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La Gran Jornada BD [Blu-ray]
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Un joven vaquero es el encargado de organizar el viaje en tren de un numeroso grupo de colonos que pretenden atravesar el estado de Oregón. Durante el largo trayecto, los pasajeros tendrán que hacer frente a multitud de adversidades, como estampidas de búfalos, ríos que se desbordan o el ataque de los indios...
Un joven vaquero es el encargado de organizar el viaje en tren de un numeroso grupo de colonos que pretenden atravesar el estado de Oregón. Durante el largo trayecto, los pasajeros tendrán que hacer frente a multitud de adversidades, como estampidas de búfalos, ríos que se desbordan o el ataque de los indios.
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Cero extras en esta edición. Idiomas inglés y castellano. Subtítulos inglés, castellano y portugués.
La edición en si, es sencilla, el audio cumple, (redoblaje, para la la pista Española). Y la imagen te deja a medias tintas... se nota que la han limpiado... pero no restaurado, tiene una imagen bastante buena, repito con casi 100 años, creo que no está para nada mal... pero al no restaurar el negativo, hay líneas/rayas a porrón... parece incluso que está lloviendo constantemente (es una expresión, pero comprobaréis que es así), el caso es que sería una edición perfecta de no ser por ello, y es por lo que le quito una estrella. En una futura edición con mejor resultado en imagen, seguro que vuelvo a caer... el precio al que la adquirí rozaba los 5€, tampoco le pido más.
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PLEASE NOTE THAT ONCE AGAIN AMAZON HAS LUMPED REVIEWS FOR ALL VERSIONS OF "THE BIG TRAIL," THUS DENIGRATING THIS DVD VERSION!!!
I am baffled as to why reviewers have given the restored 70mm (wide screen) version of "The Big Trail" anything but five stars. As other reviews have indicated, the film was made on the cusp of "talkie" movies and the innovation of William Fox's 70mm The Grandeur Process that would eventually lead to modern day wide screen format films in 1953--twenty-three years after "The Big Trail." As such, viewers need to keep in mind that the script, filming, and editing were all based, in various degrees, upon the silent film format of filming. Furthermore, this is not really what I would call a "western" by today's standards, although it clearly is the template for the genre. Nor is is it an action or drama film. Rather, "The Big Trail" is a silent movie "lag" that has seldom been repeated in movies with sound: it is, what I prefer to call (I have no idea if there really is such), an EPIC genre film. The "frontier," the "trail" and the "story" are the movie; not the characters, the plots, or the themes. The history of the film is, as discussed by others, a sad one; but hopefully this new release (2008) of "The Big Trail" will vindicate its greatness.
WARNING: If you like "traditional" westerns, lots of action, drama, or other modern aspects of the western genre, "The Big Trail" will most likely not appeal to you. "The Big Trail" was made before CGI, wide spread use of models and stage sets, and standardized props and costumes. Instead, Walsh went for "realism." And he had the advantage of having both worked as a "cowboy" on cattle drives and spending time with well known American Indian leaders. I cannot state for certain, but I believe that Raul Walsh wanted to re-establish a base line for how westerns should be made. "The Big Trail" was definitely a good start; unfortunately the economy and the times were not ready. Even more unfortunate, when Hollywood did restart the western genre, they took Raul Walsh's ideas and bent them in the "wrong" direction. As such, then, you may want to stick with your favorites or check out "newer versions" of "The Big Trail," such as "How The West Was Won."
As I stated above, I feel that "The Big Trail" is the template that started the western genre of movies with sound. In deed, I would argue, that while I label it an "Epic" genre film, it is the mother of the western genre, and one of the finest "westerns" ever made. The fact that it has not been available in its filmed format until now is most likely why so few--if any other--link subsequent westerns to this film. Most notable of these "innovations" is the use of western settings as an integral component of westerns. "The Big Trail" majestically displays the beauty and splendor of the west, as Raul Walsh filmed in at least two locations each in Arizona, Montana, and Utah; three locations in Wyoming; five locations (including Sequoia National Park for the conclusion) in California; and one or more sites in Oregon. (Many of the scenes include vistas of over five National Parks). The entire film was shot on location and on a budget of approximately $2 million dollars! Many of the locations seen in "The Big Trail" are not even there today.
Unlike many subsequent movies and television shows about "settlers" going west, "The Big Trail" actually depicts many (rather than none, one or two) of the true hardships endured in their journeys. The film shows people dying of thirst and other environmental hazards; and while not overtly stated, portrays the fact that more people died from the "elements" than from the one "Indian" attack (which have become the center piece of newer westerns). Walsh shows babies--human and animals--being born; couples getting married; spouses and children dying; the elderly dying; and many other aspects of life on the trail--including internal strife. Many of these aspects became templates for future films; others were never--to my knowledge--shown again. For example, it shows the wagons actually being lowered by ropes over cliffs! "The Big Trail" also establishes the types of characters that became central to the western genre--in particular, the rugged individualistic loner; the tough guy. Conversely, I don't think another western has come close to capturing the nature of Tyrone Power Sr.'s character, Red Flack, in costume or portrayal of the "grungy bad guy." And one cannot ignore the fact that it was Raul Walsh who dared to take an unknown "actor" named Duke Morrison, change his name to John Wayne, and cast him as the lead. That 23 year old Wayne doesn't seem polished to many should be no surprise; rather that Wayne does so well is a true harbinger of his future in films. Add to this the fact that many of Wayne's lines were not written (by request of Walsh) but rather elicited by the other character's lines--often impromptu as well--and I find Wayne's performance to be one of his finest! But I know that it will still take many years before Wayne's critics wake up and recognize that he really was a great actor as well as a great presence on the screen--his personal opinions aside.
Another phenomenal aspect of this movie, which has not really been touched on, is that there were actually four casts--American, German, Spanish and Italian stars--and the film was shot in both 70mm and 35mm (full screen at the time). That means that Walsh had to shot each scene at least four times with two different types of cameras--more cameras if he wanted extra footage. This in itself is amazing, especially given that there were: 1) nearly a thousand Native American actors and extras--including Charles Stevens, a grandson of Geronimo, and Nino Cochise (uncredited), a grandson of Cochise (both Cochise and Geronimo are legendary Chiricahua Apache leaders); 2) over 2000 extras; and 3) over 1500 animals (horses, cattle, oxen, pigs, mules, etc.).
In deed, I would (as a non-trained film critic) not be surprised to see "The Big Trail" compared to, and eventually seen as superior to, many of the movie classics. For those who have seen previous releases or the film on television, please rent or buy this version to enjoy the real version of "The Big Trail"--I have both. The quality of this DVD, especially given the age and processing that it had to go through is superior to many "new" movies. The bonus material is informative, although the the commentator, film historian/author Richard Schickel, is often biased in his comments and his commentary does have inaccurate information (e.g., Moisie is not in Utah, but Montana; and the buffalo scene was filmed there on the Flathead Indian Reservation because the herd was the only sizable herd left in 1930).
Please Note: If this review was not helpful to you, I would appreciate learning the reason(s) so I can improve my reviews. My goal is to provide help to potential buyers, not get into any arguments. So, if you only disagree with my opinion, could you please say so in the comments and not indicate that the review was not helpful. Thanks.
each(so-equipped)theater, and, of course, wider-screens. Since the film was wider, the reels were limited to six-minutes, each. The "poor" projectionists
had to change TWENTY reels to show this 121-minute movie! That was an asembly-line process... five reels for each of the four projectors. Like a soldier
marching it was 1,2,3,4 ; 1,2,3,4 ; 1,2,3,4 ; 1,2,3,4 ; 1,2,3,4. Next showing!
Luckily --- for projectionists --- the Depression killed the process, saving the projectionists' fingers for selling apples for a nickel, or joining the Army and firing rifles... which was gearing-up for the certain war in Europe.
I enjoyed the movie. It was NOT John Wayne's FIRST film. John had been a Prop-man/film-extra making $35-a-day [a lot, THEN]. When chosen as the
"Star" of this film he got $75-a-day. He didn't catch-on right away. Made 50+ B-movies --- for the next TEN YEARS --- and ACTUALLY became a star after
appearing in 1939's Stagecoach (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]. In the 'forties, he made war movies. In 1959 after Alaska and Hawaii became states,
"The Duke" became the 51st star on our American flag!
EVERYTHING about this movie is BIG! Wish my memory was better. One of the featurettes stated --- excuse my memory --- 20,000 extras, 50 main act-
ors; and thousands of native Americans from five tribes.
Filmed (concurrently "on-the-trail) in 70mm; 35mm full-screen... in German; Spanish; and English. There's thousands of cattle and horses. Hundreds of
cats; dogs; and domesticated farm animals. Oh yeah: 500 Buffaloes!
Hundreds of wagons in the "wagon-train"... did I mention WARD BOND is in this? Paddlewheel steamboats, stuff you'll NEVER see again... in Virgin Forests, and unspoilt Western vistas! Ah! Wonderful!
The Blu-Ray includes the same stuff on a lower-resolution DVD... as a bonus/combo.
I give this film ***** for the effort, in 1929. I give the set-decorator *****; the cameramen *****; the broadway [stage] actors *****; John Wayne's
presence/effort *****. The sound, it's 1929, rates ***. The lines written for the actors? OMG: **1/2. The over-all result is ENTERTAINING with all capi-
Please watch the BACKGROUND! There's something in almost every inch of the widescreen film on YOUR widescreen TV... before CGI and those matte-screen
WATCH the people and animals... if any of the CHILDREN are STILL alive.. it's probably the 84-year BABY in the breast-feeding scene. Every swingin' animal, man, woman, and child... dead! It's what ya call celluloid HISTORY!
And the panorama of the iconic Western vistas is just part of what makes this movie so great: Real Native Americans, a herd of American bison, real "Prairie Schooner" covered wagons---this movie is living history, right down to Geronimo's grandson, Charles Stevens, being cast as a principal actor, "Lopez"! Tyrone Power Sr. plays the rough & criminal-minded wagon trail boss, "Red Flack". "Zeke" is played well by veteran character actor Tully Marshall, & "Gus" is wonderful comic relief throughout, played by El Brendel.
The other fantastic reason to watch this film? It is the birth of the leading iconic Western actor we all know & cherish as "John Wayne", the Duke himself, in his first starring role! He's all of about 22 years old, & 6 feet, 3 3/4 inches of pure gorgeous---no wonder Marguerite Churchill, as the Southern Belle in tow with two younger siblings, "Ruth Cameron", was smitten with "Breck Coleman", John Wayne's wagon train scout character.
This movie has a plot & several subplots: Who killed Breck's best friend, stole all his wolf pelts, & sold them for profit at the Mississippi River trading post in Missouri where the wagon train begins? Desiring to answer this question & find justice for his friend leads Breck to take the job of scouting ahead for the wagon train, & showing them the way through all sorts of natural hazards to an amazing valley beneath Mount Rainier in Washington state, another breathtaking scene not to be missed.
One of the subplots is who will win the hand of the beautiful, naive Ruth Cameron, the crooked gambler, "Bill Thorpe" (played very well by Ian Keith), or the handsome wagon train scout who was taught by the Indians, "Breck Coleman" ? The other subplot is the ongoing comic relief between "Gus", played to laugh-out-loud effect by El Brendel & his mother-in-law, "Mama", played by Louise Carver.
I don't want to spoil some of the individual scenes in this film; I want you to discover them as I did, watching for the first time...One of the wagon scenes---you'll know which one---has never been accomplished before or since the making of this film, & it is a wonder to behold! I will warn you to TURN OFF the Commentary on Disc One, so you can enjoy the 70mm film without the needless, rambling opinions of Film Historian & Author, Richard Schickel. I could not possibly care less that his politics are vastly different from the Duke's, as he points out toward the end of the film...ridiculous. All six "Featurettes" on Disc One are worth watching, as they prove fascinating! The 2nd Disc is the "normal" Academy Aspect version of the film; I doubt I'll ever watch it.
Here he's young, athletic, good looking, and can throw a mean knife. But it was 1930 and the
United States was more concerned about staying out of bread lines than buying movie tickets.
They filmed this movie in 70 Millimeter widescreen but sound was so new and money was so
scarce most theatres only handled 35 mm film. So regardless of which format You see the film,
You have to see this one if only to witness the birth of a screen legend. I Also see a similar
mindset from the 1923 film The Covered Wagon, the character playing John's side kick was
that movie's side kick as well. Some may say hokey, old timey. I like Hokey and Old Timey!
The photography is stunning...the acting could be better...and not much of a story line...
But if you read the IMDB or Wiki...you learn that this is John Wayne's first movie in the lead role...and he does a decent job...
70mm wide screen had just been invented a couple years before and this was one of the first, if not the very first movie to be filmed in 70mm "Grandeur wide-screen" as it was called at the time...
You need to get the DVD that has the 70mm version...put it on your big screen tv and everything just seems to "come alive"...there is a pretty large image quality difference between the 70mm and the 35mm version...
The 70mm version was released to only a few movie houses because of the depression very few movie theaters had invested in the new larger projectors...As a result the 70mm version laid in vaults for a number of years...
Brought back to life and put on DVD...it is movie worthy of your John Wayne collection...