6 classic westerns coming to DVD in region 2 UK

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jay E, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    From DVDTIMES:

    Optimum Releasing have announced the UK Region 2 DVD release of six classic titles in The Western Collection for 21st February 2005 priced at £9.99 each. Featuring a wealth of stellar Hollywood legends including James Stewart, Gary Cooper, Spencer Tracy, Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn and the directing prowess of John Ford and Fritz Lang, the six titles released individually are...

    Broken Arrow revolutionised the Hollywood Western for its portrayal of the native Apaches as more than simply savage killers. It tells the poignant tale of a friendship that develops between Tom Jeffords (James Stewart) and Apache chief Cochise (Jeff Chandler) as Jeffords struggles to make peace between settlers and Apaches. Broken Arrow features fantastic central performances, masterful direction from Delmer Daves and beautiful cinematography by Ernest Palmer.

    Oscar winning director John Ford directs Henry Fonda in Young Mr Lincoln in a performance many consider to be his finest. Young Mr Lincoln charts a decade in the life of a young Abraham Lincoln as he moves to Springfield, Illinois and sets up a law practice with a friend. The film centres on a controversial real life murder trial in which Lincoln represents two local brothers accused of murder. Young Mr Lincoln was a critical success and Henry Fonda's portrayal of Lincoln captures all the humour, courage and honesty for which the former President was famed.

    One of only two Westerns directed by Fritz Lang, Western Union is a fast paced, thrilling and occasionally shocking film. When former outlaw Vance Shaw (Randolph Scott) goes straight and is hired to protect a line from marauding Indians, he discovers that his outlaw brother Jack Slade (Barton McLane) is leading a band of criminals trying to prevent him from doing so. With two brothers locked in such a furious struggle, there can be only one outcome.

    Set against the backdrop and greed of the gold rush, Garden of Evil is the story of three Americans played by Gary Cooper, Richard Widmark and Cameron Mitchell stranded in a small Mexican village on their way to the famed California gold fields. Whilst there, they are offered a huge cash sum to travel with a local woman (Susan Hayward) into the wilderness to rescue her husband, a trapped miner. Despite the danger, the bounty is too great to refuse. Director Henry Hathaway makes great use of the dangerous and beautiful Mexican wilderness, and composer Bernard Herrmann's outstanding score rounds off this truly remarkable film.

    Based on Shakespeare's King Lear, Edward Dmytryk's powerful Broken Lance is an epic tale of what happens when a hard-nosed pioneer trusts his wayward sons to continue the family legacy. Starring Spencer Tracy, Robert Wagner and Richard Widmark, this remarkable tale of greed, corruption, hate and revenge features an Oscar-winning screenplay, astounding performances from Tracy, Wagner and Widmark, striking cinematography and a terrific score.

    An exciting and unusually complex Western, Edward Dmytryk's Warlock balances allegory and action in one of his finest films. Terrorised by a gang of thugs, the inhabitants of the town of Warlock decide to hire the famous gunman Clay Blaisdell (Henry Fonda) to act as marshal and clean up the town. When some of the townspeople, suspicious of Blaidsell, hire reformed thug Johnny Gannon (Richard Widmark) as the official Sheriff, the town becomes embroiled in a power struggle between two men of dubious morality
     
  2. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Darn it, I was hoping to see The Gunfighter listed there. Solid list though. [​IMG]
     
  3. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    And coming from MGM on March in a batch of six westerns released in R2 in the UK, Man of The West...
     
  4. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    I'm waiting for Warlock many years now. It's a remarkable movie with a very mature content, marvelously filmed, even within the constraints of those days.

    Can't wait to hold that one in my hands!


    Cees
     
  5. Derek Estes

    Derek Estes Stunt Coordinator

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    I pray Man of the West gets a R1 release, it is a favorite of mine!
     
  6. Porter Faulkner

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    I'm very excited that Optimum are releasing these great Fox titles. Three of them,Garden of Evil ,Broken Lance and Warlock are superb CinemaScope films from the 1950's that are rarely seen.

    Optimum have come in for some criticism of the quality of some of their classic titles so I decided to email them and ask about the aspect ratios and sound mixes they would be using and so far no reply. Feedback about some of their releases is as unreliable as their packaging with regard to the OAR and sound mix used, so I decided to buy one of their other Fox titles to have a look see before I pick up the other three titles due next month.

    Forty Guns was on sale for £6.99 so I picked it up and put it in the player and was blown away by the quality of the print. Absolutely the very sharpest B & W print with clean whites and deep blacks, you can see every blade of grass wavering in the wind! The aspect ratio is not correct for CinemaScope but it is anamorphic widescreen about 2:1. The sound is Dolby mono but I suspect this film probably was anyway but it is sharp and you can hear every word. Unfortunately the cover art is plain ugly and the details on the back state that it is full screen 4:3 and in colour!!!

    This all bodes well for the other titles next month but Optimum Releasing really needs to get their act together with the packaging details and cover art. It doesn't have any appeal so no surprise it is being heavily discounted not long after its release. Wonder if I should try their release of 'Wild River' which looks even uglier on the cover, but states it is in 2.35:1 anamorphic. Wonder whats inside? Anyone seen it?
     
  7. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    The transfer of Forty Guns took my breath away, also - it has to be one of the best DVD transfers of a vintage film out there, absolutely superb. It is 2.35:1, by the way, the correct ratio for a 1957 Fox CinemaScope picture.

    I haven't seen it myself, but I have read that the transfer of Wild River is also stunning.

    Broken Arrow, Western Union, Garden of Evil, Broken Lance and Warlock are all excellent, intriguing Westerns. Great news!

    I was informed of Man of the West this week. It's one of my favourite Westerns. Holds up brilliantly. Mann was a great filmmaker.

    The Gunfighter, is, of course, a classic. I reckon that Fox will release it themselves sooner rather that later in the U.S.

    It is, however, distributed by Fox in Australia (region 4 PAL)

    [​IMG]
    http://www.ezydvd.com.au/item.zml/227132

    The transfer is said to be good.
     
  8. Ken Koc

    Ken Koc Screenwriter

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    Will " Garden of Evil", "Broken Lance" and "Warlock" be in stereo?
     
  9. Porter Faulkner

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    I have been reliably informed today that" Garden of Evil", "Broken Lance" and "Warlock" will be in STEREO but my source couldn't say what type of sound mix. Lets hope it is from 4 track. The other good news is that the aspect ratio for all three will be 2.35:1 anamorphic . They have also promised great cover art.

    February is turning out to be a very exciting month!
     
  10. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    I would think a 1957 Cinemascope Fox film was almost certainly shown in stereo.
     
  11. Derek Estes

    Derek Estes Stunt Coordinator

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    You would think, but even Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid -1969 was mono, so who knows?
     
  12. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    I have the pressbook for Forty Guns and all of the ads say Cinemascope and stereophonic sound.

    The ratio for both Garden of evil and Broken Lance should be 2.55
     
  13. Porter Faulkner

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    Yes Joe, they were both 2.55 CinemaScope originally but they are being released on these DVDs in 2.35 and Stereo and until they come out later in the month we just have to hope its from a 4 track master. Who knows, maybe their spokesperson got it wrong and they will be in 2.55 as well as 4 glorious channels of sound. Both with breathtaking scores from Bernard Herrmann and Leigh Harline.

    I went and checked 'Forty Guns' and the player says its in 2.0 Dolby Stereo. They only reason I doubted it was that there is absolutely no separation in the channels which means that its usually been remastered to two channels of 'fake' stereo from a mono print. Sorry for the misinformation on an earlier post but I'm still skeptical that it really is stereo.

    Optimum's release of 'Wild River' is also a great transfer. With rich colours and a correct 2.35:1 CinemaScope ratio the packaging again is misleading, saying it is in 4:3 Fullscreen. The picture is extremely sharp and the sound 2.0 Dolby Stereo.
     
  14. Porter Faulkner

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    These Optimum releases of 20th Century Fox CinemaScope films " Garden of Evil", "Broken Lance" and "Warlock" arrived today and are excellent in so many ways.

    The transfers are, again, not as advertised on the packaging from Optimum. Garden of Evil and Broken Lance are in their original 2.55:1 CinemaScope ratios and Warlock is in the later version of Scope at 2.35:1. The picture quality of all films is extremely sharp ( less so for parts of 'Evil') and the colours are the more naturalistic palette of DeLuxe, so there are no really dazzling colours.

    The sound quality on Garden of Evil and Warlock is 2:0 Dolby Stereo and very sharp with lots of bass. Broken Lance is from a glorious 4 track master with lots of directional dialogue and effects.

    All in all , totally satisfactory transfers to DVD and in the case ofBroken Lance an excellent transfer.I just wish Fox had managed to locate the 4 track masters for the other films.
     

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