A Sneak Peek at Drums Along the Mohawk

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by haineshisway, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Let's don't forget other exceptional work Fox has most recently done and released on their own label: Niagara and The Fly.
     
  2. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    Niagara, yes, The Fly not so much. It's off a decent element and the transfer itself is fine, but it's just a little too soft (and shouldn't be) for my taste - it does get better about fifty minutes in in terms of contrast and clarity, but I can't give it the rave others seem to be giving it.
     
  3. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    I might be wrong, but I think that perhaps the new Drums Along the Mohawk HD master is now available for streaming for "free" if you have Amazon Prime. A year or so ago I tried to watch Drums on amazon, and the colors were so strange it was unwatchable to me. The new version is a huge improvement in terms of resolution and color accuracy, and I was able to watch it all the way through for the first time last night. It does seem amazing what they can do given that the three strip negative was apparently thrown out. As good as it is, however, the colors, resolution, and depth are not the quite the same to me as films where the 3 strip survives, such as The Wizard of Oz. Most of it is very good, but a few indoor scenes look slightly off to me. Of course, streaming in HD is not as good by a long shot as a blu-ray. Even after watching this, I am tempted to get the TT disc even at the high price.

    Anyway Drums survives in very nice shape, and is an impressive John Ford epic. With the fort being one of the most important settings of the film, it seemed to me almost a prequel to Fort Apache and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. The young Henry Fonda is terrific in Drums, and has his understated charm and good acting really pull this through. The rest of Ford's players also provide charm, humor, and a lot of action. The "Indians" are portrayed in a way that sometimes feels uncomfortable today, but in fact in the Revolution War the British did get various Native American groups to fight again the Americans in often brutal ways. This film was a big hit in 1939, and I can see why. I could almost hear the strong audience response from that bygone day echoing down through the ages. Even with all its Technicolor glamour it seemed surprisingly gritty in a few places. If it counts as a Western, I would say its one of Ford's best.
     
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  4. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

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    Aside from occasional DNR, Niagara looks great. I have to agree with you on The Fly; it looks like one of the weaker CinemaScope transfers from Twilight Time i.e. The Sound and the Fury. Perhaps the OCN was unusable.
     
  5. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Watched the film on Saturday, and again with the lovely commentary on Sunday. Wonderful stuff.
     
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  6. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    These glowing reviews easily twisted my arm to upgrade from the DVD.
     
  7. Mark Collins

    Mark Collins Cinematographer

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    I have always loved this film. I watch it every Thanksgiving for some reason. Nick you are the best my friend!!!

    I join the others buy this film you shall never be sorry. TT has knocked this one out of the park!!
     
  8. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    I'm not sure it the Amazon Prime stream is the same transfer. The colors in particular don't look as vibrant as the blu-ray does. Of course it could just be my PC.
     
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  9. ROclockCK

    ROclockCK Screenwriter
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    Add me to that chorus Mike...it's money well spent. Although Drums Along the Mohawk on Blu-ray was not as remembered via the last Technicolor IB print I saw over 40 years ago, I was very impressed nevertheless. First an foremost, this is a classic Fonda/Ford film, but Fox has also done some amazing recovery/restoration work from the surviving elements in honour of that stature.

    Short of time travel, I don't know how we could expect to see this one presented any better on home video. It's definitely head and shoulders above the Studio Classics DVD I sampled a few years ago.
     
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  10. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    And I just got my copy yesterday!

    Now...it's just a matter of scheduling the viewing!
     

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