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Author Topic: Jubal (1956)  (Read 5396 times)
cigar joe
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« on: June 06, 2005, 04:37:26 AM »

Watched Jubal last night more of a traditional western melodrama than anything else, but a good preformance by Glen Ford, Ernest Borgnine, Rod Stieger, Charles Bronson, Jack Elam, and Wallace Berry Jr.
Worth a look-see but not any essential part of a collection.

It features the Grand Tetons as a back drop, same as with Shane I believe.

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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2005, 05:01:20 PM »

CJ, a fair assessment. It should be added, I think, that the women in this movie are particularly interesting and for once add rather than detract from the story. Fellicia Farr isn't bad (although she's much better in 3:10 to Yuma) but Valerie French is an absolute stunner and her presence really helps sell the plot. She's trouble, but you can kind of understand why Glenn Ford and the others hang around waiting for the inevitable. I'm very sympathetic to the Leone view of women in Westerns ("What was Rhonda Flemming doing in _Gunfight at the OK Corral_?"), but if you're gonna break with an all-male approach, you might as well cast a Valerie French or a Claudia Cardinale in your film.

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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2005, 04:48:44 AM »

True she was hot and trouble, lol.

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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2009, 05:24:11 PM »

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Delmer Daves has gained a reputation as a top-notch director of "adult Westerns" similar to Anthony Mann (The Man From Laramie) and Samuel Fuller (Forty Guns). His revisionist Indian film Broken Arrow and moody Western psychodrama 3:10 to Yuma are among the best Westerns of the 1950's, engendering a well-deserved cult following. The overlooked Jubal (1956) is even better than the above films, and perhaps Daves' finest work. A dark, character-driven Western, it heaps on the psychology and angst with verve, with strong performances and beautiful location photography.

Three-time loser Jubal Troop (Glenn Ford) is found by big-shot rancher Shep Horgan (Ernest Borgnine) and hired as a cowhand. Shep's long-suffering Canadian wife Mae (Valerie French) immediately puts the moves on Jubal; an unknowing Shep promotes Jubal to his This does not sit well with rancher Pinky (Rod Steiger), who has a history with and a giant chip on his shoulder. Pinky convinces Shep that Jubal and Mae are having an illicit affiar, resulting in Shep's killing. With the help of fellow ne'er-do-well Reb (Charles Bronson) and a group of Mormons, Jubal must prove his innocence and take down the perfidious Pinky.

Jubal is very much in the Mann vein, in its depiction of tormented cowboys and Old West intrigue. The film's plot loosely resembles Shakespeare's Othello (if Cassio were the protagonist and Desdemona a slut), but it's more of a general reference point than a direct inspiration. Jubal is a life-long loser whose motivation is only to find a bit of good luck and happiness for once in his life; he seems to have it with Shep, but events conspire against him. The sultry Mae is no damsel in distress, nor a femme fatale, but a sexually frustrated girl trapped in a rotten marriage. Shep is a bumptiously likeable guy but a wholly inadequate husband, and all too easily manipulated by Pinky, a slimy brute who lacks the cunning and charm of Shakespeare's Iago. The movie is a bit talky for a Western, but not so much that it detracts from the film; the focus is on story and character and the lack of wall-to-wall action is forgivable.

Daves' direction is excellent, handling his actors and story with due subtlety and letting the store unfold at a leisurely pace. Filmed on location in the Grand Tetons, the film has its share of striking scenery, beautifully captured in Charles Lawton's gorgeous Technicolor photography. Daves gives the film enough space and exterior scenes to keep it from being a set-bound genre piece. However, David Raskin's score is pretty by-the-numbers. The movie provides some obvious inspiration for Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) - including a conversation about patting one's wife on the behind - that Western buffs will appreciate.

Glenn Ford, often a stiff and wooden actor, seemed to do his best work in Westerns. His charming bad guy in 3:10 to Yuma was excellent, and he's almost as good here as the tortured tough-luck cowpoke. Ernest Borgnine invests Shep with the same gruff likeability as Marty and The Wild Bunch, with a violent and quick-tempered edge to boot. Rod Steiger (Doctor Zhivago) plays his Iago figure with a heaping helping of ham and a typically bizarre accent, not unlike his Tom Joad in Oklahoma! Valerie French is absolutely smouldering, and Felicia Farr (who would re-team with Ford and Daves in 3:10) is lovely in her debut role as a pretty Mormon girl. The supporting cast includes a young Charles Bronson, Basil Ruysdael, Noah Beery Jr., John Dierkes and Jack Elam.

8/10

http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2009/11/jubal.html

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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2009, 02:18:44 PM »

Ford, like his co-star in Yuma, Heflin, really grew on me -- to the point where I'd say he's a great actor.

As for Jubal, I think it's one of the 5 best AWs. It greatly improves upon additional viewings.

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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2009, 06:46:38 PM »

Ford, like his co-star in Yuma, Heflin, really grew on me -- to the point where I'd say he's a great actor.

As for Jubal, I think it's one of the 5 best AWs. It greatly improves upon additional viewings.
That's been my experience--although I still have my reservations about Ford.

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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2009, 07:45:30 PM »

I haven't seen enough Heflin to comment. Ford I've usually found pretty stiff but in the two Daves films he was excellent.

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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2009, 01:41:25 PM »

That's been my experience--although I still have my reservations about Ford.

I know this a lame, overused phrase, but I think Ford embodies that "every man" quality rather well. He's one of the few actors who looks like he could have grown up in my neighborhood, maybe that's why I like him so much. I thought he was great in movies like THE BIG HEAT, THE VIOLENT MEN and BLACKBOARD JUNGLE. I warmed up to his performance in Gilda after a repeated view.

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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2013, 02:33:04 PM »

Criterion Blu-ray set for May release.

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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2013, 07:47:31 PM »

I just found out about this five minutes ago, this is so awesome. I didn't hear ANYTHING prior to the news - I was just hoping that Jubal and/or Cowboy would be included as an additional material for the 3:10 release.

With that said,  I never thought Jubal would receive a bluray release, let alone, receive the criterion treatment. I can see this one taking a new life like Sweet Smell of Success and Bigger Than Life - I remember first seeing them several years ago when they both only had several hundred IMDB votes - not that it meant they were obscure, but it's a good indicator of gauging a popularity boost.

This is going to sound really nitpick-y, but I wonder why they didn't just release 3:10 and Jubal as a Daves/Ford trilogy and include Cowboy '58? I actually suggested that to them a month ago or so.

Criterion has released so few westerns, I never thought this would happen. I can't really see me being more excited for a home video/bluray announcement.



Cool cover too. Can not wait.

« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 08:14:06 PM by T.H. » Logged


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« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2013, 08:23:08 AM »

I'm happy too. I agree that I would have liked them to be releasing Cowboy also--especially because on the current DVD it isn't in the correct AR. At least the current DVDs of Yuma and Jubal have the correct ARs! But it's great to get these two films on Blu-ray: both were shot by the great Charles Lawton (who also did Cowboy).

UPDATE (this was just posted over at criterionforum.com):
Quote
The Criterion edition of Jubal should look much better than the existing dvd from 2005. Sony debuted a major restoration of the film at the TCM film festival in 2010.

« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 08:39:46 AM by dave jenkins » Logged


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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2013, 06:15:27 AM »

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/dvdreviews11/jubal.htm

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« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2013, 11:30:13 AM »

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Jubal-Blu-ray/66269/#Screenshots

Uh oh: "The outdoor footage looks very good. Depth and especially clarity are very pleasing while contrast is stable. The indoor footage, however, is not as sharp and vibrant. While some of the clarity fluctuations are directly related to the manner in which light and shadow are treated, there are some contrast fluctuations that are not inherited. There are also sporadic color pulsations as well as basic frame instability (typically accompanied by color instability)."

And, is it just me, or do several of those screencaps look horizontally stretched?

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« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2013, 01:05:46 PM »

I definitely wasn't expecting any issues and was looking forward to a transfer somewhat comparable to Bigger Than Life but I'll just have to wait and see. I see where you are coming from on the horizontal stretching issue but I feel like the reviewers would be all over it if it were the case, or so I would hope.

Thanks for posting all of these reviews.

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« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2013, 10:09:23 AM »

It's a real pity they burned the candle too fast, already one hour into it, so the last forty minutes are...  what they are - nothing memorable; Hollywood predictability at its best. I concord with you guys that the characters are cliched yet believable due to the actor's performances. Mae is a looker, but doesn't turn out to be bad to the bone, while on the other hand Pinky turns out to be just what everybody thought he would in the very first minute of the movie. I kinda had plans for him, must admit...

Still, as good as a classic Hollywood W melodrama can be.



7 - 7.5 out of 10

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