Wayne's The Alamo; what are chances of the Roadshow version on DVD?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by John Hodson, May 1, 2005.

  1. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    I know, I know; The Alamo now belongs to Sony following the MGM takeover. I know that their record leaves something to be desired, but their treatment of Major Dundee leaves me with a glimmer of hope.

    Is there a chance that Sony will look to restoring John Wayne's epic The Alamo to as near as is possible, its original Roadshow version?

    I'm aware that the film has its critics, but I've watched it several times recently and there's so much to admire; the cinematography is fantastic, the stunts terrifc, the action scenes amazing, and it is quite possibly the great Dimitri Tiomkin's finest score.

    IIRC, Robert Harris said that the original elements of the Roadshow version, edited out of the current cut, were destroyed. But surely there are prints of sufficient quality to work with? Does any of the footage shot by Ford still exist? The current DVD is okay, but could be better quality wise, and I believe this is a movie that does indeed deserve the Special Edition Roadshow treatment

    Columbia's belated apology to Peckinpah is a magnificent undertaking and I can hardly wait for DVD this August. Now; can they treat America's greatest cinematic icon, John Wayne, with similar respect?
     
  2. Jo_C

    Jo_C Second Unit

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    The way things are going right now, chances are absolutely nada. As it has been said many, many times, although the film does exist in the general release version, it's the scenes that were cut away from the roadshow version that's in bad shape. The more time passes, the better chances we'll see the roadshow version pass into oblivion. That is, if you don't count the fact that the roadshow version exists only on digital/analog video and shows up occasionally on TCM.

    Calling Robert Harris...
     
  3. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Well, as soon as Columbia has full ownership of the MGM library (note: this is UA, AIP, Orion, etc, not the actual MGM films produced before 1986), we need to make sure they hear the demand for a restoration.
     
  4. David_Blackwell

    David_Blackwell Screenwriter

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    What about the director's cut version (the one that is longer than the Roadshow version according to the Internet Movie Database)?
     
  5. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    The Internet Movie Database is talking about the video releases when they say "Director's cut" and "Roadshow version". There was a laser disc and VHS tape release that has the words "Directors cut" on the front cover. This is the complete version (202 minutes) with overture, intermission and exit music that appeared in movie theaters when it premiered. The "Roadshow" version is 192 minutes without the overture, intermission and exit music.
     
  6. obscurelabel

    obscurelabel Stunt Coordinator

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  7. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Excellent link Larry;

    "Is "The Alamo" one of the great films?" Harris asks. "No. Wayne himself said it was full of speechifying. But to my mind, it's the consummate image of American patriotism and heroism and the birth of Texas. I still remember seeing that film as a 14-year-old, and how do you let something like that get away from you so kids can't see it again? You can't."

    That's a call to arms for Columbia to answer if ever I heard one. I wonder if Robert Harris would be so kind as to drop in with any updates?
     
  8. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Columbia is more than aware of the problem. No emails or other contacts necessary. Support from all is appreciated.

    RAH
     
  9. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    That's all I need to read; much appreciated Robert [​IMG]
     
  10. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    I could never watch the current edited version. I've watched my 202 minute Laserdisc edition so many times it's the only version I know and love. Seeing it chopped down would be like watching it in pan&scan! [​IMG]
     
  11. David_Blackwell

    David_Blackwell Screenwriter

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    Roland, it would still be interesting to have the option of having the overture (at least), the intermision, and exit music (last two not that important) as an option on a DVD release of the Roadshow version via seamless branching
     
  12. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    it was on tcm yesterday in a 3:30 slot.
    the info box shows it to be 210 minutes.

    scanning through it runs about 202 minutes.

    i guess this is the longer version that appears on the laser that some have netioned.
     
  13. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    I wonder if that a postitive indication; I would love to believe it is. BTW, I can't remember where I picked this link up, but I think it's an excellent summation - here.
     
  14. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Just giving this a quick bump; is there anything new to report?
     
  15. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Haven't heard anything, but this film and "The Horse Soldiers" need to be revisited on either SD or HD disc. For obvious reasons, I prefer the latter format.



    Crawdaddy
     
  16. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    I would love to see a better version of The Horse Soldiers as well
     
  17. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    Couldn't they at least use the laserdisc master to cobble together some sort of anamorphic DVD release? It would at least better than the upcoming Star Wars OOT.

    Ditto the need for an anamorphic Horse Soldiers.
     
  18. jim_falconer

    jim_falconer Supporting Actor

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    After watching the laserdisc release of 'The Horse Soldiers' for years, I am estactic with the current DVD release of the film...much clearer then any previous version released.
     
  19. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    Jim, do you have a 16:9 TV? The Horse Soldiers would look a lot better if it were anamorphically enhanced. It may look better than your laserdisc, which probably looked better than your VHS, but it would look better on DVD if it were anamorphic.

    I still remember taping movies off late-night TV from crappy 16mm prints and counting myself fortunate. But times and technology have changed.

    I agree that the current version is the best it's ever looked, but they could do better. Even the truncated Alamo is anamorphic.
     
  20. jim_falconer

    jim_falconer Supporting Actor

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    Absolutely David, I agree completely with you. But I watched this film so often on that crappy laserdisc release, that when the DVD came out, I couldn't believe how much clearer it was. Whereas the laserdisc had only one clear scene (after Lukey gets shot by a snipper's bullet, and Duke stands up after realizing she is dead),
    now the entire DVD presentation of the film is like that one scene. Would I like to see it re-released with it's picture enhanced for 16X9? Of course...but I'm very happy with the current release too.
     

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