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This is another great restoration of a classic 1950s 3D motion picture. It is one I have long hoped for.

WINGS OF THE HAWK (1953) is the second 3D film produced at Universal Pictures. A wonderful bonus with this film is HYPNOTIC HICK, the Woody Woodpecker cartoon produced in 3D which was shown with it in theaters. The 3D for this film was designed by William Garity. For his patented 3D process and more info check the links below. It was a really ingenious process used to wonderful effect in the cartoon.

I watched these films on the big screen in my screening room using my Optoma projector ( ).

There is no reason to lament the production of 3D Television sets (though, hopefully, production will be resumed because that will encourage more 3D restorations) because using a 3D projector with a BIG screen is the way to get the full impact of these films.

While we are informed director Budd Boetticher was not keen on the 3D process he was too good a director not to take advantage of the process. Boy, does he!

WINGS OF THE HAWK was the first film to be the first film composed for 1.85:1 widescreen. I don’t know about you but for me one of the most exciting aspects of 3D films is the wonderful depth. Another is the very real sense of gravity, texture and weight (especially the emotional weight) 3D film making brings with it.

When, as I do, we see these films projected on a BIG screen the presence of actors, props and sets off the screen is riveting. The current theory is this takes us out of the movie which is why so many contemporary films can be described as 2.5 D. Thanks to the wonderful restorations of THE 3D FILM ARCHIVE today’s film makers can see with their own eyes that this is not true. 3D enhances the action wonderfully.

Our eyes are designed for 3D. I find 2D movies cause me to experience eye strain. The beauty of 3D for me is that I don’t feel that strain with good 3D movies. By good I mean technically good. For too many the motto is, “I don’t want it good. I want it Thursday.” While I understand that when it comes to 3D if it is not good Thursday is expensive.

Thankfully, the 3D Film Archive fixes all errors of alignment (those things that give me head splitting headaches). While regular 2D movies often make me physically drowsy, good 3D images keep me awake.

This is particularly noticeable late at night.

I had fallen asleep watching a 2D movie. As an experiment I put on a 3D movie. I watched it straight through, all 90 minutes, wide awake.

Budd Boetticher was a great director of westerns. He really loved all that outdoor space. That shows in WINGS OF THE HAWK.  Both commentaries are excellent. They really contribute to my understanding of what was at work in the making of these pictures. Mike Ballew’s fully informed talk on both WINGS and HYPNOTIC HICK is much appreciated. That talk led me to look up William Garity’s patents  which I have provided a link to. You can download them.

From Jeremy Arnold I learned that Pedro Gonsalez Gonsalez’s career was launched when he appeared on Groucho Marx’s show YOU BET YOUR LIFE.  I have provided links to that plus more.

All of this comes to nothing if the films are not enjoyable in their own right. They are.

Get yourself a 3D projector. It’s time to take advantage of the many great 3D movies now available.

A special tip of the hat is due Kino Lorber for bringing these films to the public eye and for taking the time to do it right.

Here, filmed with my Sony Bloggie 3D Camera is a taste of WINGS OF THE HAWK as I watch it. Enjoy.

–Reg Hartt

Wings of the Hawk 3-D (Special Edition) (Blu-ray) ,

Directed by Oscar “Budd” Boetticher

Release Year: 1953

Running Time: 81

UPC: 7 38329 25216 8

Optional English Subtitles: Yes

Color Type: Color

Country: U.S.

Language: English

Genres: Western


Van Heflin
Julie Adams
Abbe Lane
George Dolenz
Noah Beery Jr.
Rodolfo Acosta
Antonio Moreno
Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez


Directed by Oscar “Budd” Boetticher

3-D Restoration from 2K Scans of the Left and Right Eye InterPositives! From Budd Boetticher, the outstanding director of Red Ball Express, Horizons West, Seminole, 7 Men from Now and Ride Lonesome, comes this exciting western adventure starring Van Heflin (3:10 to Yuma, Shane) and Julie Adams (Bend of the River). Gringo miner Irish Gallager (Heflin) is caught up in the Mexican revolution of 1910-11 when corrupt administrator Colonel Paco Ruiz (George Dolenz, Scared Stiff) unjustly seizes his gold mine. Gallager saves the life of guerrilla leader Raquel Noriega (Adams), then finds there’s a price on his head; he becomes romantically involved with her in the course of a series of rescues and ambushes, leading up to Pascual Orozco’s (Noah Beery, The Spikes Gang) march on Ciudad Juárez. This special edition includes both the 3-D and 2-D versions of the film and the 3-D Woody Woodpecker cartoon, Hypnotic Hick.

Blu-ray Extras Include:

Includes 3-D and 2-D Versions of the Feature and Cartoon

Newly Restored in 3-D by 3-D Film Archive – From 2K Scan of the Left & Right Eye IPs

Full Feature Audio Commentary by Film Historian Jeremy Arnold

Includes Hypnotic Hick – 1953 Woody Woodpecker Cartoon

20-Minute Audio Commentary by 3-D Expert Mike Ballew

Theatrical Trailer

3.0 Original 1953 High Dynamic Range Theatrical Mix

5.1 Surround (2020 Compressed 3.0 Midnight Movie Mix)

Dual-Layered BD50 Disc

Optional English Subtitles


The Films of Budd Boetticher (Tall T / Decision at Sundown / Buchanan Rides Alone / Ride Lonesome / Comanche Station)

William Garity

William Garity Patent for making 3D Cartoons

Pedro Gonzalez Gonsalez

********: Wings Of The Hawk Van Heflin, Julie Adams. 1953. Strictly editorial use only. Credit line mandatory. Book cover use must be cleared with Mary Evans. London Mary Evans Picture Library *** Permission for usage must be provided in writing from Scala.

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