Search - John Wayne-John Ford Film Collection (The Searchers Ultimate Edition / Stagecoach Two-Disc Special Edition / Fort Apache / She Wore a Yellow Ribbon / The Long Voyage Home / They Were Expendable / 3 Godfathers / The Wings of Eagles) on DVD
John Ford was easily one of the greatest, most prolific and versatile directors Hollywood ever produced. Combined with a star of the caliber and magnetism of John Wayne, what emerges is pure cinematic magic. WHV now introd... more »uces a ten-disc set featuring eight of the team's finest collaborations: The Searchers: Ultimate Collector's Edition (1956) Stagecoach: Special Edition (1939) Fort Apache (1948) The Long Voyage Home (1940) Wings of Eagles (1957) She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1948) They Were Expendable (1945) 3 Godfathers (1948)« less
"First...the films Stagecoach and The Searchers...two of the all time greatest movies ever made....Fort Apache and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon...perhaps only a notch below and the other films while not on that level...wonderfully enjoyable. The transfers are typically excellent as WB tends to do...the cover art is the original 1sheet...very fun stuff. The Searchers edition included is the ULTIMATE edition with tons of extra paper goodies!
Second..the extras! Stagecoach...the American Masters documentary airing this month on the tube on Ford/Wayne is a nice bonus...the NEW 30 minute documentary on the actual making of Stagecoach is REALLY GREAT....and i noticed its done by SPARKHILL , who did Wizard of Oz and some of the other great WB re-issues... THeir bonus featurettes on Fort Apache (Monument Valley) and the Searchers are also wonderful....truly there are hours of extras included in this package that will let the viewer learn much about both John Wayne...who people think they know but perhaps don't and John Ford...who just might be the greatest director of all time.
CHEERS to WB for releasing these films in lovingly done transfers and packing them with new and vintage featurettes to make them truly worth owning instead of waiting to catch on TCM some day.....and the overall package and price...well..terrific!
A collection of movies from arguably the greatest film director and starring arguably the greatest film star in history....stop reading and BUY!"
As Close to Perfect a Collection as You Can Get!
Benjamin J Burgraff | Las Vegas | 07/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If there was ever a collection that deserves the term, ESSENTIAL, the "John Wayne-John Ford Film Collection" is it. While I wish "Rio Grande" had been included (which would have finally offered buyers the entire "Cavalry Trilogy", together), the set has so many remarkable titles that it really sells itself!
The centerpiece is, of course, a new, definitive edition of "The Searchers", Ford and Wayne's finest collaboration. A masterpiece that defined the 'epic' western, it was unbelievably ignored by the Oscars when released (I suspect, as a backlash against Wayne's right-wing support of the Communist 'witch hunts' of the film industry in the fifties). Time has only increased it's luster, and the astonishing, subtle performance by the Duke as a bitter, bigoted ex-Rebel on a five-year quest to kill his 'soiled', Comanche-kidnapped niece.
Besides the best 'remastered' print, ever, the Special Features include commentary by Peter Bogdanovich, two terrific documentaries, Warner's 1956 promotional TV spots (hosted by an 'out-of-place' Gig Young), and some fabulous production materials.
"Stagecoach" is as important, historically, as "The Searchers", as Ford 'lifted' the entire genre, through this film, into an era of adult storytelling. A gamble for the director (as no major studio wanted B-movie actor John Wayne as the lead, and tried to force Ford to use Gary Cooper), the film is a testament to the director's loyalty to Wayne (who would finally achieve stardom as the Ringo Kid), and a showcase for some of Hollywood's best character actors (with Thomas Mitchell winning a Supporting Actor Oscar).
A package of great Special Features includes two documentaries, and a radio version of the film, with Claire Trevor, and Randolph Scott(!!??) as the Ringo Kid.
"The Long Voyage Home", Ford's second teaming with Wayne, is an unfairly ignored, beautifully realized filming of Eugene O'Neill's works. Ford loved the sea, and stories that emphasized 'Family', and this tale of Merchant Marine seamen facing the growing threat of Nazi U-Boat attacks offers his 'stock company' of actors (Mitchell, Ward Bond, Barry Fitzgerald, etc.) in beautifully etched portrayals. Young Wayne, for the only time in his career, attempts an accent, playing a likable young Swede, and he is quite effective in the role.
"Fort Apache" is considered by many the best of Ford's 'Cavalry' trilogy, and was WAY ahead of it's time, in it's sympathetic portrayal of Cochise, and the abuse and exploitation of Native Americans. Henry Fonda (as a variation of Custer) is a martinet commander hoping to 'make a name' by subduing the Apaches, ignoring the conditions that created the crisis. Snubbing the wisdom of second-in-command Wayne, he provokes a confrontation that leads to disaster!
Framed with the humor, romance, and camaraderie audiences expected from Ford, the underlying drama lifts the film into a richly-deserved status as a Classic.
"She Wore a Yellow Ribbon", the second 'Cavalry' film, is far friendlier, and more sentimental, offering Wayne one of his best 'character' roles, as an aging Captain facing retirement just as the Indians unite to make war, after the Custer massacre. The only of the trilogy filmed in color (which would win an Oscar), Ford's 'stock company' was never better, particularly Victor McLaglen, and young Ben Johnson.
"3 Godfathers", Ford's second filming of this western variation of "The Gift of the Magi", is a small, but loving parable of three likable outlaws (Wayne, Pedro Armendariz, and Harry Carey, Jr.), redeemed when a dying mother entrusts her infant's care to them, in the desert. Pursued by Ward Bond and a posse, the trio, under a burning sun, learn self-sacrifice, protecting the baby. With frequent religious references, this may not be a film for everyone, but it's message is universal, and inspiring.
"They Were Expendable", Ford's only Hollywood WWII movie, was truly daring, focusing not on victory, but on the Navy's constant defeats, following Pearl Harbor. PT boat skippers Robert Montgomery (a real-life Navy veteran) and Wayne, and their crews, show courage as they fight a holding action, knowing that America would eventually rebuild their fleet, and achieve victory.
Shunned by a war-weary public in 1945, the film is now viewed as one of the finest war films ever made!
Finally, there is "Wings of Eagles", the real-life story of Navy aviator/Hollywood screenwriter Frank 'Spig' Wead (portrayed by Wayne). Ford was friends with Wead (his character even appears in the film, under another name, played by Ward Bond, having a ball in the role), but after some early 'pure Ford' humor, the film turns dramatic, and offers an unsettling portrait that leaves the biggest question unanswered...Why would Wead ignore his devoted wife (played by the luminous Maureen O'Hara), when his life is threatened in an accident, and turn to his Navy buddies, instead? There is a story here that Ford chooses to ignore, making the film less effective, despite a strong Wayne performance (ending the film without his hairpiece!), and a remarkable sequence in which Wead, by sheer willpower, teaches himself to walk again, after the accident.
What a collection of films! Need I say more?
Two for Texas, or Monument Valley
Flipper Campbell | Miami Florida | 06/06/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
""The Searchers: Ultimate" is the star of this highly anticipated boxed set, along with seven other films. A double-disc upgrade of "Stagecoach" and the DVD debut of "Fort Apache" join "The Searchers" as the best reasons to pony up.
Much is made of John Ford's "cavalry trilogy" -- "Fort Apache," "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" (included) and "Rio Grande" -- but a good argument can be made for "Stagecoach," "Apache" and "Searchers" as a Monument Valley triptych that emerged from Ford's evolving attitudes toward Native Americans.
Peter Bogdanovich, the dependable (and prolific) DVD commentator, says "The Searchers" is "as good a Western as Ford made, maybe the best." "It's amazing how it was overlooked in its day," Bogdanovich says.
New-to-DVD extra features on "The Searchers" are the Bogdanovich commentary, a so-what introduction by Patrick Wayne and the excellent half-hour "An Appreciation" with directors Martin Scorsese, Curtis Hanson and John Milius. Warner had no alternate takes or deleted scenes to display, typical of the efficient Ford, Bogdanovich says.
"Stagecoach" includes commentary from Ford biographer Scott Eyman, who says: "The modern Western begins here."
Ford and John Wayne's tense yet affectionate and enduring relationship is chronicled in the recent "American Masters" profile "The Filmmaker and the Legend," a "Stagecoach" extra. The informative but padded docu runs 90 minutes. (It contains numerous spoilers.) The 2006 half-hour docu "Stagecoach: A Story of Redemption" includes testimony from Bogdanovich, who dubs it "the first psychosexual Western."
Images from the trailer and docu clips give a pretty good idea of what the restorers were up against with "best available film elements." Video quality is OK despite the wear.
DVD newcomer "Fort Apache" (1948) looks great, with minimal wear on its crisp black-and-white images (from original nitrate elements) and bugle-brisk audio.
The (single) DVD has no documentary on the intriguing film, a shame. It does include a 15-minute piece on Monument Valley, covering Ford's significant and seemingly beneficial role in the Indian reservation's history. "It always seemed like plagiarism to shoot in Monument Valley after Ford," Bogdanovich says.
There is a good deal of repetitive material in this set's extras, but it's all good stuff. Unfortunately, there's nothing on the music in Ford's films, such as Max Steiner's score for "The Searchers.""
The John Ford - John Wayne summit
Stephen H. Wood | South San Francisco, CA | 10/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
THE JOHN WAYNE JOHN FORD FILM COLLECTION is the finest DVD boxed set I have bought all year. It has almost nothing but masterpieces--not just great westerns, but great non-westerns like the Merchant Marine drama THE LONG VOYAGE HOME (1940), based on a few Eugene O'Neill one-act plays; and the World War Two PT boat adventure THEY WERE EXPENDABLE (1945), one of the great war films of all time. One watches this set over two weeks and comes away with renewed respect for John Wayne as an outstanding actor, but also downright awe for John Ford as a director. Not the nicest person, but boy could he direct westerns in Monument Valley. And the Ireland of THE QUIET MAN (1952), which is not included in this set--wrong studio.
The set's crown jewel is the 50th anniversary remastering of THE SEARCHERS (1956), which includes not just a shimmering transfer of this dark and tragic masterpiece, but also a rare comic book, publicity material, lobby cards, and an audio commentary by Peter Bogdanovich. Ethan Edwards, post Civil War loner and indian hater when his niece is kidnapped and killed by Comanches, may be John Wayne's greatest performance in a sea of great performances in this DVD crown jewels box. But a little bit of Hank Worden's and Ken Curtis' unwelcome comedy relief goes a long way.
I personally think STAGECOACH (1939), with Wayne's first important role as the Ringo Kid, is the equal to THE SEARCHERS. It has also been remastered and includes an audio commentary by author Scott Eyman, an "American Masters" documentary on both Wayne and Ford, a new documentary on STAGECOACH as a neglected treasure, and a radio production with Randolph Scott and Claire Trevor. The movie is about nine people traveling by stagecoach through indian territory and features an Oscar-winning score by Max Steiner--the same year he did not win for GONE WITH THE WIND!
The dusty B&W FORT APACHE (1948) and brilliant Technicolor SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON (1949) make up 2/3 of John Ford's Cavalry trilogy with Wayne at his peak. (Part three, RIO GRANDE, is not included here because it is a different studio). APACHE has a nasty Henry Fonda as an indian-hating Commanding Officer of Fort Apache in Utah's Monument Valley. Wayne is his likeable subordinate who must carry out orders he personally disagrees with in a role that mirrors THE SEARCHERS. YELLOW RIBBON may be my personal favorite Ford Monument Valley western, even more than THE SEARCHERS. It has Wayne as a Commanding Officer about to retire after a lifetime of Army service, but not until unfriendly nearby indians settle down. Winton Hoch's magnificent color photography, inspired by Remington paintings, won a richly-deserved Oscar.
Also set in Ford's beloved Monument Valley, but not a Cavalry drama, is the Technicolor 3 GODFATHERS (1949). It has Wayne, Pedro Armendariz, and newcomer Harry Carey, Jr. as outlaws out in the desert who come across an abandoned baby at Christmas time. This story is the third version of a movie done previously in 1929 and 1936 in B&W. I've seen all three versions and like Ford's the best. It also stars Ford regular Ward Bond as a sheriff out to get the three men--but with a wife who wants the baby. This is a pleasantly sentimental movie, often shown on cable at Christmas season, and reveals a soft side of a gruff filmmaker.
The last of eight treasures in this Ford and Wayne DVD set is the lightweight (and color) THE WINGS OF EAGLES (1957). It is the true story of Commander Frank "Spig" Wead, a pioneer aviator in the 1920's and later screenwriter in the 1930's and 1940's. One of his finest scripts is for Ford's THEY WERE EXPENDABLE in 1945. EAGLES, also starring Dan Dailey and Maureen O'Hara, is the sentimental and labor of love story of Spig Wead's life over several decades.
Almost all of these film classics come with an original theatrical trailer, if you want to see how the movies were originally promoted. That especially interests me when masterpieces like THE SEARCHERS, THE LONG VOYAGE HOME, and THEY WERE EXPENDABLE get shut out of the Oscar race, especially for Picture and Wayne's performance. But, as they say, time is the key factor with movies. And people still want to see these Ford/Wayne movie gems, long after even Best Picture Oscar winners are forgotten. Should you buy or rent these from Netflicks? It is an expensive set, in the $55-$75 range. But if you buy the set, it averages out to only about $8 a picture, a ridiculously great buy. Maybe it can be a Christmas present. Happy viewing!
It can't get any better than this. John Ford and John Wayne
Bernard R. Juiliani | Sackets Harbor, NY USA | 08/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The two icons of motion picture. May be the best duo ever, (director and actor). Now for the collection itself. 1). The Searchers. This is Wayne's best preformance ever(by the way he can act)and one of(MAY BE THE BEST)the best western ever. Wayne can be brutal and then commpassionet. The supporting cast is also excellent,Jeffery Hunter, Natlie Wood, Ward Bond and Vera Miles. 2). Stagecoach, 1939 (What a year for motion pictures).John Ford made John Wayne a household name by casting Wyne in the lead in this film. Wayne's introduction in the film is the best ever on screen. The camera is out of focus when it draws in on Wayne then comes back into focus(a mistake,but left in by Ford)outstanding. Then you have Thomas Mitchell's oscar winning preformance and the beautifal Clair Treavor. 3). Fort Apache The BEST in the calvary trilogy and the first time on dvd. Henry Fonda as the commander(another of John Ford's favorite actors)with devistating affects. Fonda is obsessed with with getting the apache and Cochise back on the reservation at any cost. Wayne is caught in the middle. Fonda is a (George Amstrong Custard) in many ways. 4). She Wore A Yellow Ribbon. I think that this is one of Ford's best. And another great preformance by John Wayne. An ageing officer trying to avoid more bloodshed in his last few weeks of service. This is a masterpiece. 5). 3 Godfathers Fugitive bank robbers are chased by a posse and are forced to the desert. There they find a dying woman and her newborn. They make a promise to the dying women that they can't go back on. They won't abandon the baby. Great story telling. 6). The Wings Of Eagles, The true story of Cmdr. Frank "Spig" Wead an aviation pioneer and writer. Maureen O'Hara and Dan Dailey co-star. Real battle footage. 7). The Long Voyage Home. Wayne's follow up to Stagecoach. This film was nominated for six Academy Awards. The crewmen on this ship search the sky for German planes, while in the North Atlantic and hope they survive. One of the best American films about life at sea. And 8). They Were Expendable PT-Boat action at it's best. World War 2 at it bleakest hours. The defenders of the Philippines and John Wayne and Robert Montgomery as PT-Boat commanders, try to give the U.S. war effort time to regroup after the devastion of Pearl Harbor. Story telling at its finest."