Iron Horse [Region 2]
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Top Customer Reviews
But for years no decent print of the film was available for viewing. All early Fox Films original negatives were destroyed in a fire in 1937. This disc features both the U.S. and the International versions of the film (the U.S. is 17 minutes longer). The prints aren't perfect but are a far sight better than the old VHS version from the Killiam Collection and there is a fine new film score from Christopher Caliendo. The movie is not without its share of flaws including excessive length (the International version is more tightly edited), an uneven balance between comedy and drama, and a mixed bag of performances with Madge Bellamy being the weakest.
George O'Brien as the hero and Fred Kohler as the principal villian still hold up well today and while the storyline is overly familiar to us now, it features many things that would later become cliches'. Incidentally Kohler really had only two fingers on the one hand having lost the others in a mining accident before he became an actor. If you are at all interested in silent films or Westerns or director John Ford then THE IRON HORSE is a must have as are all the films in the JOHN FORD'S SILENT EPICS box set. The others are JUST PALS, THREE BAD MEN, FOUR SONS, and HANGMAN'S HOUSE. Thank you Fox for doing silent film fans a huge favor.
The print quality is superb and, more importantly, is run at the proper speed. The score is likewise very good, and the film as a whole is excellent. There are two versions included on this DVD: the US version, and the international version, which is a little longer -- why, I don't know.
This DVD is a must-have for any serious (or non-serious, take your pick) collector. While it's a part of the "Ford at Fox" boxed set, it is also (like a few others in this set) available as a single. Highly recommended!
This film moves along at a pretty good clip and it's aided by an earlier version of the Victor Mclaglen/Ward Bond loveable misfits that permeated Ford's later films. There always seems to be several subplots going on simultaneously which helps maintain the interest. All in all "The Iron Horse" was a better movie than I thought it would be.
The Iron Horse is, in many ways a typical John Ford movie even if early in his long career. And by that I mean that there are frequent "breaks" to indulge in sentimentality and slapstick 'Irish' humour...breaks that detract from the real story and action.
For the rest, it is brilliant film-making. The acting is, for the time,.quite naturalistic and the railroad building has an almost documentary quality about it. And why not, considering how recent those events were to the making of the film.
Ford is critical of the robber-barons who manipulated the government and landowners in their grasping for profits.
The opening sequence is a thing of great beauty and sets up later events with great style.
The restoration is peerless and the newly recorded sound track is excellent but surely they could have used a more traditional tune when the navvies are singing "Drill Ye Tarrier, Drill"?
And why not go that bit further when restoring silent movies and "step-print" them so they run at 24/25 frames per second instead of silent speed?
I can't help wondering how many times C. B. DeMille watched the Indian attack on the train before he "borrowed " many elements from it to use in "Union Pacific"?
Overall I am very happy to have this in my collection and I know I will enjoy it again and again.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This will hold your attention, though it's 2-plus hrs and silent. A must...Published 10 months ago by P ski
Created by a film legend. A great film and equally a great product.Published 14 months ago by Seeking New Things
This is the iconic classic from director John Ford, starring one of my favorite early western film stars, George O'Brien. Read morePublished 16 months ago by L. G. Vernon
its ok .i suppose, more historic .which by the way. i am interested in american history .and i will continue to watch these type of dvds w lesterPublished 17 months ago by Mr. William Lester
A really good old western from John Ford.So good you don't even notice it is a silent movie.I really enjoyed watching this movie and I think If you are a western fan you will to.Published on July 17, 2014 by cowboy mike
This film set a standard for film production in 1924 and placed John Ford at the top of Hollywood 10 years before he won his first oscar. Excellent remaster and production quality.Published on December 6, 2013 by filmfiend
I love these older train type movies, even if they are silent in nature. You do have to read fast.Published on November 14, 2013 by edward l batesla
(1) Building the transcontinental railroad was a great American epic. See how it was done.
(2) John Ford was one of America's greatest film directors, and "The Iron... Read more