The John Wayne Film Collection (Blu-ray) Available for Preorder

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Apr 20, 2014.

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  1. jim_falconer

    jim_falconer Supporting Actor

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    He was also extremely generous to friends (of which he had many over the course of his lifetime). He always made sure that none of the people he personally knew were ever in a bad way.
     
  2. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer
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    Well, if it was his loss, it was our gain. I remember reading that he was worried after the loss he took on the Alamo, that the public would not be interested in seeing an old John Wayne on the screen. As one of his characters might have said, "The Hell they won't!"
     
  3. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    That happened to a few stars. Two names that come to mind are...Doris Day, after her husband died she found that she was millions in debt, & Robert Mitchum, who found he was skint (was it his business manager, I can't remember), & had to carry on acting into old age (our gain).
     
  4. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    The Big Trail is one of the most eye opening films I've ever seen. It's like time travel to the past, yet with a completely modern aspect ratio. Amazing.
     
  5. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    The Big Trail was on TCM the other day (John Wayne is the Star of the Month), and they showed the Grandeur version.
     
  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    So, I am slowly starting to make my way through the John Wayne
    collection that I ordered through FoxConnect over the past week...

    Sadly, but not surprisingly, I haven't seen a wealth of films from
    the John Wayne library. As a teen, I was never really a fan of his.
    As an adult, I am becoming more aware of his films and can finally
    say that I am huge fan.

    Started off this morning with The Comancheros, which I really enjoyed.
    Great film! To top it off, the transfer looked absolutely gorgeous (sans
    a few brief establishing shots that were very blurred). As I and others on
    this forum have said many times before, it's classics like these that really
    benefit from the Blu-ray format more than any of the modern films.

    Going to watch The Horse Soldiers in the next few hours and will report back.
     
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  7. Robin9

    Robin9 Cinematographer

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    Be warned: The Horse Soldiers BRD is not in the same league as The Comancheros BRD.
     
  8. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Robin,

    Glad you said that before I did.

    Just finished watching The Horse Soldiers.

    Great film. Great! Like it more than The Comancheros.

    It was good seeing Wayne in a role outside of a cowboy film.

    However, the transfer? It's a bit troublesome. It doesn't look like a great
    deal of care was given to cleaning up the film or making it look as good as it should.
     
  9. jim_falconer

    jim_falconer Supporting Actor

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    The Horse Soldiers has always been one of my favorite JW films. So much so, that there is a large framed portrait on the wall in my living room, depicting the scene where John Wayne's northern forces, are cutting down the southern troops coming off the train. It's a powerful scene, in a movie filled with many of them. Interesting fact about the film, there was a stuntman who died during the filming of the blowing up of the bridge at the end, and John Ford could no longer finish the film. Supposedly, there was still pages of dialog left to film, with the northern troops returning back again with the division they split from, but UA decided to just end the film at that point. Even so, a splendid movie.

    As for the transfer, I'm delighted with the current BD release. If you've had to endure the awful mess on VHS and Laserdisc previously, you too would think the BD is a revelation of image. It may not look as wonderful as other films of the era, but it sure looks fantastic compared to what we had before...
     
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  10. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Jim,

    That's a very important point to make.

    I have no idea what the previous transfers looked like. To me, it just looked
    like Fox dropped the ball on this one because in all rights, it should look as good
    as the other Wayne films in that boxed set.

    However, from your post, it seems as if the original elements were probably in
    very poor shape. I am sure you are aware there are a few short segments where
    it looks as if salvaged footage was inserted.

    As for the film, I can understand your love for it. Having just seen it for the first
    time today, it certainly won my heart. It's a fantastic movie. My love and respect
    for Wayne has increased tenfold over the past few weeks as I have been discovering
    new movies of his.
     
  11. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    It's precisely because the stunt in which Fred Kennedy is killed is retained in the film as completed, and thus on the BD, that I find The Horse Soldiers a hard watch. It's second tier Ford, the old man's heart just wasn't in it following the tragedy; even so, it's still streets ahead of The Comancheros - too much misplaced 'humour' therein for me.

    I'm with Jim regarding the transfer.
     
  12. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    [color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:'Merriweather Sans', sans-serif;background-color:rgb(242,242,242);]John, which stunt/scene in particular was that?

    My next venture in this set will be North To Alaska.[/color]

    [color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:'Merriweather Sans', sans-serif;background-color:rgb(242,242,242);]I was going to buy Rio Bravo (which I have never seen), but Amazon wants $65 for it.[/color]
    It has been suggested that it's out of stock and that perhaps Warner is planning an
    anniversary reissue of it. Of course, that is only speculation.
     
  13. jim_falconer

    jim_falconer Supporting Actor

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    That is so wonderful to hear. Yes, JW was a very popular actor during his life (and after as well), but his skills as an actor have always been questioned. This has amazed me, as he has always had such range. My god, the scene where Lukey is shot by the Confederates, never fails to bring tears to me. JW can convey with his eyes during that scene, what a hundred pages of dialog wouldn't be able to explain. He truly was our greatest american actor (of course, my personal opinion), and we are so lucky to have his films to enjoy year after year.
     
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  14. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Ron,

    The Horse Soldiers is a MGM film with Fox being the distributor so the blame is on MGM.

    Also, regarding The Horse Soldiers, it's based on an actual raid by Colonel Benjamin Grierson. He was one of the Union cavalry officers that helped changed the course of the war as previously the South was kicking the North's butt in cavalry engagements.
     
  15. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Very true, it's much better than the DVD. Next to Red River, The Searchers and Rio Bravo, I've probably seen this film more than any other John Wayne film.
     
  16. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    It's the scene near the end of the film when they're crossing the bridge.
     
  17. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    It's when they're blowing the bridge towards the end; Kennedy, it's said, was handed the stunt by Ford as a favour, you see him gallop across the bridge before the charges go off, you see him make a simple jump from his mount. He flies through the air...

    Kennedy hit the ground awkwardly and broke his neck, he was dead, if memory serves, by the time they got him to hospital. He was, perhaps, getting too old for the work; it's the truth that there are no 'old, bold, stunt men...'
     
  18. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    By the way, some might view this as second tier John Ford, but I don't and think it contains one of Wayne's best performances. By the way, my favorite character is the Sergeant Major.
     
  19. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Many don't see it as 'second tier', in fact, it appears to be gaining favour as the years roll by.

    For me, Fred Kennedy's death casts a shadow over the whole production; it's just a personal opinion.
     
  20. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    It was a Ford favorite of mine long before I even knew about Kennedy's death. I'm sure most people don't even know about it now.
     

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