As mentioned in a previous post some time ago, London-based Hollywood Classics Ltd. has licensed some Blu-rays to European labels, notably Soul Media which had the Blu-ray debuts of The Barbarian and the Geisha and McLintock! Soul Media also has titles never released on Blu-ray anywhere, including Hellfighters and North to Alaska (licensed from Hollywood Classics).
The library of Hollywood Classics is rather small, but they do have rights to a few other John Wayne titles such as The Alamo, Brannigan, Pittsburgh, Allegheny Uprising and -- this is the interesting one -- Sea Spoilers, which of course has never been released on home video.
So there's always the chance that Soul Media will release Sea Spoilers. It doesn't have to be on Blu-ray -- I would be content with the DVD!
It wouldn't hurt for people on this board to send Soul Media an e-mail asking for the film to be released.
If they did release the film on DVD, however, it would most likely be in PAL/Region 2 format.
Red River is to be released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 6, 2013 in France by Wild Side Video.
It looks like it will be the director's cut, along with a documentary on the film's restoration. The BD/DVD combo-pack will also include an 80-page book.
Hi Rough Rider,
I bought a copy of North to Alaska, against my better judgment, and my blu ray has the same, frustrating glitch!
Did you rip the Blu ray to see if it ironed it out? Only asking as I've had a few DVDs in the past that wouldn't play on any machines so I ripped them and they worked fine!
No, I didn't rip the Blu-ray, which wouldn't do anything to fix the problem. It's a mastering flaw and as such would take some work to delete every 1000th frame and recompile. AviSynth can delete every x number of frames, so technically it can be done.
I was really hoping they would re-issue the Blu-ray without the flaw.
Send an e-mail to Soul Media like I did and complain.
It's not so strange when you consider High Noon is part of the Republic/Paramount library.
Still... a bad filler -- Blu-ray on a budget. There would probably be no money to be made by investing in a proper documentary for the actual film.
I've had a chance to sit down and look at the 10-disc John Wayne Collection from Fox.
The bad news is that 9 of the 10 titles are simply re-issues of previous releases, right down to using the exact DVD masters (dates shown in parentheses).
The Big Trail (2003), Red River (1997), Legend of the Lost (2002), The Horse Soldiers (2001), The Alamo (2000), North to Alaska (2003), The Comancheros (2003), The Longest Day (1999), and The Undefeated (2003).
So instead of getting some new and better prints, there's nothing for these titles. In the least Fox could have included an anamorphic version of The Horse Soldiers instead of the 4x3 letterboxed version. Six of the 9 titles have been released on Blu-ray, but none of the new masters made it to DVD in this collection.
The good news is that The Barbarian and the Geisha looks lovely and to my surprise has the original 4-track audio soundtrack. The extras are as follows: original theatrical trailer, 4 Fox Movietone newsreels and a photo gallery.
Duke fans who have the other 9 titles should stay away of course. It's best to buy the combo pack (Blu-ray/DVD) from Walmart.
Hello RoughRider! Read your recent comments, thanks for the Info! I had considered purchasing my copy of The Barbarian and The Geisha through that Hollywood classics but not i won't. I'll wait. Did buy my copy of Circus World through them, I'ts OK, print is good, it's a DVD which i did not have. Curious, where abouts in Canada are you? That's a big country! Are you near Montreal? that's a hour and a half from me! bill
I live in the outskirts of Vancouver just above Seattle. Wayne used to bring his yacht up to this neck of the woods. Just across the border in Port Angeles is the John Wayne Marina.
You must have a region-free player -- more people should have one!
That is a great help; thanks again Roughrider!
I take it the English audio doesn't have forced subtitles as per the French release of Circus World?
All sounds like it's one to get.
Is anyone else stunned at the choice of films they've released to date on Blu Ray!?! The Conqueror and The Barbarian and the Geisha are hardly high points in the Duke's career!
Nope, Legend of the Lost has no forced subtitles like the French release of Circus World.
It should be noted that the subtitles for Circus World aren't hard-encoded directly onto the print itself. By re-ripping the BD they can be removed, but this is something most people won't do of course. I removed them and then re-encoded the film using the x264 encoder. My BD player can play ISOs directly from a USB hard drive, so there was no need to burn the film to a BD disc.
The x264 encoder is so good that I can't tell the difference. I threw AviSynth's Undot filter at the 211 GB master file (in Lagarith lossless codec format) before encoding to AVC.
Call me crazy but I really don't want to see subtitles if I don't want to.
Thanks so much Rough Rider that's a huge help all round.
I am a self confessed techno freak so it's good to hear there are others out there.
I have been tempted with the Barbarian and the Geisha and North to Alaska but it sounds like they're worth giving a miss, hopefully studio based releases will follow.
Have you tried the Legends of the Lost Blu ray?
I look forward to someone posting a technical review of the walmart Barbarian and the Geisha release.
Yes, I have the Legend of the Lost Blu-ray from Koch Media.
It's a lovely print, and I can think of no negative comments. It's region-free, too.
The film itself is encoded at 23.97 fps. The extras are 25.00 fps, which are the English and German trailers and a slideshow of stills, posters and lobby cards.
It has both German and English mono audio along with the same for the subtitles.
Like the Soul Media BDs (The Barbarian and the Geisha and North to Alaska), this too is licensed from Hollywood Classics Ltd. on behalf of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Soul Media's The Conqueror BD is licensed from Hollywood Classics Ltd. on behalf of Universal Pictures International.
To get these BDs I went through private sellers. It was only later that I discovered anyone can use their normal Amazon login and buy from their international sites. There'll be a language barrier to traverse but it's 'doable'. Of course on this side of the pond one must have a region-free player for those titles locked to region B.
Thanks Rough Rider.
I'll be interested if anyone has bought these to see if they've been properly remastered for Blu Ray?
How the West was Won and Rio Lobo for instance are fantastic transfers as is Fort Apache. Horse Soldiers on the other hand is a little ropey in places and not massively better than the DVD.
I have the Danish Blu-ray of The Barbarian and the Geisha, and find it disappointing because, in my opinion, it isn't encoded very well. The print itself is lovely, albeit a little grainy, but does suffer from less than stellar AVC encoding. Although licensed from Fox, the video was supplied by Hollywood Classics Ltd. and the BD distributed in Scandinavia by Soul Media.
I should mention that Soul Media's BD of North to Alaska has a mastering flaw: every 1000th frame is repeated throughout the entire film, causing a very slight pause about every 42 seconds. This defect ended up on the DVD, too (it's a combo pack), although at a different interval because of the different frame rate. I sent Soul Media an e-mail and they said nobody has complained about such a defect. But it illustrates a lower level of quality supplied by Hollywood Classics Ltd.
The Region A BD of The Barbarian and the Geisha, released today exclusively to US Walmart stores, is all Fox so to speak. Hopefully they've put more effort into the encoding.
The Danish BD and Japanese DVD (an official Fox release) both have 2-channel stereo audio, yet typical of Fox's CinemaScope the 4-track stereo soundtrack is nowhere to be heard except for a little matrixing. The UK DVD from Fox has 2-channel stereo, too.
Walmart Canada doesn't carry the new title, but it's supposed to go into general release after Walmart US's exclusivity deal. I'd be curious to know if the encoding is better and if it has the original audio (unlikely).
Thanks Dooley! I'll wait and see what happens here. I can always get on Amazon UK and order it if i have to later on.
You could buy the Blu-ray which also includes the DVD version.
I have heard internet rumblings about The Shootist and The Quiet Man being released on Blu-Ray this year, any truth to this? These films deserve a decent release with as many extras as possible, but so do many of Duke's films. The release of Hondo in June ( and hopefully soon after in the UK) fills me with hope that more and more films will be released on this format.
The rumblings are based on Illinois-based Olive Films acquiring licensing rights to some of the Republic library, including The Quiet Man. These rights were acquired directly from Paramount who seem to want out of classic film distribution.
My understanding is that Artisan still has US home video licensing rights to the Republic library, though. But who knows what goes on in a back room somewhere, changing distribution agreements. Olive Films has already released a number of classic Paramount titles, with more to come.
The industry is changing. Look at some of the European John Wayne titles on Blu-ray: the studios provide HD masters and license their product to distributors like Koch Media, Opening Euromediane Group and Soul Media instead of handling it themselves. Now, with Olive Films, we're seeing this trend in North America. It's all a good thing because it expedites such Blu-ray releases, lessening the overhead burden of the studios themselves.
Amazon US has an entry for The Quiet Man Blu-ray, with the notice "Sign up to be notified when this item becomes available."
So maybe something is in the pipeline?
To coincide with the May 8th release of the Region A Blu-ray, Fox is also releasing The Barbarian and the Geisha in a 10-movie DVD box set titled John Wayne Film Collection. So for the first time, of course, the film will be available on a Region 1 DVD.
The box set will also include The Big Trail, Red River, Legend of the Lost, The Horse Soldiers, The Alamo, North to Alaska, The Comancheros, The Longest Day, and The Undefeated.
I suspect Fox, who have distribution rights to the MGM library, will include some new DVD transfers used for HD television and domestic/international Blu-rays, those that have been released.
For those interested, the Circus World Blu-ray from France has been confirmed to be region-free. The print is gorgeous, sourced from the original Technirama camera negative. It's a dual-layer BD, too, encoded at a very high bitrate at 24.00fps.
Unfortunately with the English audio one is forced to view French subtitles, forced meaning you can't turn them off.
The extras are in PAL format but that shouldn't deter Region A fans without a multi-region BD player who want to see the film the way it should be presented (minus the French subtitles, which aren't all that distracting in light of the wonderful picture quality).
As posted earlier, four new Blu-ray titles have been released in Europe only. It seems few people on this forum are interested in Blu-ray, and I can understand and appreciate the reasons.
The four new titles were released by the Danish label Soul Media (3 titles) and German label Koch Media (1 title). All are licensed from Hollywood Classics, Ltd., a London-based company who have European distribution rights to many of Hollywood's classic films.
Circus World, to be released on Blu-ray in March by the French label Mediafilm, is also part of the Hollywood Classics film library, so I'll assume it will be licensed from them as well.
The titles from Soul Media are region B only; Legend of the Lost (Stadt der Verlorenen ) is region-free. All are 1080p with original English audio @ 23.976fps.
I suspect more John Wayne titles will be released in Europe, continuing to surpass what will be available in North America.
New to Blu-ray in Europe only are: The Conqueror, Legend of the Lost, The Barbarian and the Geisha, and North to Alaska.
Circus World will be released in March... again Europe only.
Verified region-coding is unknown at this time but I have the titles on the way and will check.
Here is the thread
including the video clip
And here is a link to the Girls Demand Excitement clips, which were edited together and a small bit of narration deleted. It's only 19 seconds.
or, for Mac users or those who prefer Flash:
I would love to see the entire film, missing reel or not.
Here is blu-ray.com's review of The Horse Soldiers:
From the screenshots with the review, this looks like a HUGE improvement over the DVD. I'll have to get it.
I watched the Comancheros Blu-ray and it looks great. Thumbs up.
Worthy of note for The Comancheros Blu-ray is the documentary The Duke at Fox, which confirms that he played a police officer in Four Sons (1928). I have a clip of that scene in my filmography, and some time ago it was debated whether this was indeed John Wayne. Someone here posted the clip on YouTube, too. Anyway, it's Wayne!
Also worthy of note in the documentary are two scenes from Girls Demand Excitement. Some dubious sites on the 'net say they have the entire film for download, but I don't trust them enough to pay and subscribe to confirm. It's certainly plausible since the film played at a New York festival in 2006, and someone may have used a camcorder.
For reasons unknown to me my webspace is down at the moment, but I'll put online the two scenes from Girls Demand Excitement.
It needs a lot of restoration as I don't think it was graded properly by Republic when it was first released and any subsequent releases on film, video or DVD have not been without their faults.
It would be great if someone or an organisation took the task on as it would be a shame to lose this classic to future generations.
I believe that The Quiet Man was the best selling video in the UK when it was first released so a restored DVD release could be a money winner.
Even disregarding the print quality, The Quiet Man was released to DVD in the UK from an NTSC master which is never a good thing.
Somehow I think it'll eventually be released on Blu-ray. There are many John Wayne fans, of course, but there are many John Ford fans, too. The combination of the two is very marketable.
Turner Classic Movies recently showed The Horse Soldiers, and it's an entirely different print than what was released on DVD to the world. This new transfer is most likely what will end up on the soon-to-be-released Blu-ray. Hopefully The Quiet Man will get the same treatment.
There's that too, we could become Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid of pirates....
But really if you want a copy of War of the Wildcats so bad, check out the internet archive. www.archive.org which I assume is a legit place to get it.
Well... it's in the public domain then, or at least PR Studios and Internet Archive deem it so.
The print on the Internet Archive is definitely from the PAL DVD, which of course looks much better than the online version.
Maybe PR Studios downloaded it from there and burned it for the DVD-R release? Somehow that wouldn't surprise me.
I should start selling the lovely NTSC conversion I did <g>. I also did conversions of Lady for a Night (a lovely print) and Without Reservations (the US DVD is cut by about 6 minutes).
I saw that release, but it should be noted that PR releases are DVD-R.
Just check out the reviews for the Captain America serial DVD.
Judging by some of the reviews I've read of PR Studios product, the quality will reflect their cover art.
DVD-R isn't an issue to me so long as the print quality is good, of course. Even Warner Brothers is releasing some burn-on-demand titles, although evidently their production method is different than what one would do at home.
Like some titles on eBay, it'll be interesting to see if War of the Wildcats gets pulled for legal reasons (if there's a basis for that). I would rather see Paramount release the film on DVD.
I can't even find the official website for PR Studios, although that could be my fault. Anyone know of it or have any insight into this company?