Red Sun UK DVD review

From The Spaghetti Western Database

Redsunuk.jpg

The Film

Bandit Link (Charles Bronson) and his accomplice Gauche (Alain Delon) rob a train with a gold transport car that is guarded by Union troops. Turns out there is a private car attached that holds the Japanese ambassador who is on his way to Washington DC to present a precious golden sword as a gift to the President. The Bandits don't care much about culture and politics so they take the sword and Gauche kills one of the samurai bodyguards. The ambassador is furious and sends his other bodyguard Kuroda (Toshiro Mifune) out to get it back. But Link is furious, too, because Gauche screwed him over and left him for dead. The two reluctant partners set out to go after Gauche, but Link has his problems with Kuroda wanting to kill Gauche on first sight, while he himself wants to find out where that "french bastard" has taken the money. On their journey they get to know each other better, and after they've picked up Link's and Gauche's former love interest Carolina (Ursula Andress), after a few tricks Link tries to pull, they decide to cooperate. Carolina seems to play both sides though, and when they catch up with Gauche's gang and all get besieged by Comanches, it's not just Gauche's blood that will be shed.....

Review:

What an enjoyable film. I had no idea! Although clearly this entire film's "spaghetti factor" is reasonably low, especially in terms of the horrible music and the straightforward script, there's something about it that makes it special: the actors. Terence Young directs four international superstars, who shine on the screen. The dialogue is magnificent and the actors deliver one great line after another. Especially Bronson keeps them coming, and his interaction with the surprisingly comfortable Mifune and the bitchy but sexy as ever Andress is magnificent. Delon plays an unusually ruthless killer, but he, as well as Mifune, surprised me with their good English and how they seemingly feel totally at home in the western genre. The locations are nice, too, and as I will write below, it would be great to see this in cinemascope. A very entertaining flick, an actors showcase even.

The DVD

I am not sure whether this is an open matte version and hence supposed to be fullscreen, or if this is fullscreen because the companies (and most other versions of this are fullscreen, too) were too lazy to organize and remaster a widescreen print, but the fact that this DVD is fullscreen really hurts the movie a lot. Four international superstars and a lousy TV look, that can't be good, and it isn't. This movie deserves a beautiful widescreen transfer, cleaned up and restored. As it is right now, it's really a pity, possibility of open matte give or take. The sound is similarly weird, it is very unbalanced and offers high volume on things that happen close to the camera, everything else is more silent, very inbalanced and lack of dynamic, something needs to be done in this department as well. The DVD offers no other dubs and no subtitles, which also sucks for anyone not familiar with the English language, but there are italian and french and german dvds out there of course, so that's not too big of a problem. Aside from a lousy trailer, no extras either.

  • Specifications: Fullscreen image, English audio only, Trailer, Chapter access, approx. 110 mins, Region 2, PAL.

Verdict

I had heard about this film, and the DVD has been, thanks to a generous donor among our visitors, on my desk for months now. I finally watch it, and I loved it. The actors really did an incredible job bringing this already lively and succinct script to live, especially through great dialogue and cool one-liners. I do not want to overly praise it, since for sure it is not one of the greatest westerns out there, but is an often over-looked semi-Spaghetti western that has a high degree of rewatchableness, if you excuse this rape of the English language, and I would certainly hope that at some point we see a better release of this on DVD. The UK disc, just as most of the others out there, only offers a not too magnificent looking transfer in full screen, which should bug any cineast out there. No extras, language options and subtitles on top of that. For the not even 3 pounds it costs on the UK's Amazon this should well find its way into your DVD shelf.

--Sebastian 20:13, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

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