A few words about…™ The Last Command (1955) — in Blu-ray

It's a quality Republic production. 4 Stars

While the liner notes seem to make something special about the fact that The Last Command was derived from a new 4k scan of the original Trucolor negative, we’ll not spend a great of time on that one.

While Trucolor in the late 1940s was a two-color process, by 1953 it was boring old 5248 Eastman Color tri-pak.

Move along. Nothing to see here.

What’s nice, however, is that we do have a new scan, presumably courtesy of Paramount, as part of their overall preservation program.

And since the film is early (as opposed to late) Eastman, the color is quite nice. Film grain, shadow detail, overall resolution, and stability are all up to very pleasing levels.

As a film, it’s one of the best to cover the events of The Alamo and with a superb cast – Sterling Hayden, Anna Maria Alberghetti, Richard Carlson, Arthur Hunnicutt, Ernest Borgnine, J. Carrol Naish, Virginia Grey, Otto Kurger, Slim Pickens, John Russell…

You get the idea.

It’s a quality Republic production.

Image – 4.75

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Recommended

RAH

Published by

Kevin Collins

administrator

12 Comments

  1. For perhaps the first time, my video grade is lower than RAH's.:) My grade is 4.0 on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the best. You can tell this film was influenced by James Edward Grant's treatment he wrote for it as there are too many similarities between this film and "The Alamo" in which he's the sole credited screenwriter. The Duke loved Grant's dialogue and was very upset that Yates at Republic wouldn't allow him to have that script that Grant wrote years before he actually filmed "The Alamo". That ended Wayne ever working at Republic again. Again, Grant was Wayne's favorite screenwriter and those two had a very close friendship until Grant's death.

  2. Robert Crawford

    For perhaps the first time, my video grade is lower than RAH's.:) My grade is 4.0 on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the best. You can tell this film was influenced by James Edward Grant's treatment he wrote for it as there are too many similarities between this film and "The Alamo" in which he's the sole credited screenwriter. The Duke loved Grant's dialogue and was very upset that Yates at Republic wouldn't allow him to have that script that Grant wrote years before he actually filmed "The Alamo". That ended Wayne ever working at Republic again. Again, Grant was Wayne's favorite screenwriter and those two had a very close friendship until Grant's death.

    Agree visual problems are all in cleanup, but base image harvest, and generally, color, are lovely

  3. Robert Harris

    Agree visual problems are all in cleanup, but base image harvest, and generally, color, are lovely

    Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy with this BD release as this film is a personal favorite of mine from my youth. I watched this disc twice because I wanted to listen to the audio commentary and both times viewing this disc were the only times I actually watched this film in its OAR. TBH, my first viewing of this film was probably on a black and white TV set in the mid-1960s.

  4. John Hermes

    Lots of specs and minor blemishes on this one but overall nice image and color.

    Yes, that's my assessment too, Like Robert Crawford, I've watched this twice already, once for the commentary which I found interesting.

  5. Robert Crawford

    Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy with this BD release as this film is a personal favorite of mine from my youth. I watched this disc twice because I wanted to listen to the audio commentary and both times viewing this disc were the only times I actually watched this film in its OAR. TBH, my first viewing of this film was probably on a black and white TV set in the mid-1960s.

    Possibly, I’m being lenient, in comparing it to version that arrived 5 years hence.

  6. I watched this last night. I agree the color is quite beautiful still some clean up that seemed like it could have been easily done including cyan vertical line that went through the center of the frame for several seconds. I’m guessing that the resolution loss when Santa Anna’s troops are seen riding say four or five different times in the film were duplicates.

  7. Robert Harris

    Agree visual problems are all in cleanup, but base image harvest, and generally, color, are lovely

    In my opinion this is what should count. If some entitiy wans to spend a lot more on frame by frame cleanup later let them do it but the base is already there. With things done this way we may get titles that otherwise would be too costly to bring to Blu-ray so I am all for it.

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