ASPECT RATIO: 1.66:1 enhanced for widescreen televisions
RUNNING TIME: 106 minutes
AUDIO: Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
SPECIAL FEATURES: None
The DVD is offered as part of MGM’s “Limited Edition Collection” on DVD, which are available from select online retailers and are manufactured only when the DVD is ordered. The DVD features a simple menu with no menu for chapters or scenes. Chapters are set every ten minutes. Manufacture-On-Demand (MOD) DVDs will play in DVD playback units only and may not play in DVD recorders or PC drives. This DVD did not play in our laptop DVD drive but did play in our Toshiba DVD recorder.
An ex-trail scout named Sam (Lee Marvin) and his Indian friend (Oliver Reed) hatch a plan of revenge against a wealthy former partner (Robert Culp) who stole their gold years earlier. A prostitute named Thursday (Kay Lenz) and Sam’s old flame (Elizabeth Ashley) join him in his plot.
Directed by: Don Taylor
Screenplay by: Richard Shapiro
Executive Producer: Samuel Z. Arkoff
Half screwball comedy and half heist picture, Great Scout tries to be The Sting in a western setting, just don’t expect “Best Picture” material here. At best, it’s an uneven comedy bolstered by the performances of Lee Marvin and especially Oliver Reed, who steals the show as a half-breed Indian intent on spreading a sexual disease among white people. While it has its moments, but it doesn’t always work as a whole.
Reed and Marvin are funny, but the film isn’t always as clever as it hopes to be. There is plenty of physical comedy, shouting, and even awkward profanity. There’s even some brief nudity in the whorehouse that seems really out of place. Instead of getting on with the plot, the movie gets sidetracked easily and your interest may wane. At times, it can be predictable, but when it goes astray, Lee Marvin and Oliver Reed manage to put the movie back on track.
VIDEO AND AUDIO
There is a lot of grain visible in the print used for the video transfer. Even so, the image is quite clear and colors are bright. Motion is handled pretty well, without much artifacting. Sound is Dolby Digital 2.0 from the original mono mix, and it is solid while balancing music and dialogue.
No special features are included.
BUY IT OR NETFLIX IT?
OVERALL GRADE: B-
The Great Scout and Cathouse Thursday isn’t a particularly great film, and it can be silly and distracted at times. However, it is funny enough to watch at least once. The film has quite a following with many, and before the DVD release, VHS copies were in high demand. The movie is funny enough to enjoy Marvin and Reed’s performances, so unless you’ve been waiting for this DVD release, at least rent it or Netflix it. You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised. Parents should beware: despite the PG rating, there is female nudity and PG-13 profanity throughout the film.
The Great Scout and Cathouse Thursday is now available on DVD MOD (Manufacture On Demand) from online retailers through Fox Home Video.