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PHOTOGRAPHY

PLUNDER OF THE SUN

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 81 minutes, audio commentary, three featurettes, original theatrical trailer, Batjac trailer, photo gallery

STUDIO: Paramount/ Batjac/ Warner

RELEASE DATE: 6-6-2006

PLUNDER OF THE SUN is almost a classic. It is an entertaining film forgotten by many until now. Glenn Ford is in a role that had me thinking what would Humphrey Bogart done with this (Peter Ford and Frank Thompson even say in the audio commentary that if the film was made 10 years earlier that it could have easily featured Bogart and Peter Loree and been the same film). Al Colby (Ford) is broke in Havana, Cuba when he is presented with the offer of transporting an ancient relic into Mexico by a man with a heart condition. The man dies on the ship on the way to Mexico. Al has to decide what to do with the package as the man's nurse (Patricia Medina) and Jefferson (Sean McClory) try to get it from Colby. Jefferson is willing to steal it and even kill for it while the woman tries to ask for it.

PLUNDER OF THE SUN was filmed entirely on location in Mexico in the Oaxaca Valley. The film is well cast, but the cinematography almost steals the show. Sean McClory has his best film role in the first film he did for Batjac (he followed it up by appearing in ISLAND IN THE SKY and RING OF FEAR). PLUNDER OF THE SUN is a film that doesn't overstay it's welcome and has more story in 81 minutes than some films that run for 100 minutes to two hours today.

VIDEO: 1.33:1 (Full Frame)

The transfer is beautiful. Image detail is sharp. Shadow values and contrast are excellent. The only damage comes from the original film elements. Film grain is present.

AUDIO: English 2.0 Mono

Subtitles: English

Dialogue is clear and the audio is good as well.

SPECIAL FEATURES: The feature audio commentary with Peter Ford (Glenn Ford's son) and film historian Frank Thompson is the best audio commentary recorded for a Batjac release so far. It is an insightful and easy to listen to track. You learn about the production, a little about Glenn Ford's career, and talk about the sequel.

ON LOCATION WITH GLENN FORD- two minute featurette as Peter Ford reads a letter than Glenn sent his wife as photos he took during the production in 1952. All too brief.

THE JOHN WAYNE STOCK COMPANY: SEAN McCLORY- A 14 minuet featurette on the career of Sean McClory from his start in the theater to his early film career to his later film roles and TV work.

PLUNDERING HISTORY (Introduction, The Oaxaca Valley, The Codex, The Ball Court, The Great Hall Of Monte Alban, The Hall Of Columns at Mitla)- Dr. David Carvallo (archeologist) talks about the history of the locations used in PLUNDER OF THE SUN and the film's inaccuracies. The best featurette of the DVD. Very informative.

Rounding out the extras are the original theatrical trailer, the Batjac trailer, credits for the DVD extras, and a photo gallery of behind-the-scenes photos, Glenn Ford's pictures, and movie stills.

FINAL ANALYSIS: PLUNDER OF THE SUN is a film that shouldn't be forgotten. It is an entertaining tale of lost treasure. The DVD looks nice with good extras.

this review is (c)6-1-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com