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Outstanding Westerns not on DVD


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#1 of 61 OFFLINE   Jim Bur

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Posted March 08 2006 - 06:38 AM

This is a companion to the recent thread "Outstanding Adventure films of the Golden Age not on DVD". During Hollywood's golden age, it seemed like more than half the films made were westerns. Although quite a number of westerns have been released on DVD, the western film still seems to be vastly underrepresented on DVD. There continue to be more outstanding western films unreleased on DVD than the films of any other genre. The studios have done a good job of releasing on DVD most of the outstanding western films made after 1960, however there are scores of outstanding western films made during the period 1929-1960 which have been so far neglected. This is a shame, because it was during that period that western filmaking was at its peak. The following is a chronological list of some of the outstanding western films which the major studios have so far failed to release in region 1 on DVD (in parenthesis after each film title is the name of the studio that made the film and after that the name of the company who it is believed holds the current rights to release the film on DVD if different from the studio that made the film). 1929 The Virginian (Paramount) Based on Owen Wister's novel, which is arguably the finest piece of writing in the western genre. The first outstanding sound western film. One of Gary Cooper's greatest early roles, and Walter Huston is memorable as the heavy. Directed by Victor Fleming who later directed, among other films, Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz. It has some of the typical technical faults of many early sound films, however this is more than offset by the authentic feel the film projects. 1932 Law and Order (Universal) Based on the novel "Saint Johnson" by the underrated William R. Burnett (who also wrote Little Caesar, High Sierra, The Asphalt Jungle, etc.) This is the granddaddy of all the Wyatt Earp/Doc Holliday films. Although inspired by the activities of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday in Tombstone they are called by different names. The film is over 70 year old, however it holds up very well in comparison with later versions. No doubt this is in large part due to the great performance of Walter Huston, in one of his best roles. Harry Carey is also excellent. Has never been released on video in any format. 1934 Viva Villa (MGM/Warners) Terrific biopic of the Mexican bandit Pancho Villa, with Wallace Beery giving perhaps the best performance of his career. Parts of the film were directed by Howard Hawks. 1935 The Arizonian (RKO/Warners) Another very good western inspired by the activiites of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday in Tombstone, although once again different names are used. One of Richard Dix's best performances, and good supporting performances by Preston Foster and Louis Calhern. Written by Dudley Nichols who later wrote, among other things, the screenplay to "Stagecoach". Has never been released on video in any format. The Call of the Wild (Fox) Directed by William Wellman. This excellent film is one of Clark Gable's best movies. Frequently classified as either an adventure film or a western. Has never been released on video in any format. 1936 The Last Outlaw (RKO/Warners) A very good neglected western based on an orginal story co-written by John Ford. One of Harry Carey's most engaging performances. Excellent support fron Hoot Gibson, Tom Tyler and Henry Walthall. Released on VHS many years ago by a company called UAV, with a print indicating the film came from the UCLA Archives. One might assume that Warners would have the DVD rights since it is a RKO film, however since another company released it on VHS, there is doubt about who holds the rights to this film. The Robin Hood of El Dorado (MGM/Warners) Another outstanding biopic of a bandit, in this case Joaquin Murietta. Based on the book by the underrated Walter Noble Burns who also wrote Tombstone and the Saga of Billy the Kid. Excellent lead performance by Warner Baxter, who made a speciality of such roles, and directed by William Wellman. Film was probably ahead of its time. Has never been released on video in any format. 1938 The Law West of Tombstone (RKO/Warners) Extremely likeable western features one of Harry Carey's best performances as a character similar in style to Judge Roy Bean. Good supporting performance by Tim Holt. 1939 Frontier Marshal (Fox) Still another good Wyatt Earp/Doc Holiday inspired western film, and perhaps the first one in which they were called by their real names. Randolph Scott plays Earp in this one. Has never released on video in any format. Jesse James (Fox) Outstanding technicolor western directed by Henry King, with Tyrone Power as Jesse James and Henry Fonda as Frank James, and a tremendous supporting cast. A great slice of Americana, which is typical of many of Henry King's films. Hard to believe that Fox has so far failed to release this film on DVD. Union Pacific (Paramount/Univesal Excellent epic western starring Joel McCrea and Barbara Stanwyck. The good news is that Universal has announced this film will be released in June as part of the Cecil B. DeMille collection. 1940 Northwest Passage (MGM/Warners) One of the all time great adventure films. Frequently considered part of the western genre due to its early American frontier setting. Arguably King Vidor's greatest sound film. Santa Fe Trail (Warners) Entertaining Errol Flynn film, which features one of Ronald Reagan's best roles. Has had some public domain type DVD releases, but it is in need of a definitive DVD release from Warners. Twenty Mule Team (MGM/Warners) Good western re-teams Wallace Beery and Leo Carillo who had worked together so effectively in "Viva Villa", and who again work well together in this film. Strong supporting cast includes Anne Baxter and Wallace Beery's nephew Noah Beery, Jr. (of Rockford Files fame). There are some very memorable scenes in Death Valley, especially the long stunningly photographed chase scene. 1941 The Shepherd of the Hills (Paramount/Universal) Very good piece of Americana directed by Henry Hathaway, and based on a once very famous novel by Harold Bell Wright. Great teaming of John Wayne and Harry Carey. The good news is that Universal has announced the film is being released on DVD in a couple of months as part of a new John Wayne collection. The collection would be worth purchasing just for this film alone. Western Union (Fox) Great epic western in technicolor directed by Fritz Lang. Starring Randolph Scott, Robert Young, Dean Jagger, and a host of top notch character actors. Scott gives one of the most memorable performances of his career. Arguably even better than the more famous "Union Pacific". 1945 San Antonio (Warners) Entertaining Errol Flynn film, with the wonderful Alexis Smith an added plus. 1946 Canyon Passage (Universal) This underrated masterpiece is one of the all time great westerns. A tremendous box office hit at the time of its release. This film, along with "My Darling Clementine", was instrumental in ushering in the golden age of "A" western films. Directed by the versatile Jacques Tourneur (who also directed the early Val Lewton films, Out of the Past, Night of the Demon, etc.). Dana Andrews gives one of his greatest performances, and Susan Hayward, as usual, is also outstanding. The supporting performances from the likes of Ward Bond, Lloyd Bridges, Brian Donlevy, Andy Devine, etc are also uniformly excellent. The music and songs contributed by Hoagy Carmichael are among the best ever contributed to a western film, and Hoagy also does a nice job in a key supporting role. The beautiful lush technicolor would seem to make it a natural for DVD. A strong case could be make that, along with "Destry Rides Again", this was the greatest western ever produced by Universal. Hard to understand why Univesal has so far failed to release this film on DVD. In Old Sacramento (Republic/Paramount) The first in a string of top notch A westerns made by William Elliott at Republic Smoky (Fox) Excellent horse ranch film directed by Henry King's brother Louis King, who made a speciality of this kind of film. One of Fred MacMurray's best films, with an outstanding cast. 1947 Angel and the Badman (Republic/Paramount) Classic John Wayne film has had several public domain DVD releases, however a definitive first rate studio release is needed. Gunfighters (Columbia/Sony) Good Randolph Scott western. The success of this film led him to thereafter specialize in westerns. Ramrod (UA-Paramount) Great atmospheric western starring Joel McCrea. Based on a novel by Luke Short, who was to the western film of that era, what Raymond Chandler was to the film noir/detective film. The first in a string of outstanding westerns based on Luke Short's writings. Unconquered (Paramount/Universal) Entertaining Cecil B. DeMille early Americana frontier epic starring Gary Cooper. Could be classified as an adventure film or a western. Wyoming (Republic/Paramount) Another good William Elliott western with strong supporting cast. 1948 Blood On the Moon (RKO/Warners) Another great atmospheric western based on a novel by Luke Short. Arguably, Robert Mitchum's best western film, and except for the John Ford westerns, the best western ever produced by RKO. Coroner Creek (Columbia/Sony) Excellent revenge western starring Randolph Scott based on a novel by Luke Short. One of Scott's best films. Very hard edged and violent film for its era. Fort Apache (RK0/Warners) Great John Wayne/John Ford western based on a short story by James Warner Bellah. The first installment in Ford's cavalry trilogy, which were all based on Bellah's writings. The good news is that Warners is releasing this film on DVD in June as part of the John Wayne/John Ford collection. The Gallant Legion (Republic/Paramount) Good Texas Ranger film starring, among others, William Elliott, Jack Holt, Bruce Cabot, and Andy Devine. Old Los Angeles (Republic/Parmount) Highly entertaining William Elliott film directed with flair by Joseph Kane, who was the mainstay of the Republic westerns. John Carroll, as a villain, gives one of the most memorable performances of his career. The supporting cast is stellar. Panhandle (Allied Artists/Warners) Great low budget "A" western starring Rod Cameron. Co-written by Blake Edwards, who also has a key co-starring role. Has never been released on video in any format, and for some unknown reason is never shown on television. The best western ever produced at Allied Artists or Monogram. Film needs to be made available to the public in at least some format. The Plunderers (Republic/Paramount) One of Republic's better westerns. Rachel and the Stranger (RKO-Warners) A nice slice of Americana with a terrific cast including Loretta Young, William Holden and Robert Mitchum. Relentless (Columbia/Sony) Excellent western is one of Robert Young's best films. The Return of the Badmen (RKO/Warners) Highly enjoyable western entertainment. The bad guys include a virtual who's who of famous outlaws. Robert Ryan is memorable as the main heavy, playing a character called the Sundance Kid, and Gabby Hayes is hilarious as usual. If you can get past the historical ludicrousness of all the name dropping it's a really fun film. Roughshod (RKO/Warners) Thanks to Peter Fitzgerald for giving a reminder of this gem. This sleeper is one of the better RKO westerns, with Robert Sterling having probably the best role of his career. Good support from Claude Jarman, of "The Yearling" fame, John Ireland (good as usual), and a surrey full of dance hall girls lead by the always interesting Gloria Grahame. Station West (RKO/Warners) Still another top notch western based on a Luke Short novel. Has a film noir feel, with very strong performances by Dick Powell and Jane Greer of "Out of the Past" fame. 3 Godfathers (MGM/Warners) Good news it that Warners has announced film will be released in June as part of the John Wayne/John Ford collection. Yellow Sky (Fox) Along with "The Ox Bow Incident", director William Wellman's best western. The good news is that Fox has announced it is releasing the film on DVD in May. 1949 Ambush (MGM/Warners) Good cavalry film starring Robert Taylor. Based on a novel by Luke Short. Brimstone (Republic/Paramount) Solid Republic Western with a stellar cast. Walter Brennan reprises the villainous partriarch he played in "My Darling Clementine". Colorado Territory (Warners) Excellent Joel McCrea western directed by action master Raoul Walsh. It is a very successful reworking, in a western setting, of Walsh's earlier gangster film "High Sierra". A classic. The Doolins of Oklahoma (Columbia/Sony) Very entertaining film about the Bill Doolin outlaw gang, with a top notch cast. Hellfire (Republic/Paramount) Top notch western which may be William Elliott's best film. Done as a homage to William S. Hart. A very unique western film written by the McGowan brothers. The Savage Horde (Republic/Paramount) Excellent William Elliott western with outstanding supporting cast. South of St. Louis (Warners/Paramount) Top notch Joel McCrea western. The Walking Hills (Columbia/Sony) Part of the cycle of goldhunting films that began with "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948), and which also includes "Lust For Gold" (1949). An excllent cast with Randolph Scott, Ella Raines, John Ireland, Arthur Kennedy, and Edgar Buchanan. The presence and singing of bluesy folk singer, Josh White, is an added plus. Written by Alan LeMay, who also wrote, among other things, "The Searchers" and "The Unforgiven". Perhaps, the best example of the early work of director John Sturges. 1950 Broken Arrow (Fox) Classic landmark western starring Jimmy Stewart, and directed by Delmer Daves. It is unbelievable that Fox has not yet released this film on DVD in region 1. Devil's Doorway (MGM/Warners) Good Anthony Mann directed western starring Robert Taylor. Made in the spirit of Broken Arrow, though a darker film. The Gunfighter (Fox) One of the all time great westerns. Directed by Henry King with Gregory Peck at his best. The faliure of Fox to release this film on DVD in region 1 is inexplicable. Montana (Warners) Entertaining Errol Flynn western, again with the added plus of Alexis Smith. Rocky Mountain (Warners) Very good Errol Flynn western directed by the co-director of Robin Hood, William Keighley. Although his earlier westerns had much more lavish budgets, this is arguably Flynn's second best western after "They Died With Their Boots On". Short Grass (Allied Artists/Warners) Very good low budget "A" western starring Rod Cameron and Johnny Mack Brown. The Showdown (Republic/Paramount) Another excellent William Elliott western written by the McGowan brothers, with strong supporting cast including Walter Brennan and Marie Windsor. Singing Guns (Republic/Paramount) Outstanding offbeat western. Usually overlooked, probably because the leading role of the outlaw is played by singer/bandleader, Vaughan Monroe. However, it's an unexpected gem. This may in large part be due to the uniqueness of the writing by the McGowan brothers, who also wrote "Hellfire" and "The Showdown". Monroe does sing a few songs, however that's no detriment, since he was one of the great American singers and, except for one instance, the songs seem to flow seamlessly into the film. There are also excellent supporting performances from Ella Raines, Ward Bond, and Walter Brennan. Stars In My Crown (MGM/Warners) Excellent Joel Mcrea film directed by Jacques Tourneur. It is usually classified as a western, though it probably could be more accurately classified as Americana. Wagon Master (RKO/Warners) Outstanding John Ford western. Ben Johnson and Ward Bond at their best. The songs written by Stan Jones and performed by the Sons of the Pioneers greatly enhance the film. 1951 Best of the Badmen (RKO/Warners) Very entertaining western starring Robert Ryan. Across the Wide Missouri (MGM/Warners) Directed by William Wellman, this memorable western adventure is arguably Clark Gable's best post-war MGM film. Distant Drums (Warners/Paramount) Very good western adventure film directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Gary Cooper. A reworking by Walsh, in a western setting, of his earlier war film "Objective Burma". Was released on DVD a few years ago by Lions Gate, however it is in need of a new quality DVD release, which hopefully Paramount can provide. Fort Defiance (UA/Sony) An overlooked gem. Ben Johnson stands out in what is probably his second best starring role, after his part in "Wagon Master". Also, good performances from Peter Graves and Dane Clark. I'd Climb the Highest Mountain (Fox) This rural 19th century drama is a magnificent piece of Americana. A fine example of the narrative filmaking prowess of one of the most underrated directors, Henry King. From the time of his silent classic, "Tol'able David" (1921), King was known as having a special flair for making movies about rural America, and this movie is probably his best in this vein. William Lundigan gives what is, more than likely, the best performance of his career, and Susan Hayward is also outstanding. This movie is not technically a western since it takes place in rural Georgia, however it is similar in many respects to the film "Stars In My Crown", which is usually classified as a western. Rawhide (Fox) Very good taut western suspense film starring Tyrone Power and Susan Hayward, and directed by the underrated Henry Hathaway. Vengeance Valley (MGM/Warners) Good ranchland western based on another novel by Luke Short. This was Burt Lancaster's first western, and Robert Walker plays the villain. Film has been presented on DVD in a fairly decent public domain release, however a definitive release from Warners would be welcome. 1952 The Big Sky (RKO/Warners) Outstanding adventure western directed by Howard Hawks and starring Kirk Douglas. Memorable supporting performance by Arthur Hunnicutt, who also narrates the film. Bugles In the Afternoon (Warners/Paramount) Very entertaining cavalry western starring Ray Milland The Iron Mistress (Warners) Very entertaining saga of Jim Bowie in his pre-Alamo days. One of Alan Ladd's better roles. The Lusty Men (RKO/Warners) Along with "Junior Bonner", this is the all time best rodeo themed movie. Robert Mithcum gives one of his greatest performances in this Nicholas Ray directed film. Rancho Notorious (RKO/Warners) Good offbeat western directed by Firtz Lang. One of Marlene Dietrich's best film roles. Ride the Man Down (Republic/Paramount) Next to "Rio Grande", arguably the greatest western ever produced by Republic Studios, which specialized in westerns. Based on one of Luke Short's best novels. Springfield Rifle (Warners) Good Gary Cooper western. Part of a cycle of western films based around famous firearms which began with Winchester 73 in 1950. 1953 The Charge At Feather River (Warners) This film with its "guardhouse brigade" perhaps served as the protype for "The Dirty Dozen". Was a big box office hit in its day. Escape From Fort Bravo (MGM/Warners) The first of the long series of outstanding big budget action films directed by John Sturges (Bad Day at Black Rock, Gunfight at the O. K. Coral, The Law and Jake Wade The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, Hour of the Gun, etc.) The Naked Spur (MGM/Warners) One of the classic Jimmy Stewart-Anthony Mann collaborations. Good news is that Warners has announced it will be releasing this film on DVD sometime this year. 1954 The Command (Warners) Good cavlary western based on the writings of James Warner Bellah. One of Guy Madison's best films. Drum Beat (Warners) Good Alan Ladd western directed by Delmer Daves with Charles Bronson as the Modoc chief Captain Jack. Arguably, Alan Ladd's second best western after "Shane". Garden of Evil (Fox) Top notch western adventure film starring Gary Cooper, Susan Hayward and Richard Widmark. Directed by Henry Hathaway. Johnny Guitar (Republic/Paramount) Excellent offbeat western direced by Nicholas Ray and starring Joan Crawford and Sterling Hayden with a stellar supporting cast. If David Lynch had directed a western in the 1950's it might have been something like this film. The Outcast (Republic/Paramount) Very good Republic western starring John Derek, with good support from Bob Steele and Slim Pickens. The Raid (Fox) Outstanding Civil War era film is one of Van Heflin's best movies. Good support from Peter Graves, Richard Boone, and Lee Marvin. 1955 The Last Command (Republic/Paramount) Arguably, the best of all the Alamo themed films. Directed by Frank Lloyd, whose speciality was historical dramas and adventure films such as the original The Sea Hawk (1924), Mutiny On the Bounty (1935), Under Two Flags (1936), If I Were King (1938), Rulers of the Sea (1939), etc. This was one of Republic's biggest productions. Sterling Hayden is good as Jim Bowie, and Arthur Hunnicutt seems more authentic in the part then most, if not all, of the other actors who have played Davy Crockett. A Man Alone (Republic/Paramount) Excellent offbeat western starring and directed by Ray Milland, with strong support from Ward Bond. Run For Cover (Paramount) Solid western directed by Nicholas Ray, with good performances from James Cagney and John Derek. Santa Fe Passage (Republic/Paramount) One of the best westerns ever produced by Republic Studios starring, among others, John Payne, Rod Cameron, and Slim Pickens. The Tall Men (Fox) Outstanding cattle drive themed cinemascope western directed by Raoul Walsh which is arguably Clark Gable's best post war movie. Would seem to be a natural for DVD. Once again, Fox's neglect of this film is inexplicable. 1956 The Last Wagon (Fox) Very good Delmer Daves directed western. To their credit, Fox has announced that this film is being released on DVD in May. The Proud Ones (Fox) Excellent western starring Robert Ryan and Jeffery Hunter. Rumor has it that it was supposed to be released on DVD in May, however, so far it does not appear listed on the websites of some of the prominent retailers which were checked. Tension at Table Rock (RKO/Warners) Very good western directed by the legendary writer, director, and producer, Charles Marquis Warren. Features a screenplay by Winston Miller who also wrote, among other things, "My Darling Clementine". Richard Egan's role as the gunman "Wes Tancred" is arguably the best of his career. Features good support from the wonderful Dorothy Malone, and Cameron Mitchell. Also features a small part for the up and coming Angie Dickinson. Tribute to a Bad Man (MGM/Warners) Good ranchland western features a towering performance from James Cagney. 1957 Decision at Sundown (Columbia/Sony) Very good off- beat western directed by Budd Boetticher and starring Randolph Scott. The Tall T (Columbia/Sony) One of the best of the series of collaborations between actor Randolph Scott, director Budd Boetticher, and writer Burt Kennedy. One of the all time great westerns. The continued failure of Sony to release this film on DVD is hard to understand. 1958 Buchanan Rides Alone (Columbia/Sony) Another very good Randolph Scott/Budd Boetticher western. Day of the Outlaw (UA/Sony) Very good western starring Robert Ryan with top notch supporting performance from Burl Ives. David Nelson has a key role in the film. Fort Dobbs (Warners) A wonderful and underrated western starring Clint Walker and Virginia Mayo, with good supporting work by Brian Keith. Written by Burt Kennedy. Movie is reminiscent of Hondo, and almost as good. From Hell to Texas (Fox) Outstanding western directed by Henry Hathaway. Stars Don Murray, with memorable supporting performance by Chill Wills. Arguably, the best western ever directed by Henry Hathaway, who also directed, Rawhide, Garden of Evil, 3 of the episodes in How the West Was Won, Nevada Smith, True Grit, etc. The film has never been released on video in any format, and for some unknown reason is never shown on television either. The Law and Jake Wade (MGM/Warners) Excellent John Sturges directed western starring Robert Taylor and Richard Widmark. The Light In the Forest (Disney) Picturesque frontier film is very good. Probably Fess Parker's best movie. Man of the West (UA/Sony) Very good Gary Cooper western directed by Anthony Mann. Probably the best Anthony Mann western which does not star Jimmy Stewart. The Sheepman (MGM/Warners) Excellent Glenn Ford western with a great mixture of both comedy and drama. Directed by George Marshall and reminiscent in style of his earlier classic "Destry Rides Again". The wonderful supporting performance by Edgar Buchanan is possibly his very best. It's a shame that this film has never been released on either VHS or DVD. 1959 The Hanging Tree (Warners) Outstanding Gary Cooper western directed by Delmer Daves, which also features the debut of George C. Scott. The good news is that Warners has announced that it will be releasing this film on DVD sometime this year. Ride Lonesome (Columbia/Sony) Another of the great collaborations between Randolph Scott, Budd Boetticher, and Burt Kennedy. Memorable supporting performances from James Coburn, Pernell Roberts, James Best and Lee Van Cleef. A classic. Once again, the continued failure to release this film on DVD is hard to understand. The Wonderful Country (UA/Sony) A unique western based on the writings of Tom Lea, with a memorable performance by Robert Mitchum. Yellowstone Kelly (Warnes) Good colorful Clint Walker western. 1960 Comanche Station (Columbia/Sony) The last of the great collaborations between Randolph Scott, Budd Boetticher and Burt Kennedy. Along with "Seven Men From Now", perhaps the greatest of their films. One of the all time great westerns. Once again, Sony's failure to release this film on DVD seems hard to understand. Hopefully, Sony will one day release all 5 of the outstanding Randolph Scott-Budd Boetticher films they control in one great collection. Seven Ways From Sundown (Universal) One of Audie Murphy's best westerns. Most of the outstanding westerns made after 1960 seeem to have been released on DVD, with the exception of a few films such as Monte Walsh (1970), The Rounders (1965), Lonely Are the Brave (1962), and perhaps Gold of the Seven Saints (1961). This list does not include the large number of outstanding B and series Westerns, especially those of Buck Jones, made during the 1930's and 1940's, which have never been released on DVD, and in most cases were never even released on VHS. Recent activity has shown that some progress is being made, however it would seem that the major studios still have a long way to go to round up these outstanding westerns for DVD release. c Jim Bur

#2 of 61 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted March 08 2006 - 06:50 AM

Nice list; off the top of my head I'd add Fritz Lang's superior sequel The Return of Frank James, Sam Fuller's Run of The Arrow and Richard Brooks' The Last Hunt.
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#3 of 61 OFFLINE   Joe Caps

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Posted March 08 2006 - 07:57 AM

Drum beat is fun and i've never seen this in the original widescreen and stereo. Warners DOES have the stereo track for this. This film also has the most hilariously funny title song EVER.

#4 of 61 OFFLINE   ScottFH

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Posted March 08 2006 - 09:07 AM

Is this stretching the definition of "western" too far?: How about Anthony Mann's 1951 "The Tall Target" with Dick Powell as a gov't agent assigned to protect Abraham Lincoln on his train trip to be inaugurated. Powell's character's name: John Kennedy. Fine performances by Ruby Dee, Adolphe Menjou, Marshall Thompson & more... Been waiting a long time for this one on disc.

#5 of 61 OFFLINE   Jon Hertzberg

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Posted March 08 2006 - 02:29 PM

The above list is quite good. Here are few additional suggestions.

1953's Inferno starring Robert Ryan, Rhonda Fleming, and William Lundigan. The Film Forum screened this in last year's Western retrospective although it could also qualify as a noir. Originally released in 3D which was how it was shown at Film Forum.

Three Hours to Kill with Dana Andrews and Donna Reed.

Horizons West - not Boetticher's best, but it features Robert Ryan and Rock Hudson as brothers on opposite sides of the law and gorgeous Technicolor scenery. The title might be its best feature--it inspired the title for Jim Kitses' celebrated book on Ford, Mann, Boetticher, Peckinpah, and Eastwood.

Return of the Badmen starring Randolph Scott and Robert Ryan.

The films of Randolph Scott and Andre de Toth such as Riding Shotgun, Carson City, Thunder Over the Plains, and The Bounty Hunter.

#6 of 61 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted March 08 2006 - 02:42 PM

Outstanding post Mr. Bur. All excellent suggestions. MAN IN THE SADDLE and STRANGER WORE A GUN were released on DVD recently -- by Columbia wasn't it? I got 'em and they look great. I second the motion for Roy Ward Baker's INFERNO and to that I would add Richard Fleishcer's ARENA. Both are contemporary westerns, and both are a cinematic experience that must be seen in 3-D to fully appreciate. I may be the only person to consider Civil War movies a sub-genre of the western. So it's not too big a stretch for me to add Anthony Mann's THE TALL TARGET to Mr. Bur's list. A genuinely innovative film. It crosses over into other genres -- suspense, film noir, civil war, docudrama, and a western. Note the absence of music, like in NARROW MARGIN. Some practical music, but not a music score. Sometimes the monocrhome photography looks to real, too immediate, too in-the-moment. Brilliant, brilliant film.

#7 of 61 OFFLINE   Jim Bur

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Posted March 08 2006 - 03:12 PM

To Jon Hertzberg: Jon: Thanks for your remarks. I limited this list of western films for the most part to those which have not yet been released on DVD in region 1. I agree with you that "Man In the Saddle" is an outstanding western, however it was released last year by Sony on DVD, so I didn't include it on the list. I would highly recommend it for a purchase. I also agree with you about "Return of the Badmen" (RKO/Warners). It is a very entertaining film, and Robert Ryan is great as the heavy. I should have included it on the list, as it would make a good DVD release. I've also heard good things about "Inferno", however I have not yet seen it. I didn't include any film on the list that I have not already seen. It would be interesting to know who holds the current rights on that film. I partially agree with you about "Three Hours to Kill" (Columbia/Sony). I think it is a good western, however I didn't think it quite raised to the level of most of the other films on the list, however its good enough that if Sony released it on DVD I would purchase it. You also mentioned, among other things, "The Stanger Wore A Gun". That film was also released on DVD last year, however I would not have included in any event because I don't think it is very good film. I think it is one of Scott and DeToth's weaker westerns, even though its got a great cast which includes Lee Marvin and Clair Trevor. It's my opinion that the main reason the film is a misfire is because it was done in 3D, and perhaps they focused most of their attention on pointing guns and knives at the audience to take advantage of the 3D gimmick instead of focusing on the nuts and bolts of making a solid western. However, that's just my opinion. On the subject of Randolph Scott westerns directed by Andre DeToth, it is my opinion that the second best Scott/DeToth collaboration after "Man In the Saddle", would be "The Bounty Hunter" (1954) (Warners). That film would also make a good DVD release. Thanks again for your suggestions. c Jim Bur

#8 of 61 OFFLINE   Jon Hertzberg

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Posted March 08 2006 - 03:47 PM



Didn't realize those had been released. Tho, now that you mention it, I do remember seeing those on the shelves. In any event, I would like to see the Scott-de Toth films released in full, but not before the Scott-Boetticher cycle.

Inferno is a Fox film. A new 3D print was shown last year. It would be wonderful to have this film in 3D as Richard--W can attest to. Although I've only seen it in 3D, I think Inferno is a film of high enough quality that it could withstand a 2D presentation.

#9 of 61 OFFLINE   Charles Ellis

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Posted March 09 2006 - 01:00 AM

Hey!! You guys forgot 1950's The Furies starring Barbara Stanwyck, Walter Huston (his final film), Wendell Corey, Judith Anderson and Gilbert Roland. Anthony Mann directed this Hal Wallis production of "Electra" set in the Wild West. One thing I learned from this movie- don't get Ms. Stanwyck angry! (or let her near a pair of scissors) Okay, Paramount- get this classic on DVD (it's never been on VHS either!) A.S.A.P.!!!
Bring "The continuing story of PEYTON PLACE" home on DVD: the one that started it all- from Dallas and Dynasty to Desperate Housewives and Gossip Girl!!! Starting this May, see the legendary saga starring Mia Farrow, Ryan O'Neal, Barbara Parkins, and Oscar-winner Dorothy Malone on DVD thru...

#10 of 61 OFFLINE   eric tengren

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Posted March 09 2006 - 01:31 AM

I just picked up ULZANA'S RAID and MAN OF THE WEST from region 4 AU. and these two are crying for a region 1 release. also, THE BIG GUNDOWN, FACE TO FACE,THE NAKED SPUR,THE GREAT NORTHFIELD MN. RAID,COMANCHE STATION,THE TALL T,BLOOD ON THE MOON.

#11 of 61 OFFLINE   Opi

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Posted March 09 2006 - 01:36 AM

@Jim Bur

Jesse James has been released twice as RC2 DVD in Germany. Both releases include an identical (quite acceptable) transfer, the only difference is the cover.

If you're willing to put up with PAL-speedup, then this may be helpful for you. The original soundtrack and English subtitles are present.

http://www.cinefacts...ls.php?id=20689
http://www.cinefacts...ls.php?id=25002
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#12 of 61 OFFLINE   Jon Hertzberg

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Posted March 09 2006 - 03:41 AM

If we talk about more recent Westerns, I'd like to see OAR Region 1 releases of:
Tell Them Willie Boy is Here
Ulzana's Raid (available full frame)
Cattle Annie & Little Britches
JW Coop
The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid
Doc
Hearts of the West
Pocket Money
The Honkers
Duck, You Sucker
Barbarosa
The Last Movie
The Spikes Gang
Great Scout and Cathouse Thursday
Monte Walsh
Posse
A Gunfight
There Was a Crooked Man
The Cheyenne Social Club
Welcome to Hard Times
The Good Guys and the Bad Guys
Two Rode Together
Heaven With a Gun

#13 of 61 OFFLINE   RoyM

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Posted March 09 2006 - 04:39 AM

Jon,

I would also add my vote for Pocket Money, one of my favorite 1970's "neo-westerns" (along with Rancho Deluxe which could use a new version BTW). With Newman and Marvin, it seems like a no-brainer that it would be a priority among 1970's catalogs titles. I would also love to see Hearts of the West make it to DVD sometime soon.

I believe Duck, You Sucker is supposed to be part of a new set of Leone SE's coming later this year.

#14 of 61 OFFLINE   Bruce Morrison

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Posted March 09 2006 - 04:45 AM

The three westerns I would want most of all are: One Eyed Jacks The Left Handed Gun Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here There are hopes that Warner will release The Left Handed Gun later this year as part of their promised Paul Newman box. One Eyed Jacks is a Public Domain title, and I've almost (but not quite) given up any hopes that Paramount will ever do a proper release to replace all the appalling DVD transfers that have appeared. Has anyone heard any rumours about Universal doing 'Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here' any time soon?
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#15 of 61 OFFLINE   Brook K

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Posted March 09 2006 - 05:41 AM

One more to add to the list is Douglas Sirk's Taza, Son of Cochise with Rock Hudson. Though Universal seems to be sitting on all the Sirk films they hold the rights to.
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#16 of 61 OFFLINE   Armin Jager

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Posted March 09 2006 - 07:26 AM

I strongly second this though I'm not sure if Universal holds the rights since it was a Walter Wanger Production. It's strange that Tourneur's horro films are widely acknowledged as major classics, that OUT OF THE PAST is considered THE film noir, but that his major contribution to the western genre (there's also WICHITA) is as neglected. It's a film which shows Tourneur at the height of his power with his indirect storytelling and unfailing eye for visual compositions shot in gorgeous technicolor. It has Wayward and andrews and a strong supporting cast and a quite remarkable handling of some intelligent topics. These and comparable comments you're bound to read often in books, but the film never seems to emerge in the public consciousness as the huge classic it is.

#17 of 61 OFFLINE   Jim_K

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Posted March 09 2006 - 10:00 AM

Excluding stuff that's already been officially announced for release (i.e. Fort Apache) here's my Top 10 most wanted Westerns on DVD:


1. The Naked Spur (1953)

2. Duck You Sucker (1971)

3. Man of the West (1958)

4. The Tall T (1957)

5. Broken Arrow (1950)

6. Ride Lonesome (1959)

7. Commanche Station (1960)

8. Lonely Are the Brave (1962)

9. The Gunfighter (1950)

10. Monte Walsh (1970)
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#18 of 61 OFFLINE   Doug Bull

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Posted March 09 2006 - 01:49 PM

Charlton Heston's action and fun filled "PONY EXPRESS" Maybe Paramount might release it one day. Robert Wagner in the Cinemascope action spectacle "WHITE FEATHER" Gene Tierney's beautiful Technicolored "BELLE STARR" Also "COMANCHE" and "SADDLE THE WIND" among others. A number of the titles mentioned in the opening posting are already available in other regions. I watched Charles Vidor's THE ARIZONIAN (1935) last night and found it to be highly enjoyable. Richard Dix and Preston Foster made a really good team. Some of the unusual action scenes were directed with great imagination by Charles Vidor.

#19 of 61 OFFLINE   dave bula

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Posted March 09 2006 - 07:21 PM

That's a great list, Jim. Thanks for taking the time to write it up. I agree that the lack of DVD releases on many of these films is purely mystifying. I'd like to point out that both Canyon Passage and Buglies In The Afternoon are based on novels by Ernest Haycox, who is probably most famous among film fans as the author of the short story Stage To Lordsburg, which was made into the famous film Stagecoach. I'd also like to see a properly restored version of The Big Trees, which stars Kirk Douglas in a fine very colorful film based on a Peter B. Kyne novel. Speaking of films based on the work of well known writers, what about The Sacketts, based on two novels by Louis L'Amour? Stars Sam Elliott, Tom Selleck, and a host of great character actors like Ben Johnson and Jack Elam in supporting roles. OK, it's post 1960, but some of the other missing films that have been mentioned in this thread are too. I have this on VHS, but have never been able to locate a DVD of it. Amazon doesn't even show a listing of a DVD issue that's out of print. So while I can't be sure it's never been released on DVD, it sure looks that way. There have been recent other threads concerning Lonely Are The Brave and The Grey Fox, both of which I'd dearly love to see released on DVD. There is also another film based on a book by Edward Abbey, who wrote the novel that Lonely Are The Brave was based on. I'm speaking of Fire On The Mountain (1981), starring Buddy Ebsen and Ron Howard in a really good contemporary western. Yes, the DVD industry still has a LONG way to go with Westerns.

#20 of 61 OFFLINE   walter o

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Posted March 09 2006 - 07:55 PM

Jon, JW COOP is already out on DVD, from Sony.




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