Us Western fans are getting spoiled again. If you were floored by the long-overdue Peckinpah set, feast your eyes on this. On June 6, Warner is set to release the John Ford-John Wayne Collection. The ten disc (!) set is headlined by two heavyweights: an Ultimate Collector's Edition of The Searchers (2006 representing the film's 50th anniversary) and a two-disc set of Stagecoach. 'The Searchers' alone will retail for $35 since it will contain a load of goodies including a 36-page booklet, a reproduction of the original comic book, behind the scenes photos and even a mail-in one-sheet poster. In addition to these two blockbusters, the set will come with Fort Apache, The Wings of Eagles, The Long Voyage Home, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, They Were Expendable and 3 Godfathers. How much for this treasure chest? How does $80 sound?!?
The new discs of 'The Searchers' and 'Stagecoach' will retail for near $50 alone, and for another $30 you can six more classics, with nary a dud among them? Too good to be true. Actually my only quibble is that it does not contain Rio Grande, the finale to Ford's 'Cavalry Trilogy' that also includes 'Fort Apache' and 'She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.'
To understand what a great release this is, compare it to Universal's recent Alfred Hitchcock set, which contains 14 films at a bargain price, but gives us discs of movies many of us already had, in many cases hardly improving upon the original. The Ford-Wayne set presents two exhaustive special editions and the best examples of the featured genre (no 'Torn Curtain,' 'Topaz' or 'Frenzy' which bogged down the Hitchcock set). Also, keep in mind that $80 is the MSRP for the set, which means Amazon will probably sell it for $65 or $70!
Though 'Stagecoach' and 'The Searchers' are what will really sell this set, I can't wait to finally have 'Fort Apache' on my shelf, which is my favorite Ford-Wayne film. A meaningful and original tale of military ethics with a cast featuring Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple (with one of the best character names ever -- Philadelphia Thursday), Ward Bond and even a 'hell yeah!' role by the one and only Victor McLaglen help push 'Fort Apache' into the cinematic stratosphere. The most memorable scene in the movie is Wayne's closing monologue, which is regarded by some as his finest moment.
So now that Western fans can check Peckinpah and now Ford off their DVD wish lists, when can we finally get special editions of Leone's For a Few Dollars More, A Fistful of Dollars and Duck, You Sucker that we have long been promised?
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Filed Under DVD