The Big Trail (1930)

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

Your view is limited. Please register to the JWMB to access all features.
   

There are 136 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by Kevin.

  • Originally posted by RoughRider@Oct 9 2006, 09:17 AM
    This is a rare case where a RC2 DVD of Wayne's is longer than the RC1 equivalent. I think a few of his 1940's Republic films (e.g. Dakota) are a few minutes longer than their American counterparts, too. But this is something I'm looking into and need to confirm.


    I'll quote myself here... never mind about some of the Republic films from the 1940's being longer in the UK. For some reason, obviously confusion, Amazon UK lists a number of VHS running times that reflect the actual duration in the theatre (or NTSC)--not the time it should be for a PAL video. It gets confusing when they mix PAL and NTSC times.

    RoughRider
  • Originally posted by dc65@Oct 1 2006, 07:58 PM
    Just watched the big trail on dvd and I thought it was fantastic. It's hard to believe that it was such a failure at the time that it set the duke's career back almost ten years.
    [snapback]35208[/snapback]

    dc65,

    In one of the posts quoted by Keith above, by Arthur in December of 2005, Arthur explains why the film didn't do well -

    The reason the film was not the success it should have been was the format. The super 70 was in place in only a few cinemas throughout the United States and owners were not prepared to accommodate the film by putting the special screens in. Later as Cinemscope the new innovation became popular fifty years after its initial failure. At the same time Able Gance was encountering the same difficulties with His Napolean which was shown on three screens (the forerunner to Cinerama).

    We, too, have watched and enjoyed this film. Duke's relative inexperience acting makes it a little special. It is a decent story line, and an interesting little part of cinematic history.

    Chester :newyear:
  • An update on the UK video version of The Big Trail.

    I ordered the RC2 DVD from Amazon UK which lists the running time as 116 minutes, just like the VHS version mentioned earlier in this thread -- the one confirmed to be 116 in PAL (or 121 in NTSC film time). I was disappointed to discover that the RC2 DVD has exactly the same running time as the RC1 version (108 minutes NTSC).

    It seems, then, that the UK VHS is the one running 116 minutes in PAL and subsequent video releases on DVD used the shorter version. But the DVD Amazon UK sent me has the newer cover, the one saying Studio Classics at the top. The previous UK DVD, released in 2003, has a different cover and is listed at 116 minutes, too (probably a mistake by Amazon just like the newer version).

    It looks like I'll have to order the UK VHS of the film and convert it to NTSC then DVD-R, and see for myself. If ethanedwards hadn't confirmed the VHS's running time, I would have assumed it was a mistake in the Amazon listing just like the DVD. Actually I would still be curious because the VHS was passed for UK certification in 1990 at 116m:35s.

    ethanedward: what date and catalogue number (or other identifiers) appears on your UK VHS? There's always the chance the one I get will have a different cover and shorter running time, although Amazon UK lists only one VHS version, from CBS/Fox dated 1998. Does yours have the same cover as listed on Amazon UK? If the VHS was passed for certification in 1990, there may have been more than one version subsequently released. If so, it would have to be a shorter version because a longer one would require re-certification.

    RoughRider
  • Hi RoughRider,

    OK, well, it does seem totally confusing,
    and If I hadn't carried out a physical check,
    it would be even more so.

    It looks like all the packaging has changed,
    and bear in mind, I bought my copy,
    when it was first re-released, a few years back!!

    Here is the only thumbnail I could find,
    but this is the same cover.

    [ATTACH]951]

    The Front cover shows, a portrait type picture,
    headed by THE BIG TRAIL.
    under the picture is CBS FOX logo,
    and 'ALL TIME GREATS'
    (they also issued, Rio Lobo, Big Jake, The Undefeated,
    The Comancheros, North to Alaska, The Barbarian and the Geisha,
    at the same time)
    _______________________________________________________
    The spine shows, the same logo,
    followed by' JOHN WAYNE COLLECTION'

    THE BIG TRAIL

    HI-FI VHS
    CBS FOX VIDEO

    1362.
    _______________________________________________________________
    The back cover has the usual blurb, and 3 stills.
    with these references.

    Black and White
    Running time:- approx 116 minutes.

    Copyright. 1930
    Renewed:- 1957.
    ______________________________________________________________________
    On the VHS label is printed,
    Copyright 1990,( When I bought it)
    _______________________________________________________________________
    I believe that the

    The Big Trail- The John Wayne Film Society


    still has this in stock, click on the link above,
    although the cover is different.
    It might be a good idea to EMail,
    Patrick and David.[/attach]
    Files
    • videos.jpg

      (2.97 kB, downloaded 56 times, last: )
    Best Wishes
    Keith
    London- England
  • Thanks for VHS details.

    Amazon UK had two copies of The Big Trail available from affiliate sellers, so I bought one. It's listed under the same VHS cover you show but with a 1998 release date. There's always the chance what I get won't reflect the cover shown, in which case it might not be the 116-minute version that you verified. It might be the cover shown on The John Wayne Film Society, which I assume is the newer VHS release.

    Since the UK DVD is 103 minutes (PAL), I imagine Fox would have released it to VHS as well. The back of the UK DVD says 'Approx 103 Minutes' and I've verified it to be the same print as the US DVD (right to the second). But it's obvious that Fox UK released a longer version on home video in 1990. Unless, of course, you were mistaken in your time calculation of the film from start to finish, and the BBFC's video running time of 116m:35s included trailers.

    I should note that PAL running times can get confusing. Some DVDs are encoded in such a way that there's no 4% PAL speedup. For example, the UK DVD of Lady from Louisiana plays back at exactly the same speed as NTSC (film time). The box says approximately 83 minutes and that's what it is in real time. So for some PAL videos, taking the running time and multiplying by 1.04 to get real film time isn't applicable. I think this would apply only to DVD which is purely digital as opposed to analog VHS. So in the case of Lady from Louisiana, if I play the DVD on my computer with WinDVD's 'PAL TruSpeed' feature turned on, the film plays 4% too fast. I verified this by syncing the UK DVD with a DVD-R culled from the American VHS -- they're exactly the same running time. The DVD is just digital data, and I guess it's up to the player's decoder to output either a PAL or NTSC signal.

    Another example is the UK DVD of The Magnificent Showman which syncs perfectly with the NTSC DVD I have under the title Circus World, all without compensating for PAL speedup. Other UK DVDs, though, have to be sped up to see real film time (like The Big Trail). This understanding of PAL is important because it can alter the true running time of a film. But as mentioned, I don't think this applies to VHS although I could be wrong. A VHS running 116m:35s in PAL should be equivalent to 121m:26s in NTSC.

    I'll post an update once I have the UK VHS converted to NTSC and do sync tests to verify the running time.

    RoughRider

    John Wayne on DVD: A Filmography
  • Originally posted by ethanedwards@Oct 26 2006, 07:43 AM
    Hi Rough Rider,

    Hopefully VHS players, all run at the same speed, or do they?

    116 mins, for sure
    [snapback]36385[/snapback]



    A PAL VHS won't play at all in a standard NTSC player, so the video formats are entirely different. A PAL VHS should play back at 25fps, though. That is, the running time will be shorter. But then again, I thought this of DVD too. But being digital, a film can be encoded in such a way that it doesn't matter what television standard is used: the DVD player's hardware reads the digital data and converts it to whatever display is being used.

    As mentioned, some DVDs don't have PAL speed-up. Technically I don't fully understand this fact. My assumption is that they are encoded in a different way, perhaps progressively where each frame in a film is a single digital frame and not interlaced (two fields to create one frame). The player's hardware takes this data and then outputs it to whatever standard is being used (PAL or NTSC). So for some DVDs (at least the way I see it), the only thing that makes them PAL is the physical resolution.

    But perhaps some VHSes don't have PAL speed-up either. I imagine there are different ways a film can get telecined to VHS. I also have the UK VHS of Reunion in France on order. The BBFC lists the UK video as 99m:50s, which in NTSC would be 103m:59s (the length of the actual uncut film). The offical American VHS and TCM print runs 98m:46s.

    It should be noted that the early NTSC VHS of The Big Trail has the same catalogue number as the UK VHS (#1362), but it's listed over here as 110 minutes instead of 116. (Fox lists the DVD on their online store as 110 minutes, too, but it's actually 108.) If they have the same Fox catalogue number, they should be exactly the same film.

    In any case, I'll get to the bottom of this mystery once the UK VHS is in my hands and converted to an NTSC VHS, then to DVD-R (the same with Reunion in France). For The Big Trail I'll do sync tests with the official DVD release. Such tests can be confirmed using the WinDVD player which has a feature called 'PAL TruSpeed'. Mind you, if the UK version is either 8 minutes longer (no PAL speed-up) or 13-14 minutes longer (compensating for PAL speed-up), the difference will be obvious because of additional scenes not on the DVD.

    RoughRider
    John Wayne on DVD: A Filmography
  • I just watched it for the 2nd time in two days. Its a excellent film indeed. And yes, Mine also kinda exits quickly after 'The End'. The Big Trail is a good starting point for a person like me who is just really getting into John Wayne Movies. I've seen plenty of others over the years, but I cannot recall of the names of them. But really I'm just getting started as far as wanting to watch them all go's. I would love to eventualy own and watch them all.
  • Originally posted by RoughRider@Oct 31 2006, 07:41 PM
    A PAL VHS won't play at all in a standard NTSC player, so the video formats are entirely different. A PAL VHS should play back at 25fps, though. That is, the running time will be shorter. But then again, I thought this of DVD too. But being digital, a film can be encoded in such a way that it doesn't matter what television standard is used: the DVD player's hardware reads the digital data and converts it to whatever display is being used.

    As mentioned, some DVDs don't have PAL speed-up. Technically I don't fully understand this fact. My assumption is that they are encoded in a different way, perhaps progressively where each frame in a film is a single digital frame and not interlaced (two fields to create one frame). The player's hardware takes this data and then outputs it to whatever standard is being used (PAL or NTSC). So for some DVDs (at least the way I see it), the only thing that makes them PAL is the physical resolution.

    But perhaps some VHSes don't have PAL speed-up either. I imagine there are different ways a film can get telecined to VHS. I also have the UK VHS of Reunion in France on order. The BBFC lists the UK video as 99m:50s, which in NTSC would be 103m:59s (the length of the actual uncut film). The offical American VHS and TCM print runs 98m:46s.

    It should be noted that the early NTSC VHS of The Big Trail has the same catalogue number as the UK VHS (#1362), but it's listed over here as 110 minutes instead of 116. (Fox lists the DVD on their online store as 110 minutes, too, but it's actually 108.) If they have the same Fox catalogue number, they should be exactly the same film.

    In any case, I'll get to the bottom of this mystery once the UK VHS is in my hands and converted to an NTSC VHS, then to DVD-R (the same with Reunion in France). For The Big Trail I'll do sync tests with the official DVD release. Such tests can be confirmed using the WinDVD player which has a feature called 'PAL TruSpeed'. Mind you, if the UK version is either 8 minutes longer (no PAL speed-up) or 13-14 minutes longer (compensating for PAL speed-up), the difference will be obvious because of additional scenes not on the DVD.

    RoughRider
    John Wayne on DVD: A Filmography
    [snapback]36517[/snapback]


    Hi Rough Rider,
    I never thought that PAl and NTSC is the question of speed. Mine VHS player plays both, as well as DVD player.
    Regards,
    Senta :rolleyes:
  • Originally posted by Senta@Nov 2 2006, 04:05 AM
    Hi Rough Rider,
    I never thought that PAl and NTSC is the question of speed. Mine VHS player plays both, as well as DVD player.
    Regards,
    Senta :rolleyes:
    [snapback]36553[/snapback]



    You must have a multi-system VHS player that plays both PAL and NTSC. In Canada and the US such players aren't common. As for RC1 DVD players, most will convert PAL to NTSC, with some models better than others. I think the rest of the world is better equipped for both formats, including TVs that can sync to both correctly.

    Speed is a factor when it comes to PAL versus NTSC, but not always. As another example, I just bought the UK DVD of The Green Berets because it's anamorphic and the RC1 isn't. It's 136 minutes but with PAL compensation it's 142 minutes -- just like the NTSC version. They're the same film right to the second.

    But with PAL it's difficult to notice the 4% speed-up, so to verify things I synced the RC1 (NTSC) with the RC2 (PAL) and watched sections of the film. Both versions of The Green Berets stayed in sync when the RC2 was played in WinDVD with 'PAL TruSpeed' turned on; turned off the film played 4% too fast (visually and audibly confirmed because I had something to compare).

    My region-free DVD player, the one connected to my TV, will therefore play the RC2 disc 4% faster as it gets converted to NTSC. But other RC2 PAL discs don't have speed-up, so one can't make a blanket statement about PAL.

    To determine if PAL speed-up is present, you can generally tell if a running time is 4% shorter. For instance, if you know your favorite film is 100 minutes and the PAL video you have is 96 minutes, it most likely has PAL speed-up. The film could be cut, but because it's your favorite film, you know it isn't. So for my PAL videos I always do sync tests in conjunction with a timecode calculator, which is much simpler than having intimate knowledge of a film and all its scenes.

    So, yes, PAL and NTSC can be a question of speed. It's just that generally you won't notice it. But it's important when listing correct running times for foreign versions of a film. The early UK VHS of The Big Trail is a good example, which based on what was said here is the longer version. But does the 116-minute running time reflect PAL speed-up or not? To me that's important.

    And speaking of that UK VHS, I received mine yesterday. Unfortunately it's the newer release with a catalogue number of 1362S instead of just 1362; the running time on the case says 110 minutes. So even without converting the tape to NTSC, I know this is probably the standard 108-minute version currently available on DVD in the UK and US. (The UK DVD is 103 minutes but has PAL speed-up.) My assumption also means that the VHS probably doesn't have PAL speed-up.

    But I've tracked down a copy with the 1362 catalogue number, the one that says CBS/Fox and has a different cover (the one ethanedwards posted). The copy I have is dated 1998, but the early version was released on UK home video in 1990 -- hopefully this is the one I'll get.

    RoughRider
    John Wayne on DVD: A Filmography
  • Hi all,
    I watched The Big Trail and was really surprised how good it is as a movie. I like Walshs movies and this one too - a real epic. And it is really hard to imagine that it was filmed in 1930.
    And Duke was really good for his part.
    I like the slow pace of the movie and beautiful locations.
    On my VHs there is also very fine documentary about making The Big Trail.
    Regards,
    Senta
  • Hi all,
    I watched The Big Trail and was really surprised how good it is as a movie. I like Walshs movies and this one too - a real epic. And it is really hard to imagine that it was filmed in 1930.
    And Duke was really good for his part.
    I like the slow pace of the movie and beautiful locations.
    On my VHs there is also very fine documentary about making The Big Trail.
    Regards,
    Senta
  • Duke's Movie Locations- The Big Trail

    Buttercup Dunes, Imperial County, California, USA

    Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA

    Grand Teton Pass, Wyoming, USA

    Hurricane Bluffs, Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah, USA

    Imperial County, California, USA

    Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA

    Moisie, Montana, USA

    Oregon, USA

    Sacramento River, California, USA

    Sacramento, California, USA

    Sequoia National Park - 47050 Generals Highway, Three Rivers, California, USA

    St. George, Utah, USA

    Yuma, Arizona, USA
    Best Wishes
    Keith
    London- England
  • Hello, Keith and all.

    I received The Big Trail, the UK VHS listed as approximately 116 minutes. If you remember, I initially received the UK VHS listed as approximately 110 minutes (no PAL speed-up present) with a different cover--the same 108-minute print Fox distributes on DVD. But the older UK Fox VHS is the 120-minute version (compensating for PAL speed-up which is present). It's the same 120-minute version shown on the Fox Movie Channel except the VHS is full-frame. So it's 12 minutes longer than what is currently available on home video; actually almost 14 minutes longer because there's no exit music on the VHS.

    The older UK VHS is the one to get. It has the Fox catalogue number 1362; the newer, shorter Fox VHS is 1362S. Maybe the 'S' means shortened? Both versions share the same UPC number, 5013738136250, so don't use that to indentify the different prints.

    Although first released in the UK on VHS in 1990, my VHS has both a 1990 and 1996 copyright statement. The shorter VHS has a 1998 copyright, so in between that time Fox UK shortened the film. I don't know whether the longer version was ever released on VHS in NTSC. The 1993 NTSC release is listed as 110 minutes, but I don't know if something appeared before that time.

    It's always interesting to see what gets cut in a shorter version. The DVD has two minutes cut in the first 10 minutes compared to the early UK VHS, so things start getting chopped right away.

    RoughRider
    John Wayne on DVD: A Filmography