Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Brian Keith, Vera Miles, Brandon De Wilde, Walter Brennan, Ed Wynn
Director: Norman Tokar
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family
Cam Calloway (Brian Keith) is a man with a dream: to one day establish a sanctuary for the geese that fly overhead during their long migration. Unfortunately, Cam lacks the money to buy the necessary property -- until his ... more »
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Beware Disney's 1.66:1 ratio DVD's
Yarby | Medina, OH United States | 06/13/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"With the ration of 16x9 television actually being 1.78 to 1, how does Disney fit it's 1.66 to 1 movies on widescreen....by chopping off information, that's how.First, Disney gives us full frame Pan & Scan pictures. Then, once someone has convinced them to start selling widescreen DVD's, they still can't get it right and adjust the picture so we see all of it.In "Those Calloways", it is immediately noticeable during the opening credits....and continually pops up in the form of decapitated actors [or at least the TOPS of their heads.]Tyring to get a decent transfer of a movie out of Disney appears to be like pulling teeth."
A Disney favorite in Widescreen!
microjoe | 02/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Thanks so everyone at Buena Vista Home Video for releasing this film in its original theatrical ratios. While there are no "extras" on this disc, the one "extra" that really counts -- the entire film as it was meant to be seen -- is there. Hopefully, this release (and the release of "The Absent-Minded Professor" in widescreen) signal a shift in Disney policies. After all, these older films, created by Walt himself, appeal to serious Disney collectors who want the option of viewing films in their original ratios. Dare we hope that future releases will also be available in widescreen?"
microjoe | 12/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Story: In a remote area of 1930's Vermont, a small town named Swiftwater is proud of their small town country atmosphere. They are happy behind the times and away from the hustle and bustle of big city life and tourism. All that changes when a traveling salesman discovers their town and the flocks of Canadian geese that fly over every year. He begins convincing the town they are sitting on a gold mine of hunter tourism potential. But he has to get past Cam Calloway (Brian Keith), a local trapper that many think is a crackpot for protecting the geese. His true friends think he is a hero as they know that if tourist sized groups of hunters move in they will lose their flocks.
The Calloway family lives out in the woods in conditions not that far from a frontier lifestyle on land owned by the local land baron, quick to throw anyone off their land for a penny short on a payment. He hopes the Calloway's are late on their mortgage since he has loggers that want the land. Cam Calloway is part Indian and feels closeness to the land, but is a very poor man. While he is a trapper by trade, his tribal totem is the geese and he goes to great lengths to protect them. He uses a big chunk of their winter profit without discussing it with his wife first in order to put a down payment on some land for a sanctuary for the geese. But an unexpected sudden crash in the fur market causes him to lose the mortgage on his house. Naturally his wife is furious. His wife Liddy (played wonderfully Vera Miles) ebbs and flows from tolerance and understanding to frustration and rage. After losing the house, she pushes him to build a house on the new sanctuary land. When his building is slow going due to his focusing on his goose work, the family friends join together for an old-fashioned house raising and dance. In a welcome turn of events an anonymous philanthropist donates cash to help the sanctuary, but there are questionable motives at work, and the deceived Calloway fights back, risking his own life for his beloved geese.
This movie has much more complicated relationships and characters than a typical Disney movie. Cam is a wonderful family man, but whenever things go really badly he starts drinking, he seems to ruin things for himself and the family. In the meantime their 18 year old son is trying to help his family, while trying to untangle his own tension and feelings about the girl Bridie (played by a teenage Linda Evans) that has been his life long pal, and is suddenly becoming a woman. Jealousy and confusion cause him to lash out in unexpected ways. His scenes when he is trapped in a wolverine den fighting for his life are action packed and suspenseful. All in all a wonderful film filled with good life lessons. Unlike other projects from the studio, the characters are not simply good and bad, but more like real people with failed aspirations, faults, combined with strengths that make them special. Romance, comedy, suspense, action, drama, nostalgia,.. this film has it all.
BEHIND THE SCENES & TRIVIA: Walt Disney was still alive during production, and his influence on the film still shows. He was brave enough to make movies that did not fit into any existing category, or make a movie that was not "typical" for him. Brian Keith and Vera Miles are incredible in their complex shifting characters. The film is loaded with a strong group of supporting actors such as Ed Wynn and Walter Brennan. Directed by Norman Tokar, the screenplay was developed by studio regular Louis Pelletier from a book by "Swiftwater" by Paul Annixter". Pelletier also worked on other Disney films including "Big Red", "Follow Me Boys!", and "The Horse in the Grey Flannel Suit". The inspiring musical score was composed by Oscar winning Max Steiner, famous for his compositions for Casablanca, Gone With the Wind, Treasure of the Sierra Madre and more. Well known for how highly he thought of himself, he advised the screenwriter, "Don't worry young man, I'll save the the picture". The famous composing Sherman Brothers wrote the songs "Rhyme-Around", and "The Cabin-Raising Song", both from the house raising scene. Studio animal trainer William Koehler trained the wolverine, bear, dog and other animals, (see his book "The Wonderful World of Disney Animals"). The scene where Vera Miles beats a bear with a broom is quite real, the bear was terrified and took off running under her enthusiastic blows.
Reviewers at the time raved about the authentic New England scenery with its seasonal colors, but very few shots were actually done on location. The hunting scenes and some establishing shots of the woods, geese flocks, and hills were shot in Vermont, but then the work moved to the Disney studio lot. The crew built the cabins, lake, and town at an area of the studio known as Berm five. Extensive matte shots (not by Peter Ellenshaw this time) helped for the backgrounds, and greensmen created hand painted trees and shrubs by coating live trees and shrubs with molasses to protect them, then spray painting the colors on them. Tons of liquid amber trees and elms were also planted on the studio lot. An 18" lake was dug up and filled with water, then surrounded with 600 cornstalks to create the goose sanctuary. The interior sets were decorated by Emile Kuri, whose interior design work is in almost every Disney movie prior to Walt's death. Theatrically released on June 28, 1965 in Technicolor, the running time is 131 minutes. Four years later it aired on the "Wonderful World of Disney" anthology television show for the first time as one of the few 3 part episodes on January 12,19, and 26, 1969, and aired again in `74 and `78. The first video release was in 1985.
DVD: The widescreen is not complete, and has still been adjusted to fit your picture. It is a step up from full-frame, but the complete picture is not here. There are no extras on the disc or behind the scenes info, not even a trailer or a cartoon. I wish they added their nature documentary, "The Water Birds" as an extra. The color is good and the picture is very clean. Sound is good too.
Its a classic AND ITS WIDESCREEN TOO
microjoe | 02/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If your into classic disney, then dont pass this one up. Brian Keith and Vera Miles are truly wonderfull in a very engaging saga of a family trying to establish a sanctuary for wild geese. I remember seeing it many years ago and was struck by the colorful cinematography as well as a truly wonderfull score by Max Steiner, I believe this was his one and only score he ever did for disney. Im happy to report that this film IS in widescreen."