Warner Home Video have announced the Region 1 DVD release of two restored and remastered editions of How The West Won on 26th August 2008. One of only two narrative feature films produced in the original Cinerama® three-panel widescreen process, How the West Was Won follows four generations of a courageous New England farm family as they travel to the fertile Ohio Valley during America’s early westward expansion.
M-G-M and Cinerama®, Inc. spared no expense to give this sprawling Western saga the huge vistas made possible with the original Cinerama® process. After its initial theatrical engagements in theaters equipped with three synchronized projectors for Cinerama® presentation, the film was subsequently presented on traditional theater screens with the three separate Cinerama® panels being optically joined to form a standard 35mm 2.35:1 widescreen image, leaving most subsequent viewers puzzled by the annoying ‘join lines.’
Following several years of careful development, the technicians at Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging perfected a technology that could finally eliminate the ‘join lines,’ and unify the images into a superb viewing experience that captures the essence of the production’s initial road show exhibitions, with an aspect ratio of 2.89:1.
This ultimate western film gets the Ultimate treatment with How the West Was Won Ultimate Collector’s Edition ($59.92 SRP). The two disc Standard Definition Ultimate Collector’s Edition is loaded with collectible memorabilia including a 20-page theatrical press book reproduction, 10 behind-the-scenes photo cards and 10 postcards, and an exclusive movie poster offer. A Two Disc Special Edition ($20.97 SRP) will also be available, offering just the disc content.
Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including John Wayne, Henry Fonda, James Stewart, Richard Widmark, Gregory Peck, Lee J. Cobb, Debbie Reynolds and Carroll Baker star in How the West Was Won. Set between 1839 and 1889 against the backgrounds of the Louisiana Purchase, the Civil War, buffalo hunters, the Pony Express and the first transcontinental railroad, the film consists of five segments, with direction by Henry Hathaway, John Ford and George Marshall, and written by James R. Webb and John Gay, suggested by a Life Magazine series of the same name. The film was the winner of 3 Academy Awards® (Best Screenplay, Best Sound and Best Editing) as well as being nominated for an additional five Oscars®, including Best Picture. In 1997, How the West Was Won was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the US National Film Registry.
How the West Was Won Special Features:
- Film Historian Commentary
- Dave Strohmaier’s critically-acclaimed, feature-length documentary Cinerama® Adventure
- The Making of How the West Was Won (Archival featurette)
- Original Theatrical trailer
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