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SwatDB

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Awaiting further comparison tests…

Not counting the Extended 1991 MGM/UA VHS with 3 extras minutes at Act 2 (Disaster at Quicksand Bottoms) [Due to Pan-and-Scan]
 

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SwatDB

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On the Laser Disc the overture and exit were the same.
Not just US LaserDisc, but also (based on my own research after capturing the 1991 MGM/UA Extended VHS [as per 1991 US LD notes on "rediscovered footage"]):

#1 1996 JP MGM/UA LD (allegedly but probably) further research required before confirmation be made.
#2 2001 US MGM DVD (retains proper pitch and speed on French Track [which retains the Film's Proper Score Mix])
#3 2002 EU/UK/AU DVDs (4% faster in speed but retains proper pitch with more languages [Including French Track])
#4 2018 Olive Films BD (DTS-HD Master 2.0 with different AQ than the US LD/DVDs but based on the same transfer [as the one seen on Netflix, back in 2010 with some framing adjustments or cropping, whatever.])
#5 Amazon Prime/HDnet: (A new 2K scan of the 35mm IP of the same as above [152 min General Release Version (if you repeated Overture to make it like an Exit Music)]
#6 2022 Kino Lorber BD (Same transfer with different color timing with artificial 2.20:1 AR [as per Vern Dias' research])

Ergo, the (proper) running times of the film from 7 different Home Video Versions [chronologically] [including Streaming Version] (in order to find out which one is the actual "TCM print") ranging from One Home Video Distributor and Two Sub-licensors:

#1 1991 US MGM/UA Home Video VHS ("With Rediscovered Footage Unseen for 25 years")

Format: (Since I can't tell what elements were used for the General Release Version): Pan-and Scan
Elements for Roadshow trims: 35mm (probably), since It is difficult to say 70mm trims on a Pan-and Scan VHS release.
Sound: A cross between Stereo LP and Film's Faulty English Mix (Music-Wise) at [compressed]
Length: 158:52 minutes (if you label overture as exit music)
True Length: [155:26] 1991 TCM print (if you exclude the False Overture/Exit Music)

#2 1991 US MGM/UA Home Video LD (155 minutes with False "With Rediscovered Footage Unseen for 25 years" label)

Image: Letterboxed (2.35:1)
Sound: A cross between Stereo LP and Film's Faulty English Mix [Better AQ than VHS]
Length: 155:16 (with Overture as Exit Music)
Proper Length [151:51 General Release Version if you don't include the Overture as Exit Music]

#3 1996 JP MGM/UA LD:

Image: Letterboxed (2.35:1)
Sound: A cross between Stereo LP and Film's Faulty English Mix [Better AQ than VHS]
Length: Unknown. (with Overture as Exit Music)
Proper Length: Question is not valid, Because I don't believe that it is the same as the 1991 US MGM/UA VHS [158:52 min] the print used at the time was Panned-and-Scanned. (And I know what you are all thinking: Yes, It does play out the Overture as Exit Music)

#4 2001 US MGM DVD:

Image: Letterboxed (2.35:1) [Non-Anamorphic i.e. Same Transfer]
Sound: A cross between LP Film's English Soundtrack and with a French Sound Mix (with Better Music AQ Actual Film Music Track [particularly retaining the Main Titles, Entr'acte and End Titles])
Length: 155:27 min (with Overture as Exit Music)
Proper Length: 152:02 min (w/o Overture as Exit Music)

#5 2002 EU/UK/AU MGM DVDs:

Image: Letterboxed (2.35:1) [Anamorphic]
Sound: A cross between LP Film's English Soundtrack and with Uncompressed Tracks [allegedly] Sound Mix (with Actual Film Music Track [particularly on Main Titles, Entr'acte and End Titles])
Length: 149:07 [Pitch is retained, but is 4% faster in speed due to PAL Speedup thanks to the Telecine Process]
FPS Converted Length: 155:29 (with Overture as Exit Music) [If converted to 23,976 fps]
Proper FPS Converted Length: 155:29 (w/o Overture as Exit Music) [If converted to 23,976 fps]

#6 2018 Olive Films BD:

Image: Letterboxed (2.35:1) [Anamorphic] but based on the same transfer (as the one seen on Netflix, back in 2010 with some framing adjustments or cropping, whatever)
Sound: DTS-HD Master 2.0 with different AQ mix than the LD/DVDs
Length: 155:20 (with Overture as Exit Music)
Proper Length: 151:51 (w/o Overture as Exit Music)
Error: Overture begins first before trimming tail-end of it by using cutting away to 1987/1994 UA Logo variant before going to the tail-end of Overture

#7 2022 Kino Lorber BD:
May I drop the vernacular on that one, Let me listen through the Audio Commentary, please?

Answer: 1991 TCM Print 155 min [i.e. Actual Extended Version sadly in a Pan-and-Scan form]

In conclusion:

Until MGM could co-operate with WB [with enough money to Restore, Reconstruct and Remaster] to either "Think (back what United Artists were thinking with these 65mm elements [i.e. a need of a status report on the condition of the General Release Version] and 70mm Roadshow Trims [if 65mm elements of those trims are feared wiped, junked or destroyed] of "The Hallelujah Trail") However, I can't help but read fact history of longer preview versions of the film with a length: 181 minutes before being cut by 16 minutes for it's LA Premiere [Scene extensions, Alternate shots/takes can be seen while the End Titles plays out.]

They could either:

#A: Restore the 1965 Premiere Cut [using the finest surviving (35mm or 70mm "anamorphic" roadshow trims) [As long as they dedicate the memory of the late stuntman "Bill Williams" while giving restoration credits, where it's due)

#B: Create a Director's Cut [using the finest surviving (35mm or 70mm "anamorphic" roadshow trims) and present them "Letterboxed" unlike the 1991 MGM/UA slightly extended VHS] (to remove the shot of stuntman "Bill Williams" dangling from caravan [as per John Sturges' original wishes before being insisted by the producers to leave it in]) and give restoration credits, where it's due)

#C: Move on, and save film vault space, and money, and focus on Preserving, Restoring, Reconstructing and Remastering other movies from United Artists that are more popular than instead of wasting too much time and effort on "The Hallelujah Trail" (1965). And say "We are good with the "2K Scan of the 35mm IP" (from the Streaming i.e. either on Amazon/HDnet or 2022 Kino Lorber BD).

But I look forward to remember "The Hallelujah Trail" (1965) with a history of screenshots of the transfers, as well as a Transcript of Deleted Scenes from the actual "TCM-print" [even though it's Panned-and-Scanned] i.e. 1991 MGM/UA VHS, for another day, But it's too late for tonight.
 

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Alan Tully

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Yup, it's one of the more extreme comparisons, it makes it look like Olive used a VHS as the master.
 

Indy Guy

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Nobody is discussing the movie itself, so I finally got around to viewing it last night.
I bought it primarily for the Elmer Bernstein soundtrack in 5.1.
I owned the LP back in the day because everything Bernstein did was to my ears...terrific, but I never saw the movie.
4 years later Paint Tour Wagon premiered at Hollywood's Cinerama Dome. The score was fantastic, the humor was funny and John Truscott's art direction was amazing. I felt bad that I skipped seeing Hallelujah Trail because in those days if you missed a theater showing, that was it!
I tried several times to watch HT on broadcast TV or DVD, but the poor transfers never kept my interest.
It is a film that requires an immersive presentation to mask story and directing flaws.
So last night I made it all the way through. Still love Bernstein's rousing score and very impressed with the outdoor cinematography. Praises end there.
I was floored by the consistently lame humor, although it soon became amusing to see how poorly each successive setup would be staged to allow potential laughs to fall flat. Gag after gag died with the inane premise and script. Even back in '65 it seems hard to believe they would cast name actors to play Indian stereotypes. The woman's lib temperance angle is now quaint and tedious rather than something to support or laugh about.
I think the lack of audience connection to any of the groups fighting over the whiskey outcome makes the film hard to enjoy. Its OK to be funny if you have a credible premise for A list actors to feel at ease within the boundaries.
Paint Your Wagon revisits similar territory but does it with comic timing and logic you can accept even as it goes way over the top.
Both films end with similar "sinking" conclusions, and again directing expertise flags the difference between Hallelujah's "TV level" humor, staging & art direction, compared to a pre CG comic tour de force bringing down the final shenanigans in Paint Your Wagon.
 

DarkVader

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There was only one reason I ever watched this film: Pamela Tiffin - and she was wasted in this. But then again, she was misused in most of the films she was cast in/accepted. She had two, count that two of the biggest managers/agents in the business at the time: Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff and they managed to get her cast as window dressing. Is it any wonder she abandoned Hollywood and high-tailed it to Italy?
 

Robin9

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There was only one reason I ever watched this film: Pamela Tiffin - and she was wasted in this. But then again, she was misused in most of the films she was cast in/accepted. She had two, count that two of the biggest managers/agents in the business at the time: Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff and they managed to get her cast as window dressing. Is it any wonder she abandoned Hollywood and high-tailed it to Italy?
I'm still hoping The Lively Set will be released on disc.
 

cadavra

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I only like it for Lee Remick. It's very bloated at 165m, there's probably a much better 2hr film in there.

We discussed this on the commentary. Cortney and I both agreed it would be a better movie if it were an hour shorter, except that then it would most likely be forgotten today. Its status as a Cinerama epic--even an imperfect one--is what keeps it alive in film buffs' memories.
 

Jack P

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I noticed one error in the commentary track regarding the soundtrack. It did have an LP release on United Artists records but it was a smaller re-recording that included full renditions of the silly songs in the film, not just the Temperance song but also "The Denver Free Militia" (which is the tune you hear in the Overture). The fate of the original film tracks is a sad one. They were mislaid like a lot of film tracks for UA films and then one day while Varese Sarabande was looking for the tracks for "Hawaii" for a CD release, they came across boxes of tracks that had been ruined by a flood caused by the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. It turned out those ruined tracks were the original stereo masters for "Hallelujah Trail". When they finally released a CD in 2005 of the original LP under the Masters Film Music label (https://www.discogs.com/release/10258321-Elmer-Bernstein-The-Hallelujah-Trail) they salvaged one cue that was still listenable and also used the Overture from the Laser Disc to present that isolated. Unless Bernstein kept a set of mono tapes that haven't surfaced we'll unfortunately never hear the score in its full glory again.

One anecdote about the production of the film. As was mentioned in the commentary, some of it was shot at the Goldwyn Studios which is also where the TV series "The Fugitive" was shot. One day during the filming of an episode, a prank was played on guest star Leslie Nielsen for a scene where the door was supposed to swing open and he was afraid it would be the police (in the episode it's his wife Carol Rossen returning after she'd earlier run out on him) but for the joke when the door swung open.....there was Martin Landau in full Indian costume.

As for the film itself, it is excessive and the jokes do fall flat for the most part in contrast to a good episode of "F-Troop" that could do the same thing in a shorter running time. Still, I like the cast and Remick shows a good flare for comedy. John Dehner practically steals the picture with his dry narration.
 

Alan Tully

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I agree with all the negative things said about the film...but I'd still buy a region B Blu-ray; a big sixties film, part of my past & with a great Elmer Bernstein score (I have the Varese CD).
 

OliverK

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We discussed this on the commentary. Cortney and I both agreed it would be a better movie if it were an hour shorter, except that then it would most likely be forgotten today. Its status as a Cinerama epic--even an imperfect one--is what keeps it alive in film buffs' memories.

Both this one and to a lesser degree IAMMMMW have the issue that it has always been difficult to be very funny for a very long time which in movie terms would certainly mean 2 hours or more.

Or to put it another way: If you are only mildly funny then it is better not to drag it out too much.

Of course for this one we still get to enjoy the score and the vistas - both natural and human.
 

Mark McSherry

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Or to put it another way: If you are only mildly funny then it is better not to drag it out too much.

Of course for this one we still get to enjoy the score and the vistas - both natural and human.

Just read Bill Gulick's 1963 novel, The Hallelujah Trail (originally The Hallelujah Train). My paperback was issued with the movie in mind. The book runs a brisk 173 pages.

HT.jpg


The story begins with a journalist presenting his year-long investigative report to newly inaugurated Ulysses S Grant on a rainy late afternoon Saturday in April at the White House. Since the two had shared drinks a time or two before the War, Grant cajoles the journalist to read the report over glasses of whiskey, cigars, and supper---and just between themselves. Said journalist had been secretly commissioned by the previous president, Andrew Johnson, to look into the fate of the Wallingham Train in mid-November 1867. The letter of authorization, bearing Johnson's signature, is dated March 1, 1868 and requests the full cooperations of all US citizens, whether civilian or military.

So the next 150+ paperback pages consist of the report. The report follows events in chronological order, jumping from one character perspective to another, as needed; these parts read as a novel would. But the report also includes maps and itemized points-of-view of different characters prior to certain "hinge" events. All done, says the investigative reporter, to try to make sense out of chaos.

The book ends at Chapter 23 with the White House reading finished at 2AM and the two reduced to drinking straight brandy after the coffee in the coffee with brandy ran out.

In the book, the Wallingham Train consists of 80 wagons hauling 2700 cases of champagne and 1600 barrels of whiskey!

The book is a quick, breezy read with quite a few chuckles. Copies are out there but not cheap. I picked up a beat-up paperback for less than ten dollars. There is an audiobook available (Itunes) for $7.99. I mention this because the time listing is at six-plus hours, which does roughly match the time U. S. Grant spent listening to the report.

Bill Gulick was a well-known Western writer. His novel BEND OF THE SNAKE was made into the 1952 Mann/Stewart BEND OF THE RIVER.
 
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john a hunter

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An interesting aside to the debate about HT can be found in Roland's magnificent inCinerama.com site.
Check out the Minneapolis Cooper Cinerama page and you will find an interview with John Sturges after the first preview of HT which was held there.
Fascinating reading between the lines as he and the Mirisch Bros slowly realised the unfunny mess they had on their hands.
 

SwatDB

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Take a look at this:
Gearhart's Quarters (Letterbox Attempt).PNG

Taken from a deleted scene from the 1991 MGM/UA VHS [in attempt to create a letterboxed frame by linking two frames together]
 

quantumsnoga

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I will come to the defense of Hallelujah Trail.

First off, it is not a standard comedy - it is a satire. It is not a string of jokes attached to a light drama plot. Nor is it a serious drama. A satire is a deliberately constructed failure of a view. The "humor" is in watching the destruction of the view in question.

Comparative example: Early James Bond movies (drama) vs. Our Man Flint (satire of Bond movies) vs. Austin Powers (comedy of spy movies).

Usually a satire is limited to deconstructing one viewpoint. The Hallelujah Trail is busy deconstructing EVERY viewpoint in the movie. All the viewpoints are played straight (proper for satire), and each one is given a chance to show why they think they are right and proper, but by the end of the movie, every last one of them has "blown up" in the faces of their proponents.

Now either you find that funny, or you don't. (A matter of taste.)

What fails:
The Calvary
The Businessman
The Temperance Movement
The Militia
Oracle Jones - both as oracle and as guide.
The Labor strike
Peaceful negotiation
Violent negotiation (the battle in the dust storm)
The Military band (do they actually get sent to Alaska?)
Turning chicken and running
and even cleanliness (bath anyone?)

THERE! THERE! NOW I SEE!!!
 

uncledougie

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08086D6E-A8C6-4500-86EE-0C1EEAB0C926.jpeg

I like it enough to dedicate more than typical wall space to it in my back media room. The genially ripe satirical tone I found quite amusing, then and now. Grateful that it has finally gotten a worthy, though sadly incomplete, release.
 

dpippel

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I will come to the defense of Hallelujah Trail.

First off, it is not a standard comedy - it is a satire. It is not a string of jokes attached to a light drama plot. Nor is it a serious drama. A satire is a deliberately constructed failure of a view. The "humor" is in watching the destruction of the view in question.

Comparative example: Early James Bond movies (drama) vs. Our Man Flint (satire of Bond movies) vs. Austin Powers (comedy of spy movies).

Usually a satire is limited to deconstructing one viewpoint. The Hallelujah Trail is busy deconstructing EVERY viewpoint in the movie. All the viewpoints are played straight (proper for satire), and each one is given a chance to show why they think they are right and proper, but by the end of the movie, every last one of them has "blown up" in the faces of their proponents.

Now either you find that funny, or you don't. (A matter of taste.)

What fails:
The Calvary
The Businessman
The Temperance Movement
The Militia
Oracle Jones - both as oracle and as guide.
The Labor strike
Peaceful negotiation
Violent negotiation (the battle in the dust storm)
The Military band (do they actually get sent to Alaska?)
Turning chicken and running
and even cleanliness (bath anyone?)

THERE! THERE! NOW I SEE!!!
No need to try and to give us all a grade-school lesson. I'm pretty sure that most here understand what satire is. ;) In this case, for some of us, the satire just doesn't work that well and falls flat. It's not what they're doing, it's how they're going about it. It's completely subjective.

Glad you enjoy the film.
 

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