Blu-ray Review: THE RIVER’S EDGE (1957)

THE RIVER’S EDGE was directed by Allan Dwan from a screenplay by Harold Jacob Smith and James Leicester and stars Ray Milland, Anthony Quinn, Debra Paget, Harry Carey Jr., Byron Foulger, Chubby Johnson and Tom McKee. The score is by Louis Forbes.

Director Allan Dwan – an auteur theory favorite – brings us The River’s Edge (1957), a sensational film noir in DeLuxe color and CinemaScope. Anthony Quinn and Debra Paget star as a young couple struggling with the rough life on a New Mexican ranch; as if they needed more troubles, her former lover, a sleazy bank robber on the run – played by Ray Milland with shocking ferocity – turns up, forcing them to escort him across the border to Mexico with his ill-gotten gains.

This 1957 crime-thriller with a western flair starts off in New Mexico and follows Nardo Denning (Ray Milland) who’s charming Meg (Debra Paget) with promises that they’re going to run away together. He also has a briefcase with a million dollars in it and it’s hard to turn down that kind of money. There’s also Ben Cameron (Anthony Quinn), a struggling rancher and former tour guide who also happens it be Meg’s husband and they haven’t been getting along too well lately. The thing about these three is that they all have a past but Nardo is the worst of the trio. Talk about a messed up love triangle.

What happens is, Nardo ended up forcing Ben to lead the way and get them safely to the Mexico border but their trip turns into one disaster after another. Nardo also shows that he has no remorse for human life along the way. With each step they take, Meg regrets ever trusting Nardo and begins having second thoughts for what she did to Ben and this ultimately leads to a showdown between the two men. Meg’s love for Ben wins in the end and just when Nardo thinks he’s gotten away with all the loot – karma strikes a fatal blow.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, an image, a few quotes, and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features an image from the movie. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inside is a booklet from Twilight Time that includes more images from the movie, some nice words about The River’s Edge by Julie Kirgo and more original artwork on the front and back. You can see the front cover of the booklet down below. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any serious issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, The River’s Edge ended up being a really good crime-thriller with just a small amount of a western element to it courtesy of the location the movie was filmed in. The story about this love triangle between these three flawed characters was interesting because none of them are actually good. It also shows what a man or woman will do for this kind of money in a deadly situation like this where human life becomes less important. Love and compassion are definitely put on the back burner as betrayal, driven by greed, takes over for a short period. The small cast did a really good job with their characters in this fast-paced drama directed by Allan Dwan who also helmed classics like Sands of Iwo Jima, Cattle Queen of Montana and the original Brewster’s Millions. Ah, the golden age of Hollywood. This classic 20th Century Fox feature was another first time watch for me and it’s another fine job by Twilight Time. The River’s Edge is now available on Blu-ray and has a limited edition run of 3,000 units.

Distributor: Twilight Time

Run Time: 87 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.35:1) / Color / Region Free

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and 1.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: The extras include an isolated music and effects track, some audio commentary and the original theatrical trailer.

  • Isolated Music & Effects Track
  • Audio Commentary with Film Historians Alain Silver and James Ursini
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (02:05)
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