Blu-ray Review: Two Mules for Sister Sara

A wanderer in the desert, Hogan (Clint Eastwood) is on his way to meet Mexican rebels when he stumbles across Sister Sara (Shirley MacLaine), a nun being attacked by three drunken bandits. The two end up going the same way across the unsafe desert. Soon, they realize their common interest. Hogan has been promised gold if he reaches the Spanish guerrilla headquarters in Santa Maria and help them in their fight against the French calvary.  Sister Sara, riding on her mule in her sister’s habit, claims to be helping the guerrillas for idealistic reasons, and that she is wanted by the French for aiding the guerrilla cause.

Hogan kills a rattlesnake and saves Sara from being captured by bandits. Sara shares minute details about the French garrison, explaining she used to give the soldiers Spanish lessons there and knows every square inch of it.

When they meet the guerrilla leader, Col. Beltran (Manolo Fabregas), they stock up on dynamite and plan for the attack on the French fort on their Independence Day. In the meantime, they go to meet a train with a shipment of arms for the French, but Hogan is injured by an arrow when the Yaqui Indians attack. After what feels like an eternity to get the arrow out, Sara must climb the trestle to plant the dynamite that they will use to blow up the train.

The climax is an advertisement for mindless violence as Hogan and the guerrillas infiltrate the fort with a Mexican Trojan Horse and dynamite the place to gain entry. Once inside they kill everyone in sight by machete, fire or gun. Predictably, Sara isn’t who she claims to be. It comes as no surprise when Hogan plunges into her bubble bath with his hat on.

Predictable through and through, Shirley MacLaine stands out in what is essentially a comic role. While Don Siegel shows his usual knack for action sequences, the pacing drags more than once. MacLaine can be counted on to get things back on track with a cynical quip or two. The chemistry between her and Eastwood is obvious, helping to drive what might have otherwise been a paint-by numbers western.

Like Kino’s release of High Plains Drifter, this transfer is excellent. The image is well defined. Contrast is dialed in and colors are bright. Bruce Surtees cinematography pops. Fans should be very pleased. NOTE: Kino has transferred both domestic and international versions of the film on separate Blu-ray’s.

Kino’s lossless 2.0 channel track offers some excellent western effects–echoey gunfire and explosions. Yet another excellent score by Ennio Marcone is nicely separated from dialogue and comes across clearly. Dialogue is concise throughout.

English SDH subtitles are included.

The following extras are available:

  • NEW! Audio Commentary with Director Alex Cox (International Cut)
  • At Home with Clint: Vintage Candid Interview with Clint Eastwood (HD, 7:53)
  • Limited Edition O-Card Slipcase
  • Poster and Image Gallery
  • Reversible Art
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2:36)
  • TV Spots (HD, 1:21)
  • Four Radio Spots (1:48)

Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970)
Two Mules for Sister Sara

Movie title: Two Mules for Sister Sara

Country: USA

Duration: 114 min

Actor(s): Clint Eastwood, Shirley MacLaine, Manuel Fábregas, Alberto Morin, Armando Silvestre, John Kelly (XIV)

Genre: Western, War, Romance, Adventure

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  • Extras