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  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer ( )
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Italian: Dolby Digital Mono
    English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch, Arabic, Portuguese, English - Hearing Impaired, Italian - Hearing Impaired, Romanian, Bulgarian
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Cast/crew biographies - (Listing Only)
  • 3 Featurette - 1. Hell Hath No Fury 2. Eastwood in Action 3. Introduction to the Film

The Outlaw Josey Wales

Warner Bros./Warner Bros. . R4 . COLOR . 131 mins . MA15+ . PAL


After Dirty Harry, and just before Magnum Force, Clint Eastwood pulled double pay by both acting in and directing The Outlaw Josey Wales. Originally directed by scriptwriter Philip Kaufman, creative differences saw him pull out and Clint takeover. This "creative difference" with Clint was most probably along the lines of "OK Phil boy, how about we do it MY way, or I shoot you?" And, yes I know that he also made The Eiger Sanction and the great Thunderbolt and Lightfoot before Josey Wales as well, but this is my review, OK, so back off! Anyhoo, settling to shoot the tale inspired by a book that had a print run of about 75 (yes, that's what I said, 75) he assembled a great cast and went to work, efficiently wrapping just eight and a half weeks later.

Clint plays happy family man and farmer Josey Wales. Life's just rosy for Josey, with a house, a wife and a little sprog, while the Civil War is off happening elsewhere to other people. But this all changes when Union soldiers attack, burning down his house and killing his wife and kid. Josey sets off with revenge on his mind and joins a guerrilla outfit of soldiers waging their own battle against the Union. When Josey goes his own way and the group is slaughtered, Josey has a bounty put on his head and goes on the run.

Picking up an assortment of stragglers and loners along the way, Josey builds a surrogate family around him to replace the one he lost. All the while, bounty hunters and the army are tracking him down, closing in for the kill.

A good cast, an evolving story and some fine action make TOJW an enjoyable film, perhaps more so than you would expect if you went in prepared for a simple shooter. Clint manages to develop his character so that he's more than just a man out for revenge, balancing the often sombre mood with humour or outright anger. Most outstanding, however, is easily Chief Dan George who plays his Indian companion. In his seventies when he made this, he brings natural character and much humour to the role to counter Eastwood.


The Clint Eastwood Collection DVDs have all most pleasantly surprised me with a consistently high quality in both the picture and audio. Josey Wales carries on this high standard with an excellent 2.35:1 16x9 enhanced picture which really pays dividends when framing single characters to great effect or rendering long shots of the landscape. The print used looks an absolute treat, being very clean and rendering solid detail that I simply wasn't expecting to see in a 26 year old western. Something about this kind of film leads me to expect a hazy brown palette a bit on the soft side, but The Outlaw Josey Wales is a great image doing the film justice and sure to please.


The audio, like the other DVDs in the series, is in Dolby Digital 5.1, and really brings a new dimension to the film. All your speakers will get a good work out, with the rears often employed in the gunfights, and the sub drawn in to emphasise the gunfire, in some scenes perhaps overly so. There is also a slight inbalance in the levels, with dialogue sometimes a little low and the shootouts much louder - beyond what would seem typical. But the overall impression is of a dynamic and active mix that greatly livens up what would have been an undoubtedly much duller original stereo effort.


This release sees the inclusion of a few extras to view after the film. While not extensive, they do provide a little extra worthwhile value to the disc. A Special Introduction to the film by Eastwood briefly explains why he liked the story and is played before the film or can be accessed from the 'Features' menu. Eastwood in Action is an original eight minute featurette which is fine for its purpose, but nothing relevatory should be expected. The major extra is Hell Hath No Fury: The Making of The Outlaw Josey Wales. This 29 minute feature on the making of the film has plenty of interviews and shooting footage. It spends the first couple of minutes outlining the story, then delves into the story behind the shooting. The set is completed by a cast and crew listing and a Theatrical Trailer.


The Outlaw Josey Wales is a fine example of the genre, with many elements making the story more accessible than some would think. The DVD presents us with a good example of how older films should be treated in respect to its transfer, and the extras, though perhaps a little thin, are still a nice addition to the DVD. Overall, with the inclusion of this DVD, The Clint Eastwood Collection is shaping up to be a very worthwhile addition to any DVD collection.

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      And I quote...
    "The Outlaw Josey Wales is a fine example of the genre, with many elements making the story more accessible than some would think. "
    - Vince Carrozza
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-525
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DB930
    • Speakers:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Centre Speaker:
          Polk Audio CS245
    • Surrounds:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Subwoofer:
          DB Dynamics TITAN
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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