I just paid $20 and change for a Masters of Cinema Bluray of Andre de Toth‘s Day of the Outlaw (’59), a black-and-white “snow western” in 2.35:1. I succumbed against my better judgment because I’m queer for ’50s and ’60s films shot in this all but vanished format. (A cruddy-looking version is watchable on YouTube.) I will watch and consider buying almost any film shot in monochrome Scope.
Day of the Outlaw costars Robert Ryan, Burl Ives and the then-24-year-old Tina Louise. It was shot by Russell Harlan and written by Philip Yordan, who also produced. Yordan told a Ryan biographer that the Outlaw script was “one of the best I’ve ever written” but that the $400K budget “wasn’t big enough.”
The fact that Quentin Tarantino has spoken highly of Day of the Outlaw is an anecdote at best — he was either plugging his own snow western, The Hateful Eight, or acknowledging that the De Toth was an influence. Martin Scorsese allegedly saying that De Toth’s low-budgeter exists in the same respected B-movie realm as Sam Fuller‘s 40 Guns and Budd Boetticher‘s Seven Men From Now is also a concern. Never trust impassioned film buffs when it comes to B westerns. They’re too kind, too generous.