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Andrew McLaglen
John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Patrick Wayne, Stefanie Powers
Writing Credits:
James Edward Grant

He tamed the west, but could he tame her?

Starring as wealthy cattle baron G.W. McLintock, John Wayne shows a real sense of comic timing in several scenes filled with slapstick humor. After his wife (Maureen O'Hara) and daughter leave him for the East, McLintock attempts to win them back.

Not Rated

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
English Dolby TrueHD Monaural
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 127 min.
Price: $22.98
Release Date: 5/20/2014

• Audio Commentary with Film Historians Leonard Maltin and Frank Thompson, Actors Maureen O’Hara, Stefanie Powers, and Michael Pate, Producer Michael Wayne and Director Andrew McLaglen
• Introduction by Leonard Maltin
• “The Making of McLintock!” Documentary
• “The Corset: Don’t Leave Home Without One!” Featurette
• “2 Minute Fight School” Featurette
• Photo Gallery
• Trailer


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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McLintock! [Blu-Ray] (1963)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 29, 2014)

For a late-career John Wayne oater with a comedic bent, we go to 1963’s McLintock!. Set in western territory, GW McLintock (Wayne) owns a prosperous cattle ranch and acts as the head honcho in the domain.

While McLintock succeeds in his business, his personal life fares less well. For reasons unspecified, his wife Katherine (Maureen O’Hara) left him a while back, and his daughter Becky (Stefanie Powers) has been away at school for a couple of years.

Both GW’s wife and daughter come back to town at the same time, so McLintock encounters complications in his home life. He also hires a new farmhand (Patrick Wayne) who brings along his attractive mother Louise (Yvonne DeCarlo). McLintock seems smitten by Louise and needs to deal with various personal areas as well as a mix of professional challenges.

How much you enjoy McLintock! will probably depend on your taste for farce. To put it mildly, the film does not take a subtle point of view. It favors the broader side of things and prefers physical comedy over subtlety.

In that vein, the film tends to be spotty. The slapstick comes out of nowhere and feels like it’s out of a different movie. While there’s enough broadness in the rest of the flick – mainly via some performances I’ll soon discuss – that this isn’t completely out of nowhere, the wacky comedy feels forced to me. It’s not especially charming or amusing.

How much you enjoy McLintock! also will depend on your feelings about John Wayne. That’s probably true for most of the Duke’s flicks, but it seems especially accurate here, largely because McLintock! comes with such a thin story. Very loosely based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, McLintock! offers a thin narrative, as it mostly just packages a bunch of barely connected character threads.

Because the movie comes with such a vague plot, McLintock! needs quality performances, and Wayne helps ground the piece. Wayne was always more of a strong personality than a great actor, but he seems relaxed and confident as the lead. Wayne’s natural, smooth take allows him to overcome the lack of depth found elsewhere in the movie.

Too bad Wayne somewhat operates in a vacuum. Wayne and O’Hara worked a lot together, but I don’t care for their interaction here, mainly because they seem like they’re from different planets. While Wayne brings us a nicely understated turn, O’Hara comes across as crazed and campy. Literally wild-eyed, she chews every piece of scenery she can find. Maybe those involved figured she and Wayne would offer a good “fire and ice” contrast, but I don’t think the combination works.

McLintock! also seems way too long to sustain our attention. That’s where the absence of a real narrative hurts the film, as the lack of plot thrust makes the ambling tale tedious before too long. There’s just not enough meat to keep us occupied.

Wayne does entertain us enough to make McLintock! more successful than it otherwise might be. Heck, it comes with one of his signature scenes when he claims he won’t punch a foe and then does – that moment becomes a highlight. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have much company in this slow, spotty flick.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio C+/ Bonus B-

McLintock! appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I felt pleased with this terrific presentation.

Sharpness was solid. The only minor instances of softness came from depth of field issues. That was unavoidable and not an issue, as the image was consistently tight and well-defined. Jagged edges and shimmering caused no problems, and edge haloes were absent. Source flaws also never became a factor in this clean presentation.

With its western setting, McLintock! didn’t boast a dynamic palette. Nonetheless, it came with occasional bright hues – mostly related to reds and greens in clothes – and the tones appeared full and dynamic. Black levels were good, and shadow detail appeared satisfying without becoming impenetrable. Everything here worked well and turned into a strong image.

This release boasts a modern Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack. It remixes the original monaural audio; that version also appears on the disc. The 5.1 track seemed perfectly passable but not anything memorable.

The soundfield remained subdued. The side speakers demonstrated minor ambiance during ranch scenes and action shots. These offered decent spread and a little movement but weren’t especially active.

Music came to us with fairly vague imaging. The songs and score blended across the front in a way that created mild localization. As for the surrounds, they played a minor role. They reinforced the material in a modest way – such as via the sounds of cattle - but I thought the front channels dominated the piece.

Audio quality was acceptable. Speech seemed a little thin but was intelligible and reasonably natural. Music showed fair range/clarity, while effects came across as accurate within age-related expectations. Nothing here impressed, but the track was fine given the era in which it was recorded.

An Introduction from Leonard Maltin goes for two minutes, 39 seconds. He gives us a little background about the flick in this short but satisfying piece.

An Audio Commentary provides info from film historians Leonard Maltin and Frank Thompson, actors Maureen O’Hara, Stefanie Powers, and Michael Pate, producer Michael Wayne and director Andrew McLaglen. Maltin and Thompson sit together for a running, screen-specific piece; the others appear via separate segments edited into the final piece. We learn about cast and crew, story, characters and performances, stunts, sets and locations, costuimes, and related elements.

When this commentary works, it does so mainly via the anecdotes provided by those directly involved in the film. Maltin and Thompson seem surprisingly bland, as they mostly just identify various participants; this gives us a little perspective but doesn’t tell us a ton about the movie’s creation. The others add a mix of nice tales and help make this a mostly enjoyable piece.

Among the remaining extras, the most prominent comes from a three-part documentary called The Making of McLintock!. It runs 41 minutes, 28 seconds and includes notes from Maltin, Michael Wayne, McLaglen, O’Hara, Powers, Batjac Productions’ Gretchen Wayne, Michael Wayne’s son Christopher, actor/singer Frankie Avalon, writer Andrew Fenady, producer Arthur Gardner, writer Steve Shagan, John Wayne Cancer Institute Senior VP Public Affairs Joyce Green, stunt coordinator Roydon Clark, and stuntmen Tom Morga and Wayne Bauer.

The program covers the life and career of Michael Wayne, anecdotes from O’Hara and Powers, and the movie’s big fight sequence. We learn a reasonable amount along the way, but the show never feels especially insightful. It mostly praises all involved and includes an awful lot of happy talk. The stunt section works the best, as it gives us the most real information.

Two short featurettes follow. The Corset: Don’t Leave Home Without One! goes for seven minutes, 49 seconds and provides info from Woodbury University Fashion Study Collection curator Louise Coffey-Webb. She gives us a history of the corset. That piece of clothing plays a role in the movie, so its discussion here makes sense. This becomes an unusual program but it’s a pretty educational one.

2 Minute Fight School lasts two minutes, 18 seconds and features Morga and Bauer. They offer a short tutorial on stunt fighting in movies. Despite its brevity, it turns into a fun and interesting piece.

In addition to the film’s trailer, we get a photo gallery. Its 36 images mix advertisements, shots from the set and publicity elements. It brings us a fairly good collection.

On the positive side, John Wayne offers a charming, relaxed lead performance in McLintock!. However, he does so almost in a vacuum, as the other actors seem less winning, and the loose narrative doesn’t go anywhere. The Blu-ray provides excellent visuals, acceptable audio and a decent mix of bonus features. Fans will be happy with this release, but I must say the movie doesn’t do much for me.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.6666 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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