Plot: What’s it about?
What happens when a rough and tumble cowboy arrives in the lush, tropical lands of Hawaii? You’ll find out in this movie, in which a young man goes fishing off the coast and catches a whopper, but this catch isn’t a fish, it’s a cowboy! The young man (Eric Shea) discovers the cowboy floating in the waters, and decides to bring him in. The catch turns out to be Lincoln Costain (James Garner), a cowpoke who had been shanghaied, and jumped ship to escape. The young man leads Costain to his home, where he and his mother own a ten thousand acre farm, which raises potatoes. But most of the land is just open range, with no crops planted. After Costain handles a wild bull, the boy’s mother (Vera Miles) talks to him about switching products, since potatoes aren’t selling or growing well. So, Costain starts to build the island’s first cattle ranch, but the task won’t be simple, with many obstacles in the way. He has to train the workers on the finer points of horse riding and corralling, deal with the local witch doctor, and get the ranch on it’s feet, all while being drawn to the mother, Henrietta. Will Costain be able to whip the ranch into shape, and win over Henrietta, or will an underhanded would-be suitor steal her away?
This movie features James Garner (Maverick, My Fellow Americans), who is known for his roles as tough guys and such. This character is no different, although the twist of him being in Hawaii offers some unique spins on the part. Garner is perfect for this role, with just enough toughness, sensitivity, and humor to make the role work. Vera Miles (Psycho, A Tiger Walks) and Robert Culp (Most Wanted, Spy Hard) provide excellent performance as well. The supporting cast includes Eric Shea (The Poseidon Adventure), Elizabeth Smith (The Hawaiians), Buddy Joe Hooker (The Arrival, Money Talks), and Gregory Sierra (Vampires, The Towering Inferno). This is a classic movie for the entire family, and I think it makes an excellent addition to any collection. There is action, humor, and even a splash of romance, a little something for everyone in the family. While the disc is lacking in some areas, I feel a recommendation is in order, since the movie is a fun ride to take. Looking for a movie to add to your shelves that all the members of your family can enjoy? Check this title out.
Video: How does it look?
The Castaway Cowboy is presented in a full frame transfer. While I couldn’t track down the information on the original aspect ratio, there doesn’t appear to be any visible pan and scan present, so I assume this is an open matte transfer. The print shows some pops and flecks, but nothing serious, and no compression trouble is evident. The colors look vivid and bright, especially during the outdoor scenes, and flesh tones are natural and consistent. Contrast levels are correct, displaying excellent shadow depth and high visible detail.
Audio: How does it sound?
The audio sounds good, but lacks impact, which means the experience is adequate but not as good as it could be. The music takes the most active role, but dialogue is the true focus here. Every word comes across well, with nothing lost in the mix. Even the moos of the cows are all crisp and clear.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The reverse side of the cover contains some production notes, but no other bonus materials are included.