Posted February 10 2013 - 09:27 AM
For 15 years John Ford yearned to make this picture. Neither Paramount nor one of the other noble studios took the risk of backing it. Eventually Ford found his financier in a well-known curmudgeon from Poverty Row, man's name was Yates, who first put pressure on him and was conning him in the end - while he wallowed in the solid earnings of TQM. It's a sad story and it ended 60 years ago with a jewel of a film. And who in these days owns the rights to use this former Republic property? Who the hell indeed? Is this really Paramount? Snapped by some bargain shopping in the copyright bazaar? And why are they hiding behind contraptions like Olive. What are they ashamed of? My Fair Lady? (Oh dear, that one was CBS). Do they really own all the rights? And the public got none? No right to see this "soft, misty color" John Ford demanded - and got. Instead we are fobbed off with something "gritty, hard and brittle" (that is what Robert Harris told us here and that is what I can see). We try to enjoy a picture in the digital realm but blatant cop badges remind us not to steal. They are carefully crafted by the very same buccaneers who once evaded to the Far West, stealing the lawful rights of Mr. Edison. Unfortunately, for all I know, there is no law against stealing works of art from the public view. For 15 years these current digital media now exist. Are we expected to wait for another 15 years until we are finally allowed to see this movie as it is? Oh, come on Paramount. Remember what Mr. Ford did for you. This Blu-ray is not what he deserves. This is just another travesty after all the years of DVD mockeries. Do better and give some of your precious rights to Criterion who can handle this affair. And as a kindly wish - bethink it is an Irish story - obtain absolution by a pilgrimage to Blarney Castle and as a possible result the capability of cajoling CBS to do the same for MFL.