• Man Of The East (Kino Lorber) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Kino Lorber
    Released on: February 9th, 2021.
    Director: Enzo Barboni
    Cast: Terence Hill, Gregory Walcott, Harry Carey Jr., Yanti Somer, Dominic Barto
    Year: 1972
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    Man Of The East – Movie Review:

    Directed by Enzo Barboni (credited as E.B. Clucher), who struck box office gold with leading man Terence Hill on films like They Call Me Trinity, Trinity Is Still My Name and Crime Busters, 1972’s Man Of The East sees Hill playing a well to do young man named Sir Thomas Fitzpatrick Phillip Moore. His father has recently passed away and so he’s left his home on the eastern side of the United States to head west to Arizona (or, in this case, Yugoslavia standing in for it!) and claim his late father’s ranch as his own.

    What Thomas doesn’t know until he arrives is that his father wasn’t necessarily as proud of him as he might have wanted. Thomas didn’t turn out to be the hardened, masculine type and his father’s last request was that his friends teach Thomas how to be a ‘real man.’ The three men who used to work with his father as highwaymen - Bull Schmidt (Gregory Walcott), Monkey Smith (Dominic Barto) and Holy Joe (Harry Carey Jr.) – honor their deceased friend’s last wishes but soon find that turning Thomas from a book loving poet into a manly man will be harder than they thought. When Thomas falls in love with pretty Candida Olsen (Yanti Somer), however, he finds himself the target of the Marshal who wanted her for his own, which forces him to learn how to stand up for himself and deal with danger, whether he wants to or not.

    An unofficial Trinity film, this one works on the same level as those more popular and better known entries in that it mixes a lot of goofy humor in with the typical spaghetti western tropes you expect from a movie like this. The end result is a pretty mixed bag. The movie moves at a very leisurely pace and gets bogged down in exposition that adds nothing to the core story. This would be fine if it added interesting elements to the characters that populate the film, but it doesn’t do much of that either, it’s just talk for the sake of talk. The comedic elements are too generic to really stand out and Barboni doesn’t really bother to do anything to tighten the pacing, meaning that by the time we get to the action in the latter half of the film, we’re already bored by it.

    To his credit, Hill plays his character well enough in the context of the movie that Barboni and company were clearly trying to make. He does the naïve, fish out of water shtick fairly effectively. Walcott, Barto and Carey are okay in their supporting roles. If Somer’s character is entirely underwritten and a complete and total cliché, she does a good job of standing around and looking pretty which is, through no fault of her own, seemingly all that Barboni wanted her to do.

    Unfortunately, there isn’t much here in terms of visual style to talk about. The movie is pretty flat looking and takes place primarily on a few generic looking western town locations. The score isn’t anything to write home about either, and the action poorly choreographed.

    Man Of The East – Blu-ray Review:

    Man Of The East arrives on Region A Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studios in AVC encoded 1080p high definition framed at 2.35.1 on a 50GB disc with the feature taking up 39.3GBs of space. The transfer isn't reference quality but it's more than decent. It's clear that this wasn't given a full-blown restoration as there's mild print damage here and there and small white specks are noticeable throughout, but it's all very minor stuff even if grain can look noticeably thicker in some scenes than in others. Colors look good and contrast is fine, while black levels are solid if a step back from reference quality. Compression artifacts are never an issue and there are no problems with any noise reduction or edge enhancement. The movie does seem to have been shot with an intentionally soft look, but detail isn’t bad when you take that into account.

    Audio chores are handled by a 16-bit English language DTS-HD 2.0 Mono option with optional English Subtitles. Dialogue is always easy to understand and to follow and the audio is nicely balanced. Sound effects have some good weight behind them and there's a decent amount of depth to Morricone's typically epic score. There are no issues with any hiss or distortion to note. All in all, the audio quality on this release shapes up quite nicely, though like a lot of spaghetti westerns, the gun shots sound a bit thing.

    Extras start off with a commentary by filmmaker and Spaghetti Western expert Alex Cox. Like most of Cox's commentary tracks that have appeared on Kino's spaghetti western releases over the last few years, it’s delivered at a very relaxed pace but also quite interesting and well-informed. Cox goes over Enzo Barboni’s career in a fair bit of detail and also covers Hill’s work in the Spaghetti Western genre and the success of the Trinity films that he was a big part of. Along the way he covers the score, the locations, directorial choices and plenty more.

    A trailer for the feature included on the disc, as are bonus trailers for A Fistful Of Dollars, The Hills Run Red, The Mercenary and Return Of Sabata. Menus and chapter selection are also provided.

    Man Of The East - The Final Word:

    Man Of The East isn’t very good but Kino has done a nice job on the Blu-ray release. It looks and sounds pretty decent and Cox’s commentary is as solid as you’d expect given his previous work making it all the more of a shame that the film doesn’t work anywhere near as well as you’d want it to.

    Click on the images below for full sized Man Of The East Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Torrente's Avatar
      Torrente -
      Thanks for your review (as always)!
      Could you tell which master Kino used?
      You can find pics of both the first german release and remaster here: https://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?d1=11744&d2=9647&c=3893