The Big Trail (1930)

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  • Thanks Jim, for finding these posts.
    And as you say it does have the unfortunate effect
    of bumping the filmography/synopsis,
    several pages into the thread,
    which obviously is illogical, for the good of the movie review.


    I attempted to do this when compiling the Movie Reviews,
    and found this a major problem.
    There are endless earlier threads,several about the same movie,
    with bits and pieces, here and there.
    Attempting to merge them, was a logistic headache,
    so I decided, that the compilation of the Movie Reviews,
    should be the new starting point,
    and anything before, left to be.


    In most cases, as I have done here, I copied
    the earlier posts into the thread,
    therefore still having all the posts under one roof.
    In one Movie,
    The Alamo
    you may have noticed,
    I asked Jay, if I could edit in the filmography/synopsis,
    into his initial thread, and that worked well!


    Quote

    old january 31st, 2004
    jdw



    hello everyone! I'm new to the board here at jwayne.com but have been a huge duke fan my whole life. I would like to know if anybody knows of any plans of a cleaner, better, newer version of "the big trail" to be released? Twentieth century fox certainly didn't do it justice. This was one of the first widescreen movies to be filmed and yet they released it in full frame format. Besides that, the original film ran somewhere around 145 min, so why is the dvd release only 108 min long? Finally, and this is the least of them, there are no extras on the dvd. An old classic like this deserves much better. If any body knows anything about future plans for this film, i would certainly be interested. Thankyou.


    Quote

    old january 31st, 2004
    general sterling price
    0

    the big trail is simply a story of hard luck. This film is the chicago cubs and boston red sox of jw films. Its a great show, but under a curse. It was released at the time of the stock market crash, and was a box office failure. It contributed to a false notion that no one wanted westerns, and the genre all but died until stagecoach a decade later. It also killed the career of the leading lady in the film, and sent wayne back to the poverty row b studios where he wouldn't make his escape until stagecoach. All that for a film that really is pretty good. Then when it was "rediscovered" the sound track was damaged, and so part of it is missing, and then when the dvd was released, they didn't do anything special for it. Go figure. I really like the film.


    Gsp




    Quote

    old february 5th, 2004
    saddletramp



    hello there jdw; .....nice to meet you, as to the big trail being edited it seems to be a common thing on dvd's. Searching on e-bay for some films can be a problem. I usually e-mail the seller for the running time of the video if it isn't listed on their page. I have bought a couple dvd's that were edited versions and was very dissapointed. No bodys fault but mine because i didn't do my research. The imb is a good place for reference to the running times on movies. I find that vhs usually are the full length features but they should still be looked into if you are not sure. One thing i also find now is that some of the new stuff is in color now instead of b+w. I may get flack from the b+w purists but i do like the color versions a little better. Keep the posts coming jdw and watch the "duke" with a friend....saddletramp....


    Quote

    old february 5th, 2004
    robbie



    quote:
    Originally posted by saddletramp@feb 5 2004, 05:59 pm
    hello there jdw; .....nice to meet you, as to the big trail being edited it seems to be a common thing on dvd's. Searching on e-bay for some films can be a problem. I usually e-mail the seller for the running time of the video if it isn't listed on their page. I have bought a couple dvd's that were edited versions and was very dissapointed. No bodys fault but mine because i didn't do my research. The imb is a good place for reference to the running times on movies. I find that vhs usually are the full length features but they should still be looked into if you are not sure. One thing i also find now is that some of the new stuff is in color now instead of b+w. I may get flack from the b+w purists but i do like the color versions a little better. Keep the posts coming jdw and watch the "duke" with a friend....saddletramp..

    ..


    Quote

    february 6th 2004
    saddletramp



    hi robbie; .....i get some of the running times off the internet movie database. How close they are is something i don't know. I think most of their info is close. Another trick i use is e-bay. Find two different sellers, one with a vhs and one with a dvd and compare the running times. Some times a quick e-mail to a seller will get you the info you need or at least the info they have. I recently bought the hurricane express on dvd only to find it was edited to 78 min. I then bought one on vhs and it is 227 min. Quite a bit of editing! It seems that it is usually the dvd's that are edited. I don't know if it is for quality or what. Vhs are usually fairly grainy on the real old stuff but if i can't get the whole thing i don't want it. I don't think i am the only one who has suffered this deception. The three musketeers is another one that i have seen edited on dvd. It should run about 210 minutes, give or take a couple min. Shadow of the eagle is another at 218 min. These are all 12 part serials. And beware the young duke series . These are 3x56min. Westerns cut down to 69 min. And if you see the high and mighty or island in the sky in dvd it is a scam. I have seen one e-bay seller trying to sluff this off. He won't answer my e-mails when question him so i think he is a crook. Ask questions when buying. If you can't get them answered to your satisfaction then move on to some one who will.....saddletramp.....



    Quote

    old february 6th, 2004
    saddletramp



    hello hondo duke wayne;.... I do believe some of these films are edited to fit in a 2 hour time slot for tv. I recently purchased big jake and there is a scene that i had never saw on tv. Before. It was when they were picking buckshot out patrick's backside after the shootout with the texas rangers and the kidnappers. They just have to have room for advertising. For those who have satelite or cable tv. Maybe they run full length,i don't know.....saddletramp..

    ..







    Quote

    old february 22nd, 2004
    itdo


    have watched the dvd and compared to the 1990 fox-video release. It's the same length, the same version (the fox pal video declares running time approx. 116 min. There's another difference about lenghts: Pal and the us format, ntsc - spell: Never twice the same color - run at different speed).


    So i wanted to let you know we don't get cheated by the dvd version. It's still the same one.


    Best Wishes
    Keith
    London- England

    Edited 18 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • The wife and I watched The Big Trail the other night. She loves Duke anyway, but the young Duke she just thinks he is so cute.
    Ward Bond wasn't credited for his character in the movie, I guess that was a common thing in early movie releases. The Pete Morrison listed is he related to Duke?


  • Ward Bond wasn't credited for his character in the movie, I guess that was a common thing in early movie releases. The Pete Morrison listed is he related to Duke?


    That's right Jeff, in fact in some scenes
    Ward can be seen mouthing everyone elses words, without realising.


    It is unlikely Pete Morrison was related to Duke,
    not that we know of anyway!

    Best Wishes
    Keith
    London- England

  • just watched "the big trail" and while i wouldn t class it as a favourite, it was interesting and fun to see john wayne running about as just a kid. some of the lines made me laugh and it brought home how hard it must have been for the original settlers. i agree that when you think about how old the film is, we re lucky to have it

    "Sorry don t get it done, Dude" (Rio Bravo)


    Hooked on The Duke

  • I own an original script and screen continuity from the 1930 movie THE BIG TRAIL, I have made a few copies of the 150 page item if anyone is interested to purchase for a small fee, or trade. Please send me an email if you are interested at:
    stagecoach50@sbcglobal.net
    Thank You
    Andy

    :film: " When the legend becomes fact print the legend"

  • I have one copy of the big trail script left with a copy of the DVD, I will not print anymore. The cost is a flat $20.00 and this includes free shipping within the USA. Please contact me at-Paypal required.
    stagecoach50@sbcglobal.net
    Thank You

    :film: " When the legend becomes fact print the legend"

  • I thought the Big Trail was a very good movie considering when it came out. Bad timing with the Depression at the same time but I have seen other movies that came out about that time,,,(Public Enemy,, Little Ceasar,,and a King Kong from 33) and the acting is pretty much the same. I got the DVD but no extras so I will be getting the 2 DVD set.... Its a favorite of mine as you got to see how he started in films and his style of acting back then. Some of the other players in that movie,, yes I agree, were horrible...... but,,most did act like that because they were mostly stage actors, which the Duke wasn't .

  • Lloyd Fonvielle's mardescortesbaja.com site has a post today which is illustrated with a lovely still of John Wayne and Margaret Churchill in The Big Trail.


    http://www.mardecortesbaja.com/


    If you don't know this site, you may want to spend some time looking around. Lloyd is a huge John Ford fan and writes beautifully about his films. :)

  • Watching the Big Trail again on the big screen I was impressed at how good this film is. It is a bit creaky considering its age but generally holds up well as a western. Duke's performance seems to get better as the film progresses so I wonder did Walsh film the movie in sequence order?

  • I agree. The restoration is fantastic. Unbelievable it wasn't a success at the time. I think that was more to do with most cinemas not being able to show it due to the aspect ratio.

    "Pour yourself some backbone and shut up!"