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How the West Was Won (Ultimate Collector's Edition) (2008)

John Wayne , Carroll Baker , George Marshall , Henry Hathaway  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (468 customer reviews)

List Price: $20.97
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Blu-ray Blu-ray Book Packaging $19.99  
DVD Three-Disc Special Edition $9.99  
  Ultimate Collector's Edition $15.67  
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How the West Was Won (Ultimate Collector's Edition) + Shenandoah + The Big Country
Price for all three: $30.02

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Wayne, Carroll Baker, Debbie Reynolds, Eli Wallach, Gregory Peck
  • Directors: George Marshall, Henry Hathaway, John Ford
  • Writers: James Webb
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Collector's Edition, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Restored, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Thai
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.55:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 9, 2008
  • Run Time: 162 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (468 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0018O50W0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,138 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "How the West Was Won (Ultimate Collector's Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Restored and newly remastered from the original Cinerama three-panel release, preserving the 2.89:1 aspect ratio
  • New historian commentary
  • Acclaimed bonus movie: Cinerama Adventure
  • Theatrical trailer
  • 36-page Cinerama souvenir book reproduction
  • 10 collectible color photo cards
  • 10 black-and-white photo cards of behind-the-scenes shots
  • 20-page reproduction of the original general release pressbook

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

How the West Was Won Ultimate Collector's Edition

Additional Features

Here at last is a properly formatted version of How the West Was Won, a movie shot in the super-widescreen Cinerama process that required three cameras joined together to create an all-encompassing visual experience. Unless you have a big curved screen in your home, this won't quite be the same on home video, but the image is truly fascinating to look at, ultra-sharp in its definition, and at times downright weird--as though the entire film had been shot with a wide-angle lens. Digital technology has allowed for a removal (or at least an artful de-emphasizing) of the vertical "joins" where the three different frames meet. The Ultimate Collector's Edition is a three-disc package with plenty of goodies; two discs are the movie and an informative commentary with a group of interested parties, the third disc has a genuinely terrific feature-length documentary, Cinerama Adventure, that gives a thorough history of the cumbersome but thrilling process. A batch of production stills and color postcards, an exhibitor's book, and a special tie-in book (all miniaturized, but still fun) are also included. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
173 of 179 people found the following review helpful
A massive, sprawling epic shot in the three camera Cinerama Process popular during the early 60's, "How the West Was Won" spans from 1830 to 1880 covering the history of the westward expansion. Directed by three directors (John Ford, Henry Hathaway and George Marshall with a fourth Richard Thorpe providing uncredited linking pieces)"How the West Was Won" was produced during the twilight of the western as the most popular type genre.

Warner has done a painstaking job of restoring this classic film and although it isn't perfect, it's an exceptional job that deserves kudos. The film has never looked this good with colors that pop and accurate fleshtones. More important the seams that one could see for the separate cameras aren't quite as glaring as before. The image quality is exceptionally crisp with terrific detail. Audio sounds extremely good with a nice 5.1 mix.

The film is spread over two discs with the original Overture and Alfred Newman's marvelous score included as part of the package. We get a terrific feature length commentary track from "West" stuntman Loren James who provides plenty of background details about the physical shooting of the film, filmmaker David Strohmaier, film scholar Rudy Behlmer, Cierama's John Sittig and music historian Jon Burlingame. My only complaint is that Burlingame will make a comment about listening to Newman's marvelous score and then whomever edited his comments continues to play them right over the music cue we should be listening to without interruption.
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138 of 145 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars RESTORED BLU-RAY "WEST" IS BREATHTAKING July 7, 2008
If you've never seen the original Cinerama big screen release, or only know the previous video versions of HTWWW, you are in for a big treat. The fully restored classic American film, the top box office hit of 1962, is stunning.

And the Blu-ray hi-def transfer is truly breathtaking. I literally gasped when I saw it. And so have special preview audiences of the hi-def DVD.

Warner -- which owns the pre 1986 MGM library -- has spent a ton of dough getting this right. Six years, hundreds of people, thousands of hours and millions of dollars have been invested in creating and applying new technology that has virtually erased the "join lines" that marred the earlier -- rather hideous -- video transfers. Not only that, but every frame has been restored. That's the equivalent of restoring three 35 MM films -- the original was exposed using three alligned cameras. The final aspect ratio is 2.89:1 (that's nearly three times as wide as it is high). And it is a wondrous sight to behold.

Seeing this new version is like experiencing the film for the first time. The familiar story -- based on a series in Life magazine -- follows three generations of a typical pioneer Ohio Valley family from 1839 to 1889. A myriad of stars shine in this great American adventure -- John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Jimmy Stewart, Debbie Reynolds, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb and Carrol Baker are among the many recognizable faces.

Three accomplished directors (including John Ford) helmed this rousing epic that does not degrade the Native American experience even as it allows for the conflicts the westward movement created.

The absolutely stunning Blu-ray version inlcudes a "smilebox" transfer that mimics the original Cinerama experience of a giant curved screen.
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97 of 105 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie- Pathetic Transfer March 26, 2000
This is the first (and only) CINERAMA film I ever saw, without doubt the most thrilling aspect of the movie is the grand scale of the Cinerama process and the multi- channel soundtrack. The transfer to DVD is an insult. In this era of digital technology it is easily possible to correct the color balance errors evident in the "seams" of this otherwise remarkable motion picture. I agree with other reviewers, lose the Turner promo. The color balance, saturation, and picture
resolution are very average, and fall well below of what the DVD process is capable. One redeeming feature is the soundtrack. Finally, after viewing the VHS tape, and Laserdisc of this movie, the DVD release incorporates the correct rear channel information of the original release. Finally, and most regrettably, this DVD release has been cropped. Don't we buy widescreen movies to see how they were originally shot? HELLO HOLLYWOOD!
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107 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review on DVD set for August 2008 June 4, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I keep running into negative reviews for a DVD film or set that hasn't been released yet. I am not sure why Amazon feels in necessay to move reviews over to a DVD that has yet to be released but it's a bit like shooting yourself in the foot. Everyone waiting for a decent release of this film - without the lines on film - should be aware they need to wait for reviews of the set AFTER it has been released and ignore the negative reviews of previous versions.

Everyone knows this film, it is the reviews of the DVD and not the film that is important to most of us. Wake up, Jeff. This is very frustrating. Quit posting reviews of DVDs that have yet to be released.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Granddaughter loved these
Published 2 hours ago by Sandra Wilkerson
5.0 out of 5 stars westerns
this advertises carroll baker.. ------the other one says john wayne
Published 6 days ago by ronnie007
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enjoyed very much
Published 6 days ago by Donald R. Burkman
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally,a worthy home presentation of HTWWW!
I first saw "How the West Was Won" as a boy in a real Cinerama theater,so I know how this film is actually supposed to look & sound. Read more
Published 7 days ago by John Swanson
5.0 out of 5 stars glad I waited 6 years to get the price points ...
Finally after 6 years I have the Smilebox edition ( second disc) in Blu Ray and Technicolor ., this is the version to play back on a Large Flatscreen TV . .. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Sherri Todd
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Product came on expected time of delivery and enjoyed watching a TV movie series classic.
Published 10 days ago by Elizabeth
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
husband was so happy to receive as bday gift
Published 11 days ago by Connie Cendali
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This wonderful the original one you could see where they put pieced it together.
Published 11 days ago by Cassandra Wong
5.0 out of 5 stars There are only a few movies that I can see ...
There are only a few movies that I can see over and over again. This is one. Thanks to you and the seller for making this available to me.
Published 18 days ago by Bernedette M. Castaneda
2.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood at its worst !
Big name stars with fake backwoods accents, an embarassing portrayal of American history & Debbie Reynolds as a chestnut spouting grandma comprise two of this 3-disc package. Read more
Published 19 days ago by N.C. senior
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Topic From this Discussion
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 ?
I don't see why this seems to be so difficult to understand... It is simply impossible to completely fill the screen of a display with an aspect ratio differing from the as-shot frame without either 1) cropping the image (top/bottom or sides, depending on which was wider) or 2) distorting the... Read More
Apr 10, 2009 by A Reader |  See all 10 posts
Where is the missing scene of the water tower collapse during the...
"At the showing of HTWW at the Dome last year there was some comment about a scene in which a water tower falls down. It was not in the film! Upon later discussion it was agreed that the scene was in the trailer for the film but not in the final version!"
Sep 29, 2008 by BubbaCoop |  See all 19 posts
Smile box?
Smilebox really works with this film. A flat presentation is distorted along the side panels due to the deep curvature of the image captured in the CINERAMA cameras. Just watched the Smilebox Blu-ray for the first time and it really makes this film look 100% better on top of a fantastic... Read More
Mar 9, 2010 by Dee Zee |  See all 5 posts
Is this really 1.33:1?
Not 1:33

It is 2.89: 1 and looks great.
Sep 17, 2008 by Moray |  See all 8 posts
Amazon to correct their region coding for Blu-ray
I am pleased someone else noticed and did something! As u can read below 'smmab' - I wrote some weeks ago. As u can appreciate, it is pretty important for us "Across the Pacific' to have the right technical info! ... Read More
Aug 31, 2008 by rfdunedin |  See all 5 posts
How ro wreck a western Be the first to reply
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