Plot: What’s it about?
Colt Saunders (Charlton Heston) has just left the Civil War behind him and after all that violence, he wants nothing more than to return home. His Bar S. ranch is spacious and quiet, so he can let his mind and body recover from all the trauma he encountered. But before he can make it back, he encounters more stress, but at least this time, it isn’t on the battlefield. He sees a woman in distress and steps up to defend her honor, which earns him a beating from a band of carpetbaggers. The woman, Lorna Hunter (Anne Baxter) takes him back to his hotel room to recover and is mistaken as his wife. Colt thinks she is just a beautiful belle, but she is in fact a call girl and one with not so pure intentions. She plans to lift nine-hundred bucks from Colt, though he isn’t dumb and keeps his eyes open. Soon however, the two fall in love and despite fear of what Colt will think if he learns of her past, Lorna goes forward. When the newlyweds arrive at Colt’s ranch however, trouble awaits and the honeymoon promises to be a rocky one.
I have to admit, I wouldn’t rank the western genre as one of my favorites, although I have enjoyed countless films of that kind. I don’t care much for the ones that come off as quaint and good hearted, but I love the ones that are rugged, brutal, and of course, violent. With a title like Three Violent People, you’d expect this movie to be, well, violent, but that isn’t the case. The film has some gunfights of course, but they’re rare and in this case, not given much attention. Three Violent People is more about romance and the beauty of the West, which is a double edged sword. Some will prefer this style of western, with less violence and more soap opera style plot, but I wasn’t impressed. Charlton Heston is fun to watch, as always, but outside of his presence, I couldn’t find much else to compliment. Paramount’s disc is as bare as can be, so even for fans, Three Violent People is a tough sell, so perhaps a rental is the best option.
Video: How does it look?
Three Violent People is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This film is almost fifty years old and it shows some signs of wear, but the few flecks and dirt marks are bearable. This movie is steeped in natural tones like browns and blacks, but some bright colors seep through and they never bleed. The flesh tones are also natural and free from distortion at all times, which is crucial. The contrast is sharp and true, with no shadow murkiness and very high visible detail levels. I couldn’t see hide nor hair of any compression artifacts or errors either.
Audio: How does it sound?
I don’t have much to say about the included mono option, as it handles the material, but offers little to praise too much. I didn’t hear much in terms of dated audio, but as expected of a 1950s mono track, this isn’t a pristine option. The music sounds decent enough, while the sound effects are clean also, no real complaints there. No problems with dialogue either, as vocals sound crisp and are free from distortion & such. This disc also includes English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes no bonus materials.