Essential John Wayne movies on DVD?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Tony Scello, Apr 21, 2003.

  1. Tony Scello

    Tony Scello Second Unit

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    I'm looking to add some John Wayne movies to my collection(I have none at the moment) and was looking for opinions on what others would consider essential John Wayne movies on DVD. I have to admit that I've seen very little of his work. It would be nice to hear comments on his best movies/roles and quality/supplements of the DVD's available at the present time. Thanks.
     
  2. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Obviously I can only comment on the DVDs I own, but others will no doubt chip in.

    The Searchers and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon are not only excellent transfers, but two of Wayne's finest performances. It's a real pity John Wayne DVDs seem to be devoid of any substantial extras (only a short John Ford 'home movie' on the latter), save Artisan's Rio Grande which boasts an extremely decent monochrome transfer, a making of featurette, and a Maureen O'Hara commentary.

    I'd also like to recommend The Quiet Man as another fine Wayne performance. Like to, but the Artisan disk is pitiful - possibly the worst transfer I have ever seen on DVD.

    Up and coming is Don Siegel's The Shootist, a beautiful movie, which hopefully will receive the transfer it deserves.

    ---
    So many films, so little time...
     
  3. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    In addition to The Searchers and She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, I would recommend the following:

    El Dorado
    Rio Bravo
    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
    True Grit

    As John stated, the transfer on The Quiet Man is very bad, so it's difficult to recommend that disc.
     
  4. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    I'll start by saying that I highly recommend Red River. Watched it about a week ago and found myself brought to tears at parts of it. Such a great film. Get it!


    As far as building a Duke collection, box sets are a good way to go for "essential" films. Here are a few of them, leaving out the Madacy and Delta crapola:

    Warner put out a John Wayne Collection featuring Searchers, Cowboys, and Stagecoach. It is hard to find but still available...which reminds me I need to pick one up.

    Artisan put out a John Wayne DVD Collection featuring Flying Tigers, Sands Of Iwo Jima, The Fighting Kentuckian, In Old California, and Rio Grande...a good box since it leaves out the excremental transfer of Quiet Man that was already mentioned.

    But the best box sets are coming next Tuesday (April 29th) from Paramount: The Best of John Wayne: Collection 1 (features the new-to-DVD film Rio Lobo, plus True Grit and El Dorado) and TBoJW: Collection 2 (features the long-out-on DVD films The Shootist and The Sons of Katie Elder, plus the new-to-DVD film (and personal favorite) Big Jake).


    You can also often find a 2-pack from MGM of The Alamo and The Kentuckian...often seen in Best Buy.


    If you get True Grit, don't forget to also track down a copy of Rooster Cogburn (...and the Lady). A highly enjoyable sequel!

    If you get both Rio Lobo and El Dorado, you *have* to nab the 1st version of that same story that Wayne did: Rio Bravo. The best of the three, in my opinion. By-the-way, John Carpenter remade this story into "Assault On Precinct 13" years later.

    To round out the westerns I'll mention, there are The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and the not-available-in-OAR-dammit great comedy film McLintock!. He also has a part in the epic How The West Was Won.

    Among his war films, many consider The Green Berets to be among his best, but I *MUCH* prefer the great Pearl Harbor classic, In Harm's Way. Great film!

    Getting further removed from the old west are the aforementioned The Quiet Man (awesome film; awful DVD) and the African adventure Hatari!


    I think that's enough John Wayne for now! [​IMG]
     
  5. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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  6. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    John, I DO own True Grit and El Dorado, so I've no need to pick up Collecton #1...I just need the new release for Rio Lobo. However, I don't have The Shootist (hence I can't answer your question, John) or Katie Elder, so I'll pick up the buck-or-two-cheaper Collection #2 box set...I'm looking SO foward to seeing Big Jake again you cannot imagine!

    Just to clarify which ones I own (and the rest of the ones I named, I consider "essential" and want to get):


    • El Dorado
      How The West Was Won
      In Harm's Way
      McLintock!
      {bought prior to seeing the OAR light}
      The Quiet Man {gift}
      Red River
      Rio Bravo
      Rooster Cogburn (...and the Lady)
      True Grit


    I can't believe that list is just 9 titles long! This thread has simply reminded me of how many others (17!) I have yet to purchase. Well, I'll be knocking out at least 4 of them in a week and a day, eh?

    For the rest, I better get cracking. I guess I can give up on waiting for the "real" version of The Alamo, and just settle for the current edition. [​IMG] Better than nothing.
     
  7. JamesHromadka

    JamesHromadka Stunt Coordinator

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    A few more of Wayne's movies are about to come out on DVD late May/Early June, including "North to Alaska", one of my favorite movies.
     
  8. Brian York

    Brian York Stunt Coordinator

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    *Fortunately* , I already knew to look for MARred versions of DVDs before making the mistake of buying the current version of McLintock! that's out there.

    Unfortunately, that means one of my favorite films of his is unavailable.

    Have any of you fellow Duke fans heard any rumors of a reissue of this title?

    (Tony - you might also consider Hondo for your collection-to-be)
     
  9. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    For war movies, I recommend The Longest Day. Although, John Wayne is just one of many stars in this movie. My other favorite JW movies have been covered by previous postings.
     
  10. CullenLJ

    CullenLJ Auditioning

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    The Cowboys -- in my humble opinion -- is the best of all the JW Movies. DVD is nothing special but the movie sure is [​IMG]
     
  11. Garrett Adams

    Garrett Adams Supporting Actor

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    The Shootist was released in July 2001. It's a decent transfer. I'll echo Red River. Saw it as a kid when it was released and Wayne's Thomas Dunson left a lasting impression on me (as did Robert Duvall's Augustus McCrea in Lonesome Dove). Wayne's first memorable Western was John Ford's Stage Coach in 1939.
     
  12. Steve K.H.

    Steve K.H. Supporting Actor

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    I notice that

    Big Jake
    and
    Rio Lobo

    have both been re-released (or released) to DVD just recently...

    Anyone check these out and have comments on quality...

    (Ron, more work for you [​IMG] )
     
  13. Gary Tooze

    Gary Tooze Producer

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  14. Blu

    Blu Screenwriter

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    They Were Expendable
     
  15. Bob Graham

    Bob Graham Supporting Actor

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    Not mentioned yet:

    STAGECOACH The film that made John Wayne a star. He's part of a great ensemble cast in this John Ford classic.

    SANDS OF IWO JIMA kind of a milestone in that this was a film where he began to be recognized as an "actor" as opposed to a "star".

    THE HORSE SOLDIERS For some reason, this Civil War doesn't have a great reputation among Ford enthusiasts, but it's one of my favorite John Wayne films (non-anamorphic transfer, though).

    THE SEARCHERS, RIO BRAVO and THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE belong in every serious film fan's library.

    Just in case you have a region-free DVD player, I'd also strongly recommend FORT APACHE, available just about everywhere but the United States
     
  16. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  17. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    When Rio Lobo and Big Jake hit this past Tuesday, I went on a buying spree. I couldn't find the box sets for anything, but individually I grabbed:
    • Big Jake
    • Rio Lobo
    • Rio Grande
    • Stagecoach
    • The Sons of Katie Elder
    • The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance


    I couldn't find The Shootist for the life of me! [​IMG]

    Some of the others I'll pick up the next time I have a coupon for certain stores. But for now that brings my Duke collection to 15. Nice!
     
  18. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    if anybody has a multi region player, get the German r2 She wore a yellow ribbon as it contains an hour long interview with John Ford.

    Fab

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Jeff Hansman

    Jeff Hansman Extra

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    The Duke was in his best element when in a western, and the best of those (IMHO) were The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Searchers, and Red River. These films are so good that even mediocre transfers bear watching.
     
  20. Brent Bridgeman

    Brent Bridgeman Second Unit

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    Anyone have any comments on the Rooster Cogburn transfer? I rented it from Netflix and it looked terrible on my 16x9 65" Mits. Looked highly compressed or something. Everything looked out of focus or blocky. I was thinking of buying this one, but that transfer was unwatchable, probably the worst I've seen.
     

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