EMBARGOED UNTIL 3/6/06
- One of the Greatest Director-Star Combinations in Hollywood History -
JOHN WAYNE-JOHN FORD COLLECTION
ULTIMATE COLLECTOR'S EDITION
(Newly Remastered and Restored from VistaVision Film Elements)
TWO-DISC COLLECTOR'S EDITION
(Newly Remastered from Best Available Film Elements)
FORT APACHE ~ THE LONG VOYAGE HOME
WINGS OF EAGLES
(New to DVD)
SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON ~ THEY WERE EXPENDABLE ~ 3 GODFATHERS
Collection Arrives June 6 Loaded with Bonus Materials including Introduction by Patrick Wayne, John Ford/John Wayne: The Filmmaker & the Legend, the New Feature Length American Masters Retrospective Profile, Expert Commentaries and Additional New Featurettes
Burbank, Calif. March 6, 2006 - One of the greatest director-star combinations in the history of Hollywood gets the Warner Home Video deluxe DVD treatment with the June 6 release of The John Wayne-John Ford Collection, a ten-disc set featuring eight of the team's finest collaborations. Anchoring the Collection, and arriving just in time for Father's Day, is The Searchers: Ultimate Collector's Edition which includes a Two-Disc Special Edition DVD with extensive all-new bonus features, plus a full color 36-page press book, a 36-page reproduction of the original Dell comic book, filmmaker memos and correspondence, several behind-the-scenes photos and a mail-in theatrical poster.
The collection also features a Stagecoach: Two Disc Special Edition, newly remastered and restored from original VistaVision film elements and loaded with new bonus content and three titles making their DVD debuts: the classic western Fort Apache, and the stirring war films The Long Voyage Home and Wings of Eagles. Rounding out the set are the timeless classics She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and They Were Expendable (in new Amaray packaging) plus 3 Godfathers, which is available for the first time in wide release with this Collection.
The Searchers will be available individually in both the 50th Anniversary Two-Disc Special Edition for $26.99 SRP and the Ultimate Collector's Edition priced at $34.92 SRP. The Stagecoach: Two-Disc Special Edition will be available for $26.99 SRP and the single disc titles will sell individually for various prices from $12.97 - $19.97 SRP. The price for the entire ten-disc Collection is $79.92 SRP. Orders for all are due May 2.
In the now well-established WHV DVD Classics tradition, The Searchers has been painstakingly remastered and restored from original VistaVision film elements. Also restored from original and best available elements are Fort Apache and Stagecoach and Wings of Eagles is newly remastered in 16x9 format, enhanced for widescreen televisions (1.85:1 aspect ratio). The Collection bonus materials include an introduction by Patrick Wayne (John's son), an all-new feature length documentary American Masters: John Ford/John Wayne: The Filmmaker & the Legend produced by WNET/American Masters, commentaries by noted film director Peter Bogdanovich and Ford biographer Scott Eyman, several new featurettes, audio only segments plus John Wayne home movies.
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 and what emerges is pure cinematic magic.
John Ford was responsible for making John Wayne a star when he cast him in Stagecoach, but their friendship dates back to the silent era. Wayne was a former University of Southern California football player working as a prop boy at Fox, where Ford was one of their top directors. The two were friendly and Ford cast Wayne in bit roles in several of his films (i.e., Mother Machree, Salute, Four Sons). After the arrival of sound, Ford introduced the young actor to director Raoul Walsh, who put him in the super Western The Big Trail and changed his name to John Wayne (he was born Marion Morrison). The Big Trail was a box-office failure and Wayne spent the remainder of the '30s appearing in mostly "B" westerns, while Ford's career soared with such classics as The Lost Patrol, The Informer and The Hurricane.
When Ford purchased the rights to a Saturday Evening Post short story by Earnest Haycox entitled "Stage to Lordsburg", he developed the lead character with Wayne in mind. While Ford fought studio executives to cast Wayne in the role (the studio wanted a star name), their ensuing complicated relationship on the set baffled outsiders. Ford constantly browbeat his star, told him he was a lousy actor, said he walked funny and generally picked on him at every opportunity until Wayne's co-stars came to his rescue. Andy Devine later realized the cast had been fooled to prevent the name actors from being jealous of a newcomer.
Ford's infuriating treatment of John Wayne didn't end with their first film. Throughout Wayne's career -- and he made many films with Ford -- the director continued to taunt him on the set. In fact, he treated many of his actors this way. "If he liked you", Dobie Cary said, "he mistreated you. If he ignored you, then you'd probably never work with him again." The irony of it was that most of Wayne's finest performances were in the 13 films he and Ford made together: Rio Grande (1950), The Quiet Man (1952), The Horse Soldiers (1959), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), How the West Was Won (1962) and the titles included in this Collection.
The Searchers: Ultimate Collector's Edition & The Searchers: 50th Anniversary Two-Disc Special Edition (1956)
John Wayne and John Ford made The Searchers a landmark Western with an indelible image of the frontier and the men and women who challenged it. Although not nominated for any awards at the time of its release, the film has since been widely acknowledged as one of the supreme triumphs of the genre. The Searchers was placed on the National Film Registry in 1989 and ranked number 96 on the American Film Institute's list of "100 Greatest Movies."
Wayne plays an ex-Confederate soldier searching for his niece (Natalie Wood), captured by the Comanches who massacred his family. He won't surrender to hunger, thirst, the elements or loneliness. And in his five-year search, he encounters something unexpected: his own humanity. Beautifully shot by Winton C. Hoch (four-time Academy Award winner), thrillingly scored by Max Steiner (21 Academy Award nominations, 3 wins) and memorably acted by a wonderful ensemble including Jeffrey Hunter (King of Kings, The Longest Day), Vera Miles (The Wrong Man, Psycho), Natalie Wood (Rebel Without a Cause, Gypsy, West Side Story) and frequent Ford cast member Ward Bond (My Darling Clementine, The Quiet Man), The Searchers endures as "a great film of enormous scope and breathtaking physical beauty." (Danny Peary, Guide for the Film Fanatic).
Stagecoach Two-Disc Special Edition (1939)
Nine disparate travelers are thrown together on a stagecoach destined for Apache territory...and movie immortality. In the lead role of the Ringo Kid, director John Ford cast a lanky veteran of 70 B-movies, serials and shorts named John Wayne. Each rifle shot and close-up rang out the news: a new star is born. This first collaboration between director and star made both their reputations as talents to watch in the Western genre yet focuses on carefully etched character studies. Marked by deft and efficient editing, as well as remarkable camera work, Stagecoach transcends the traditional shoot-'em-up.
Winner of two Academy Awards (Best Supporting Actor and Best Music, Scoring) and nominated for an additional five (including Best Picture and Best Director), Stagecoach was placed on the National Film Registry in 1995 and ranked number 63 on the American Film Institute's list of "100 Greatest Movies." In addition to a stellar performance by Wayne, Stagecoach boasts an unusually strong cast, including Claire Trevor (Best Supporting Actress winner for Key Largo), Thomas Mitchell (in his Oscar-winning performance), Andy Devine (Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves), John Carradine (The Grapes of Wrath, Satan's Cheerleaders) and silent star George Bancroft (Old Ironsides, 3 Bad Men, Underworld). This adventure ushered in a 30-year era of great Westerns, many featuring its top practitioners - Ford and Wayne.
Fort Apache (1948)-FIRST TIME ON DVD
John Wayne and many familiar supporting players from master director John Ford's "stock company" saddle up for the first film in the director's famed cavalry trilogy (She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Rio Grande are the others). Roughhouse camaraderie, sentimental vignettes of frontier life, massive action sequences staged in Monument Valley - all are part of Fort Apache. So is Ford's exploration of the West's darker side. Themes of justice, heroism and honor that Ford would revisit in later Westerns are given free rein in this moving, thought-provoking film that, even as it salutes a legend, gives reasons to question it.
The stellar cast includes the distinguished Henry Fonda (The Grapes of Wrath, On Golden Pond), former child star Shirley Temple (reunited with her director from Wee Willie Winkie), Temple's then-current husband John Agar making his film debut and Ford regulars Victor McLaglen, Ward Bond and George O'Brien.
The Long Voyage Home (1940)-FIRST TIME ON DVD
Director John Ford and screenwriter Dudley Nichols adapted four Eugene O'Neill one-act dramas into this compelling, lyrical look at men at sea that O'Neill considered his favorite of all his filmed works. As his sailors, Ford cast members of his so-called "Stock Company": Thomas Mitchell (Gone with the Wind), Barry Fitzgerald (Academy Award winner for Going My Way), Arthur Shields (How Green Was My Valley), Ward Bond (It's a Wonderful Life), John Qualen (Casablanca) and the star of the previous year's Stagecoach, John Wayne. As sunny, sweet-natured Ole Olsen, Wayne does winning work in an atypical role that required the stalwart star to sport a Swedish accent. Nominated for an impessive six Academy Awards incuding Best Picture, The Long Voyage Home is a journey to remember.
Wings of Eagles (1957)-FIRST TIME ON DVD
Cmdr. Frank "Spig" Wead was a pioneer aviator, renowned screenwriter (whose work included John Ford's They Were Expendable) and a man of war. The skies beckoned Spig to action; a crippling injury ultimately left him powerless to act, propelling him to discover the power of his pen. He was talented, driven, flawed, a friend of Ford - and the subject of this compassionate biography.
John Wayne plays Spig and Ford directs The Wings of Eagles, which also offers a fascinating glimpse into the ways and world of Ford. Ward Bond plays moviemaker John Dodge, a role modeled on Ford. Maureen O'Hara, Wayne's five-time co-star (including Ford's The Quiet Man), and Dan Dailey (of Ford's 1952 What Price Glory?) play Spig's indomitable wife Min and cigar-chomping sidekick "Jughead" Carson.
3 Godfathers (1948)
John Ford remade one of his classic silent Westerns 3 Bad Men (1926), a story of three bandits who come upon a dying mother and child while escaping the law. Two of them die trying to get the child to town and safety. Starring John Wayne (in the role originated by George O'Brien), the cast also features Pedro Armendariz (The Fugitive, Fort Apache), perennial Ward Bond, the luminous silent star Mae Marsh (Birth of a Nation, Intolerance), who frequently appeared in uncredited roles in Ford's films and, making his screen debut, Harry Carey, Jr. (son of Ford's "stock company" regular Harry Carey, in whose memory the film is dedicated).
She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949)
A masterpiece of mood and heroics, She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, was the centerpiece in director John Ford's renowned cavalry trilogy (Fort Apache and Rio Grande bookend it) and features one of John Wayne's most moving performances as a cavalry officer in his final week of service on the frontier.
Under makeup aging him some 20 years, Wayne inhabits the role of a wily veteran who knows the sting of war and vows to make his last mission one of peace. The ritual of outpost life, the sweep of battle, the advance of the patrol beneath ominous skies: She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, an Academy Award winner for its color cinematography, paints a memorable portrait of the honor, duty and courage in the finest tradition of the cavalry.
With Wayne in She Wore A Yellow Ribbon are Joanne Dru (Red River, All the King's Men), John Agar (Fort Apache), Ben Johnson (Mighty Joe Young, Shane), Harry Carey, Jr. (3 Godfathers) and Victor McLaglen (The Informer).
They Were Expendable (1945)
Director John Ford's World War II tale knows its battle-scarred topic firsthand: Robert Montgomery (The Big House, Here Comes Mr. Jordan) was a Pacific PT-boat commander and a valorous Bronze Star recipient and Ford filmed the Academy Award-winning documentary Battle of Midway. John Wayne creates a portrait of patriotic resolve as only he can. They Were Expendable salutes all who dedicated themselves to the cause of freedom during some of the war's bleakest hours.
Supplies are dwindling. Troops are hopelessly outnumbered. But even in defeat, there is victory. The defenders of the Philippines -- including PT-boat skippers John Brickley (Montgomery) and Rusty Ryan (Wayne) -- will give the U.S. war effort time to regroup after the devastation of Pearl Harbor.