DVD Review “Mitchell (1975)”

mitchellActors: Joe Don Baker, Martin Balsam, John Saxon, Linda Evans, Morgan Paull
Directors: Andrew V. Mclaglen
Studio: Warner Archive Collection
DVD Release Date: July 23, 2013
Run Time: 97 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I came across “Mitchell” like I am sure many people have through “Mystery Science Theater 3000”. I absolutely loved that episode of the show and it introduced me to the actor Joe Don Baker and his great roles for film’s like the “Walking Tall” series. I know it pokes fun at the movie “Mitchell” but it also gave me an appreciation for the film as well. I am able to quote various lines from it and it always makes for a fun time watching it with friends. Even without the funny commentary track from “MST3K”, “Mitchell” is still a very entertaining film.  It may not be perfect but it is fun and action packed.

Official Premise: Told to lay off a case involving an attorney who shot an intruder in his home, headstrong police detective Mitchell ignores the order — and proceeds to get tangled up in an investigation that connects the lawyer (John Saxon), the head of an import racket (Martin Balsam) and a scheme to unload a million-dollar cache of stolen heroin. Joe Don Baker, who made a name for himself as club-wielding sheriff Buford Pusser in the drive-in classic Walking Tall and whose later credits include a notable role in 2013’s Mud, plays the title role in an action film that’s gained a following among connoisseurs of guilty pleasures. At the center of all the action, of course, is Mitchell, giving as good as he gets in pell-mell sequences involving shootings, brawls, car chases, suicidal dune buggy jousts and a rappel from a police helicopter onto the racketeer’s speeding getaway boat. Linda Evans and Merlin Olsen are also in the cast.

The film previously was only available on DVD as part the “Mystery Science Theater 3000”, so it is great that Warner Archive is giving this film some solo love and diving people a chance to enjoy it outside of the spoof series.  I personally look forward to sharing this with my friends and enjoying it for numerous repeat viewings over the years.  The DVD transfer itself looks good, I am not sure if Warner Archive has done any more restoration but I was used to watching it on a crappy TV bootleg copy. I would have loved to see this get the Blu-ray treatment especially since Warner Archive has been getting into that market recently. In terms of special features, there is nothing additional included on this DVD release.

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