The Lost Patrol
Mary of Scotland
Ford's valedictory western is a
belated and belaboured tribute to the Native American and reparation for the way
the director portrayed them in his films. Pity, therefore, he decided to cast
Latins Del Rio, Mineo and Montalban as the Native Americans. The best part of
the rambling narrative, which tells of the sufferings of the Cheyenne tribe
being moved hundreds of miles to a new reservation, is a comic interlude set in
Dodge City featuring Stewart as Wyatt Earp. Ford's compositions (he was 69 at
the time) are as noble as ever, but a feeling of fatigue hangs over the whole
Theatrical Releases: Various from 1934 - 1964
DVD Review: Warner - Region 1,4 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
CLICK to order from:
|Distribution||Warner Home Video - Region 1,4 - NTSC|
|Audio||English (original) NOTE: 5.1 for Cheyenne Autumn|
|Subtitles||English, French, Spanish, None|
• The Lost Patrol
(full screen, 1.33)
• The Informer
(full screen, 1.33) New Featurette: "The Informer: Out of
the Fog" Theatrical Trailer
• Mary of Scotland
(full screen, 1.33)
• Sergeant Rutledge
(letterboxed) Theatrical Trailer
• Cheyenne Autumn
(letterboxed) New digital transfer from restored
roadshow length picture and audio elements Vintage featurette "Cheyenne Autumn
Trail" Commentary by Ford biographer Joseph
McBride Theatrical Trailer
• The Lost Patrol (full screen, 1.33)
• The Informer (full screen, 1.33)
New Featurette: "The Informer: Out of the Fog"
• Mary of Scotland (full screen, 1.33)
• Sergeant Rutledge (letterboxed)
• Cheyenne Autumn (letterboxed)
New digital transfer from restored roadshow length picture and audio elements
Vintage featurette "Cheyenne Autumn Trail"
Commentary by Ford biographer Joseph McBride
Well, lets talk about the films first - an incredibly impressive list for one boxset. All 5 are brand new to DVD, and all 5 are available only in this boxset. I found Mary of Scotland the least enjoyable although seeing Kate Hepburn work her screen power in this bio-pic was still well worth it. Personally, I have always enjoyed Sergeant Rutledge and it might have been the best film in the boxset for my taste, if not for my first viewing of The Informer - which I now rank as one of Ford's absolute best films - an impressive and unforgettable story.
The images - all are progressive and expectantly The Lost Patrol shows the most damage with some fairly significant flickering contrast. The Informer also exhibits some weaknesses (fair number of scratches) but it has some moments of very strong detail as well. Mary of Scotland has visible digital noise artifacts and is quite dirty in spots with less frequent damage marks than the first two but they are still prevalent at times. I've made some individual comments about Sergeant Rutledge HERE but it again falls a little short of expectations. Colors are dullish and it is less sharp than one might desire. In terms of video transfer - the prize of the package is Cheyenne Autumn - it looks absolutely fabulous. Detail is crystal clear and colors are vivid and vibrant. I suspect any further queries of the image quality can be resolved by viewing the screen capture representations that we have included below - they give a decent accounting of what to expect. I'd say in general terms it is a notch below what you might anticipate from Warner considering their incredible DVD output of the last couple of years. It is still superior to most other digital production house's work, especially for films going back some 70 years.
Audio - again falling a little short - some audible hiss in The Lost Patrol, The Informer and Mary of Scotland, but I wouldn't say it bothered me during normal viewing - it's the type of thing you get used to very quickly and is quite understandable considering the age of the films. Cheyenne Autumn has an optional 5.1 bump that sounded okay, but I was happy with the original track as well.
Extras - Aside from 3 trailers - on The Intruder we are given a 10 minute featurette entitled The Informer: Out of the Fog . It is pretty good , especially for film students. Many historical anecdotes are discussed by the likes of Peter Bogdanovich and others. Of greater significance is the audio commentary on Cheyenne Autumn given by Joseph McBride who really knows his stuff. The film is quite long for a full commentary but McBride has a lot to say and it really is a worthwhile listening experience. He was quite well prepared. Also included are a 20 minute short, narrated by Jimmy Stewart called Cheyenne Autumn Trail - which I found kind of unnecessary filler.
In conclusion, I don't think there is any doubt that we have strong feelings about this set which borders on 'essential' in my opinion. These are great films and I treasure finally having them on DVD (especially Rutledge that seems like I've waited a decade for). Watching these 5 films was one of the most pleasurable viewing experiences that I've had so far this year- a wonderful collection at less than $10 a film!
The Lost Patrol USA 1934
Starring Victor McLaglen, Boris Karloff, Wallace Ford, Reginald Denny, J.M. Kerrigan
The Informer USA 1935
Starring Victor McLaglen, Heather Angel and Preston Foster
Mary of Scotland USA 1936
Starring Katharine Hepburn and Fredric March
Sergeant Rutledge USA 1960
Starring Jeffrey Hunter, Constance Towers, Billie Burke, Woody Strode, Juano Hernandez.
Reviewed in Full HERE
Cheyenne Autumn USA 1964
Starring Richard Widmark, Carroll Baker, Karl Malden, Sal Mineo, Dolores del Rio