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Blu-ray Review International A Few Words About A few words about…™ The Long Gray Line – in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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I'm a huge John Ford fan. Always have been.

From a technical perspective, he's one of a tiny number of filmmakers to work in every format that I can think of.

His 1955 CinemaScope, Eastman Color The Long Gray line was Columbia's first foray into Cinemascope. The studio released eight film in the format in 1955 (none earlier).

In 1953, Mr. Ford took over for John Farrow to direct the final scenes for Hondo - Eastman Color and 3-D.

On his CV, were films in black and white, 1.33 silent, 1.37, three-strip Technicolor, the just noted CinemaScope, VistaVision, Cinerama and 70mm.

What other filmmakers represent all of those attributes?

As a film, it has the purity of that great Ford nostalgia, with Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara in the leads.

I love the film. Had an original 35 dye transfer print in magnetic stereo (now at AMPAS), and which served as reference for this Blu-ray.

And I've been waiting patiently for someone - anyone - to license it and bring it out domestically. But no luck.

So I finally broke down and imported the Powerhouse / Indicator set, which also offers The Last Hurrah, Gideon's Day aka Gideon of Scotland Yard (in color), and The Whole Town's Talking.

I'm thrilled with the presentation- color, grain structure, black levels all in place, and equally as thrilled to have this film on Blu-ray.

Now it's safe for some entity to license it domestically.

Image – 5

Audio – 5 (3-track stereo)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD - Absolutely

Up-rez to 4k - Beautiful

Highly Recommended

RAH
 

Patrick McCart

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The "Ford at Columbia" box by Indicator is one of my favorite of their releases. The Long Gray Line doesn't exactly do anything groundbreaking with the biopic format, but it's gorgeously shot and Tyrone Power is just magnificent. Enough charisma for several films.

I initially hesitated to pick up this box set since it didn't seem enough that these are works by John Ford, but all four films are terrific. Plus, I believe all four are full 4K restorations by Sony with all the expected quality. While Twilight Time released The Whole Town's Talking and The Last Hurrah here, I don't think anyone has touched this or Gideon's Day. Which is a shame - perhaps Indicator can release a US version now that they have a presence here. The Whole Town's Talking is a fun screwball comedy (!) by Ford with an equally great lead performance from Edward G. Robinson. It has some astonishing visual effects for the time that many might not even notice. Gideon's Day is also a lot of fun, with Jack Hawkins flexing his comedic muscles. The Last Hurrah is worth it just for the outstanding cast and Spencer Tracy's lead performance.

On that note, it's worth noting that this is a region B locked box (except for Gideon's Day - apparently it was licensed as a separate title initially). There's also a fifth Ford/Columbia title, Two Rode Together, which has been out of print for years after a Twilight Time release, but it's still in print from Eureka/Masters of Cinema. Seems to be quite affordable on Amazon UK if one is going to import this box anyways.
 

Capt D McMars

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This is a must-have set. Although I had all the other films on disc, I had to order it just for The Long Gray Line. With all its faults, I love it still...it had to be Ford, wonderful Ford, it had to be Ford.
Once my friend Bob R told me about it there was no hesitation to be able to own a HD version of laundry line with tyrone power and Maureen O’Hara was really a no brainer for me. Not to mention the fact of three additional classic John Ford movies was the quickest pop I’ve had to do in years!!!
 

jim_falconer

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I remember seeing The Long Grey Line on TCM a number of years back, and it left me cold. Not sure if it was the lack of a cohesive story, or that the leads weren’t right for their parts.
However, if it ever gets a proper release here in the states, I’d probably give it another try.
 

lark144

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Mr. Harris, I imported this set a few months ago as well, during Indicator/Powerhouse's last sale, also for "The Long Grey Line", which, as you stated, looks fabulous, and has long been one of my favorite Fords of the 1950's.

Recently, I watched "Gideon's Day", which I had only previously seen in black & white. Seeing it in color was a revelation to me, not only for the beauty of Freddie Young's lighting, but the film itself turns out to be a major Ford film, which I highly recommend, in case you havn't watched it yet.
 

Robin9

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This is a must-have set. Although I had all the other films on disc, I had to order it just for The Long Gray Line. With all its faults, I love it still...it had to be Ford, wonderful Ford, it had to be Ford.
I'm pleased to see that you admire good songs as well as good films! :)
 

Mark-P

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For those interested in getting this transfer without importing the Blu-ray, the streaming version on the Movies Anywhere app has it, only difference being 2.0 channel stereo instead of 3.0 channel. I watched it for Memorial Day, and it looks terrific. So happy to have it In my collection.
 

Capt D McMars

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For those interested in getting this transfer without importing the Blu-ray, the streaming version on the Movies Anywhere app has it, only difference being 2.0 channel stereo instead of 3.0 channel. I watched it for Memorial Day, and it looks terrific. So happy to have it In my collection.
Agreed, although I had to buy the John Ford Box set to get it, I gladly did!! The other titles are nice bonus to have, but the main porpose was the get this classic!!
 

lark144

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Agreed, although I had to buy the John Ford Box set to get it, I gladly did!! The other titles are nice bonus to have, but the main porpose was the get this classic!!
Just make sure you watch GIDEON'S DAY, which is a major revelation and a major Ford, and has never before been seen in color in the colonies, which makes a huge difference. And such color! One of Freddie Young's finest lensings of the 1950's. Very subtle and dynamic and memorable. A completely different film from the one seen here in black & white.
 

Capt D McMars

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Just make sure you watch GIDEON'S DAY, which is a major revelation and a major Ford, and has never before been seen in color in the colonies, which makes a huge difference. And such color! One of Freddie Young's finest lensings of the 1950's. Very subtle and dynamic and memorable. A completely different film from the one seen here in black & white.
I loved them but my focus was always The Long Gray Line...
 

RMajidi

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Wonderful film!

Memorable portrayals all around. Perhaps my favourite of Donald Crisp’s performances, which is saying a lot, as I love every performance of his and have many of them in my film collection.

Simply his gait and stance as he makes his first entrance tells you everything about the character and the man.

….and a beautiful Blu-ray, to boot.
 

Capt D McMars

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Wonderful film!

Memorable portrayals all around. Perhaps my favourite of Donald Crisp’s performances, which is saying a lot, as I love every performance of his and have many of them in my film collection.

Simply his gait and stance as he makes his first entrance tells you everything about the character and the man.

….and a beautiful Blu-ray, to boot.
About Donald Crisp, in the extras in the BD of The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, it mentioned than he was in more films than any other film actor, in over 400 films. And was part of the John Ford crew as well...Crisp always brought his characters to life, yet always insurting a bit of himself in the roles that he played. One amazing actor!!
 

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Robert Harris

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About Donald Crisp, in the extras in the BD of The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, it mentioned than he was in more films than any other film actor, in over 400 films. And was part of the John Ford crew as well...Crisp always brought his characters to life, yet always insurting a bit of himself in the roles that he played. One amazing actor!!
If you’ve not seen Broken Blossoms lately…
 

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