Warner Home Video (WHV) and Paramount Home Entertainment (PHE) will join forces to honor the great John Wayne on May 22 -- the week that would have been ‘the Duke’s’ 100th birthday. With 9 new titles due the studios combined DVD libraries now offer 48 Wayne popular classics. The lead titles in the promotion are Rio Bravo in both a Two-Disc Special Edition ($20.97 SRP) and Ultimate Collectors Edition ($39.92 SRP), The Cowboys as a Deluxe Edition ($19.97 SRP) and True Grit as a Special Collector’s Edition ($19.99 SRP).
WHV also will debut the John Wayne Film Collection, a six-disc set (also available individually) featuring six films never before on DVD: Allegheny Uprising, Reunion in France, Tycoon, Without Reservations, Trouble Along the Way and Big Jim McLain. Retail on the Collection is $49.92 SRP, and $12.97 SRP for the individual releases.
True Grit: Special Collector’s Edition (PHE)
This classic cinematic masterpiece features Wayne in a larger-than-life performance as the drunken, uncouth and totally fearless one-eyed U.S. Marshall Rooster Cogburn. The role won him his only Academy Award® for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the age of 63 after 40 years of making films, and Wayne himself said that it was “my first chance to play a character role instead of John Wayne.” Called “one of the most delightful, joyous and scary movies of all time” (Roger Ebert), True Grit is a glorious adventure and American odyssey lead by Wayne, whose screen presence fully embodies his status as a star and legend. Directed by prolific filmmaker Henry Hathaway, the film also features enchanting performances by Kim Darby, Glen Campbell, Robert Duvall and Strother Martin.
- Commentary by Jeb Rosebrook, Bob Boze Bell and J. Stuart Rosebrook
- True Writing
- Working with the Duke
- Aspen Gold: Locations of True Grit
- The Law and the Lawless
- Theatrical trailer
Rio Bravo: Special Edition and Ultimate Collectors Edition (WHV)
Director Howard Hawks lifted the Western to new heights with Red River. He does it here again, capturing the legendary West with a stellar cast in peak form. Wayne is Sheriff John T. Chance, a small-town lawman enlisting the help of a ragtag team to hold a murderer in jail until the state marshal can arrive. On one side is an army of gunmen dead-set on springing the murderous cohort from jail. On the other are Chance and his two deputies: one a recovering drunkard (Dean Martin), the other a crippled codger (Walter Brennan). Also in their ranks are an unseasoned, trigger-happy youth (Ricky Nelson) and a woman with a past (Angie Dickinson) – and her eye on Chance. Rio Bravo will feature a new digital transfer from restored picture and audio elements.
DVD Special Features:
- Remastered feature film
- Commentary by John Carpenter and Richard Schickel (Renowned director Carpenter and film critic Schickel explore how this legendary Western was an extension of Hawks’ own personality and why it’s considered such an influential classic today)
- Wayne trailer gallery
- The Men Who Made the Movies: Howard Hawks (1973 documentary)
- Two All New Featurettes:
- Commemoration: Howard Hawks’ Rio Bravo
- Old Tucson: Where the Legends Walked
Ultimate Collector’s Edition includes everything in the Rio Bravo Special Edition plus the following collectible memorabilia:
- Press book
- Dell comic book
- Lobby cards
The Cowboys: Deluxe Edition (WHV)
This deluxe edition has been newly restored and remastered, and features a new cast/director featurette. The Cowboys gave Wayne one of his juiciest roles as a leather-tough rancher who, deserted by his regular help, hires 11 greenhorn schoolboys for a cattle drive across 400 treacherous miles. When the dust settled, Wayne had given one of his best performances. “In The Cowboys,” Rex Reed wrote, “all the forces that have made him a dominant personality as well as a major screen presence seem to combine. Old Dusty Britches can act.” Co-starring the equally memorable Roscoe Lee Browne, Colleen Dewhurst and Bruce Dern, The Cowboys was directed by Mark Rydell (On Golden Pond).
DVD Special Features:
- Commentary by Mark Rydell (Director Rydell discusses how he helped his young, inexperienced cast work with screen legend Wayne)
- The Cowboys: Together Again
- The Breaking of Boys and the Making of Men
- Theatrical Trailer
Allegheny Uprising (WHV)
Only months after his Stagecoach breakthrough, John Wayne brings his one-of-a-kind line readings and presence to the real-life role of colonial man of action James Smith. The place is Pennsylvania a decade before the American Revolution. Joined by like-minded frontiersmen, Smith intercepts trade shipments, besieges forts and risks the certain-death charge of treason against the king. Another Stagecoach alumna joins the Duke: Claire Trevor, playing a fiery barmaid eager to join the scrap against the redcoats.
- The Bill of Rights [1939 WB short]
- Land of the Midnight Fun [1939 WB cartoon]
Big Jim McLain (WHV)
All 6’4” of John Wayne plays the title role, a federal agent ferreting out subversives in Hawaii. Rallying to the cause are co-stars Nancy Olsen and Veda Ann Borg. And 6’7” James Arness (whom Wayne would later recommend to star on TV’s “Gunsmoke”) is McLain’s war-hero partner, Baxter. The documentary-style story moves swiftly, with good-natured humor peppered throughout. Pre-statehood Hawaii locales range from elite resorts to a Shinto temple and from the sunken remains of the battleship Arizona to a Molokai leper colony.
- So You Want to Enjoy Life [1952 WB short]
- The Super Snooper [1952 WB cartoon]
- Theatrical Trailer
Reunion in France (WHV)
John Wayne is in straight-up heroic mode as a fugitive RAF pilot on the run from the Gestapo, and Joan Crawford (in haute couture despite the war) is Michele, the spoiled, high-society Parisian who discovers her own patriotism as she helps the airman escape his Nazi pursuers. This glossy, briskly paced thriller also stars Philip Dorn as Michele’s fiancé, an industrialist she suspects of collaborating with the Germans.
- We Do It Because [1942 MGM short]
- War Dogs [1943 MGM cartoon]
- Theatrical Trailer
Trouble Along The Way (WHV)
This sports comedy-drama is directed by Michael Curtiz (Casablanca). John Wayne tackles the role of Steve Williams, a former top football coach who has been banned from the major conferences for his inability to conform and is making ends meet as a bookie. When he receives a call from likable Father Burke (Charles Coburn) with an offer to establish a football program – fast- in a last-ditch effort to save his tiny St. Anthony’s College from bankruptcy, Williams sees it as a way to prove to a Children’s Court officer (Donna Reed) that he’s a fit parent as he fights for custody of his 12 year old tomboy daughter. Of course, there’s bound to be Trouble Along the Way.
- So You Think You Can’t Sleep [1953 WB short]
- Muscle Tussle [1953 WB cartoon]
- Theatrical trailer
A tumultuous love story (with co-star Laraine Day), a dynamite supporting cast, horizon-spanning location filming and brilliant Technicolor make Tycoon exciting entertainment. But the biggest thrill is watching Wayne as a bold, bare-knuckled railroad honcho high above an Andean gorge in a breathless grand finale that involves a half-built bridge, an onrushing wall of water, and a locomotive with the Duke at the controls.
- Hollywood Wonderland [1947 WB short]
- Red Hot Rangers [1947 MGM cartoon]
Without Reservations (WHV)
Claudette Colbert and Wayne are a double delight in this playful, romantic comedy. Colbert plays Kit Madden, a novelist who’s heading to Hollywood to turn her bestseller about a handsome pilot into a film. On the train she meets real-life marine pilot (John Wayne), and thinks he’s the perfect man to portray her screen hero…except he thinks the whole thing is “a lot of hooey.” Their comedic rapport becomes more captivating with one misadventure after another as they make their way cross-country. Adding to the fun are surprise walk-ons from stars like Jack Benny, Cary Grant, Louella Parsons playing herself, and director Warner LeRoy.
- I Love My Husband, But! [1946 MGM short]
- Holiday for Shoestrings [1946 WB cartoon]
Also part of the promotion are 3 new DVD Collections from Paramount with a total of 14 films.
John Wayne Century Collection ($99.99 SRP) brings together 14 classic films starring John Wayne, including the new Special Collector’s Edition of True Grit and four additional Special Collector’s Editions. The films in the collection are:
- The High And The Mighty Special Collector’s Edition (Adventure Collection)
- Island In The Sky Special Collector’s Edition (Adventure Collection)
- True Grit Special Collector’s Edition (Western Collection)
- Hondo Special Collector’s Edition (Western Collection)
- McLintock! Special Collector’s Edition (Western Collection)>
- The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Western Collection)
- The Shootist (Western Collection)
- Big Jake (Western Collection)
- Donovan’s Reef (Adventure Collection)
- In Harm’s Way (Adventure Collection)
- Hatari! (Adventure Collection)
- Rio Lobo (Western Collection)
- The Sons Of Katie Elder (Western Collection)
- El Dorado (Western Collection)
Noted in brackets are the films which make up the 2 smaller DVD collections, with the 9-film John Wayne Western Collection priced at $74.99 SRP and the 5-film John Wayne Adventure Collection priced at $42.99 SRP.