J. Michael Click | Fort Worth, Texas United States | 06/11/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Poor Gene Tierney! After luring her away from the Broadway stage where she had scored in comedy roles, Hollywood proved at a loss as to how to showcase her acting talent. Accordingly, she was cast in a series of improbable roles in which her chief responsibility was to look ravishingly gorgeous. "Sundown", filmed while Tierney was still just 20 years old, is a prime example of how her acting abilities were wasted during her first couple of years in films. In this patriotic WWII action-adventure set in Africa, she plays an exotic half-caste caravan owner (later revealed to be British!) who helps the Allied forces keep the continent from becoming an Axis stronghold. The plot is confused and silly claptrap, but it's all beautifully photographed by Charles Lang (who would work with Tierney again on "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" at Fox), excitingly scored by Miklos Rozsa ... and Tierney is indeed breathtakingly lovely in her midriff-baring costumes, which is reason enough to watch. (Also pay close attention to catch a very young Dorothy Dandridge in a small featured role!)The VCI Home Video DVD is definitely the version of this movie to see. The original copyright had lapsed, and the film had fallen into the public domain. As a result, the marketplace was flooded with cheaply produced video copies transfered from grainy, washed-out multi-generational prints. The VCI DVD has been restored and digitally mastered, and the result is a sharp, crisp presentation offering excellent video contrast and vastly-improved sound that has been appropriately copyrighted by the archivists.The DVD also offers a small, but well-chosen, stills gallery; a newly created video trailer; and well-written albeit flawed cast biographies (Tierney's actual birthdate is November 19, 1920, not November 20 as misreported by "The New York Times" ... and her first film was "The Return of Frank James", not "The Return of Jesse James"). There's also a bonus featurette of Ronald Colman, Angela Lansbury, and Nigel Bruce in the 1954 television adaptation of Somerset Maugham's story "A String of Beads" ... which has nothing at all to do with the feature film, but is a most welcome and entertaining surprise nonetheless. Overall, this edition is highly recommended for Tierney fans, and a fine example of the potential inherent in the DVD format."
But it's missing a scene....
Charles A. Seeley | Kenmore, NY USA | 12/17/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The picture's been restored quality-wise, but a scene present on my otherwise poor quality videotape version is missing here: as the Italian prisoner demands an honor guard to take him to the stockade, the Dutchman arrives outside the bungalow and asks for water, which he dispenses to his native escort. In the dvd, the Italian's tirade ends abruptly and the Dutchman is just in front of the desk all of a sudden. Not much, I know, and probably not even 5 minutes, but it does add a sympathetic quality to the Dutchman which becomes important later.Avoid the alleged trailer if you haven't seen the movie. It looks like the dvd producers just strung some scenes together to make a digest version of the film. The plot twists are given away.I do like this movie very much, enough that the this dvd not being perfect annoys me."
Classic WWII Adventure
C. A. Luster | Burke, VA USA | 12/07/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"They did a nice job of restoring and putting this on DVD. Excerpts from the movie are shown in a window in the menu. A featurette "A String of Beads" is included. I thought the featurette was a bit slow but the movie is good. Gene Tierney, Bruce Cabot, and Harry Carey all give good performances in Sundown. The movie takes place in Africa during WWII. Bruce Cabot is the commander at a British outpost and he must contend with German gunrunners and rebellious tribes. Gene Tierny as a caravan trader and Harry Carey as a big game hunter come to his aid. If you enjoy older movies like Beau Geste or Casablanca you will probably enjoy this as well. The price makes it well worth owning if you collect classic movies."
A good British War Movie
C. A. Luster | 06/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of my favorite movies. Good restoration of audio and video. Will you like it? If you liked "Drums", "Charge of the Light Brigade", "Four Feathers", "Gunga Din", and "Zulu", you might want to give this a shot. Bruce Cabot is believable as the Colonial Administrator and George Sanders is just terrific."
......Early WW2 on the Silver Screen......
Christopher E. Sarno | Boston, Massachusetts United States | 04/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Not your usual Hollywood shoot'em up war movie, rather, a cerebrate type of a movie if I ever saw one...much to ponder...yes, heavy strains of colonialism smothers this picture, but who is the greatest about colonialism at that time than, "Rule Britannia"...with that aside, the film is good just the same and it shows off Bruce Cabot in a heroic light, but the vivacious, Gene Tierney steals the show with her uncommonly beauty...she needs no dialogue, just soaking her in is Valhalla...this is a big Walter Wanger production which was done with foresight and research beyond it's years...at the time America was still at peace with England holding on valiantly, but alone...a very young Dorothy Dandridge is cast as a Muslim native girl married to a young warrior in the service to the King of England...she says little but her emotions speak volumes for the upset in her village life...wonderful cast with Joseph Calleia, Harry Carey Sr, Reginald Gardiner, Carl Esmond and the staid George Sanders...a must see DVD on a pristine silver screen...throw-in a very good screen/play...Sir Cedric Hardwick is in the final fadeout with much to say and he is eloquent in his British aristocratic delivery....I liked the blown-out church scene at the end; it was inspiring and the tenor of that era to WIN WW2...."Sundown" is good as any WW2 film, it portends the message of winning the good fight....SSGT CHRIS SARNO-USMC FMF"