Having been in public domain for a number of years, John Wayne's 1963 comic Western "Mclintock!" has been released on home video by a variety of budget labels, and in highly varying quality. Ardent fans of "the Duke" have cause for celebration, as Paramount has just paid homage to the film with a sumptuous Blu-ray edition.
Hardly among Wayne's classic efforts, "Mclintock!" was an attempt to approximate the John Ford style, and proves mildly entertaining in spots, painfully strident in others. The episodic storyline centers on the titular cattle rancher and his relationship with his shrewish wife, Maureen O'Hara, feisty daughter, Stephanie Powers, corrupt local administrators, and his Comanche cohorts.
Bursting with machismo, Wayne is securely in his element as the cantankerous, hard-fighting Mclintock. Staunch veterans Edgar Buchanan, Chill Wills and Strother Martin are of the manner born in a supporting cast headed by Yvonne de Carlo as an attractive widow, and Wayne's son Patrick as Powers' love interest. Rodeos, hunts, hoe-downs, shoot-outs, and innumerable action sequences are tossed in to breathe some life into the film. The impressive Technicolor, Panavision photography is a decided asset, and it is wonderfully showcased in Paramount's new Blu-ray.
Outside of a few grainier shots, the Blu-ray offers fine, overall picture quality, with several stunning shots, and rich, true color throughout. In addition to its technical advantages, the Blu-ray is generously supplemented with special features. Extras include comprehensive commentary from the director and surviving cast members, and several documentaries including a lengthy one on the Wayne family's Batjac Production Company. Leonard Maltin introduces the movie, and hosts the documentaries.
The new "Mclintock!" Blu-ray is a truly, outstanding edition of a mediocre film.