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John Wayne: The Fox Westerns Collection (The Big Trail / North to Alaska / The Comancheros / The Undefeated) (2008)

John Wayne , Lee Marvin , Raoul Walsh , Michael Curtiz  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

John Wayne: The Fox Westerns Collection (The Big Trail / North to Alaska / The Comancheros / The Undefeated) + TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: John Wayne Westerns (The Cowboys / Fort Apache / Rio Bravo / The Searchers) + 4 Film Favorites: John Wayne (Back to Bataan, Flying Leathernecks, Operation Pacific, They Were Expendable)
Price for all three: $42.78

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Wayne, Lee Marvin, Rock Hudson, Stewart Granger, Capucine
  • Directors: Raoul Walsh, Michael Curtiz, Henry Hathaway
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Unknown)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: May 13, 2008
  • Run Time: 469 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0015TJBXW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,150 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

The Big Trail: One of very few widescreen productions filmed at the dawn of the talkies, The Big Trail (1930) was dismissed by reviewers of the day, little seen, and soon shelved and forgotten--for more than half a century, as it turned out. For movie buffs, it became a sort of Holy Grail. After all, the esteemed Raoul Walsh had directed, the early 70mm angle was tantalizing, and wasn't this the movie that was intended to make a star of Duke Morrison, a 22-year-old former prop man whom Walsh had rechristened John Wayne for the occasion? For curiosity value alone, surely it rated a look. Restored in the late 1980s and warmly embraced by film festival audiences, The Big Trail proved to be more than just a historical footnote. What were those 1930 reviewers thinking?! Wayne is fresh, exuberant, matinee-idol handsome, and irresistibly charming (only a little purple prose trips him up, and no one should have been asked to speak such early-talkie flapdoodle anyway). The scenario winds through epic settings from the banks of the Mississippi by way of the Grand Canyon to the snows of Oregon and the mountain vistas of Washington, marking both a wagon train's journey and the settling of a personal score between trail guide Wayne and Tyrone Power Sr. as a veritable ogre of a villain. The Big Trail is now an authentic classic, and a swell movie. Probably always was.

The Comancheros: Nobody made a fuss about The Comancheros when it came out in 1961, yet it has proved to be among the most enduringly entertaining of John Wayne's later Westerns. The Duke, just beginning to crease and thicken toward Rooster Cogburn proportions, plays a veteran Texas Ranger named Jake Cutter. When we first see him (in a tongue-in-cheek delayed entrance), he's catching up with a New Orleans dandy (Stuart Whitman) who killed a judge's son in a duel just after that gentlemanly practice was banned. Monsieur Paul Regret--or "Mon-sooor," as Jake insists on calling him--is not a bad fellow, let alone a badman, and it only follows that, after the requisite number of misunderstandings, he and Jake will join forces to subdue rampaging Indians and the evil white men behind their uprising. The Comancheros was the last credit for Michael Curtiz, who, ravaged by cancer, ceded much of the direction to Wayne (uncredited) and action specialist Cliff Lyons. With support from Wayne stalwarts James Edward Grant (coscreenplay) and William Clothier (camera), the first of many rousing Elmer Bernstein scores for a Wayne picture, and a big, flavorful cast including Lee Marvin (the once and future Liberty Valance), Nehemiah Persoff, Bruce Cabot, and Guinn "Big Boy" Williams (in his last movie), they made a broad, cheerfully bloodthirsty adventure movie for red-meat-eating audiences of all ages. Even the liberal-pinko Time magazine had to second the salute from leading lady Ina Balin at film's end: "Take care of yourself, Big Jake ... we've sort of gotten used to you."

North to Alaska: Even people habitually hostile to John Wayne movies tend to cast an indulgent eye on the rumbustious 1960 comedy-Western North to Alaska--partly because the Alaska gold rush setting seems more exotic than, say, Texas or Arizona, and because there are no Indians to discriminate against and no macho gunplay to fret about. As for John Wayne as all-purpose icon of male chauvinism, Big Sam McCord (the Duke) spends much of the movie in a state of growing discombobulation because he has fallen in love with, and is thoroughly flummoxed by, "Angel" (Capucine), the woman he's brought back from Seattle to marry his heartsick partner George (Stewart Granger). Henry Hathaway directs in a broader vein than usual, but he hits paydirt. Even Fabian, the latest pop music idol to be dragooned into supporting the elder roughnecks, is fun, and Ernie Kovacs is droll casting as chief "villain."

The Undefeated: John Wayne, that pillar of machismo, was well aware that costar Rock Hudson was gay, yet he prized him as a boon companion, a fellow professional, and one hell of a bridge player. Each plays a Civil War commander who, after the ceasefire, leads a community of home folks into Mexico to make a fresh start. Hudson is a Southern gentleman; Wayne commanded the Yankee cavalry at Shiloh, where Hudson's brother died. Nevertheless, Rock, with his extended family, and Duke, with his troop of cowboys and 3,000 horses to sell to Emperor Maximilian, soon join forces to outgun banditos and beam paternally over the budding romance between their respective daughter and son (an adopted Indian played by footballer Roman Gabriel with Crystal Gayle hair). Lingering North-South animosities are celebrated in an obligatory communal fistfight in the Andrew V. McLaglen manner, and the showdown with both Maximilian's lancers and the rebel Juaristas is disconcertingly perfunctory. --Richard T. Jameson

Product Description

Disc 1: THE BIG TRAIL WS Disc 2: THE BIG TRAIL P&S Disc 3: THE COMANCHEROS Disc 4: NORTH TO ALASKA Disc 5: THE UNDEFEATED

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
(31)
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "We're blazing a trail that started in England." May 26, 2008
Verified Purchase
John Wayne didn't really tame the wild, wild west; it just seems like he did. The man is larger than life and about as iconic as it gets. JOHN WAYNE - THE FOX WESTERNS doesn't come close to showcasing his best films, with two of the four - THE COMANCHEROS and THE UNDEFEATED - being merely passable fare. However, a third entry NORTH TO ALASKA is a good-natured, rollicking film, while THE BIG TRAIL is a little known but historically momentous cinematic gem.

Plenty to say about THE BIG TRAIL. Back in 1930, Marion Morrison was 23 years old and working as prop man on the movie lot when legendary director Raoul Walsh saw him and took an enormous chance. Marion's name was changed to John Wayne, and he was given the lead in Walsh's ambitious, sweeping western epic THE BIG TRAIL. Note that even though director John Ford had already planted Wayne in several films, it was as an extra. Wayne was very raw here, in his first starring role; but that doesn't mean he wasn't good.

In THE BIG TRAIL John Wayne plays Breck Coleman, a scout who guides a wagon train of settlers 2500 miles, from the Mississippi banks thru the western wilderness to a remote valley beyond Oregon. All the while Coleman attempts to ferret out his best friend's killers; he even finds time to romance the beautiful pioneer girl Ruth (Marguerite Churchill). One of the early talkies, this film is still relevant today and contemporary enough in its sensibilities that you get caught up in the story, which is involving and exciting and at times humorous (I quite enjoyed the "Looks like barrels grow on trees around here." sequence).
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
This set contains an absolute GEM...which is the 2 disc THE BIG TRAIL from 1930(the 2008 Widescreen edition) and three lesser 1960's era Wayne colour widescreen films. The Big Trail is a must have for western, film or wayne fans and the three others are certainly fun later Wayne films that don't add much price to the package. I should add that earlier editions of these three films had nice / fun featurettes that have been elminated from this offering ..so if you have them I'd get the new BIG TRAIL on its own.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Wayne The Fox Westerns. February 19, 2009
As a BIG John Wayne fan, what else can you say but they were typical Duke cowboy movies. The Big Trail was the movie that started the Duke on the road to stardom. I watched both disks to compare the quality of the film.
Watching the movie in Fox Grandeur 70 MM film was beautiful. It was WAY before it's time.
North To Alaska, The Comancheros & The Undefeated ALL had the typical fight scene, the typical Duke & best friend riding together & of course a Patriotic speech by The Duke. The cast had All the familiar faces. A very good value!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 favorite Duke westerns August 9, 2008
Verified Purchase
Not a collection of his greatest, but that are a lot of fun. The Commancheros is certainly an old favorite, Big Trail is a collector's item, North to Alaska is very funny, and the Undefeated is worthwhile. Nice to have them all in one set.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Westerns! January 7, 2012
Verified Purchase
First, this is a great collection to have, if you don't have any of these titles. There are four disks in their respectful movies case, which are in slim cases. The Big Trail was made in 1930 with two disks, to chose between Widescreen or Fullscreen format and is in very good quality. The other three films were made between the 60s and only offer Widescreen formant. Besides John Wayne, these films star: Rock Hudson, Tyrone Power, Stuart Whitman, Lee Marvin, Stewart Granger, Tony Agular and Ben Johnson. This is a must have for any Western, John Wayne or old movie fans. I would recommend this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Western quad April 23, 2009
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What more can you say about John Wayne, all were his usual great movies. Thanks Big John for so many years of entertainment. We need more of him!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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I personally enjoyed this black and white classic. However, my daughter, a senior in college, who normally loves John Wayne movies, did not stay for the whole movie- halfway through she lost interest. The scenery is fantastic, but the movie was shot in black and white, so keep that in mind if you are interested in this aspect of the movie. As a life-long Duke fan I enjoyed seeing him as a young actor. There were scenes in which I noted postures, line deliveries, and facial expressions that John Wayne would develop and emphasize later in his career. This is a long, slow moving movie, but I still enjoyed the Duke.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
Great group of John Wayne westerns I haven't seen in a long while.
They play well in my Blu-ray DVD disk player.
No Glitches.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Can't go wrong with the Duke
Published 4 days ago by Gordo
5.0 out of 5 stars I love John Wayne
DVD's are great. John Wayne movies are fun and I'm very pleased with my purchase. I would recommend to others.
Published 21 days ago by Michelle E.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection!
I bought this for my special needs adult son who has an obsession for all things John Wayne. This was a great addition to his collection. He loves all of the movies!
Published 27 days ago by Debbie Hardin
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy with the collection
I gave this as a gift to my grandson who is a great fan of John Wayne. He had many movies in his collection he did not have these
He was very pleased.
Published 1 month ago by Billie Sue Sollars
5.0 out of 5 stars John Wayne Collection
Very good quality DVDs, loved The Big Trail, John Wayne's very first movie, an excellent collection at a great price. Many hours of watching pleasure!
Published 2 months ago by George Gates
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahhh, The Memories!
I am a John Wayne movie buff! I can't seem to get enough. I grew up with these type movies and John Wayne movies topped them all. Read more
Published 3 months ago by James Clark-rosa
5.0 out of 5 stars For a fan
These were a gift. I have no doubt they will give hours of pleasure as the person to whom I gave them is a tremendous fan.
Published 5 months ago by S. M. Tucker
5.0 out of 5 stars JOHN WAYNE--> The Duke
My personal favorite actor of all time is John Wayne. All his films are entertaining and my DVD collection has added another collection of favorites!
Published 11 months ago by Amy
5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD JOB
these are some of his best old movies. I enjoyed them very much. they also got here faster than I suggested GOOD JOB!!!!!
Published 14 months ago by GRANYSANDIE
5.0 out of 5 stars Movies
I have seend some of these movies many times. I just enjoy a good Western movie; especially John Wayne. Great!!
Published 15 months ago by James Vugteveen
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