Monday, March 1, 2010

Navajo Joe UK vs USA DVD

Review of Navajo Joe UK DVD by Howard Hughes

I just watched the UK DVD of Navajo Joe and I've spotted a few things that might be of interest - the readers of your blog may be interested too:
The disk runs 88 minutes, as opposed to a widescreen (Japanese) version I have, which is 92 (probably NTSC-PAL timing conversion). The music is way down in the mix, much lower than the US videotape I have, and the title music is out of synch with the images: as Duncan scalp's Joe's wife, the title track kicks in way too early. The disk is also edited for a brief scene of cockfighting (outside the Peyote saloon) and horsefalls (when the saloon girls escape in the cart). This last edit is ridiculous, as the horsefall appears in the film's trailer, which is also included on the disk!
The Techniscope ratio is correct and the picture quality is excellent, but there are considerable differences between this print and earlier ones I've viewed. All the scenes that take place at night in previous versions I've seen - Joe's attack on the train, Joe's beating at the farm, his escape at the corral, etc - now take place during the day, in bright sunshine. All-in-all though this is still a great edition of the film. Don't know how it compares with the US disk, which I believe is uncut.


  1. Adrian Henry McAllisterMarch 2, 2010 at 5:39 AM

    Animal cruelty is a difficult area with movies of this period.
    Personally, I hate to see horses, or any animal being mistreated, but as enthusiasts of
    the genre, seeing a complete print is essential. I think cutting the British dvd is a pointless gesture.
    Thanks for your review.

  2. The Japanese DVD doesn't have the sound glitch as does the US one. It also doesn't have some edge problems like the US and it is totally uncut. I prefer the Japanese DVD in terms of sound/image over the US and thanks for reporting on this UK presentation. The cuts are unfortunate. I think a warning card before the film that it contains objectionable scenes would be preferable to cutting.