Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid 4K Ultra HD

WSR Score3
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The Criterion Collection
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Sam Peckinpah
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PCM 24/48 2.0
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Sam Peckinpah’s "at Garrett And Billy The Kid" is a blood- and dust-caked elegy for the American West, which marries his renegade style with a fatalistic sense of finality. As newly minted lawman Pat Garrett (James Coburn) stalks the outlaw Billy the Kid (Kris Kristofferson) across the plains, their old friendship is twisted into rivalry, and mythic ideals of freedom come up against an emerging ruling-class order. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary featuring Editors Paul Seydor and Roger Spottiswoode, and critic Michael Sragow, "Dylan In Durango," a new interview with author Clinton Heylin about the film’s soundtrack (HD 15:52), the featurette "Passion & Poetry: Peckinpah’s Last Western" (HD 48:27), "Champion On Film" archival interview with actor James Coburn (SD 27:10), Trailer, TV spots and a 12-page panel essay by author and critic Steve Erickson.

This release presents three versions of "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid." The first is the original Theatrical Release Version (106 minutes long). The second is a new 50th Anniversary Release Version (117 minutes long), assembled by editors Paul Seydor and Roger Spottiswoode. The third is Sam Peckinpah's Final Preview Cut (122 minutes long). The first two are newly restored in 4K, while the third is newly restored in 2K. As for the 50th Anniversary Release Version, the 2.35:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision/HDR10 picture, reviewed on a VIZIO Quantum X P85QX-JI UHD/HDR display, was photographed on 35mm film stock in anamorphic Panavision® and sourced from a remastered 4K Digital Intermediate restored from the original camera negative. Grain structure is smooth and nearly invisible. Color fidelity is robust with robust primaries and pretty much bright saturated imagery throughout. Hues are rich and warm and earthy in texture, with woods and and earth tones prominent. Flesh tones are healthy and sun drenched in tone. Image depth is good. HDR contrast is excellent with deep black levels, revealing shadows and bright whites. Interior lighting is unrealistically bright. The visuals exhibit fluctuating sharpness and delineation. Resolution is good during closeups with detail revealed in facial features, horses, other animals, western clothing, rural structures and object textures. This is a terrific restoration which reveals the level of filmmaking 50 years ago. The the native 4K theatrical presentation looked as good. The Final Preview Cut appears more dated with a generally rough appearance. (Gary Reber)

Each of the three versions is presented with an English LPCM monaural soundtrack.The 50th Anniversary edition's LPCM 24/48 2.0 uncompressed monaural soundtrack is undistinguished and lacking in dynamics with an uneven dialogue presence, which at times sounds integrated but generally forward sounding and poorly integrated. Intelligibility is good. Atmospherics sound contrived as well as Foley sound effects, which sound "produced" and staged and unrealistic. Sound effects in the form of gunfire sound realistic. Bob Dylan's music is unremarkable but fidelity is good given the narrow frequency range it spans. This is a dated sounding soundtrack that is not particularly well crafted. (Gary Reber)