DVD Review: DEADMAN STANDING

 DEADMAN STANDING (fka Hyde Park) is based on a true story of how a dying man lived to make history – and, as a result, made his mark on the Old West. The movie was directed by Nicholas Barton from a screenplay he co-wrote with August Benassi and stars Luke Arnold, Viva Bianca, Quinn LordC. Thomas Howell, Richard Riehle and M.C. Gainey.

The true story of a recently widowered lawman who befriends a boy dying of tuberculosis and a madam of the local brothel while their town is being politically and violently overtaken by a gang of reckless cattlemen from Texas.

When The Stranger (C. Thomas Howell) walks into Rosie’s (Viva Bianca) brothel, the madam begins to share a gripping story (through flashbacks) with him about the tragic events that took place in the troubled town of Hyde Park. The story centers around Mike McCluskie (Luke Arnold), the sheriff who stands his ground and fights against Hugh Anderson (M.C. Gainey), a wealthy cattle rancher who wants to take the land away from the local railroad workers.

Mike not only has to fight against Anderson and his personally deputized henchmen (including his troublemaking son) but the corrupt politics in his town. He ends up deputizing James Riley (Quinn Lord), a sickly homeless boy who becomes Mike’s quiet sharpshooting shadow and the two of them take on Anderson’s goons with a little help from Rosie and this is where the legend of Hyde Park is born. The small town transforms into one of the bloodiest and violent places in America. As Rosie concludes her story about Mike McCluskie and what he did for Hyde Park, the Stranger reveals his identity with her that links him directly to the heroic sheriff.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and specs. The DVD disc is flat grey and features the movie logo. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this standard-definition release were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Deadman Standing ended up being an entertaining low budget western that features an interesting story and a really good cast. The small town setting, location and wardrobes all looked dated and authentic. It is the Wild West after all so the movie does have some violence in it but it’s really more of a character driven drama than anything else. If you ask me, we don’t get enough westerns these days so I jump at the chance to check one out anytime a new one comes along. Deadman Standing is based on a true story about the tragic events that took place in this small town and how the sheriff’s resilience and kindness ultimately stopped the sinister takeover planned by this ruthless rancher. If you’re looking for a decent western to watch then give this one a chance and maybe you’ll like it as much as I did. Deadman Standing will be available on DVD on December 11th.

Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Run Time: 92 Minutes

Rated: R

DVD Video: 16×9 Widescreen (2.00:1)

DVD Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features: The only extras included on the DVD is the trailer (01:31).

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