John Wayne Film Collection [10 Discs] [DVD]
  • SKU: 5360767
  • Release Date: 11/19/2012
  • Rating: G
  • 4.2 (9)
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$39.99
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
4.2
89% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (8 out of 9)

Special Features

  • Closed-Caption

Synopsis

The Undefeated
This routine western finds Union Colonel John Henry Thomas (John Wayne) and company attacking Confederate soldiers lead by Colonel James Langdon (Rock Hudson). After a crushing defeat, Langdon torches his plantation rather than have it fall into enemy hands. A group of Southerners accept the invitation of Emperor Maximilian to join them, and Langdon heads off with a wagon train of settlers to a new land. Thomas with his adopted Indian son Blue Boy (Roman Gabriel) bring a herd of 3,000 horses across the Rio Grand for sale. The two factions meet at a Fourth of July party and relive the war through a drunken brawl. When Mexican General Rojas (Tony Aguilar) holds the Southerners hostage, Thomas orders the herd to stampede into the General's camp as ransom payment for their former enemies. Merlin Olsen plays the blacksmith Little George. Both Gabriel and Olsen were pro-football all-stars for the Los Angeles Rams. Olsen continued his acting and sports announcing after his gridiron days were over. ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi

The Alamo
John Wayne's directorial debut The Alamo is set in 1836: Wayne plays Col. Davy Crockett, who, together with Colonels Jim Bowie (Richard Widmark) and William Travis (Laurence Harvey) and 184 hardy Americans and Texicans, defends the Alamo mission against the troops of Mexican general Santa Ana. There's a lot of macho byplay before the actual attack, including the famous "letter" scene in which Wayne craftily rouses the patriotic ire of his subordinates. Also appearing are Richard Boone as Sam Houston, and Chill Wills (whose somewhat tasteless Oscar campaign has since become legendary in the annals of shameless self-promotion) as Beekeeper. Wayne's production crew was compelled to reconstruct the Alamo in Bracketville, Texas, about a hundred miles from the actual site. Dimitri Tiomkin's score, including The Green Leaves of Summer, received generous airplay on the Top-40 radio outlets of America. Rumors persist that Wayne's old pal John Ford directed most of The Alamo; cut to 161 minutes for its general release, the film was restored to its original, 192-minute length in 1992. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Barbarian and the Geisha
John Wayne's only collaboration with director John Huston turned out to be a major career misstep for both men. Barbarian and the Geisha is the true story of Townsend Harris (Wayne), who in 1856 was appointed the first American consul to Japan. Headquartered in Shimoda, Harris discovers that the Japanese thoroughly mistrust the Americans (and, as it turned out, not without reason). It's an uphill climb, but Harris gradually earns the respect of the local power brokers-and in so doing, is permitted to enter the city of Tokyo. Geisha girl Eiko Ando, originally sent to thwart Harris' mission, falls in love with him and protects him from harm. Though running only 104 minutes, the film seems to drag on for eons. Filmed on location, The Barbarian and the Geisha is consistently good to look at, but the discomfort of both star Wayne and director Huston is painfully obvious in every frame. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Horse Soldiers
Based on an actual Civil War mission, Colonel Marlowe (John Wayne) and Major Kendall (William Holden) are ordered by General Grant to take three regiments 300 miles into enemy territory. They must destroy the railroad line between Newton Station and Vicksburg in hopes of choking off supplies to the South. Marlowe encounters a Southern belle loyal to the enemy, and keeps her in sight throughout the journey so she can't warn the Confederates. Kendall, a Northern surgeon, and the crusty Marlowe have their differences along the way. Action, romance and gory battlefield surgery accompany the army as the mission is completed. John Ford directed this film based on a novel by Harold Sinclair. ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi

North to Alaska
Those familiar only with Johnny Horton's song hit North to Alaska might not be aware that the song came equipped with a movie. John Wayne and Stewart Granger star as a couple of lucky miners in Alaska Territory during the '98 gold rush. Since the Duke is the only man he can trust, Granger sends his pal to Seattle to fetch his fiance. Fabian appears in the cast (playing Granger's brother) primarily to attract teenage filmgoers; he gets to sing, of course, but he's better than usual. The film's centerpiece, an outsized brawl in the muddy streets of Nome, was repeated with several variations in Wayne's subsequent McLintock (1963). North to Alaska was based on a considerably more genteel stage play, Laszlo Fodor's Birthday Gift. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Red River
John Wayne -- showing off a darker side to his screen persona than we'd previously seen -- portrays Thomas Dunson, a frontiersman who, with his longtime partner Nadine Groot (Walter Brennan), abandons a westbound wagon train in 1851 to make his future as a rancher in Texas. Doing so forces him to abandon Fen (Colleen Gray), his fiancee -- and when she is killed in an Indian raid a short time later, it taints any good that Dunson might find in the future he carves out for himself, destroying any joy he might derive from life. The sole survivor of the raid is Matthew Garth (Mickey Kuhn), a young orphan who is unusually handy with a gun for one his age -- and already knows how to channel his grief and horror at what he's seen, as much as Dunson does. Dunson informally adopts Matt as his son, and over the next 14 years he builds up one of the largest ranches in the entire state of Texas. And all of it is worth nothing, a result of the economic ruin wrought on the state in the aftermath of the Civil War. Matthew (Montgomery Clift), now back from the war and doing some of his own adventuring, finds a darker, more taciturn Dunson than he's ever known -- as Groot tells it, he's afraid because he just doesn't know how to fight the threats he now faces. With Matthew now returned, Dunson decides to move his herd, nearly 10,000 head of cattle, to Missouri, where there is a market for beef, over 1000 miles away through territory controlled by border gangs hundreds of men strong that have stopped every cattle drive up to now, and Indians who have picked off what the gangs missed. Dunson drives his men as hard as he does himself, relentlessly, till even some of his best hands break under the strain -- and he's not above killing anyone who challenges his authority on the drive. He's able to hold them in line as long as Matthew backs him up, and he does until Dunson, exhausted and worn down by lack of sleep, finally goes too far. Matthew steps in, backed by laconic, smirking gunman Cherry Valance (John Ireland) and most of the rest of the men and takes the herd from Dunson. Leaving his father and mentor behind, he heads the herd toward Kansas, where -- so the men are told -- there's a new railroad. Along the way, he meets Tess Millay (Joanne Dru), a card-dealer who falls in love with the young man. But he has to finish the drive and leaves her behind, much as Dunson left Fen. And they all know that Dunson is coming after Matthew to kill him. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

Legend of the Lost
Produced and directed by Henry Hathaway, The Legend of the Lost boasted the one-time-only teaming of John Wayne and Sophia Loren. Location-filmed in the Sahara desert, the story concerns the efforts of Wayne, Loren and Rosanno Brazzi to locate a missing treasure in the ruins of ancient Timgrad. Once found, the treasure is stolen by Brazzi, who leaves his partners in the middle of nowhere to die like rats. Fortunately, Wayne and Loren survive the ordeal, though Brazzi is not so lucky. Of the three stars, Brazzi delivers the most interesting performance, while Wayne and Loren seem ill-at-ease throughout. The best aspect of this sometimes ponderous effort is the color cinematography of the great Jack Cardiff. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Big Trail
The first "epic" western of the talkie era, The Big Trail is motivated by a hero's search for the murderer of his father. Twenty-three-year-old John Wayne, hitherto limited to bit parts, was thrust into the difficult leading role, a young mountaineer put in charge of a huge California-bound wagon train. Over the next several months, Wayne and his fellow pioneers face every imaginable hazard and disaster, from blistering desert heat to blinding snowstorms, negotiating steep cliffs, treacherous rivers, uncharted forests and other such natural obstacles. Meanwhile, Wayne's tentative romance with heroine Ruth Cameron (Marguerite Churchill) is continually thwarted by a charming but duplicitous gambler (Ian Keith), and all-around villain Red Flack (Tyrone Power Sr.) and his henchman Lopez (Charlie Stevens) ceaselessly plot to double-cross the other wagon-trainers for their own financial gain. The Big Trail was a box-office disappointment, a fact which some have attributed its expensive production methods. Each scene was lensed twice, once in 35-millimeter and then in the 65-mm "Fox Grandeur" wide-screen process. And then, each dialogue scene was filmed in French and German, with totally different casts. Even if Big Trail has been a big hit, it would have lost money thanks to the time-consuming shooting and reshooting of virtually every scene. Whatever the case, it was John Wayne who suffered most from the film's failure; instantly demoted to "B"-westerns, it took him nearly a decade to rebuild his stardom. Long believed lost, The Big Trail was made available for exhibition again in the early 1970s -- and in the 1990s the original widescreen version was at last restored for public view. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Comancheros
The Longest Day
The Longest Day is a mammoth, all-star re-creation of the D-Day invasion, personally orchestrated by Darryl F. Zanuck. Whenever possible, the original locations were utilized, and an all-star international cast impersonates the people involved, from high-ranking officials to ordinary GIs. Each actor speaks in his or her native language with subtitles translating for the benefit of the audience (alternate "takes" were made of each scene with the foreign actors speaking English, but these were seen only during the first network telecast of the film in 1972). The stars are listed alphabetically, with the exception of John Wayne, who as Lt. Colonel Vandervoort gets separate billing. Others in the huge cast include Eddie Albert, Jean-Louis Barrault, Richard Burton, Red Buttons, Sean Connery, Henry Fonda, Gert Frobe, Curt Jurgens, Peter Lawford, Robert Mitchum, Kenneth More, Edmond O'Brien, Robert Ryan, Jean Servais, Rod Steiger and Robert Wagner. Paul Anka, who wrote the film's title song, shows up as an Army private. Scenes include the Allies parachuting into Ste. Mere Englise, where the paratroopers were mowed down by German bullets; a real-life sequence wherein the German and Allied troops unwittingly march side by side in the dark of night; and a spectacular three-minute overhead shot of the troops fighting and dying in the streets of Quistreham. The last major black-and-white road-show attraction, The Longest Day made millions, enough to recoup some of the cost of 20th Century Fox's concurrently produced Cleopatra. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Overall Customer Rating

4.2 (9 Reviews)
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