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Custom Cover The Shootist

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert George, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. Message #1 of 23 Apr 16, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
    Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    John Wayne's 1976 swan song, and what many consider among the best of the Duke's westerns, The Shootist, has been released on Blu-ray in Germany with a fairly amazing 1.85:1 widescreen transfer. I had forgotten the stature of the cast in this film, but it has been a real pleasure to revisit The Shootist.

    One word of caution if you are planning to import this disc. It is region B locked, so you will have to be able to accommodate that. If you are interested in an English cover, I have been inspired to create a custom cover. It's getting late, but I decided to share this work in progress. I'll post the finished cover later this weekend.

    Shootist WiP Preview.

    Here's the finished cover. Uploaded to the usual places.

    Shootist Preview.
     
  2. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    Updated with finished cover.
     
  3. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    Classic!!
     
  4. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Cinematographer

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    I think he should have made The Cowboys his last western, a far better film than The Shootist.
     
  5. Robin9

    Robin9 Producer

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    I'm astonished that you believe that. No film star had a more appropriate last film than John Wayne.
     
  6. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    Of course such a subjective topic could be debated till the cows come home. Personally, I also consider the parallels between the story of The Shootist and Wayne's personal struggle with cancer at the time, not to mention this was the last film before his death, carry a particular resonance that I feel throughout viewing the film now. But, while I consider The Shootist among Wayne's best films, I would not place it at the top of that list. Certainly The Cowboys is indeed an exceptional film, as much for the ensemble nature of the film with the very gifted young actors (and the scene-chewing Bruce Dern) as for Wayne's above average performance.
     
    Walsh61 likes this.
  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Personally, I'm more incline to think The Shootist is the more appropriate movie to be his last film.
     
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  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Thanks Obi, I'm going to buy this release now knowing somebody I trust has seen it and recommends it.
     
  9. jim_falconer

    jim_falconer Supporting Actor

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    Wish I had a region free player. Looks like I'll have to keep waiting for Paramount to release a region A Blu-ray Disc
     
  10. John Hermes

    John Hermes Screenwriter

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    I suggest you get a region-free player when you can. It has eliminated a lot of frustration and waiting for me. There are some good deals out there.
     
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  11. bruceames

    bruceames Supporting Actor

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    Cheap enough to import ($16) but a review on the site is giving me pause (as well as the fact that I think a U.S. release will be coming).
     
  12. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    It's heartbreakingly perfect.
     
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  13. Rodney

    Rodney Screenwriter
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    The US release will probably happen right after you purchase this German release, so could you do the rest of us a favor and buy it? :)
     
  14. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    This year is the 40th anniversary year, but I have no idea if anyone at either Warner or Paramount is paying attention to that.
     
  15. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    There are other alternatives to a separate player, but I guess we don't discuss that sort of thing here.
     
  16. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Producer

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    Mine's on its way, so this will surely happen before long. :)

    While THE SHOOTIST was Wayne's swan song, he did consider starring in CATTLE ANNIE AND LITTLE BRITCHES (Burt Lancaster took the part), and, believe it or not, BEYOND THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, when Burt Reynolds and Clint Eastwood (believe it or not) were also circling it. Steven Spielberg wanted him for 1941 but Wayne found the script un-American and criticized the director for wanting to film it; Robert Stack played Stilwell. This from Scott Eyman's excellent biography.
     
  17. AshJW

    AshJW Supporting Actor

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    I heard/read of some DNR use. Hope it's not to much of it.
     
  18. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    It's not a perfect transfer, and perhaps I should qualify my comment as "amazingly good considering it is from a German distributor, and the old DVD looked absolutely terrible".

    There are a few rough patches. The opening credit sequence actually looks like an upscale, though opticals can lose considerable detail with older film elements. The image sharpens up nicely following the opening credits. Color balance and saturation looks to be spot on.

    FYI, I am watching upscaled 4K on an 85" Samsung UHD. It holds up nicely on that rig.
     
  19. bronson

    bronson Stunt Coordinator

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    Robert George: I have the German blu-ray and it looks "under average". Some Germans have the blu-ray as well and say the same thing.
    So do us a favor and don´t recommend the blu-ray because it´s far away from good looking.

    In comparison to other blu-rays of Duke (The Undefeated, North to Alaska, Hellfighters etc.) it looks not good at all.
     
  20. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    I understand your comment, but I learned long ago that comparing different transfers from different film elements, from different studios, from different time periods, is a useless exercise. Every disc should be taken as what it is and should be placed in the context of what historical reference is available for that source.

    Based on every previous version of The Shootist on video that I have seen, the German Blu-ray is an easy recommendation. I agree, it does not have the clarity, depth, detail of a new film, or even any number of remasters/restorations of older films. But that is not what this is. The Shootist on this Blu-ray is the only HD version of this film on video (that I am aware of) and cannot be compared to any other Blu-ray. If/when Paramount decides to release this film on Blu-ray in the US, or any other territory for that matter, then one can make a valid comparison. Until that happens, I stand by my comments on this disc, and my recommendation.

    Now, perhaps you could do a favor and qualify your comments with what your expectations are since you are making a subjective statement as an absolute.
     

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