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 Post subject: 750 Ride the Pink Horse
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:46 pm 
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750 Ride the Pink Horse

Hollywood actor turned idiosyncratic auteur Robert Montgomery directs and stars in this striking crime drama based on a novel by Dorothy B. Hughes. He plays a tough-talking former GI who comes to a small New Mexico town to shake down a gangster who killed his best friend; things quickly turn nasty. Ride the Pink Horse features standout supporting performances from Fred Clark, Wanda Hendrix, and especially Thomas Gomez, who became the first Hispanic actor to receive an Academy Award nomination for his role here. With its relentless pace, expressive cinematography by the great Russell Metty, and punchy, clever script by Charles Lederer and Ben Hecht, this is an overlooked treasure from the heyday of 1940s film noir.

Disc Features

New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
Audio commentary featuring film noir historians Alain Silver and James Ursini
New interview with Imogen Sara Smith, author of In Lonely Places: Film Noir Beyond the City
Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of the film from 1947, featuring Robert Montgomery, Wanda Hendrix, and Thomas Gomez
PLUS: An essay by filmmaker and writer Michael Almereyda


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:54 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:23 pm
Great film, one of my favorite noirs! I like Silver/Ursini commentaries too.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:11 pm 
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I don't know, I'm not sure this announcement means Ride the Pink Horse is coming from Criterion


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:34 pm 
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Solid release but it does have me wondering about the condition of The Hanged Man. Does a copy still exist?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:39 pm 
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There's a TV rip up on back channels


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:45 pm 
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Yes, a solid release of a film I've seen twice, but have, for some reason, never taken to. Perhaps the commentary will help the next time around. But that cover... It doesn't quite capture the film, at least for me (though it certainly tries hard enough).


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:26 am 
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I have to agree. I dig the concept – Gary Sinise's filipino cousin notwithstanding – but it would be better fitting a piece of exotica like The Bribe or Riffraff than this.

To get back to the film, I've cooled on it somewhat after reading the novel, and I don't think it quite sticks the ending, but I dig it for what it is: a Western disguised as a film noir.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:35 am 

Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:45 am
Very fond of this film, though I've only seen it once. Love the conceit of
[Reveal] Spoiler:
the protagonist being in a woozy semi-conscious state for a good part of the film.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:07 pm 
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Beaver The caps look sweet.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:36 pm
According to Beaver the essay comes in a booklet.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:57 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 12:35 pm
Self wrote:
According to Beaver the essay comes in a booklet.


Yeah, but Beaver also claims Criterion's Soft Skin comes with a Booklet, while bluray.com identifies it as a Leaflet. Unfortunately, I'm assuming both are Leaflets.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:53 pm 
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Telstar wrote:
Self wrote:
According to Beaver the essay comes in a booklet.


Yeah, but Beaver also claims Criterion's Soft Skin comes with a Booklet, while bluray.com identifies it as a Leaflet. Unfortunately, I'm assuming both are Leaflets.


DVD Beaver and Blu-ray.com are most likely reading the essays as PDFs, due to how early they get their review materials (they're most likely reviewing check discs as well), so it may not be clear whether the layout will be a booklet or a fold-out / insert / leaflet.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:29 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:21 am
Huge fan of 1940's noir films, so definitely looking forward to seeing RTPH at some point.

However, I have to say it - this is a b&w film, so isn't the whole concept of a "pink" horse lost when viewing this? I don't think this will take away from my enjoyment of the film, but I'm wondering if the film should have been called "Ride the Black Horse", or something like that...

Not trying to rain on anyone's parade here - I'm sure the movie is great.....


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:44 pm 
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Every time the horse appears, there is a flash of pink amid the black and white, just like in Schindler's list.

No, but the title comes from Dorothy Hughes's source novel, which is filled with references to various pink objects (inanimate ones, no innuendo intended).


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:08 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:21 am
Haven't read Dorthy Hughes' RTPH source novel, but would be interested in doing so - if I could find it, that is. It appears to be OOP these days, which is not surprising...It doesn't look like this will be included with the Criterion Blu, which is a shame - though I know some may find these kinds of extras superfluous, I like them - I thought it was great that Peter Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock Blu came with the original source novel - since that had been OOP for a long time at that point...


Last edited by AnamorphicWidescreen on Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:11 pm 
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Sorry, by "no" I meant that I was pulling the proverbial leg without saying "but seriously..."


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:23 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:21 am
Gregory wrote:
Sorry, by "no" I meant that I was pulling the proverbial leg without saying "but seriously..."


Didn't catch that - no problem, though - without having seen the film, I have no idea what it looks like.

In any case, still want to see this....and read the book.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:54 am 
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Self wrote:
According to Beaver the essay comes in a booklet.

I just got it and it's a standard Blu-ray sized foldout insert. Not a booklet.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:15 pm 
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Bluray.com review


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:01 pm 
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Could any of the many board fans come forward on the film? It's a lovely travelogue, but the noir components are mostly typical without any evident punchy hook. Gomez and Clark give great performances, but Montgomery is a dead eyed post unlike his usual charming self. He truly is so stiff as to hurt many of the little charms that are present. It seems like a big step down from Lady in the Lake and even that one was standing precariously.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:32 pm 
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I must be watching a different movie in a parallel universe.

I've always thought Lady in the Lake was, once you got over the initial gimmick of the (mostly) subjective camera, very much expressively constrained by the device to the point it tends to block far more potential expression through a more "regular" mise en scene. At that stage Montgomery was simply not working technically at the level of Hitchcock in Rope and the 80 minute faux "take" or similar. I find it a tryout movie, honourable nevertheless but not major.

His performance as Marlowe in Lady also strikes me as genuinely wooden and unresponsive given that his character is constantly supposed by the subjective camera device to be relating to everything we (he) see (sees.)

In stark contrast his seemingly emotionally "flat" character in Horse is someone who's come out of somewhere unknown and is going on to somewhere unknown despite the apparently happy windup for the far more important "secondary" characters and his temporary crack in the icy surface last shot.

But more importantly I think Horse looks like the very handsome work of someone who has studied his craft as both actor and director to an impeccable degree from his earlier work as an actor with Ford to the point where his own mise en scene seems to now effortlessly go to the long travelling shot, or the cuts on movement to define pacing, and the plays with shadow and lighting to amplify the expression of compositions with characters alternating POV relevance in shots. I was hugely impressed with this, and one would be remiss to add how much also the film benefits in the Noir canon from its association with producer Joan Harrison, to say nothing so far of the superb material by Dorothy Hughes and what Hecht and Lederer have done with the screenplay and its emblematic characters, maintaining the unreal atmosphere.

I simply cannot imagine any other film in which Wanda Hendrix of all earthly people can give a performance so commanding she substantially dominates her sequences even when she's a background figure.

This was a huge Noir discovery for me this year, one of the best Noirs ever.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:35 pm 
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David, if you haven't already seen it, I strongly recommend Montgomery's screwball comedy, Once More, My Darling, which is my favorite of his directorial efforts and is up you know where (if you know where ever comes back up!)


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:38 pm 
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Seconded!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:56 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:21 am
Recently saw Ride the Pink Horse on the new Criterion DVD; it was my first time seeing the film. Truly superb noir. The Robert Montgomery character was like a fish out of water in this small border town, but this really fit the setting/story. Also enjoyed the character of young Pila, who effectively combined both naivete & extreme wisdom beyond her years.

From a technical standpoint, the print was stellar; of course, I expect nothing less from Criterion.

Interesting that I had never heard of the film before this Criterion disk; I did some research, and was not able to determine whether it was ever released to R1 DVD before this (probably not).


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:19 pm 
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To the best of my knowledge it's never had a home video release (DVD, VHS, laserdisc, &c) before Criterion rescued it. There was a circulating copy taped off AMC back when they aired older Hollywood movies in the 90s and that's most of us who've seen it in the last twenty years saw it.


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