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DVD Reviews

HTF REVIEW: The John Wayne / John Ford Film Collection (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED).

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#1 of 117 OFFLINE   Herb Kane

Herb Kane


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Posted June 01 2006 - 08:37 AM


The John Wayne / John Ford Film Collection
3 Godfathers / She Wore A Yellow Ribbon / The Long Voyage Home / The Wings Of Eagles / They Were Expendable / Fort Apache / Stagecoach – Two Disc SE /The Searchers

Studio: Warner Brothers
Year: Various
Rated: Not Rated
Film Length: Various
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 (1.78:1 The Wings of Eagles & The Searchers)
Audio: DD Mono
Color/B&W: B&W and Color
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French & Spanish
MSRP: $79.98
Package: 6 discs/regular Keepcases – The Searchers Ultimate Collector’s Edition contains two discs and is housed in a 3 panel gatefold Digipak with two additional cardboard pouches holding the various printed material – all in a sturdy cardboard case, while the Two Disc SE of Stagecoach comes in a double (regular) Keepcase. 10 discs total.

The Features:

The Searchers (1956)

John Wayne and John Ford made The Searchers a landmark Western with an indelible image of the frontier and the men and women who challenged it. Although not nominated for any awards at the time of its release, the film has since been widely acknowledged as one of the supreme triumphs of the genre. The Searchers was placed on the National Film Registry in 1989 and ranked number 96 on the American Film Institute's list of "100 Greatest Movies.[/img]
Wayne plays an ex-Confederate soldier searching for his niece (Natalie Wood), captured by the Comanches who massacred his family. He won't surrender to hunger, thirst, the elements or loneliness. And in his five-year search, he encounters something unexpected: his own humanity. Beautifully shot by Winton C. Hoch (four-time Academy Award winner), thrillingly scored by Max Steiner (21 Academy Award nominations, 3 wins) and memorably acted by a wonderful ensemble including Jeffrey Hunter (King of Kings, The Longest Day), Vera Miles (The Wrong Man, Psycho), Natalie Wood (Rebel Without a Cause, Gypsy, West Side Story) and frequent Ford cast member Ward Bond (My Darling Clementine, The Quiet Man), The Searchers endures as "a great film of enormous scope and breathtaking physical beauty." (Danny Peary, Guide for the Film Fanatic).


The Wings of Eagles (1957)

Cmdr. Frank "Spig[/img]


Fort Apache (1948)

John Wayne and many familiar supporting players from master director John Ford's "stock company[/img]


They Were Expendable (1945)

Director John Ford's World War II tale knows its battle-scarred topic firsthand: Robert Montgomery (The Big House, Here Comes Mr. Jordan) was a Pacific PT-boat commander and a valorous Bronze Star recipient and Ford filmed the Academy Award-winning documentary Battle of Midway. John Wayne creates a portrait of patriotic resolve as only he can. They Were Expendable salutes all who dedicated themselves to the cause of freedom during some of the war's bleakest hours. Supplies are dwindling. Troops are hopelessly outnumbered. But even in defeat, there is victory. The defenders of the Philippines -- including PT-boat skippers John Brickley (Montgomery) and Rusty Ryan (Wayne) -- will give the U.S. war effort time to regroup after the devastation of Pearl Harbor.

The Long Voyage Home (1940)

Director John Ford and screenwriter Dudley Nichols adapted four Eugene O'Neill one-act dramas into this compelling, lyrical look at men at sea that O'Neill considered his favorite of all his filmed works. As his sailors, Ford cast members of his so-called "Stock Company": Thomas Mitchell (Gone with the Wind), Barry Fitzgerald (Academy Award winner for Going My Way), Arthur Shields (How Green Was My Valley), Ward Bond (It's a Wonderful Life), John Qualen (Casablanca) and the star of the previous year's Stagecoach, John Wayne. As sunny, sweet-natured Ole Olsen, Wayne does winning work in an atypical role that required the stalwart star to sport a Swedish accent. Nominated for an impressive six Academy Awards incuding Best Picture, The Long Voyage Home is a journey to remember.

Stagecoach (1939)

Nine disparate travelers are thrown together on a stagecoach destined for Apache territory...and movie immortality. In the lead role of the Ringo Kid, director John Ford cast a lanky veteran of 70 B-movies, serials and shorts named John Wayne. Each rifle shot and close-up rang out the news: a new star is born. This first collaboration between director and star made both their reputations as talents to watch in the Western genre yet focuses on carefully etched character studies. Marked by deft and efficient editing, as well as remarkable camera work, Stagecoach transcends the traditional shoot-'em-up.
Winner of two Academy Awards (Best Supporting Actor and Best Music, Scoring) and nominated for an additional five (including Best Picture and Best Director), Stagecoach was placed on the National Film Registry in 1995 and ranked number 63 on the American Film Institute's list of "100 Greatest Movies.[/img]


She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949)

A masterpiece of mood and heroics, She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, was the centerpiece in director John Ford's renowned cavalry trilogy (Fort Apache and Rio Grande bookend it) and features one of John Wayne's most moving performances as a cavalry officer in his final week of service on the frontier. Under makeup aging him some 20 years, Wayne inhabits the role of a wily veteran who knows the sting of war and vows to make his last mission one of peace. The ritual of outpost life, the sweep of battle, the advance of the patrol beneath ominous skies: She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, an Academy Award winner for its color cinematography, paints a memorable portrait of the honor, duty and courage in the finest tradition of the cavalry. With Wayne in She Wore A Yellow Ribbon are Joanne Dru (Red River, All the King's Men), John Agar (Fort Apache), Ben Johnson (Mighty Joe Young, Shane), Harry Carey, Jr. (3 Godfathers) and Victor McLaglen (The Informer).

3 Godfathers (1948)

John Ford remade one of his classic silent Westerns 3 Bad Men (1926), a story of three bandits who come upon a dying mother and child while escaping the law. Two of them die trying to get the child to town and safety. Starring John Wayne (in the role originated by George O'Brien), the cast also features Pedro Armendáriz (The Fugitive, Fort Apache), perennial Ward Bond, the luminous silent star Mae Marsh (Birth of a Nation, Intolerance), who frequently appeared in uncredited roles in Ford's films and, making his screen debut, Harry Carey, Jr. (son of Ford's "stock company[/img]
The Features:

Stagecoach - 5/5 [img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img]
Fort Apache - 4/5 [img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img]
They Were Expendable - 4/5 [img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img]
The Long Voyage Home – 3.5/5 [img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/a/a7/htf_images_smilies_half.gif[/img]
She Wore A Yellow Ribbon – 3.5/5 [img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/a/a7/htf_images_smilies_half.gif[/img]
3 Godfathers - 3.5/5 [img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/a/a7/htf_images_smilies_half.gif[/img]
The Wings of Eagles – 3.5/5 [img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/a/a7/htf_images_smilies_half.gif[/img]
The Searchers - 5/5 [img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img]

Perhaps, the film most viewers will be concerned with is the esteemed Walter Wanger production, Stagecoach. The film is perhaps the most weathered of the group. The first several of minutes look rather grainy and weathered however, as the film progresses, so to does the quality of the presentation. The film starts with windowboxed credits and is presented in 1.33:1 and shows reasonably well. In fact, all of the B&W films start windowboxed. You'll notice some heavy grain and a fair amount of shimmer (presumably due to shrinkage. Image detail is excellent – certainly on par with what we would expect for a film of this vintage.

They Were Expendable (identical to the previous release), The Long Voyage Home and Fort Apache all presented in B&W 1.33:1 standard transfers, look good – very good. All of these show off an excellent amount of grayscale and better than average image definition with only moderate amounts of marks or blemishes. All three films exhibit a slight amount of film grain, although The Long Voyage Home is slightly coarser in appearance.

The next three films, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Wings Of Eagles and 3 Godfathers (a Technicolor film although the back cover states it’s a B&W film) are color offerings presented in 1.33:1 standard aspect ratio, while TWoE is presented 1.78:1 widescreen enhanced. SWaYR is a gorgeous print with colors that virtually leap from the screen. TWoE also displays very nice colors – not quite as lush as the former, while 3G looked slightly muted in comparison. Image definition is on par with what we would expect and marks and blemishes are kept to a bare minimum. All in all, very nice indeed.

Saving the best for last -- The Searchers is presented in it's OAR of 1.78:1 enhanced for widescreen. The film (in content and presentation) is without question, the crown jewel of the Collection. Fans of the film are going to be ecstatic with this new effort, boasting terrific sharpness, vivid colors and an immaculate print - free of any blemishes or marks. Blacks are exceptionally deep, while whites and contrast levels looked perfect. The arid and earthy tone still shows predominately and the overall image is textured with great depth. The nature of the film (from a photography standpoint) is one that would be most inviting to show off edge enhancement but was only slightly noticeable on a couple of occasions - and I was looking hard. This new effort represents a terrific improvement over its predecessor, should you be wondering whether or not to upgrade.


Stagecoach - 3.5/5 [img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/a/a7/htf_images_smilies_half.gif[/img]
Fort Apache - 4/5 [img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img]
They Were Expendable - 3.5/5 [img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/a/a7/htf_images_smilies_half.gif[/img]
The Long Voyage Home - 3/5 [img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img]
She Wore A Yellow Ribbon - 4/5 [img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img]
3 Godfathers - 3.5/5 [img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/a/a7/htf_images_smilies_half.gif[/img]
The Wings of Eagles - 4/5 [img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img]
The Searchers - 5/5 [img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img][img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/4/4d/htf_images_smilies_star.gif[/img]

I'll summarize the audio portion overall as many of these descriptions would be redundant. Similar to the video portion, Stagecoach is slightly nosier in terms of hiss, albeit very slight. Dialogue is slightly edgy and on the thin side. The next six films are most similar in terms of fidelity. All presented encoded with DD Monaural soundtrack, only a faint amount of hiss can be heard throughout these tracks however, it never becomes distracting or bothersome. The overall depth of the track is rather thin and dialogue can be slightly on the edgy side, however, these are mere limitations of the period rather than problematic transfers.

The Searchers is presented with a DD monaural soundtrack and sounds excellent for its age. The overall track was clean and free of any his or other noisy distractions. Fidelity sounded natural and uncompressed. Dialogue was always bold and intelligible and never edgy. And not really much to speak of in terms of punch of heft which is fine given the limitations of the period – however, the memorable music score comes across beautifully. To be honest - unlike the video presentation, if there is much of a difference from this version and the previous released in terms of the audio track, I was hard pressed to put my finger on it. All in all, a fine effort.

Overall Audio: 4/5

Special Features:
The special features here are a mixed bag. While the Ultimate Collector’s Edition of The Searchers and the Two Disc SE of Stagecoach are jam packed, the remaining discs are rather light on features consisting of the following supplements:

The Wings of Eagles

  • The Theatrical Trailer appears in reasonably good shape. Duration: 3:24 minutes.

    She Wore A Yellow Ribbon

  • First up is a text listing of Cast and Crew limited to one page.

  • Next is an interesting collection of John Ford Home Movies. Casual looking footage shot in 1940 while scouting locations with John Wayne in Mexico. Duration: 4:05 minutes.

  • John Ford and John Wayne - 6 pages of text outlining their relationship and the movies they made.

  • Awards – a one page text list simply indicating that the movie received the 1949 Academy Award for Best Color Cinematography by Winton Hoch.

  • And finally, Theatrical Trailer appears. Duration: 1:50 minutes.

    Fort Apache

  • First up, an important inclusion entitled, Monument Valley: John Ford Country. An interesting look at how John Ford came to use monument valley and the brutal conditions they worked under. Duration: 14:41 minutes.

  • Also, the Theatrical Trailer appears. Duration: 1:40 minutes.

    3 Godfathers

  • Theatrical Trailer. Duration: 3:21 minutes.

    The Long Voyage Home

  • First up here is a short featurette entitled, Serenity at Sea: John Ford and the Araner. Discussion about John Ford and his love of the sea including comments by his grandson, Dan Ford. Duration: 13:18 minutes.


    Disc 1:

  • An informative Commentary by Scott Eyman, author of Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford is included here offering up scads of information relating to Ford and his work.

  • The Theatrical Trailer is also present and is in satisfactory shape. Duration: 3:29 minutes.

    Disc 2:

  • First up here, American Masters: John Ford/John Wayne: The Filmmaker & the Legend is a highly informative, 18 Chapter feature that begins with an introduction about John Wayne and John Ford, covers the various movies they made and finishes up by paying tribute to John Ford. Duration 83:53 minutes.

  • Stagecoach: A Story of Redemption. Discussion of John Wayne's early movie career and the breaks given him by John Ford. Duration: 30:34 minutes.

  • 5/4/1946 Academy Award Theater Broadcast - Radio Adaptation - Audio Broadcast only. Duration: 28:22 minutes.

    The Searchers

    As we might expect, the Ultimate Collector's Edition is jam packed with extras, all of which are substantive and highly informative. The set looks like this.

    Disc One:

  • The starts with a fitting Introduction from Patrick Wayne, the Duke's son and former co-star. Patrick talks about his legendary father, his dad's love of the film, and his relationship with John Ford. A very nice touch. Duration: 1:51 minutes.

  • Next up is an Audio commentary from filmmaker/actor, Peter Bogdanovich. I've said this before and I'll say it again, I have nothing but respect for Mr. Bogdanovich and he is without question a traditionalist, with a huge appreciation for the golden era, however, he is rather off putting and just not that easy to listen to. His participation is, for the most part, screen-specific and the director offers up various tidbits and facts relating to the production. Considering his past history with the legendary director, one can't dismiss the knowledge he must possess however, his delivery is too stuffy and this makes for a difficult commentary.

  • Last up on this disc is the film's Theatrical Trailer which is in reasonably good shape.

    Disc Two:

  • First up is The Searchers: An Appreciation is a reflective collection of interviews featuring a number of respected filmmakers, various film clips and production tidbits. The filmmakers discuss their first experience with the film and the influence and impact the film had them and their future projects. Racial issues also seem to rise with the discussion of Ford’s films and once again, they surface here as well, as do other technical and location tidbits. A highly informative piece doing justice to the legendary film. Duration: 30:55 minutes.

  • The next supplement is entitled, A Turning of the Earth: John Ford, John Wayne and The Searchers which is a documentary, and includes clips from Wayne's son, Patrick Wayne, Dan Ford (John's son), as well as a number of other stars from the period. This time, the historical and absolutely breathtaking landmark, so prevalent in Ford films is discussed. An essential discussion piece given the connection to Ford and his films. Another highly informative companion piece to the previous installment which offers a treasure trove of data relating to the film and it's legendary director. Duration: 32:55 minutes.

  • Behind the Cameras is a collection of mini featurettes which includes;

    - Meet Jeffrey Hunter (4:02)
    - Monument Valley (6:02)
    - Meet Natalie Wood (5:49)
    - Setting Up Production (5:54)

    All of these originally appeared on the vintage TV series entitled, Warner Brothers Presents, and are interesting adding further clips lending to the nostalgia and history of the film.

  • Disc Two closes with a Theatrical Trailer for The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford which stars Brad Pitt.

  • The package is also complemented with a healthy assortment of Inserts. While the discs themselves are housed in a 3-panel Digipak, the Ultimate Collector's package contains two other pouches filled with an assortment of memos, a group of B&W stills, a reproduction comic book and promotional materials. There's also a coupon for a reproduction one-sheet poster (27"x40"), but sadly is not available to those of us outside the USA. A very classy touch to complement one of the all time most celebrated western films and scores very high on the "cool factor". The Searchers is also available as a Two-Disc Special Edition and from what I understand, is Identical in terms of the disc content. What is different is the packaging as well as the added Inserts. Whether you'll want to pony up for the Ultimate Collector’s Edition (which is included in the Wayne/Ford boxed set) is a personal decision, but the pricing of the boxed set is far too attractive to dismiss.

    Special Features: 4.5/5

    **Special Features rated for the quality of supplements, not the quantity**

    Final Thoughts:
    At least with this reviewer, the name John Wayne and the western, are absolutely synonymous. While “The Duke” captured much of the stage being in front of the camera, legendary filmmaker John Ford was no less responsible leaving his mark behind the camera. The pair completely embody the genre and go hand in hand like ice cream and apple pie. So much so in fact, that even after lengthy consideration, it’s hard to come up with a star/director combination that have left their mark in the same fashion.

    Though it’s only early, one cannot help but feel that Warner’s new UC Edition of The Searchers might very well be considered the classic release of the year. It’s magnificently packaged and is gussied up with class – something the film deserves. And is if it couldn’t get any better, we can only anticipate this title on the HD DVD format.

    Whether you’re just interested in a few of the titles or the Ultimate Collector’s version of The Searchers, will be a personal decision. However, considering the entire collection can be had for as little as $55.00 bucks (making these $7.00 a pop), the urge to pick up the entire collection should be considered tempting, making this set one of the best bargain’s of the year.

    Overall Rating: 4.5/5 (not an average)

    Highly Recommended…!!

    Release Date: June 6th, 2006
  • My Top 25 Noirs:

    25. 711 Ocean Drive (1950), 24. Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), 23. Desperate (1947), 22. Pushover (1954), 21. The Blue Dahlia (1946), 20. The File on Thelma Jordon (1949), 19. He Ran All the Way (1951), 18. The Asphalt Jungle (1950), 17. The Killing (1956), 16. I Walk Alone (1948),...

    #2 of 117 OFFLINE   Walter Kittel

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    Posted June 01 2006 - 09:08 AM

    For my money, the release of the year. Great review.

    - Walter.
    Fidelity to the source should always be the goal for Blu-ray releases.

    #3 of 117 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

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    Posted June 01 2006 - 09:18 AM

    Herb: Are you familiar with the earlier snapper release of Stagecoach and is this new release a justifiable improvement?

    Thanks for the most excellent review. Probably just The Searchers 50th Anniversary Edition (sted the UE) for me.

    There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!

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    #4 of 117 OFFLINE   Russell G

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    Posted June 01 2006 - 09:53 AM

    WOW! Can't wait for this!

    #5 of 117 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott


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    Posted June 01 2006 - 10:07 AM

    I'm a coiled spring just waiting to pop when The Searchers is announced for HD DVD. And if people feel it looks this good already on standard def, it will be interesting what visible improvments the HD version can yield.

    #6 of 117 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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    Posted June 01 2006 - 10:21 AM

    Really looking forward to this -- embarassed as I am to say it, The Searchers is the only one of these films I've seen!

    Anyone know if the American Masters doc on the Stagecoach disc is the same program that was recently shown on PBS?
    "How wonderful it will be to have a leader unburdened by the twin horrors of knowledge and experience." -- Mr. Wick

    #7 of 117 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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    Posted June 01 2006 - 10:49 AM

    It's a personal opinion, but I think She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is rather more than an oater; Wayne's portrayal of Brittles is breathtaking, one of his finest performances, a terrific study of an aging 'horse soldier'. Fort Apache is quite simply brilliant, the Custer story in all but name with a wonderful and atypical central performance from Fonda, unperpinned by a beautifully underplayed Wayne - it's a love-letter to the military, with a memorable final scene - though it's message is a precursor to 'Liberty Valance', it has no sense of the ironic.

    The Searchers is possibly my favourite film, not just of this set, and Herb has said it all; I particularly think that he's hit the nail squarely on the head with 'humor grows out of and illuminates character'; for some, it's those trademark comedy scenes that sit uncomfortably, but Ford is more than well aware that comedy and tragedy are two sides of the same coin.

    It's been said before, but while others recall their first kiss, or their wedding day, Lord forgive me, but the memory I'll probably take to my grave is of John Wayne, standing in a doorway, grasping his arm in that tear jerking tribute to Harry Carey and turning away 'to wonder forever between the winds...'

    My releases of the year; post them to me Amazon, post them now dammit...
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    Lt. Col. Thursday: Beaufort; no preliminary nonsense with him, no ceremonial phrasing. Straight from the shoulder as I tell you, do you hear me? They're recalcitrant swine and they must feel it...

    #8 of 117 OFFLINE   Doug Bull

    Doug Bull


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    Posted June 01 2006 - 04:32 PM

    Just got my copy of THE SEARCHERS and while I admit it looks a lot sharper and contains a lot more fine detail than previous releases on DVD and Laserdisc, I think, that, other than the outdoor scenes, the Color is generally over saturated with skin tones that are ugly and too much detail is lost in the crushing blacks.
    After reading excellent reviews, I feel somewhat let down.
    I think that a lot of the problem lays with the inferior WarnerColor process, although after having a good look at it, I'm now convinced the problem is possibly in the Authoring.
    Most outdoor scenes look good, but oh those interiors.

    It is still a big improvement, but maybe not as big as some think.

    #9 of 117 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford

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    Posted June 01 2006 - 09:12 PM

    Originally Posted by Doug Bull
    Just got my copy of THE SEARCHERS and while I admit it looks a lot sharper and contains a lot more fine detail than previous releases on DVD and Laserdisc, I think, that, other than the outdoor scenes, the Color is generally over saturated with skin tones that are ugly and too much detail is lost in the crushing blacks.
    After reading excellent reviews, I feel somewhat let down.
    I think that a lot of the problem lays with the inferior WarnerColor process.
    The outdoor scenes look good, but oh those interiors.

    It is still a big improvement, but not as big as some think.
    It's a big improvement if that's what their eyes are telling them.Posted Image You might disagree because your eyes are seeing this presentation differently.




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    #10 of 117 OFFLINE   JohnPM


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    Posted June 02 2006 - 01:01 AM

    Boy, do I look forward to seeing the visual difference, if any, between the standard version of "The Searchers" and the coming HD release.


    #11 of 117 OFFLINE   Dave Scarpa

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    Posted June 02 2006 - 05:58 AM

    I had a $60 Credit at Buy.com so this set ended up costing me $0 still would've paid the $58 in a Heartbeat, great Deals and I already had bought 3 Godfathers !
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    #12 of 117 OFFLINE   Simon Howson

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    Posted June 02 2006 - 06:15 AM

    Originally Posted by Doug Bull
    I think that a lot of the problem lays with the inferior WarnerColor process.The outdoor scenes look good, but oh those interiors.
    Being a VistaVision film, didn't The Searchers have to be printed in Technicolor? Weren't they the only lab that could do the (90 degree) re-orientation and reduction printing in a manner (dye transfer) that retained the fine grain nature of the camera negative?

    Isn't the real problem here that the film was photographed in very harsh conditions, but also it should of been photo-chemically restored 10 or 15 years ago, possibly when the OCN was still printable, rather than having to revert to the separations even for a DVD resolution transfer.

    I don't want to discredit what Warner Bros. have done, but I am still confused exactly why the OCN wasn't used. Or was it used a bit? Paramount have put out lots of VistaVision films on DVD some with very good transfers. What exactly happened to The Searchers that meant the separations were a better option than the OCN?

    #13 of 117 OFFLINE   Adam_S



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    Posted June 02 2006 - 06:52 PM

    I love my Kong poster, the poster send away for Searchers makes me even more inclined to buy it, since I can't justify buying the whole set Posted Image


    #14 of 117 OFFLINE   Jing_B


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    Posted June 02 2006 - 06:56 PM

    Apparently this set is being released in canada on June 20, according to Amazon.ca. Any info on that?

    #15 of 117 OFFLINE   Manus


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    Posted June 03 2006 - 12:56 AM

    Can we drop the constant " Can't wait for the HD release" remarks or else round em all up and deposit them in the HD Software area please ????

    It's already becoming as boring as the old brigade's mantra "dts is always better than Dolby" Posted Image

    Bummer that the Canadian edition has been put back , I was really looking forward to this for the weekend.Thankully, The John Ford Collection will keep me busy Posted Image

    I have just two words to say to you..... Shut the f*** up !

    #16 of 117 OFFLINE   Doug Bull

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    Posted June 03 2006 - 12:34 PM

    I urge those who disagree with my thoughts re the over saturated color and crushing, detail losing blacks on this edition of The Searchers, take a look at the documentary on disc 2.
    There are dozens and dozens of short out-takes that vary a lot in quality, but among them are a couple of super sharp clips where the Skin Tones are perfect and the grey scale is as it should be.
    Interestingly the Documentary was made in 1998.

    Of course these are just my thoughts as my Wife watched it with me and didn't have any problems with the transfer.

    #17 of 117 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott


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    Posted June 03 2006 - 12:59 PM

    Doug I remember when I saw the remastered Bullit (last year?). To me it looked like they had just boosted the contrast (crushing the blacks a bit) and the pumped the saturation a bit. It gave the newer disc more 'pop', but to me, it didn't look exactly more accurate or natural than the older the disc.

    apologies to Manus in advance, but since I've added the A1 to my system, it's become mandatory to hold off on purchases that will result in an HD release at some point in the near future. But I'm as anxious to put this back in my collection asap- ever since I sold off the first issue about 3 years ago. As much as I hated not having access to it, I knew a better looking edition had to be coming at some point. Even if this isn't *perfect*, it has to be more watchable than what I was seeing with the older disc via fp.

    #18 of 117 OFFLINE   Manus


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    Posted June 03 2006 - 11:25 PM

    " but since I've added the A1 to my system, it's become mandatory to hold off on purchases that will result in an HD release at some point in the near future."

    No apology neccessary, Paul , I always hold off on Sony and Fox titles because they dont issue them properly until the second or third release Posted Image

    Since Dvd's arrival there has always been something else coming down the pike ( dts,anamorphic,Superbit (tm Posted Image ) and now HD . I just wish these formats had been properly finalised before release and also included Multichannel Lossless as the new standard and it would have been nice if the industry paid a little bit more attention to what their customers really want.

    Why Region Code the 70 years old films in the Warners Gangster Collection ???? Its nonsense.

    Rant over. Enjoy your movies any way you want and maybe if they keep releasing Hd/SD flippers I will join you there eventually Posted Image

    I have just two words to say to you..... Shut the f*** up !

    #19 of 117 OFFLINE   Steve...O



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    Posted June 04 2006 - 11:52 AM

    Herb, great job on this review and the review of the Ford boxset. Much appreciated.

    For many years my exposure to Westerns was largely limited to the kiddie westerns of Gene and Roy that were TV staples in the 70s as well as some of TV shows and comic westerns (Support Your Local Sheriff/Gunfighter, Cheyenne Social Club, etc.)

    Then several years ago I got to see The Searchers on the big screen in 35mm. Even though the print left a lot to be desired I was very impressed by the film, both in terms of content and the filmmaking that went into making it. That experience gave me a real appreciation for the genre and what it was capable of. I look forward to expanding my appreciation and knowledge of the Adult Western with this set.

    Since Warners is probably reading this...thanks again for releasing a first class package with plenty of supplements at a reasonable price. Please continue to include the "paper extras" with future releases as appropriate.

    Please help UCLA restore the Laurel & Hardy films: https://www.cinema.u...aurel-and-hardy

    #20 of 117 OFFLINE   Richard Matich

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    Posted June 04 2006 - 07:25 PM

    I am going to get the box on Tuesday from Best Buy. I think it could be the box set of the year! Another great review from or Warners reviewer. Posted Image I'm a big John Ford fan so this is going to be be a great Tuesday! I saw the John Ford John Wayne special on PBS when it aired. For those that missed it wow! You are in for a treat. Go to this site http://www.oscars.org/ and click on "press" at the top. The Searchers is going to have an Motion Picture Academy screening. A "digital" transfer??? Hmm. :0

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