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John Ford Film Collection (The Lost Patrol / The Informer / Cheyenne Autumn / Mary of Scotland / Sergeant Rutledge)

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : Parental Guidance (PG)
  • Studio: Warner Bros. Home Video
  • Release Date: June 20 2006
  • Run Time: 518 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000F0UUHS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #36,732 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

John Ford Film Collection, The (DVD) (5-Pack)

John Ford remains the consensus choice as America's greatest director, and his critical eminence dates from two films in this set. By 1934 he had been directing for 17 years, building a solid reputation as a Hollywood professional with maybe the best eye in the movie business. With The Lost Patrol (1934) and The Informer (1935)--made for RKO rather than his accustomed studio base, Fox--he took a decisive step toward establishing himself as a personal, at least semi-independent artist. Both films were stark dramas free of box-office compromise, glib heroics, or any expectation of facile happy endings. They were also more relentlessly stylized than anything Ford had done before ... which both distinguished them in their day and left them vulnerable to dating when some of their experimentation proved rather dead-ended.

The Lost Patrol began Ford's association with producer Merian C. Cooper, a partnership that would lead to the independent production company Argosy and the making of such fine, ultrapersonal films as The Quiet Man, The Searchers, and Ford's celebrated cavalry trilogy. The story, by Philip MacDonald, concerns a handful of British soldiers cornered at an oasis in the Mesopotamian Desert (now Iraq) during World War I and slowly decimated by an unseen enemy. The strong visuals--baking sun, the undulating vastness of the dunes, the drift of ghostly mirages--befit a crucible of character-testing, with an unnamed Sergeant (Victor McLaglen) striving to keep at least one man alive as desperation, madness, and implacable Arab snipers take their toll. This DVD release restores six minutes of footage cut for a 1949 rerelease and rarely seen since.

Ford won the first of his four best-director Oscars for The Informer, an intense tale of "one night in strife-torn Dublin, 1922" when a slow-witted I.R.A. strongman named Gypo Nolan sells out his best friend for 20 British pounds. On a budget that obliged him to obscure canvas sets with deep shadows and a persistent fog that underscores Gypo's mental and spiritual confusion, Ford created a visual world akin to the German Expressionist classics of the 1920s. But the film's inventive use of sound and an ambitious music score (by Max Steiner) commingling leitmotifs for half a dozen key characters also encouraged '30s critics to hail it as the first classic of the sound era. That was overstating it (and more than a little amnesiac on the critics' part!). Overstated, too, was Ford's relentless Christ symbolism paralleling Gypo's betrayal to that of Judas. Still, Victor McLaglen's portrayal of the title character remains a triumph (McLaglen won an Oscar as well), and the film abounds in brilliant strokes: the silhouette of a British soldier shining his flashlight on the wanted poster of Gypo's friend, while Gypo lurks just outside the beam; the giant Nolan forever knocking his head on hanging signs or seeming to be crushed by low ceilings; the cacophony of cries and gunfire, and then crashing silence, as the Black and Tan raid the I.R.A. rebel's home. Initially overrated, then relegated to museum status, The Informer awaits rediscovery as a dynamic motion picture.

The John Ford Collection includes one more mid-'30s RKO endeavor, Mary of Scotland (1936). Although handsome, this adaptation of a Maxwell Anderson blank-verse play about Queen Elizabeth's northern rival never finds credible footing as a movie. Andrew Sarris is dead right in lamenting Ford's version of Mary, Queen of Scots, as "a madonna of the Scottish moors"--Katharine Hepburn, inevitably. The most interesting thing about the production is the offscreen story, that Ford and Hepburn fell passionately in love, yet (perhaps) resisted becoming lovers.

From there we leap to the 1960s and two Westerns made under the aegis of Warner Bros. (Warner now owns the RKO library, hence this rather arbitrary set.) Sergeant Rutledge (1960) has markedly improved with age, with what once seemed creaky dramaturgy now playing as bold stylization. Using a jagged flashback structure occasioned by a court-martial at a Southwest outpost, Ford took an unflinching look at the legacy of race in America. The then-unknown black actor Woody Strode has a showcase role as a magnificent "Buffalo soldier" accused of the rape-murder of his commanding officer's blond, white daughter and the murder of the commandant himself. Unfortunately, Ford's once-masterly handling of character actors had grown lax, and he indulged some tedious bombast from Willis Bouchey and Carleton Young as the presiding judge and prosecutor, respectively; and Jeffrey Hunter, however effective in The Searchers, made a weak protagonist as Rutledge's defense counsel. But the veteran cameraman Bert Glennon almost winds things back to Stagecoach days, occasionally turning the film's Technicolor to very nearly black and white.

Another debt to race relations is addressed in Cheyenne Autumn (1964), a beautiful title to grace John Ford's final Western. The film has moments of grandeur as Ford attempts at long last to "tell the story from the Indians' point of view," and it's a pleasure to report that William H. Clothier's majestic Technicolor compositions have been restored to their Panavision dimensions on the DVD. Ford is unambiguously supportive of the Cheyennes' resolve to bolt their reservation in the desert Southwest and trek north to their ancestral lands. By contrast, most of white society, the military, the bureaucracy, and the sensationalist press are portrayed as insensitive, foolish, or hateful. However, the Cheyenne are nobly wooden, with all key roles played by non-Indians: Ricardo Montalban, Gilbert Roland, Sal Mineo, Victor Jory, and Dolores Del Rio (breathtakingly beautiful as ever). As for point of view, it's sympathetic cavalry officer Richard Widmark and Quaker missionary Carroll Baker through whose eyes most of the epic narrative unfolds. --Richard T. Jameson

Customer Reviews

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This is an excellent selection of films, chief among them being Cheyenne Autumn, which I enjoyed immensely. Mary of Scotland was also of great interest from both a historical perspective and from the acting viewpoint.
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Received intake. However there were only 3 movies I really liked. Not the fault of the seller.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews
33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars AMERICA'S GREATEST DIRECTOR! June 9 2006
By Ms.Beyonce - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The John Ford collection is a set of vintage Ford films,without John Wayne while and I would NOT have included Mary of Scotland,and would have preferred either The Plough and the Stars,or The Fugitive (Henry Fonda)or the underrated Two Rode Together,this is still a very good film set.There is a separate Ford-Wayne collection,which I will review latter.The five films,in this collection are: The Lost Patrol;The Informer;Cheyenne Autumn:Mary of Scotland:Sergeant Rutledge: The following are my reviews of each individul film.


A British army Patrol,during the time of WW1, in the Mesopotamian desert gets lost,after their commander is killed,and he has left no notes or orders,in regard to their mission or exact location.With

their leader dead the small group's command falls to Sergeant Victor McLaglen.After a journey of unknown length,the patrol finds an oasis,and it is here where most of the action takes place as they are pinned down by (mostly unseen) Arab fighters.It is here where we really get to meet the men and get to know their hopes and fears.The other men include J.M.Kerrigan(as Quincannn-probably the most frequently used name in a Ford film!),Reginald Denny (Brown),Wallace Ford( excellent as Moretti),Boris Karloff,(,outstanding as Sanders-a religious fanatic),and Douglas Walton,as callow youth,who when he leaves for the service he relates that that was the ONLY time he saw his mother cry.This is (to me) one of the dramtic highlight so the film,when we see 19 year old Walton(about 25,in real life) pours his heart out to McLaglen.This scene,even more so than others shows the futility of war. Great direction,a great screenplay(Dudley Nichols,Ford's favorote writer,at the time-THE INFORMER-STAGECOACH),a fine Max Steiner score,and an excellent DVD transfer. A GREAT ANTI-WAR AND(mildly) ANTI-IMPERIALIST FILM,AND A MUST SEE!


Katherine Hepburn,in her only Ford film,is Mary, Queens of Scots.This motion picture is derived from a Maxwell Anderson Play,and a screenplay by Dudley Nichols.To me of what I've seen of Ford's thirties films,"Mary of Scotland" it is Ford's least-good films of the period.Watchable,but forgettable.Two and one half stars.


The story of "the troubles",in Ireland, in told in a very somber way in the John Ford classic "The Informer",with Victor McLaglen(a Ford regular)giving an AA winning performance in the title role.McLaglen plays Gypo Nolan,a down and out Dubliner,who is without money,and because of this and having been recently "dismissed" from the IRA(Irish Republican Army'freedom fighters,hoping to obtain a united and totally free Ireland,with no British ties whatsoever) and because he is also in jeopardy of losing his girlfried Margot Grahame,(outstanding)as he is in a greatly strained emotional state,and when wondering the streets comes upon a reward poster for "IRA murderer"Frankie McPhillip(Wallace Ford-no relation to the director).The reward is worth enough so that both Gypo and his girl can get passage to America.A short while latter Gypo accidentally runs into Frankie,an old friend,and they have a short conversion about Frankie being on the run,how Frankes's mother is,and the reasons why Gypo was "sacked" from the(in this coversion a "Quincannon" is mentioned) IRA,after the conversion ends the wheels start to turn in Gypo's head and he wonders over to the "Black and Tans"station(the Black and Tans,so-called becuse of their uniforms,are special British militiary(police)men assigned to Ireland when "the troubles" are at their height,""Up the Irish" or in this film,"Up the Rebels" types may look at the B&T's as THE REAL TERRORISTS,but that's for another discussion)and reluctanly tells the "Brits" that Frankie will be at his mother's.After Frankie is killed in a shoot-out,Gypo is given disdainfully(even the B&T's don"t like Informers) his money and goes.Drinking,fighting,and partying are on the night's program for Gypo,but his drining is only a mask,to hide his emotional breakdown from his wicked deed.The IRA figures out what went on,in regard to Frankie's death, and Gypo is a doomed man!

Other supporting members of the cast are very good to excellent,J.M.Kerrigan,Preston Foster,Donald Meek,Joseph (then Sauers)Sawyer,and Una'Connor as Frankie's mother who is a bite "over the top" early in the film,but comes through poignanly at the coclusion.From a LiamO'Flaherty story,an excellent Dudley Nichols screenplay,with a haunting Max Steiner musical score,and a very crisp and clear DVD transfer.The ONLY MINUS NO DVD COMMETARY-A MUST SEE!!


Ignoring "Fort Apache",and the anti-racism of "The Searchers",many critics (falsely) claim that John Ford set an anti-Native American(Indian) tone in films that increased racism in America.Well, whatever truth there is to either side of the argument is,in this film John Ford,in his last Western,is FIRMLY on the Indians side.But is was still (somewhat justified)critised fom casting,in VERY IMPORTANT roles none-Idians,especially The Victor Jory,Gilbert Roland,Richardo Montalban,Dolores Del Reo,and Sal Mineo(!)roles.

This motion picture tells the true story of the Cheyenne's plight at the hand of "THE GREAT FATHER" and their trek,and persuit(by U.S.troops) back to their Yellowstone homeland.

On the minus side is the appearrance of Carroll Baker(miscast) as a Quaker school marm) and Karl Malden,with an"over the top performance" as a muderous,racist American(German born) General.The screenplay by James Webb(Pork Chop Hill,The Big Country,Cape Fear) is lacklustre,and the comic interlude of Jimmy Stewart(as Wyatt Earp) with Arthur KennedyI"Doc" Holliday) and John Carradine(a dishonest gambler) and a bunch of hooligian ,led by Ken Curtis is out of place,and NOT VERY FUNNYI did lke Elizebeth Allen,was a damsel of ill-repute.This is a heart-felt film by John Ford with good performances by Richard Widmark as a "liberal" U.S. "horse soldier",and LaBaker's love interest,and in a cameo Edward G.Robinson.The musical score by Alex North is OK,but I would have preferred Elmer Bernstein.An An excellent DVD transfer.Despite my misgivings,4 stars.


In this unheralded John Ford anti-racist Western, set in 1881,Sergeant Braxton Rutledge(Woody Stode) is accussed of rape and murder,and mostly in flashbacks the events of his accusation,his fleeing,and trial are told.The pace is perfect and acting and direction excellent.In his third Ford film Jeffery Hunter proves again that he was a very underrated actor.His performance is excellent,also good are Constance Towers,as Hunter's love interest and Braxton sympathizer,Willis Bouchey(a Ford grouchy regular),Juano Hernandez,Routledge's fellow "Buffalo Soldier",and sort of "father figure".for the rest of the black soldier's,and Charleton Young(another Ford regular) as the intentially racist prosecutor.But it is Strode(a Ford regular,in support roles) who carries the film.His pride and dignity are evident, in every scene in which he appears.There re two ways to look at this film,or more properly to look at Hollywood,either this film was way ahead of its time or Hollywood took to long to look at U.S. race relations,in any meaning manner.The anti-racists films,of Hollywood, did not really start to make an appearance until the late 1940's,with films such as "PINKY" and the 1950 film debut of Sidney Poitier in "NO WAY OUT"(see my review)My opinion is "so-called liberal Hollywood"(remember the blacklist) was and is always interested IN PROFITS,and NOT PREACHING!.


Excellent DVD transfer,but no commetary.5-stars!!
21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pappy gets a nod April 10 2006
By D. James - Published on
Format: DVD
For fans of John Ford this will be a long-awaited set of previously unreleased films made by the great between spanning a period between the 30's till the 60's. Titles included are a great choice, personally I would have liked to see 'The Hurricane' in this one or another title starring Dorothy Lamour with whom he worked on several films, but that's just my opinion!

As usual, the price for the whole collection is reasonable, much more so than just buying the individual titles.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great hard to find movies July 16 2011
By wpapac - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This collection is of hard to find films. The Informer, Mary of Scotland and SGT Rutledge are impossible to see other than on TMC. Cheyanne Autumn is a frequent flyer on the Western Channel. If you are a Ford film collector, this grouping is a must. Movies then and now are not history and are entertainment and a cinematic view of director,writer, cinemetographer and editor. Not to mention the cast of thousands like actors and grips etc. Movies are great because for a couple of hours, they launch you into entertainment on all levels and unlike a book which is almost always the author as the main conductor of entertainment. Movies take a ton of different talents and blend them into the film. the director is just that and compiles these talents. This, tempered withj the studio system, mad movies then. Now, who knows, few are going to be on the TCMs of the future. Holly wood takes old miovies ideas and revamps them to modern standards because,I think, they are running out of ideas. Remember the line "Actors had faces"! Now they are just computer images! Soon the entire Hollywood movie industry will be in one building on a bunch of computers. John Ford and his compatriots from the B and C movies, serials and newsreels, the Black Film industry brought us the spirit of movies.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome range of Ford in a small bundle Dec 26 2012
By Classics Collector - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Great box combines some classic Ford films with the obscure. The Informer depicts an epic night in Dublin, Lost Patrol an epic few nights in the Sahara, Mary Queen Of Scotland gives Kate Hepburn a chance to strut her stuff in a minor Ford effort, Sargeant Rutledge compels in a courtrrom setting while Cheyenne Autumn provides an epic sweep to a less than stellar script.
All Ford, all the time, I love it for the price and odd pairing. Fills in a huge gap in my Ford collection, just right for a few entries from early 30s and early 60s.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little of Everything June 3 2006
By Dasher - Published on
Format: DVD
Any collection that has The Lost Patrol has got to be worth the 40 bucks. That movie and Boris Karloff alone is something to behold. But this collection also contains Sgt Rutlidge which a movie way before its time. Mary Queen of Scots, I wasn't even aware was a John Ford Movie. The Informer another great and Cheyene Autumn. I think this set has a little bit of something for everyone. I just wish that we knew if this was the 66 minute watered down version of Lost Patrol or the original uncut version.