural.

This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English. Dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced.

Extras for this release include trailers for The Outlaw, The Ox-Bow Incident, Rawhide, Man with the Gun and Yellow Sky and an audio commentary with film historian Troy Howarth.

Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, composer Victor Young / the score, how Howard Hawks was the original director and why he was replaced, Howard Hughes, Pat Garett / Billy the Kid / Doc Holiday and films that featured these characters, cinematographer Gregg Toland / the visuals, the cast, the shooting script verses what ended up onscreen, background information about the film and his thoughts about the film.

Overall Kino Lorber gives The Outlaw its best home video release to date.

Disclaimer: Some of the reviews contained here at 10kbullets contain screenshots that may not be suitable for those surfing the website at work and discretion is advised while viewing these pages. All of the screenshots and other images used on this site are solely for promotional purposes and are copyrighted to their respective owners. All reviews, bios and interviews unless noted in the text of the review, bio or interview are original content that was written exclusively for 10kbullets and has never been published anywhere else. On occasion there may be typos or errors in the text and if you let us know we will be more then happy to correct all typos or misinformation in the text. All opinions expressed on this site are solely those of the author(s) and not that of any company or person referred to. All the written material contained on 10kBullets is intended for informational purposes only and it is copyright © 2004-Present by the authors.