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Warner Bros. // Unrated // April 18, 2017
List Price: $21.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
The film focuses on two cowboys, Ben Jones (Glenn Ford) and Marion 'Howdy' Lewis (Henry Fonda). The pair spends most of the time rounding up a herd of buffalo. Yet the cowboys both long for more fun and excitement in their lives.
Thus they go on a series of odd misadventures together across the outdoors. They try to get rich with a bet and stake their possible fortunes on it paying off. The pair of aging cowboys become determined to leave the herding age behind and to find something better for themselves.
As the story progresses, Ben and Marion 'Howdy' take a journey together and meet two girls they instantly fall for: the dancer Mary (Sue Ane Langdon) and her sister (Hope Holiday). There are also two other sisters who fall for the cowboys while they spend some of their time on a ranch: Agatha Moore (Kathleen Freeman) and Meg Moore (Joan Freeman). Romance and comedic hijinks ensue as they are entwined with the four women. Who will they wind up with? And, perhaps, will the cowboys find fortune?
The film features lush cinematography by Paul Vogel (The Time Machine, High Society). In fact, it's one of the best aspects of the film. The film has great outdoor cinematography and certainly evokes a strong western feeling through the style of photography. The music by composer Jeff Alexander (Julia, Jailhouse Rock) adds to the Western atmosphere with its stylistic touches.
Written and Directed by Burt Kennedy (The Train Robbers, The War Wagon), The Rounders works as a moderately entertaining western-comedy. As long as it isn't taken too seriously it offers humor and entertainment. It's a silly film and it doesn't have any serious ambitions. It's pretty much just Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda having a strange journey as they travel and have humorous encounters with odd characters. While the film lacks a great storyline or characters, Ford and Fonda keep things interesting. Kennedy directs with enough stylistic flair to make it a trip worth taking once.
The Rounders arrives on Blu-ray from Warner Archive with a 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encoded high definition presentation in the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 widescreen. This is an impressive presentation of the film. It has been newly remastered and the effort taken to restore the film shows. This is a superb presentation of the film with no issues with dirt, debris, and other detrimental distractions. It's an amazingly clean, crisp, and satisfying HD presentation. Colors are also excellent throughout.
The audio is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo. This is a modest but satisfactory sound presentation. It's clean sounding and shows no issue with distortion. Dialogue is easy to understand. While the audio lacks great fidelity, it still sounds reasonably good and will satisfy listeners.
This release includes English SDH subtitles (for the deaf and hard of hearing).
There are no extras included on this release.
The Rounders is a modestly entertaining western which will appeal to fans of Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda. It's certainly worth renting and checking out for western fans. The film has been newly remastered and fans of the film will certainly be pleased with the excellent picture-quality on this Warner Archive Blu-ray release.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.