Blu-Ray News #196-A: Thunder Bay (1953).

Directed by Anthony Mann
Starring James Stewart, Joanne Dru, Gilbert Roland, Dan Duryea

Always liked Thunder Bay (1953), and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that all its technical stuff is where a lot of my enthusiasm comes from. It was shot for 1.37, but Universal-International made it their first widescreen film — cropping it to 1.85, giving it stereophonic sound and making a very big deal about it all.

It’s turned up on DVD in various parts of the world in both 1.37 and widescreen. Not sure how the upcoming Kino Lorber Blu-Ray will be presented, but one thing’s for sure — I’m working a commentary for it. They’ve got it listed as an “early 2019” release.


Filed under 1953, Anthony Mann, Dan Duryea, DVD/Blu-ray News, James Stewart, Kino Lorber, Universal (-International)

5 responses to “Blu-Ray News #196-A: Thunder Bay (1953).

  1. walter

    Toby, you will do a very fine job of commentary on THUNDER BAY. It doesn’t get the ink that the Mann/Stewart Westerns do, but in my humble opinion it is a really good movie with a top notch performance by James Stewart, who is one of the all time great actors, in any genre. Also, it is fun to see Dan Duryea and Stewart on the same side, for a change.

    I could go on and on about this working class movie. It actually shows people working for a living. They get dirty, or oily in this case. That is quite a scene where gleeful Stewart just lets the oil cover him over.


  2. john k

    Walter,as always raises some terrific points here.
    Fine to see Toby’s involvement with these high profile Universal International
    Kino are sure going through the Universal catalogue like wildfire.
    All of this begs the question is the Paramount deal really over-on their
    Facebook Page Kino stated that their Paramount contract has not been
    renewed,of course all of this could change-at any rate for now, no new
    announcements of Paramount/Republic product.
    Apart from Universal,Kino have re-booted their interest in United Artists
    pictures with several interesting items in the pipeline.
    They have just announced REVOLT OF THE SLAVES a way above
    average Peplum picture with the added attraction of Rhonda Fleming.
    The MGM/UA MOD DVD of REVOLT OF THE SLAVES was indeed stellar
    so the Blu Ray should really be something.
    I don’t really know if there is great interest in Peplum movies but I for
    one would love to see more of them get released especially in high
    definition, there are only a very small number available on Blu Ray.
    There are several other interesting Peplum movies in the old United
    Artists catalogue-two really stand out.
    THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII with Steve Reeves,I have never seen,
    and would really like to. Looking at imdb,I’m amazed at the Spaghetti
    Western greats that worked on this film-it would appear Sergio Leone
    directed most of the film.
    THE MINOTAUR (aka Warlord Of Crete) with Bob Mathias is an
    interesting combo of Peplum and Monster Movie and had a major
    circuit booking in the UK.
    I guess,if REVOLT OF THE SLAVES does pretty good we hopefully may
    get more from Kino-I do admire the way they give virtually any genre a
    All of this further begs the question on how well Kino’s Republic Westerns
    did sales wise.


  3. walter

    John k, thank you for the kind words. All I know about “The John & Walter Show,” is that you’re the “bringer upper” and that tends to trigger memories of mine.

    I think that your friend that deals in movie memorabilia along with his
    previous employment at the British Film Institute and membership of
    BAFTA, must of had some really neat times talking with those Western stars. Also, having Martine Beswick ask him to track down the pilot film of the LONGSTREET(1971-72) TV show for her. Well, if she has $27.97 she can buy the series on DVD at, unless she wants a filmed print of the pilot. To be able to attend a Q & A with Linda Thorson, where after acting on McCLAIN’S LAW(1981-82), she remembers that James Arness was a really swell guy. This is good information and I enjoy it. Also, I would like to add, my Grand Aunt Edna(by marriage, she married my Grand Uncle Robert S.) had two brothers who lived near James Arness’ ranch in California. Andrew and Phillip D___ first met Arness at the local Soil Conservation Office. They said he was a real nice guy.

    I’m familiar with several of the movies that you brought up except for Hammer’s THE UGLY DUCKLING(1959), which is a comedy, I presume. Also, Warwick’s THE LAST MAN TO HANG(1956), which I also have never seen. Regarding Beth Rogan, how could I ever forget her, especially her and Michael Callan’s scene with the bee in MYSTERIOUS ISLAND(1961).

    I really liked the so-called Peplum movies when I watched them on WMC-TV and WHBQ-TV during the 1960’s and early 1970’s. My favorites where with Steve Reeves and Gordon Scott. I have never seen REVOLT OF THE SLAVES(1960) and I am a long time fan of Rhonda Fleming, who is still with us at age 95.


  4. john k

    THE UGLY DUCKLING was considered a “lost” movie but it’s going
    to be shown on Talking Pictures TV (UK) next week.
    All I remember is that it had a slightly more of a horror element than
    the Jerry Lewis Jekyll & Hyde picture.
    I sure cannot forget Beth Rogan in that beehive scene-without a doubt
    Beth’s finest hour.
    She had the female lead in a couple of obscure British B pictures-
    INNOCENT MEETING is actually rather good and had some location
    shots in Muswell Hill where I was born.
    The other even more obscure film, COMPELLED I have never even
    heard of.
    Count me in the Rhonda fan club-REVOLT OF THE SLAVES features
    Lang Jefferies whom Rhonda was briefly married to.
    It’s amazing how many of these Peplum stars were actually American-
    Richard Harrison,Roger Browne,Dan Vadis,Mark Forrest,Ed Fury and
    so on.
    From what I gather American stars all enjoyed the “La Dolce Vita” while
    filming in Europe in the 60’s be it Peplum or a little later Spaghetti’s.
    Sometimes making those films could be tough-I remember a Richard
    Harrison interview where on one of his Peplums the director asked him
    to throw an axe into a crowd. “I’m not doing that” explained Harrison,
    “someone could get hurt” to which the director replied “Don’t worry about it,
    they’re only extras”…..Those crazy Italians,I guess.


  5. john k

    Interesting that Beth Rogan,like that other Brit “Uber Babe” Jackie (Jocelyn)
    Lane; seemed to marry really well i.e very rich guys.
    By all accounts Beth was a real “wild child” and apparently the inspiration
    for the Julie Christie character in DARLING.
    Interesting that she was still pretty wild even up to her passing at age 84-
    a crop of home grown cannabis was discovered in her airing cupboard.


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