The Film (3/5)
Randolph Scott who was synonymous with Westerns, due to acting in dozens of Western films from the 1940s to the early 1960s. Scott stars in the movie The Cariboo Trail as Jim Redfern, a man who has the ambition to have his own cattle ranch, along with his partners Mike Evans (Bill Williams) and Ling (Lee Tung Foo). They head into British Columbia via the Cariboo Trail to raise cattle and do some gold digging. They also are joined by Grizzly Winters (George “Gabby” Hayes in his last film). Opposing the four of them are Frank Walsh (Victory Jory) and his group of thugs. They stampede the cattle and Mike Evans gets badly injured and forced to amputate his arm. He is so embittered that he turns against his friend Redfern, and later rejoins him during the bloody shootout.
The Cariboo Trail isn’t a bad film at all, but it is basically more or a less considered to be a minor Western when compared to others such as Yellow Sky or the Ox-Bow Incident (both also available from Kino Lorber). It’s pretty much a run of the mill type of film that doesn’t stand out as anything very memorable. The performances are fine; and it is entertaining, in particular at the climax, and has good direction, but it just didn’t rise above the middle of the pack when it comes to Westerns. Still, those who are highly interested in the Western genre should give this movie a look-see.
The Cariboo Trail debuts on Blu-ray courtesy of Kino Lorber and given a brand new HD Restoration. Presented in the aspect ratio of 1:33:1, in 1080p with an MPEG 4 AVC encode, the image quality is quite pleasing. The colors are solid, often vivid, with good depth and texture, maybe a little soft in some scenes.
The audio quality for the movie is the usual Kino DTS-HD Master Audio English 2.0. The dialog and other sounds such as gun shots firing, horses riding are perfectly clear with no audio issues found
Kino provides us with a couple of mighty good extras : Restoration Documentary, recombining and restoring two-strip CineColor components, The Cariboo Trail on 8mm and a trailer gallery.
This release from Kino is a splendid one. While not an all-time superior Western film, The Cariboo Trail is entertaining, and worth a look to fans interested in getting acquainted with the genre. Fans of the film should pick this one up without hesitation. The picture and audio quality make it a great viewing experience and it does have a few interesting extras to boot. This is another good release from Kino Lorber.