Waterhole #3

Waterhole #3 (1967)
Paramount Home Video
Cast: James Coburn, Carroll O’Connor, Margaret Blye, Calude Akin, James Whitmore, Bruce Dern

William Graham is a director who likes to keep busy and from the 1950s all the way to recent years he as continually provided film fans with features films and TV movies that are entertaining and enjoyable. In 1967 he directed the Blake Edwards production ’Waterhole #3, ’ a Western comedy starring James Coburn and Carroll O’Connor. The story revolves around gambler Lewton Cole (James Coburn) who smells his fortunes have changed when he tracks down gold bullion from a robbery. But in the progress he disgruntled a few people, including the local sheriff (Carroll O’Connor), all of whom are now on his heels and when they find out that he has the gold, everything goes to pieces and the film turns into a hilarious catch-me-if-you-can as the gold changes hands over and over again.

Paramount is presenting ’Waterhole #3’ in its original widescreen version in a transfer that is enhanced for 16×9 TVs. The image is clean and without notable defects. A bit of grain is evident on occasion but overall it’s a good-looking transfer. Colors are vibrant and nicely reproduce the production and render skin tones naturally. Black levels are good, although there are a few shots in which the shadows break up and lose definition somewhat. I only noticed that on less than a handful of occasions. Slight edge-enhancement has been applied creating occasional artifacts around sharp edges but the compression is without flaws.

The audio on the disc comes as the original mono language track. It has been cleaned up and is without defects, crackles, or hiss. Frequency response is limited and creates a presentation that sounds a bit harsh at times, but never overly so, making for a very enjoyable viewing.

No extras are included on this release at all.

’Waterhole #3’ is a wonderfully light-hearted movie that is a lot of fun to watch. Coburn and O’Connor steal the show, but also the supporting cast makes a great impression, most notably Margaret Byle, Claude Akins, and James Whitmore. At $14.99 this is a Western comedy you should not miss!