Search - Ford At Fox Collection: John Ford's Silent Epics (Just Pals / Four Sons / The Iron Horse / Hangman's House / Bad Men) on DVD

Ford At Fox Collection: John Ford's Silent Epics (Just Pals / Four Sons / The Iron Horse / Hangman's House / Bad Men)
Ford At Fox Collection John Ford's Silent Epics
Just Pals / Four Sons / The Iron Horse / Hangman's House / Bad Men
Actors: George O'Brien, Madge Bellamy, Olive Borden, Lou Tellegen, June Collyer
Director: John Ford
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     2007     9hr 51min



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Movie Details

Actors: George O'Brien, Madge Bellamy, Olive Borden, Lou Tellegen, June Collyer
Director: John Ford
Creators: Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne, Charles Darnton, Charles Kenyon, H.H. Caldwell, Herman Bing, Herman Whitaker, I.A.R. Wylie
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Classics
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 12/04/2007
Original Release Date: 05/13/1928
Theatrical Release Date: 05/13/1928
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 9hr 51min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 5
SwapaDVD Credits: 5
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

The silent portion of the Ford at Fox Collection
calvinnme | 10/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Fox is certainly sticking its neck out with its uber-large uber-expensive release "Ford at Fox" that has been talked about and expected for over a year. This is a scaled down version of that larger set and contains only the five silent films in the larger collection without the fancy packaging and extras it contains. The films included are:

Just Pals (1920) - only 50 minutes long, stars Buck Jones as a small town fellow who befriends a homeless boy.
Feature film with Dolby 5.0 Surround Sound and Spanish/French subtitles

The Iron Horse (1924) - George O'Brien stars in the story of the building of the Union Pacific Railroad.
Two versions - U.K. and United States
Feature film with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound and Spanish/French subtitles
Commentary by Author & Film Historian Robert Birchard (International only)
"Scoring The Past: The Iron Horse Sessions with Christopher Caliendo" featurette (International only)
Restoration comparison (International only)
Vintage program (International only)
Advertising gallery (International only)

3 Bad Men (1926) - stars George O'Brien in a saga of three outlaws of the wild west who become protectors of a little girl after her mother is killed. Sports some of Ford's great scenic long shots that his westerns are known for.
Feature film with Dolby 5.0 Surround Sound and Spanish/French subtitles

Four Sons (1928)- Three German brothers enlist in the German army during WWI, the fourth goes to America.
Feature film with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound and Spanish/French subtitles

Hangman's House (1928) - screen debut of John Wayne and stars Victor McLaglan in a saga set in Ireland. A predecessor to "The Informer", this time McLaglan is playing the hero.
Feature film with Dolby 5.0 Surround Sound and Spanish/French subtitles"
A Film-lover's Delight
Barbara (Burkowsky) Underwood | Manly, NSW Australia | 12/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Considering John Ford's reputation as one of the greatest and most influential American directors who won four Academy Awards for Best Director in the early sound era, it's about time some of his silent films were also released on DVD in a nice set which they deserve. And this new set of five films lives up to expectations with beautifully restored clear picture quality and newly created orchestral music accompaniment to match the superior quality of each film. Although well known to many as a director of Westerns with John Wayne, John Ford was also an actor, writer and producer, starting his career in films in the early 1910s, and by 1920 his skills had already been well developed, as the first film in this set, "Just Pals" clearly shows. Equally skilled in any genre, Ford can bring out the best in a story with careful attention to drama and detail which express the emotions and depths of his characters. This is perhaps most poignant in "Four Sons" which I found very moving, as well as impressive in its attention to the beautiful and detailed setting in Bavaria before and during World War I. Just as much careful attention to detail was given by the modern music composers for these DVD releases, choosing tunes, instruments and moods which make the story and scenes become vividly real. Cowboy tunes on guitar for some of the Westerns and German melodies for the setting in Bavaria are just two examples of this finely-tuned marriage of silent film and music presented on each of these discs.

No doubt one of his greatest Western epics, "The Iron Horse" is about the laying of the first railroad across the West to California, with emphasis on historic authenticity in every imaginable aspect, from featuring two of the original locomotives which were used in the real construction project, to the individual workers and their lives and personalities, at times seasoned with a touch of humour. This grand production would rival a Cecil B DeMille epic in the number of people involved, as well as the moving and exciting historical event in itself, but there are similar such impressive grand-scale scenes in the other quite different Western in this set, namely "3 Bad Men", which focuses more on individual people and their personalities, and what really defines the word `bad'. A similar examination of true characters in people is "Just Pals" about a lazy town bum and the homeless boy he takes under his wing as he tries to change his image and prove himself. Quite different in setting but also very intriguing for some of its particularly wicked characters is "Hangman's House" which is actually set in Ireland, and along with a superbly eerie old house, it has a tight and complicated plot which unfolds at an exciting pace. And for another change of pace, this time a human family drama oozing sentimentality and `old world charm', "Four Sons" is quite unforgettable, perhaps because it feels so real, and no doubt many families did indeed share a similar fate during WWI. No matter which genre or type of story, Ford's expertise as a director and also producer make this excellent selection a worthy addition to any film-lover's collection, not just for silent film enthusiasts alone.
"Thank You Fox For Doing Silent Film Fans A Favor"
Chip Kaufmann | Asheville, N.C. United States | 12/09/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"JOHN FORD'S SILENT EPICS which is part of the much larger FORD AT FOX collection is a most welcome addition to the catalogue of available DVDs and fortuntaely for silent film fans you don't have to buy the entire set. Of the 5 films in this set THE IRON HORSE is the most famous and has already been reviewed by me so I'll focus on the remaining four films. The title SILENT EPICS is a little misleading as two of the films JUST PALS from 1920 and HANGMAN'S HOUSE from 1928 are much smaller in scope dealing as they do with smalltown America and rural Ireland. FOUR SONS (1928) with its World War I setting and 3 BAD MEN (1926), another large scale Western, are certainly more deserving of the title.

All 5 films have newly commissioned musical scores by five different composers (Christopher Caliendo, Tim Curran, Dana Kaproff, and John & Alexander Kaplan) which their respective films perfectly. 4 of the 5 films begin with a gentle warning about bringing the film to DVD using the best available source materials which is another way of saying that they haven't been fully restored. Despite some scratches early on these movies look great considering their age and the fact that no original Fox silent negatives exist anymore. While the technology does exist to completely restore these films one can't expect Fox to spend a fortune on what is clearly a niche market and we are lucky to still have these titles at all.

3 BAD MEN presages Ford's 3 GODFATHERS (1948), HANGMAN'S HOUSE is the start of his love affair with Ireland (and John Wayne's first visible film appearance), and JUST PALS is an early vehicle for ill-fated Fox star Buck Jones who would die in Boston's notorious Coconut Grove fire in 1942. It was also Ford's first film for William Fox. The real treasure here in my opinion is FOUR SONS which combines Ford's epic and intimate qualities outside of the Western. It's in the roughest shape of all the titles but still looks awfully good. The overall quality of the films, the fine new music scores, and the additional special features make this set a must have."
Where is the original soundtrack for "Four Sons"?
D. Murchison | 01/24/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Why did Fox choose to eliminate "Four Son"s original Movietone soundtrack?
The film was originally released with synchronized music and sound effects
including several brilliant limited uses of dialogue. Couldn't the original score be offered as an option? A true botch job in an otherwise
excellent set."