A few word about...™ Steamboat 'Round the Bend

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Robert Harris, Aug 12, 2006.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist

    Feb 8, 1999
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    Robert Harris
    Fox is being exceedingly gutsy in a number of their recent releases as they mine their vaults.

    Their Will Rogers Collection is a perfect example.

    The folksy, slow talking actor, who died in a plane crash in 1935, leaving his final two films to be released posthumously, is virtually an unknown to modern audiences.

    Hopefully, enough people will take a chance and add this wonderful set to their libraries to make the effort, inclusive of clean-up work, financially profitable for the studio.

    In bringing older (read: nitrate) films to DVD, Fox is a step behind some others in the industry, as decisions were made decades ago to copy their nitrate to safety film, and not to keep or donate the originals. Therefore, very little original material survives. This leaves an enormous job for their archival staff, who constantly seek early elements that might have survived, and must then go through the requisite work and expense to bring the films back to a proper viewable state.

    My personal favorite of the group is Steamboat 'Round the Bend, a wonderful slice of southern life directed by John Ford. Hopefully, his other Ford directed production Judge Priest will appear in a second collection.

    Not to all tastes because of their old fashioned cinematic styles, the films are nonetheless quality, classic reminders of American life in a quieter, easier time.

    The collection of four films is rounded out by Life Begins at Forty, Doubting Thomas, and Rogers' final work, In Old Kentucky.

    In an interesting work ethic, Mr. Rogers chose to do several films back to back, followed by months of travel and general time off.

    The Rogers Collection comes recommended, with a tip of the hat to Fox for taking the chance to bring these wonderful films to the public after doing quite a bit of work on them to make them "pretty." Steamboat looks better than I ever recall seeing it, and comes Recommended.

  2. Johannes S

    Johannes S Stunt Coordinator

    May 27, 2005
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    Augsburg, Germany
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    Many thanks Mr. Harris for endorsing the "Will Rogers Collection"! Certainly "Steamboat Round the Bend" -directed by John Ford- is the most "popular" of the four films, but I really enjoyed all four films.

    George Marshall's "Life Begins at 40" and "In Old Kentucky" can be considered not only as entertaining films of the 30's, but also as real history lessons.

    Considering the age of the films and the problems with the film elements you described, the technical quality is highly satisfactory.

    I also hope this very "special" collection finds many supporters and sells well enough to see the "Will Rogers Collection Part Two" very soon, hopefully including John Ford's "Judge Priest" and "A Connecticut Yankee in a King Arthur's Court".
  3. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

    Jul 6, 1997
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    Steve Tannehill
    Will Rogers was not only Oklahoma's favorite son, but one of the greatest political comedians of all time. He and Wiley Post died 71 years ago this Tuesday. But his legacy will clearly live forever.

    If you are ever in Claremore, Oklahoma, his museum is a must-see:


    I think I'll spin those DVD's now.

    - Steve
  4. Charles H

    Charles H Screenwriter

    Jan 7, 2004
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    DOUBTING THOMAS contains a terrific feature-length documentary on Will Rogers' life. It's worth the price of admission alone.
  5. Matt Stieg

    Matt Stieg Stunt Coordinator

    Nov 26, 2003
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    I bought this set a few weeks ago and I thought it was wonderful; a beautiful slice of Americana. I hope Fox sees fit to release more of Rogers' work.

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