Good Movie; Very Good transfer (for a budget dvd)
curtis martin | Redmond, WA, USA | 07/23/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Cabo Blanco" is must-have DVD for true Bronson fans--and not the least reason is because you actually get to see the man act. But the most surprising thing about this Laserlight DVD is that the transfer, picture and sound, is actually quite good. And, unlike most budget dvds of contemporary films, this one is presented in widescreen. I know another reviewer mentioned that the film was originally shot in 'scope ("scope" is a term for generic Cinemascope techniques) but the aspect ratio here seems to be the correct one--no panning or scanning, and no actors cut in half on either side of the screen.
Now, it's certainly not a "restored" version of this obscure film, but they did find a very nice print which only shows wear at the reel-change spots. And, as a bonus, you get to see a very young Bronson in an episode of the 1950s drama series "U.S. Marshall."This is one of the few budget dvds of a public domain Bronson film that's actually worth buying."
3rd-man | 06/12/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"As far as ripoffs of Casablanca go, and I only know two offhand(this film and Barb Wire), Caboblanco is probably the best of the bunch. That's not saying much at all, but I think this film should take whatever praise it can get. So who do we have in place of Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, and Conrad Veidt? Why, Charles Bronson, Dominique Sanda, Fernando Rey, and Jason Robards. Capable actors one and all(yes, even Bronson). But even if Casablanca never existed, Caboblanco would still be a pedestrian movie. Actually, pedestrian would be another compliment. This film is somnabulent. The story just unfolds before you without any enthusiasm(sp?), passion, excitement, whatever. Yet I resist giving it one star because I didn't have any strong hatred for it or found it offensively bad. The photography was nice and Jerry Goldsmith's score was okay. Otherwise, it's like cinematic novocaine, as oppose to truly bad films which make pass out from the pain. As for the DVD, Caboblanco was supposed shot in 'scope, which would mean an aspect ratio of 2.35 to 1. But the disc is framed more towards 1.85 to 1, which means a partial letterbox. Though the case says stereo, I think the movie is just 2 channel mono. The introduction by Tony Curtis is insignificant, which is too bad since he and Bronson made a movie together and it would have been nice to hear some personal recollections about Bronson beyond the standard issue biographical information."
Well, at least the music is good...
Trevor Willsmer | London, England | 08/31/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"There are so many bad reasons to see films that seeing CaboBlanco simply because it has (along with The Salamander) one of Jerry Goldsmith's most obscure scores doesn't seem quite such a stupid one, especially since the score is pretty good. Although it never matches its magnificent Ravelesque opening, let alone the extraordinary work Goldsmith was doing at the same period (Star Trek, The Boys From Brazil, The First Great Train Robbery, Magic, The Swarm, Masada, Poltergeist), it's another case of a composer being inspired by a bad film to turn out a good score that's still head and shoulders over 99% of film scoring today.
The film itself is certainly an oddity, an attempt to do a Casablanca in post-war Peru, but Charles Bronson, Dominique Sanda, Simon MacCorkindale, Fernando Rey and Jason Robards were never likely to offer much competition to Bogie, Bergman, Heinreid, Rains and Veidt even had the script been better. (There's no Dooley Wilson or As Time Goes By, but Nat King Cole is playing on the jukebox singing The Very Thought of You.) Sanda in particular, as usual in her English language work, is so staggeringly awful you half-expect her to bump into the furniture, although she gets strong competition from MacCorkindale in the who-can-give-the-worse-performance stakes, but an easygoing Bronson at least is good value.
Feeling more like one of RKO's mid 50s SuperScope South of the Border treasure hunt movies than anything from Warners' golden age, the film at times feels like its suffered some last-minute editing, jumping into some scenes apparently midway while some characters are never introduced properly (prominently billed Clifton James never appears at all), and the ending - involving a parrot, a secret code, a stuck record on a jukebox and a cyanide pill - is one of the most absurd endings in screen history. Still, there's some fluid and impressively composed Scope camerawork and the scenery's nice, although both suffer in the DVD transfers. It's an unlikely candidate for restoration, but it's worth noting that the German DVD available through Amazon.de does at least boast a good 2.35:1 transfer and extras (trailer, 25-minute making of and hardback book style packaging), though the soundtrack doesn't fare so well.