Thursday, 3 December 2015

RAWHIDE World première on Region Free Blu-ray

A few weeks ago I had the good fortune of crossing paths with Ulrich Bruckner of Explosive media based in Switzerland. I contacted Ulrich after discovering that his company had released a Blu-ray collection called The Best of Rawhide Vol. 1, and what a wonderful set it is…

All four complete episodes have been taken from Season Two of the show. I was really quite staggered, not only in discovering that a Blu-ray disc had been released – but also by the sheer beauty of how these transfers look. The clarity of each episode is really something to admire and is presented in a quality that fans could only ever dream of experiencing. Of course, it is also something of a rare treat. As the set originates from Germany it is marked as Region 2 (but the disc is actually region free). The audio is also crystal clear (Dolby Digital 2.0) and available in both its original English and a German dubbed track. Explosive media’s release marks the World première of the classic TV western series in 1080p HD. 

The set comes with intelligent, thoughtful packaging with a reversible sleeve. Whilst the design remains unchanged, the reverse side does remove the spec blurb from the front and the FSK certification (a really nice example of attention to detail). The disc also includes a nicely made trailer highlighting the series and played to the legendary Frankie Laine theme song. 

The Best of Rawhide Vol. 1 is a superb set and something that Ulrich and his team should be extremely proud of. 
I certainly wouldn't hesitate in recommending it; fans of the series will simply lap it up.   

1. Incident of the Day of the Dead - Season 2, Episode 1 – 18th Sep. 1959
Rowdy is in town getting the mail and he shows his prowess by stopping a runaway horse. Aristocratic, autocratic horse breeder Luisa is obsessed with breaking the horse that threw her and her daughter Ellen, who thinks she is permanently crippled. After watching Rowdy, Louisa arranges for Rowdy to lose $300 at poker assuming his debt in return for breaking the dangerous stallion that crippled and killed others.

2. Incident of the Devil and His Due - Season 2, Episode 15 – 22nd Jan. 1960
Gil is allowed to continue the cattle drive, despite being accused of murder by the victim's wife and son, after Rowdy is deputized to guard him. Meanwhile, the real killers, three outlaws, scheme to steal church funds from a priest befriended by Gil and Rowdy.

3. Incident at Sulphur Creek - Season 2, Episode 21 – 11th Mar. 1960
Horse thieves who have victimized Comanches also strike the drive's ramuda. Gil sends a group headed by Pete and Rowdy out to purchase replacement mounts. They encounter a preacher on his way to officiate a christening at the Lacey ranch, where he says horses are for sale. The drovers find their own stolen horses corralled there. So do the Comanches, who put the ranch under siege.

4. Incident in the Garden of Eden - Season 2, Episode 32 – 17th Jun. 1960
Rowdy leaves the drive in order to buy cattle and replenish the herd. He comes to a town of an eccentric English patriarch living with his beautiful daughter. Rowdy doesn't understand why he seems so afraid to sell the cattle without his foreman's permission.

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