What's Up with Stagecoach DVD?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jason_Els, Mar 9, 2002.

  1. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    Bought 'Stagecoach' the other day as a gift for my uncle but lo and behold I look at the back of the snapper [​IMG] case and I see the dreaded, "....it has been edited to fit your TV screen." ?!?! Now I'm positive 'Stagecoach' was shot at 1.37:1 so did they really lop off the edges to create a perfect 1.33:1? That would seem to serve no purpose to me except sheer spite. Or is it that Warner puts that blurb on the back of all their 1.33:1 films even if the OAR is Academy thinking, "who cares?" ?
    I've heard the DVD is less than good which is a pity because John Ford films deserve to have better treatment. Any one care to comment?
    Thanks!
    Jason
     
  2. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    It's a misprint.

    Stagecoach is 1.33:1, thus it wouldn't be cropped on TV.

    I find this odd...the 1.33:1 films from WB that I have say "STANDARD VERSION Presented In A Format Preserving The Aspect Ratio Of Its Original Theatrical Exhibition"

    Keep in mind that nearly every film made before 1953 was filmed for 1.33:1 (1.37:1 for silent films, 1.20:1 for some early MovieTone films)
     
  3. Ryan L B

    Ryan L B Supporting Actor

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    will there be a special edition, or at least a fully restored version
     
  4. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    I personally haven't heard of any redo of this title for DVD (The Searchers could use one too), but I agree that the Ford catalogue deserves better DVDs. It's too bad Warner put these out early on instead of now because they would have looked fantastic.

    That being said, Stagecoach is not that bad a DVD. I've seen far worse and I think it's still worth having.
     
  5. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Only a digital restoration is possible...
    Stagecoach's original negative isn't with us anymore. [​IMG]
     
  6. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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  7. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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  8. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    I'm so glad to hear others say that. Too often the western genre get short shrift because of the sheer quantity of bad westerns out there. To say I'm a big fan of westerns would be a lie, I'm not; but I do believe that some of the genre are truly exemplars of film excellence. Ford's films always capture the landscape and use it as a character in the film like any other. Whatever happens in a Ford western always seems to be the result of the land itself. Certainly Stagecoach brings home how the loneliness and vulnerability of a small party of travelers brought together for a dangerous journey is caused by the land itself. The Searchers too accomplishes the same thing on what seems an even greater scale. For intensely visual films such as these I think a restoration is long overdue.
    Whether or not the original negatives are in existance is secondary to preserving the work as best we can. One of the great advantages of digital restoration is that it can be undone, unlike the restoration of paintings, furniture, or buildings, if something isn't done correctly or well. There is no physical change to the preserved media itself; it is merely copied and then alterations are made to the copy. Perhaps one day, like with Dreyer's Passion of Joan of Arc, a pristine orignal print, negative, or interpositive will magically appear and we can restore Stagecoach to exactly what Ford wanted. Until then, we must make do with what we have and do it quickly before this and other great films are lost forever. Just think of the tragedy of Greed and realize we must act now.
     

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