Halls Of Montezuma

Halls Of Montezuma (1950)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Cast: Richard Widmark, Jack Palance, Karl Malden, Robert Wagner
Extras: Trailers

In their newly created ’Fox War Classics’ series, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is releasing the 1950 production ’Halls Of Montezuma.’ Featuring an all-star cast that includes Richard Widmark, Jack Palance, Karl Malden and Robert Wagner among others, this is the story of group of soldiers trying to take a fortified enemy island during World War II. Strongly focusing on character development and their own struggles as they try to take the Japanese rocket site, director Lewis Milestone once again excels as he masterfully weaves a story of war with its human and inhumane aspects, like he did in his Oscar-winning ’All Quiet On The Western Front.’

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is presenting the movie in its original fullscreen aspect ratio on this DVD. While the film is giving away its age somewhat, the DVD transfer is nonetheless very good. Some grain is evident in various scenes and although generally clean and free of defects occasional speckles are visible in the image. Neither of them are distracting or unpleasant however, making ’Halls Of Montezuma’ a good-looking DVD version of this movie. Colors are well rendered, creating a very natural looking picture. Fortunately no signs of edge-enhancement are evident, maintaining the natural, film-like look. The compression has been done very well and no compression artifacts are visible throughout the presentation.

The disc contains English language tracks in Stereo and Mono, as well as a French mono track, all of which are adequately representing the movie, especially given the age of the film. Frequency response is somewhat limited and as a result dialogues appear harsh on occasion. The music also suffers somewhat from the sonic limitations but overall the presentation is pleasing. The only extras found on the disc are a selection of trailers, including the theatrical for ’Halls Of Montezuma’ among other war classics.

’Halls Of Montezuma’ is a thoroughly enjoyable war movie with great human sense, although in the current climate, I am sure it is not for everyone’s taste – a problem all studios face with their celebratory releases for Veteran’s Day.