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Old 28-04-2005, 10:43   #21
John Hodson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Armbruster
Surely, John, these aren't "classics," just old movies. Rio Bravo is a classic, The Searchers is a classic.
As Mike said, I was quoting the press release, but I will add that I think Tall In The Saddle is an excellent Wayne movie, and McQ an interesting film (excellent double header with Brannigan). In fact, I'm up for all of these, second division though they may be (and what's a 'classic' any way? ). I'm starting to re-watch some Wayne movies - mostly Andrew V. McLaglan stuff - that I found a little tedious at one time. Hell, give it a decent anamorphic transfer and a commentary track by someone who knows his Wayne, I'll even buy The Conqueror

I watched The Sons of Katie Elder again last week; here he was, just 18 months after having a cancerous lung removed (a condition I'm familiar with having seen my step-father go through the same ordeal), being 'John Wayne' for the people. No grit? Not much...

That's it, you see, I'm a card carrying fan. For me, from The Big Trail (even I can't watch those Hollywood quota oaters) until The Shootist, we have a man's whole life, right up there on the screen and that's part of the fascination.

Willncc - seek out Rio Bravo, El Dorado, the R1 She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, or the German R2 (or both!), you must buy The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, a simply fantastic achievement, the R1 Rio Grande is well worth buying (it has a nice 'making of' and a Maureen O'Hara commentary), and when you're steeped in a little Wayne lore watch The Shootist, a performance so courageous, so beautiful, that mere words don't do it justice; I'm in tears...and it's only that wonderful title sequence. If you love three-strip Technicolor then have a crack at Reap The Wild Wind. I'm hesitating with The Sands of Iwo Jima and They Were Expendable because I think we'll see them in better versions sooner rather than later (the former part of that Paramount Republic issue I mentioned, and the latter possibly as part of that Warners Ford / Wayne box)

There are lots more Wayne films well worth getting, and I'm sure - I sincerely hope - we'll see them recommended in this thread.

That Paramount news in full. This is from the 'Upcoming Thread' and you'll note we should already be seeing the fruits by now, but it's coming and that's good news:

PARAMOUNT AND JOHN WAYNE’S BATJAC PRODUCTIONS SIGN WORLDWIDE DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT

-- Rare Wayne Classics to Make Way to DVD and TV Beginning May 2005 --

HOLLYWOOD, September 8, 2004 -- Paramount Home Entertainment and Paramount’s television distribution entities have entered into an agreement with Batjac Productions, the production company founded by John Wayne, for worldwide DVD and television distribution. The agreement was announced today by Thomas Lesinski, President, Paramount Pictures, Worldwide Home Entertainment, Joel Berman, President, Paramount Worldwide Television Distribution and Gretchen Wayne, president of Batjac and wife of the actor’s late son, Michael, who owned the company for over 30 years.

Beginning in Spring 2005, Paramount will distribute a number of beloved but rarely seen John Wayne vehicles from the 1950s and 1960s, including a newly restored The High and the Mighty (1954) and Island in the Sky (1953), neither of which has previously been released on VHS or DVD. The restoration of The High and the Mighty, by Gretchen Wayne, will see the film returned to its glorious original 35mm film and presented in Stereo 5.1. Other Wayne classics making their DVD debut under the distribution pact include Hondo (1953) and “McLintock!” (1962), neither of which has been released on DVD domestically or home video internationally by Batjac. These classic films will include bonus features from Batjac’s extensive library of never-before-seen film memorabilia once they debut on DVD, including commentaries with the filmmakers and cast and featurettes on the making of the films, their subjects and their eras, incorporating new interviews and archival materials.

Paramount will also release five films for basic cable, international markets and DVD that were produced by Batjac in which John Wayne did not appear: Man in the Vault (1956), Plunder of the Sun (1953), Ring of Fear (1954), Seven Men from Now (1956) and Track of the Cat (1954).

The deal consolidates much of the home entertainment distribution of John Wayne films under one roof. Paramount’s now owns 63 Wayne titles, such as True Grit, El Dorado, Big Jake, The Shootist, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Donovan's Reef, Hatari! and The Sons of Katie Elder, among others. Broad integrated marketing initiatives are planned across both home entertainment and television divisions in support of the Batjac titles throughout 2005 and 2006.

“Paramount has enjoyed a wonderful relationship with John Wayne and his family for more than half a century,” said Lesinski. “With the addition of these timeless treasures to our existing John Wayne library, Paramount has truly become the home of John Wayne’s films.”

Gretchen Wayne added: “In recent years there has been growing demand by fans of my late father-in-law to see these films released on DVD and on television. We are excited to have found the perfect partner to accomplish this in Paramount.”

“We are delighted to welcome these John Wayne classics into our television library,” said Joel Berman, President, Paramount Worldwide Television Distribution. “As an American icon with a timeless appeal, John Wayne speaks to a whole new generation of movie lovers.”

Among the films to be released under the agreement are:

The High and the Mighty (1954) - Wayne stars as a washed-up pilot who must guide a damaged airliner to safety in this forerunner to modern disaster movies. Co-starring Claire Trevor and Robert Stack, it was nominated for six Oscars® including Best Director (William A. Wellman).

Island in the Sky (1953) - Wayne is the pilot of a transport plane that crashes in the remote reaches of sub-Arctic Canada. As he struggles to keep his stranded crew alive in the deadly conditions, a rescue team desperately searches for them in the vast snow-covered wilderness.

Hondo (1953) - Geraldine Page (nominated for an Oscar for her role) and Ward Bond join Wayne in this adaptation of a Louis L'Amour story about a half-breed Cavalry dispatch rider who protects a woman and her son living amidst warning Apaches.

“McLintock!” (1963) - Wayne stars as cattle rancher George Washington McLintock who spars with his wife (Maureen O'Hara), their daughter (Stefanie Powers) and greedy land-grabbers in this hilarious western comedy.

Man in the Vault (1956) - In this taut thriller, William Campbell stars as a locksmith forced to crack a bank safe deposit box in order to save his girlfriend (Karen Sharpe) from a ruthless mobster played by Berry Kroeger. Anita Ekberg also stars.

Plunder of the Sun (1953) - Glenn Ford is an American claims adjuster caught up in a deadly hunt for Zapotecan treasure in this mystery set in Mexico. .

Ring of Fear (1954) - Circus impresario and famed animal trainer Clyde Beatty plays himself in this whodunit about a series of suspicious accidents under the Big Top. Detective novelist Mickey Spillane, also as himself, arrives on the scene to solve the crime.

Seven Men from Now (1956) - Randolph Scott is a former sheriff who tracks seven men through the desert in an effort to avenge his wife's murder.

Track of the Cat (1954) - Tough guy Robert Mitchum stalks a panther that killed his younger brother (William Hopper) while his snowbound family begins to disintegrate. Directed by four-time Oscar nominee William A. Wellman (The Ox-Bow Incident, The High and The Mighty).

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Old 28-04-2005, 11:23   #22
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I absolutely adore Hatari! I think the DVD transfer is pretty fab and I love the way the picture just ambles along - it was made in the days of roadshow presentations in 70mm with intermissions, and while Hawks eschews both large format and a comfort break, he benefitted from studio laxity in running times. Wayne, still wearing his sheriff outfit but without the badge, is actually very revealing in this movie - visibly awkward in the "love scenes" and quite at home when playing tug'o'war with a rhino. The picture gave me a new buzzword - Ngorongoro. I think I'd rather have Hatari than any number of box-set westerns.
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Old 28-04-2005, 11:41   #23
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Noone mentioned Red River yet!! One of my faves (both in Howard Hawks and JW catalogue), a beautiful, beautiful film that i find endlessly rewatchable! And the MGM disc is dirt cheap.
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Old 28-04-2005, 12:43   #24
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Herb Kane's review of Tall in The Saddle from the John Wayne Legendary Heroes box set is here.
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Old 29-04-2005, 12:18   #25
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DVD Beaver's review of the whole JWLH box set is here - dial-up members beware; loads of screen caps! Those caps of McQ make me want to watch it now dammit!, though I'm 'in transit' at DVD Soon, so it shouldn't be long.

Note in the 'Features' section the Beaver says: "5 Erroly Flynn classic films all with commentary"

I'll have what he's been having...

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Old 02-05-2005, 15:39   #26
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John Wayne invested so much time, effort - money - in The Alamo which now belongs to Sony / Columbia TriStar 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 that the Roadshow edition of Wayne's vast project, last seen on LD and video tape, may make it to DVD one day.

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. The print used by Sky, BTW, looks to be on a par with MGM's current disc, if not a little better.

This link - courtesy of Larry at the HTF - reveals the back story to the emasculation of The Alamo, and fascinating it is. Does any of the footage shot by John 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?

This is what's on the LD and tape, and missing from the DVD, according to IMDB:

The original overture, intermission, theatrical trailer, and end themes;
The "Jefferson Speech" extended between Col. Travis & Cap. Dickinson;
The death of Emil Sand;
Conversation between Col. Travis & Col. Bowie regarding Col. Fannin;
The death of the Parson and Scotty;
Crockett's prayer following Parson's & Scotty's death;
The "Philosophical Debate" when the Alamo defenders talk about God;
More complete "Gunpowder Raid" scene;
Crocket''s night with Senora;
Senora's brief scene with a fleeing young woman;
Birthday Party for Dickson's child;
Bonham's orginal report to Travis;
A slightly different Crockett death scene.


From the link above (and more power to archivist and restorer Robert Harris);

"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...

BTW, Robert Harris has just said that Columbia is very well aware of the problem, which is excellent news. And can I commend you to this review of the film. Excellent stuff.

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Old 03-05-2005, 13:39   #27
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From the Classic Forum Bargain Thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre07
Well if the R2 is anamorphic it's only £5.99 at Play
The 'it' being Burt Kennedy's The War Wagon, which is 2.35:1 anamorphic (unlike the R1), and quite a nice transfer it is too. The print is in pretty good shape, not too many marks overall, the worst - that tear as seen in the screen cap over at Michael DVD's review of the R4 - isn't half as bad as it looks, and no where near as bad as the one on The Horse Soldiers disc.

But we are dealing with Universal, so I must have an obligatory moan; the menu is one of those wordless efforts, produced as it is to cover a number of European countries. That's not the issue, it's the God-awful generic banjo 'music' they have covering the menus, slapped on to the DVD. This is another film with a fine Tiomkin score and an eminently hummable theme - 'Look at that wagon, where is it going, war wagon, war wagon...' - and they give us elevator music. Phooey!

Still, Kirk Douglas, John Wayne in a western that's good fun; that'll do me...
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Old 03-05-2005, 13:46   #28
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Also a heads up that some of the afore mentioned Marion Classics are down to $6.98 before discount at dvdsoon, incl:

Red River, True Grit, The Sons of Katie Elder, The Shootist, El Dorado, Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Brannigan.

Bargains one and all.......

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Old 03-05-2005, 14:39   #29
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Thanks for the updates guys. Will check out "The War Wagon", John - I saw it as a 7 year old on a Saturday matinee performance and remember thoroughly enjoying it.
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Old 03-05-2005, 14:59   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
Thanks for the updates guys. Will check out "The War Wagon", John - I saw it as a 7 year old on a Saturday matinee performance and remember thoroughly enjoying it.
Well it's Burt Kennedy so we know what we're getting; great entertainment for kids (of all ages... ). While I'm here I'll add another Wayne $6.98-er* - The Alamo. I finally got round to watching the documentary, and there is at least one John Ford directed scene in there...

*And another Hatari.

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Old 03-05-2005, 16:51   #31
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I haven't seen "The Alamo" for years and years. I think it's time for another viewing.

I'll also put a word in for "The Train Robbers". It's scrappy and cheaply made but Duke is in fine form and Ann-Margret is a feisty heroine. Much preferable to the reactionary vehicles that Big John made with McLaglen around the same time like the awful "Cahill".
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Old 05-05-2005, 09:02   #32
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The Digital Bits is reporting that the first of those John Wayne films mentioned above - The High and The Mighty - is coming in August. No details, but just to double underline what they've said in the past:

The restoration of The High and the Mighty, by Gretchen Wayne, will see the film returned to its glorious original 35mm film and presented in Stereo 5.1...These classic films will include bonus features from Batjac’s extensive library of never-before-seen film memorabilia once they debut on DVD, including commentaries with the filmmakers and cast and featurettes on the making of the films, their subjects and their eras, incorporating new interviews and archival materials.
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Old 10-05-2005, 08:57   #33
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Whoa! How cool is this cover art at www.davisdvd.com for The High and The Mighty, confirming that it's a 2-disc CE, and part of 'The John Wayne Collection'. Bring on those disc details!
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Old 11-05-2005, 17:28   #34
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Take two a day, after meals...

I'm on record - elsewhere in this forum - of saying that I dislike the work of Andrew V. MacLaglan; vulger hack work. Pshaw! Anyhoo, the Warners double pack of Cahill; U.S. Marshal and Chisum - both from the oeuvre of the aforementioned Mr MacLaglan arrived today (currently £5.80 for the pair from DVD Soon). Obsessive? Moi?

PQ on both seems pretty decent, even on the contemporary featurettes, and I'm looking forward to the insights of Andrew V. who's doing commentary duty on both films. In fact, I've already thoroughly enjoyed the title sequence to Chisum ('Chisum! John Chisum! Weary! Saddle wooorn!') with its Dominic 'The Invaders' Frontiere theme song featuring a 'rap' sequence by William 'Cannon' Conrad - there's a grave danger I might even enjoy the films!

But of all Wayne's films, I despise the savage brutality that lies within Big Jake and I've said publicly I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole (I've, er, currently got it on back order).

I need help...

Meanwhile, reports on the HTF suggest that as well as The High and The Mighty, Paramount is also releasing the Duke's Island in The Sky as a CE in August. Yum.

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Old 11-05-2005, 19:09   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hodson
Anyhoo, the Warners double pack of Cahill; U.S. Marshal and Chisum - both from the oeuvre of the aforementioned Mr MacLaglan arrived today (currently £5.80 for the pair from DVD Soon). Obsessive? Moi?
My pack is still on order, I'm waiting. Are these the old snappers or both discs in a double-keepcase ?
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Old 11-05-2005, 19:14   #36
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Snappers Frank, strapped together.
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Old 11-05-2005, 20:07   #37
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I really need to get my Wayne collection started. Coming from a family (grandfather, father, and uncles) who adored him, I was brought up to appreciate his work. Its shocking to think that I haven't acquired any of the great mans dvds yet!

Its sounds like that DVD gift set might be a good place to start, yes?
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Old 11-05-2005, 21:38   #38
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This John Wayne DVD Gift Set ? $34.51 CAD for five spanking films; El Dorado, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Shootist, The Sons Of Katie Elder, True Grit
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Old 12-05-2005, 11:33   #39
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Yep, that's the one. Seems like a good enough place to start.
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Old 15-05-2005, 20:01   #40
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here are the specs

Details on the DVD's:

THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY

Year: 1954
Running Time: 2 Hours 28 Minutes
Special Collector's Edition 2 Disc DVD Set
Widescreen Version Enhanced for 16:9 TVs
Dolby Digital: English 5.1 Surround, English 2.0 Surround
English Subtitles
Introduction by Leonard Matlin
Commentary by Leonard Matlin, William Wellman, Jr., Karen Sharpe, Pedro Gonzales-Gonzales and Vincent Longo
The Batjac Story
Stories From The Set
The Music And World Of Dimitri Tiomkin
Restoring A Classic
A Place In Flim History
Ernest K. Gann - Adventurer, Author & Artist
Flying In The Fifties
Theatrical Trailer
Television Trailer
The High And The Mighty Premiere Footage
Batjac Montage
Photo Gallery







Island in the Sky


THE ISLAND IN THE SKY

Year: 1953
Running Time: 1 Hours 49 Minutes
Special Collector's Edition
Full Screen Format
Dolby Digital: English Mono
English Subtitles
Introduction by Leonard Matlin
Commentary by Leonard Matlin, William Wellman, Jr., Darryl Hickman, James Lydon and Vincent Longo
Dooley's Down: The Making of Island In The Sky
Ernest K. Gann - Adventurer, Author & Artist
Flight School - The Art of Aerial Photography
The John Wayne Stock Company: Harry Carey,Jr.
Flying For Uncle Sam
Theatrical Trailer
Newsreel Footage of Premiere
Introduction to Gunsmoke TV Promo
Batjac Montage
Photo Gallery
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Big Jake, Blood Alley, Centenary Releases, Donovan's Reef, El Dorado, Hatari!, John Wayne, Lana Turner, Man in the Vault, McQ, Plunder of the Sun, Ring of Fear, Rio Bravo, Rio Grande, Seven Men from Now, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Tall in the Saddle, The John Wayne Legendary Heroe, The Man Who Shot Liberty Vala', The Sea Chase, The Shootist, The Train Robbers, Tie A Yellow Ribbon, Track of the Cat, True Grit

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