Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|John Wayne Collection |
North To Alaska / Comancheros / The Undefeated
Actors: John Wayne, Stuart Whitman, Stewart Granger, Rock Hudson, Ina Balin
Directors: John Wayne, Andrew V. McLaglen, Henry Hathaway, Michael Curtiz
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns, Comedy
Disc 1: *Comancheros Disc 2: *North To Alaska Disc 3: *The Undefeated
Similarly Requested DVDs
Three 60s Wayne Westerns Are a Treat!
Benjamin J Burgraff | Las Vegas | 03/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"By the 1960s, John Wayne's westerns had become as familiar as a well-worn beloved Stetson, and Wayne, himself, had settled into a patriarchal role that suited both his age and screen presence. This DVD collection offers the Duke in three of his most entertaining films of the period, and is well-worth owning!
"North to Alaska" (1960), Wayne's follow-up to "The Alamo", is a brawling, lusty saga of two Alaskan prospectors (Duke and Stewart Granger), and the reformed prostitute (Capucine), who complicates their lives. Wayne consciously tried to 'broaden' his westerns with this film, introducing more comedy and family-friendly action (culminating in 1963's classic, "McLintock!"), and, despite being too long, the film has a lot of charm. Worth noting is an excellent cast, including Ernie Kovacs (in one of his last film roles), as the smarmy villain, young Fabian, as Granger's over-sexed younger brother, and Mickey Shaughnessy, hilarious as the 'dim bulb' drunken prospector who becomes a key player in Kovacs' plan to steal the Wayne/Granger goldmine.
Entertaining light fare!
"The Commancheros" (1961), Wayne's next film after "North to Alaska", is even better (and the best of this trilogy), with the Duke, as a crusty Texas Ranger, sharing the screen with an excellent Stuart Whitman, portraying fugitive New Orleans gambler, Paul Regret. The final film directed by legendary Michael Curtiz (with unbilled help by Wayne, as the director was in poor health), the tale is a light-hearted adventure of Duke and Whitman gradually becoming friends, as Wayne attempts to thwart a gun-running scheme involving the notorious band of outlaws of the film's title. Very much a 'family' western (with Wayne's son, Patrick, daughter Aissa, and long-time friend Bruce Cabot, in key roles), the film offers glamorous Ina Balin as Regret's mysterious lover, Nehemiah Persoff as her father, the gregarious leader of the Commancheros, and, best of all, Lee Marvin, in a small but showy role as Tully Crow, a half-breed gunrunner (Marvin's chemistry with Wayne was so potent that John Ford would soon team them in two of his own productions, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance", and "Donovan's Reef").
Great fun, and great Wayne!
The final entry, "The Undefeated" (1969), is the weakest of the trilogy, yet offers some very entertaining moments. Filmed after Wayne's bout with lung cancer, he looks far older and more haggard, but still carries a commanding presence, as an ex-Union officer driving a large herd of horses south, forced to team up with an unrepentent Confederate officer (mustached Rock Hudson, in his only film with the Duke), and his wagon train of refugees, hoping to rebuild their fortunes in Mexico. While many of Wayne's friends have roles (Ben Johnson, Harry Carey, Jr., Bruce Cabot, and Pedro Armendariz Jr.), the novelty casting of football stars Roman Gabriel and Merlin Olsen in key roles received the most attention when the film was released (Olsen was surprisingly good, and went on to a successful career on television). Wayne and Hudson are a lot of fun in their scenes together, and the underlying plot (of the Mexican struggle to rid itself of French 'puppet' Emperor Maximilian) never interferes with the broader comic 'edge' of the film. While Wayne looks a bit strange in muttonchop sideburns, all in all, the movie is a last fond look at the Duke's '60s western 'persona'. The westerns of the last decade of his life would be, generally, far darker, and more brutal.
This is certainly a Wayne trilogy worth owning!