Finally-the Grandeur print!
I remember seeing this version in the presence of the John Wayne family and the look on Pat Wayne's face as he watched his then 22-year old father make his starring debut was wondrous. The film is as much, with the exception of Tyrone Power, Sr.(who looks nothing like his moviestar son), who gives what might be the worst performance in a major studio film from the first half of the 20th century. Even he cannot detract from the astounding compositions that director Raoul Walsh (WHITE HEAT, THE ROARING TWENTIES) captured on 70mm film in 1929-30. In short the story of a wagon train going from Missouri to the wilds of Oregon and the trials and tribulations both natural and manmade they encounter on the way, there are scenes in this film that are still jaw dropping almost 80 years later-the lowering of the wagons over a cliff, a river crossing (both just as harrowing in real life as they were onscreen as they pretty much had to do it the same way the pioneers did it), an indian attack, and forests primevil. The sound may be a little tinny (the standard version actually has a little more oomph in the sound) but the print is gorgeous and Wayne-although a little green-already has the screen presence that would make him the biggest movie star ever. A must have!
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