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directed by John Ford
USA 1962

Western Film fans probably have this little gem in their coveted collections already. Well, 'little' may not be appropriate - John Ford directing and a star studded cast. Small-town heroism and inherent nobility and the driving force behind the narrative. Jimmy Stewart may be at his most hammy (which is rare), John Wayne is his usual strong defiant self. Andy Devine should also be recognized for his role as the feisty Marshal Link Appleyard. Another in a line of western masterpieces that we strongly recommend. out of     

Gary W. Tooze

Posters

Theatrical Release: April 22nd, 1962 - USA

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Comparison:

Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Paramount (Centennial Collection) - Region 1,4 - NTSC vs. Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray

1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Paramount (Centennial Collection) - Region 1,4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Paramount (Europe) - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Cover

   

Also available (very reasonably) in the John Wayne DVD Gift Set (The Shootist / The Sons of Katie Elder/ True Grit/ El Dorado/ The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance)

    

Also available (cheap!) in the John Wayne DVD Collection - Amazon.com Exclusive (10-Disc Set) (1965) El Dorado, Hatari!, In Harm's Way, Rio Lobo, The Sons of Katie Elder, The Shootist, Donovan's Reef, Big Jake, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, True Grit)

 

Distribution Paramount Home Video - Region 1- NTSC Paramount (Centennial Collection) - Region 1, 4 - NTSC Paramount (Europe) - Region FREE Blu-ray
Runtime 2:03:08 2:03:08 2:03:21.394
Video 1.83:1  Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.76 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 
1.78:1  Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.6 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
1.78:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray
Disc Size: 37,358,146,649 bytes
Feature: 36,482,537,472 bytes
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
Total Video Bitrate: 31.87 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:  Original DVD

Bitrate:  Centennial

Bitrate:  Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Dolby), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)  English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Dolby), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), DUB: Spanish  Dolby TrueHD Audio English 2965 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2965 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB)
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio French 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio German 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -10dB
Subtitles English (Hearing Impaired), None English (Hearing Impaired), None English , English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish, none
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Paramount Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
 1.83:1

Edition Details:

• Trailer (2:44)

DVD Release Date: June 5th, 2001

Keep Case
Chapters: 15

Release Information:
Studio: Paramount Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• Full Commentary by Peter Bogdanovich with recorded excepts of Ford, Wayne and Stewart

• Select Screen Commentary with intro by Dan Ford

Disc 2

• 7-part documentary - The Size of Legends, the Soul of Myth (50:50)

• Original Theatrical trailer

• Galleries (Ford, production, Publicity, Lobby cards) 

DVD Release Date: May 19th, 2009

Keep Case
Chapters: 15

Release Information:
Studio: Paramount

1.78:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray
Disc Size: 37,358,146,649 bytes
Feature: 36,482,537,472 bytes
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
Total Video Bitrate: 31.87 Mbps

Edition Details:

• none 

Blu-ray Release Date: June 14th, 2012
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 15
 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray - June 12': Looks great - and why shouldn't it? The Paramount source is in pristine condition and for some reason Europe (Germany) gets The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance first in 1080P. It's a bare-bones edition set for multiple DUBs and subtitle options and the 1.78:1 Blu-ray disc is region FREE. It is dual-layered with a high bitrate and there is subtle improvement in all areas from detail to contrast and depth is more apparent. It's a little brighter, shows a shade more information in the frame  - there is a bit of gloss but there is no noise. Certainly the most film-like outside of the cinema. The Cyril J. Mockridge score as well as "Home on the Range" and "Little Brown Jug" sound solid in lossless. I expect it to come to North America with the duplicate transfer. Recommended!

***

ON THE DVDs: The differences may not add up a dramatic amount, transfer-wise, for most people, but in total they are:

1) Image quality on the Centennial edition is cleaner, smoother and brighter. I never minded the grittiness of the original release, which, because of it's lack of supplements, has slightly better compression (and higher bitrate). It's a less restorted source though. Black levels seem more pronounced on the older release but I suspect some boosting. Both look good but the Centennial gives a better presentation although the cleaning can make it look a bit softer in the captures.

2) The Centennial edition is in 1.78 - filling the screen and shows more information - usually at the bottom of the frame.

3) English audio options are the same but an optional Spanish DUB is added to the Centennial edition.

4) Subtitles are lower on the screen and brighter - slightly different positioning (see sample).

5) The original is coded for region1 - the new release  includes region 4 as well.

6) The Centennial release has many more extras including a commentary with Bogdanovich and archival recorded excerpts from interviews with Ford, Wayne and Stewart. There is also a single-layered disc 2 with a 50-minute long 7-part documentary - The Size of Legends, the Soul of Myth, trailer and some galleries.

7) The Centennial edition is slightly stretched vertically (thinner faces) - or the original edition is compressed (fatter faces).

Well, there you have it. If you are asking me the segmented commentary and documentary are certainly worth it. Bogdanovich is filled with experience to share and Ford is briefly covered along with Wayne and Stewart. The archival interviews of Ford are from the around 1970 and last about 20-minutes.  The documentary goes the whole nine-yards with the informative Richard Schickel, Ford biographer Scott Eyman, author Molly Haskell, producer AC Lyles, Lee Marvin’s widow Pamela and film historian Michael Blake. It's really worth the time. This should probably come out in Blu-ray - the film is so worthy, but I've heard nothing and know of no forthcoming date (so please don't ask). For less than $15 you'd have to say it has strong value and is also dependant on how picky you are about the older transfer.

Gary W. Tooze

 


 

DVD Menus

 

(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Paramount (Centennial Collection) - Region 1,4 - NTSC RIGHT)


Disc 2 of Centennial Edition

 

Paramount (Europe) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount (Centennial Collection) - Region 1,4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Paramount (Europe) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount (Centennial Collection) - Region 1,4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Paramount (Europe) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount (Centennial Collection) - Region 1,4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Paramount (Europe) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount (Centennial Collection) - Region 1,4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Paramount (Europe) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount (Centennial Collection) - Region 1,4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Paramount (Europe) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount (Centennial Collection) - Region 1,4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Paramount (Europe) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount (Centennial Collection) - Region 1,4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Paramount (Europe) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Box Cover

   

Also available (very reasonably) in the John Wayne DVD Gift Set (The Shootist / The Sons of Katie Elder/ True Grit/ El Dorado/ The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance)

    

Also available (cheap!) in the John Wayne DVD Collection - Amazon.com Exclusive (10-Disc Set) (1965) El Dorado, Hatari!, In Harm's Way, Rio Lobo, The Sons of Katie Elder, The Shootist, Donovan's Reef, Big Jake, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, True Grit)

 



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Gary Tooze

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