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The Iron Horse: UK Edition [DVD]


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Frequently Bought Together

The Iron Horse: UK Edition [DVD] + City Girl - Dual Format (Blu-ray+DVD) [Masters of Cinema] [1930]
Price For Both: £27.49

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Product details

  • Actors: George O'Brien, Madge Bellamy, Charles Edward Bull, Cyril Chadwick, Will Walling
  • Directors: John Ford
  • Writers: Charles Darnton, Charles Kenyon, John Russell
  • Producers: John Ford, David Gill, Kevin Brownlow, Patrick Stanbury
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Bfi
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Jun 2002
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000066NVH
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 153,412 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Epic silent western from director John Ford. The film concerns the building of the first transcontinental railroad and tells a story of double dealing among surveyors and contractors, attacks by the Cheyenne Indians, immigrants hoping for a better life, saloon girls deviously seducing railroad officials, sons struggling to realise the forgotten dreams of their now-dead fathers, and desperate last minute rides by the pony express. It culminates with the celebrated scene of the joining of the rails at Promontory Point, Utah. This is the UK cut, which is 15 minutes shorter than the US edition.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Mar 2009
Format: DVD
"The Iron Horse" is a rare opportunity to see a silent Western in its original form unless you count Buster Keatons wonderful comedy "The General"(26). The background music by the City of Prague Philharmonic orchestra adds to the period feel. For fans of the legendary film director John Ford this is a must have. When this film was made in 1924 he was already a veteran of 50 films. His distinguished career finally ending with "Three Women" in 1965. In this film we see glimpses of the perfection that Ford was heading towards with such classics as "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon"(49) and perhaps his masterwork "The Searchers"(56).

The film is a very conventional tale set around the epoch changing event of the building of the first transcontinental railroad, first completed in 1869. The story involves double crossing, vengeance and of course romance. Historical characters like Abraham Lincoln, Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild Bill Hickok are portrayed alongside fictional ones. The building is constantly beset by problems including hostile Indians. The male lead is taken by the then unknown George O'Brien who plays Davy Brandon. The love interest is provided by Madge Bellamy who was better known.

The film was made largely on location near Reno, Nevada and was often made in freezing temperatures, just to add authenticity. Hundreds of extras were used including Chinese and Irish labourers and Paiute Indians. Ford went to immense trouble to faithfully depict the historic moment when the two rails were joined at Promontory Point in Utah. This scene is almost a duplication of Andrew Russell's original historic photograph.

The film was financed by the Fox Company in response to Paramounts successful Western "The Covered Wagon"(23). They poured a large amount of money into the project.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Chip Kaufmann on 28 July 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Unless you are a silent film enthusiast or an aficionado of Westerns then you are probably unfamiliar with THE IRON HORSE although the phrase describing locomotives is well known. It was made in 1924 by the Fox Film Corporation hoping to cash in on the success of Paramount's THE COVERED WAGON from the year before. Like that film, THE IRON HORSE was conceived on a grand scale using as its subject the building of the first American transcontinental railroad. It was the movie that put John Ford on the map as a filmmaker to be reckoned with where he would remain for the next 40 years. 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 which makes this restoration by Photoplay Productions and the BFI all the more remarkable.

The print isn't perfect but it's a far sight better than the old VHS version from the Killiam Collection. The picture quality is good, proper color tints have been added, and there is a quality film score composed by John Lanchbery. The movie is not without its share of flaws including excessive length (134 minutes), 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 three 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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wifa Van Ingen on 29 Aug 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
the picture quality is great with the sepia and blue colored shots.
Nice classic western to have in your collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By PJayBe on 30 May 2013
Format: DVD
This is a great DVD containing two slightly differing versions of Ford's vision of the building of the railroads across America. Whether you can spot the differences between the 150 minute and the 133 minute versions is a moot point, you'd probably need to watch them back to back to do it, but it's nice to have them both.

Print quality is as good as can be expected from a 1924 film, but a lot better than any other version I've seen.

The factual errors contained therein (stating that the original engines were used long after they'd seemingly been scrapped) just show that Hollywood hype was as present and correct back then as it is now, but don't let that detract from a fine film, done in an almost documentary style.

Excellent work from Eureka once again, a well packaged set with an informative booklet containing lots of pictures and features on the film. A PDF of the script is also contained on one of the discs. The only fault lies in the documentary, sorry, I mean the video essay, that we get, rather stilted in its delivery, and not as informative as it could be. Doesn't detract from the film in any way though.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Michael Bo on 23 Jan 2003
Format: DVD
This John Ford epic is not quite as epic as one could wish. It does have its share of visual splendors, although nothing to quite match 'Stagecoach' or the brilliant westerns of the 40's and 50's.
As is often the case with Big Movies of the period, 'The Iron Horse' suffers from an overload of narrative detail, and not sufficient care is taken to secure the sweep of the vision, the pacing of the action. So there is quite a bit of slapstick and a bit too much overwrought melodrama.
Having said that, 'Iron Horse' has ample glories. The tinted images, wonderfully lucid and finely grained in this exemplary edition of the movie from British Film Institue. The newly composed score is quite satisfactory.
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