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Captain From Castile
Castile is one of
the most ambitious Hollywood productions of its time. The film was
made with a massive production budget. Featuring immaculate sets,
lavish costumes, and an enormous number of extras, Captain
Castile both looks and feels expensive at every turn. It was
early example of a big-budget Hollywood spectacle before the dawn of
CGI effects and the rise of the modern blockbuster. Executive
produced by Darryl F. Zanuck (The Longest Day), this
excellent example of Hollywood spectacle through-and-through.
The film stars Tyrone Power
as Pedro de
Vargas, a Spanish knight with a thirst for going on adventures.
Alongside his friend Juan Garcia (Lee J. Cobb) and a young woman,
Catana (Jean Peters), who falls madly in love with Vargas, the trio
of characters become entangled within the ever-turning wheels of the
expedition and invasion of Mexico by Cortez (Cesar Romero) during the
early 1900's. The journey is one of excitement and intrigue.
The film has the heart of
swashbuckler with some good adventure and excitement thrown into the
mix. There are numerous sequences which are so lavishly produced it's
a wonder to think of these scenes being produced in the 40's, long
before modern technologies advanced. The scope of the large scale
production is also enormously impressive. Take, for example, the
countless extras featured in many of the film's key sequences: it
makes the story-line feel even larger and more epic in scope.
The cinematography by
Arthur E. Arling
(The Yearling) and Charles G. Clarke (Moontide)
richly woven with beautiful framing and quality Technicolor
photography. The music score composed by Alfred Newman (The
of Anne Frank, All About Eve) is one of
the best things
going for the film: full of Newman's signature style, the score is
beautiful, rich, and bold. The costume designs by Charles Le Maire
(All About Eve, The Day The Earth Stood
lavish to behold.
Based on the novel by
Shellabarger (Prince of Foxes), the screenplay by
(Yellow Sky, With a Song in My Heart)
straight-forward expedition. The storyline may not be complex but the
film is also never a bore to watch. It's entertaining and exciting
and the screenplay aids with that.
Directed by Henry King (The
Bernadette, Carousel), the filmmaker did
a superb job of
pulling together so many excellent aspects of the production. The
film feels confident and it helps it to be a more fun experience.
Though the film doesn't quite hit the mark of being a classic epic
the clear ambitions are enough to make up for some shortcomings.
Captain from Castile is a entertaining experience
like a perfect recipe for a fun Saturday matinee (even when viewing
in the comfort of one's home).
Presented in 1080p high definition with an MPEG-4 AVC encode
a high bit-rate. Presented in the original theatrical aspect ratio of
1.33:1 full frame. This is a stunning presentation. The colors are
rich, the clarity is strong, and there's nary a speck of dirt or
debris on this clean, crisp transfer. The effort that went into this
presentation is impressive. The film looks beautiful and the
Presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo and original
Master Audio 1.0 mono audio. Although these are similar front-based
tracks it's nice to have a variety of options on the audio. The
lossless resolution of the audio helps the dialogue reproduction and
the score clarity.
English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing are
Isolated Music Track (featuring the score
by Alfred Newman)
Audio Commentary with film historians Rudy
Burlingame, and Nick Redman
Tyrone Power: The Last Idol (SD, 45 min.)
is a biography
channel documentary about the star of the film and featuring
interviews with historians and collaborators.
Tyrone Power and His Leading Ladies (SD, 12
interviews with several actresses who worked with Tyrone Power over
the years as they discuss his star power, charm, and appeal.
Castile is a
fun if light
adventure with some entertaining spectacle for a classic Hollywood
production. The film has enough charm and wit to be worth a watch.
Twilight Time has done a commendable job with this release of the
film. It has a superb presentation of the film and a nice assortment
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.