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The John Ford Collection in June - Boxset Art added

Warner Home Video have announced the Region 1 DVD release of The John Ford Collection for 6th June 2006. Celebrating one of the true masters of American cinema, Warner are honoring John Ford with this separate collection which goes beyond his best known Westerns and collaborations with John Wayne (showcased in The John Wayne-John Ford Collection). The John Ford Collection runs the gamut of genres and shows the diversity and genius of John Ford at his most impressive. Featured here will be the DVD debuts of five classic titles. The Lost Patrol, The Informer and Cheyenne Autumn will be available individually for $19.97 SRP. Mary of Scotland and Sergeant Rutledge will be exclusive to the five-disc boxed set which will sell for $59.92 SRP.

Ford is best known for his incredible series of classic westerns (Stagecoach, The Searchers); however, his impressive four Best Director Academy Awards® (The Informer, The Grapes of Wrath, How Green Was My Valley, and The Quiet Man) were for work outside the western genre and remain somewhat overlooked today.

The Informer, for which John Ford earned his first Best Director Academy Award and star Victor McLaglen took home a Best Actor statuette, makes its DVD debut here, restored and remastered from the original camera negative. It’s included in WHV’s new Collection along with political drama The Lost Patrol (1934) also starring Victor McLaglen as well as Boris Karloff, and restored to its original theatrical release running time, plus the poignant and impressive epic Mary of Scotland which starred Katharine Hepburn and Fredric March. Rounding out the collection is Cheyenne Autumn, a 1964 widescreen epic, restored to its full roadshow length and glory with a new 5.1 soundtrack. It turned out to be Ford’s last Western which ranks as one of his most ambitious and moving works. And lastly is the cult favorite Sergeant Rutledge, another landmark Western notable for exploring racism in the West, starring Woody Strode in the title role.

Orson Welles referred to John Ford as the greatest “poet” movies have given us. Welles actually viewed Stagecoach 40 times before filming began on Citizen Kane (1941), noting that his directing style was influenced by the old guys, the “classical” film makers. When asked who, he replied, “John Ford, John Ford and John Ford.”

Ford's directing style was one of measured simplicity. His pace is slow and his shots unpretentious. He keeps the camera at eye-level with hardly a dolly-shot in site. Early in his career, Ford talked about what he called "invisible technique" or making an audience forget they were watching a movie. And though it’s possible to trace the much-vaunted lighting style and deep focus of Orson Welles Citizen Kane to Ford's earlier films, his later Technicolor works are just as visually imaginative.

The Lost Patrol
Filmed in the scorching Arizona desert, John Ford guides this powerful tale of men and mortality set in World War I Mesopotamia. Victor McLaglen, who would claim the following year’s Best Actor (1935) Oscar® as Ford’s protagonist in The Informer, plays a stalwart sergeant who takes charge as he and his men try to escape the unseen snipers who felled their captain. Boris Karloff (Frankenstein) is a religious firebrand whose zeal turns to feverish madness. And the unforgiving terrain is as much an enemy as the snipers it conceals.

The Informer
John Ford earned his first Best Director Academy Award and star Victor McLaglen took home a Best Actor statuette for this searing four-time Oscar® winner set in 1922 Dublin. Timely in its portrait of murderous political strife between occupier and insurgent and timeless in its exploration of the tortured netherworld of human guilt, The Informer is filmmaking for the ages.

Special Features:

  • New Featurette The Informer: Out of the Fog
  • Theatrical trailer

Mary of Scotland
Directed by the legendary John Ford and adapted from Maxwell Anderson’s powerful play, Mary of Scotland gave Katharine Hepburn (Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story) one of her finest early roles. Both fierce and fragile as the headstrong queen, Hepburn is brilliantly matched by Fredric March (Anna Karenina, I Married a Witch) as her courageous lover Bothwell and by Florence Eldridge (March’s real life wife) as Elizabeth, who is everything Mary is not: physically plain, politically shrewd…and victorious.

Sergeant Rutledge
Ford crafts the story of Sergeant Rutledge (Woody Strode), a 9th Cavalry officer on trial for rape and murder in 1866. Lt. Cantrell (Jeffrey Hunter) defends Rutledge as witnesses give testimony (relived in flashbacks) revealing the sergeant’s gallantry – and the shocking truth behind the alleged crimes. Ford, who attacked racism in The Searchers, explores similar territory in this landmark Western, the power of which still rings out with uncommon force decades later.

Special Features:
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Languages: English & Français
  • Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)

Cheyenne Autumn
The last Western from director John Ford ranks as one of his most ambitious and moving works. Ford outfits his Trail-of-Tears-like saga with a strong cast, stunning cinematography by long-time collaborator William Clothier and a stirring Alex North score. To play the Cheyenne nation desperately struggling to return to the Yellowstone homeland across 1,500 treacherous miles, Ford recruited hundreds of Navajo tribesmen, many of them veterans of Ford movies dating back to 1939’s Stagecoach. The location (which Ford used for the ninth time) is “John Ford Country” – the canyons, buttes and mesas of Monument Valley. Cheyenne Autumn is compassionate, epic artistry from one of Hollywood’s most revered filmmakers.

Its all-star cast was headed by Richard Widmark (The Alamo, How the West was Won), Carroll Baker (Baby Doll, Harlow), Karl Malden (On the Waterfront, Gypsy), Sal Mineo (Rebel Without a Cause, Exodus), Dolores Del Rio (Wonder Bar, The Fugitive), Ricardo Montalban (Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn, “Fantasy Island”) and Gilbert Roland (Our Betters, The French Line).

Special Features:
  • New digital transfer from restored roadshow length picture and audio elements
  • Archival behind-the scenes featurette Cheyenne Autumn Trail
  • Commentary by Joseph McBride
  • Soundtrack remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Subtitles: English, Français & Español (Feature Film Only)

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