As it turns out my fears about the Criterion guys possibly making their McCabe and Mrs. Miller Bluray look darker or muddier than the original celluloid version were unfounded. Ditto the recent complaint by DVD Beaver‘s Gary Tooze about the McCabe Bluray looking “occasionally greenish and sometimes very brown, flat, dull and thick.“ It actually makes the film look better, most likely, than any screen-projected version did back in ’71. Every intended value — the feeling of constant fog, dampness and drizzle, that grainy-flashy look that Vilmos Zsigmond intended, the intense greens of the nearby forest, the indoor kerosene-lamp lighting — comes across with more vivid brushstrokes and more exacting focus than ever before. Every frame has a kind of throbbing soft glow; you can almost smell the northwest atmosphere. It certainly leaves the Amazon streaming version in the dust; ditto the DVD that came out several years back. Criterion’s McCabe, in short, delivers what I consider to be a “bump,” but one with historic integrity. This is what the film looked like in ’71, except now it probably looks better than it did at the Beekman or Cinema 1 or whichever first-run situation it played in Manhattan. If he was still with us director Robert Altman would fully approve.