The Film (3.75/5)
100 Rifles is a Western that takes place during 1912 in Sonora, Mexico. The story is about a half-Indian, half-Caucasian Yaqui Joe Herrera (Burt Reynolds, Smokey and the Bandit) has stolen $6,000 from a bank so he can buy “100 Rifles”(hence the film’s name) for his people. Herrera gets captured by the Mexican military led by General Verdugo (Fernando Lamas, The Lost World – the 1960 version) who is at war with the Yaqui tribe, killing them mercilessly. Also in pursuit of Herrera is an Arizona lawman named Lyedecker(Jim Brown, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka). He catches up with Herrera and tries to intervene with the proceedings, simply wanting Herrera to bring the money that he stole back to where it came from. Both Herrera and Lyedecker go to prison. They escape and run to the hills.
While hiding in the hills they are introduced to a lovely Indian lady named Sarita(Raquel Welch, One Million Years BC) who helps the two men out. Together all three are joined with the Yaqui tribe, leading to a great climatic gunfight in an attempt to end the reign of terror from General Verdugo.
This is a GREAT film, with some excellent performances handed in. Raquel Welch, who says more than Akita(for you One Million Years BC fans reading this) does a credible job playing an Indian woman, and looks great in every wardrobe she wears in the film. The fight scenes are terrific and well-staged. There’s plenty of action throughout the picture, lots of gunfights, some gore, some mild nudity to keep you interested in the film. Jerry Goldsmith provided the musical scores and they are dynamite as always.
Many of you may already know this, but in case you didn’t, star Jim Brown, before he was an actor was a professional football player for the Cleveland Browns. Also in this film, Brown has a somewhat / semi-graphic (okay, MILD) love scene with Ms. Welch, which was one of the first interracial love making scenes ever filmed. Bert Reynolds before he hit stardom played a lot of Indian characters in the 1960s such as this film and Navajo Joe.
100 Rifles is given the blu ray treatment courtesy of Kino Lorber. The movie is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1:85:1, in 1080p with an MPEG 4 - AVC encode and the results are just outstanding. The colors look strong and vibrant. Textures are strong, skin tones are spot on, scenery and outdoor shots looks really gorgeous overall. There are a few speckles here and there but nothing serious. I really like how this looks in HD.
The audio used for 100 Rifles is the usual one used by Kino Lorber: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. The dialog screams, Jerry Goldsmith’s musical score, and gunshots all come in loud and clear. It’s more than serviceable.
Supplements for 100 Rifles an audio commentary with publisher Lee Pfeiffer and film historians Eddy Friedfeld and Paul Scrabo, an image montage and a theatrical trailer
100 Rifles was a pleasant surprise for me as I ventured out and decided to see more films in Western genre. It’s a highly entertaining movie with a great cast, it was fun to watch, and very much enjoyed the viewing of it in HD, thanks to Kino Lorber. A recommended release!