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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Value for odd companions., 6 Mar 2009
By 
Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: John Ford Collection [DVD] (DVD)
This is a rather curious mix of films from the great John Ford. We have two films concerning social injustice, one made shortly after the other which make good companion pieces. We then have two Westerns sitting rather uncomfortably alongside. One is a very fine Western and the other rather average by Ford's high standards.

"The Grapes of Wrath"(40) is based on the Pulitzer prize winning novel of 1939 by John Steinbeck. The film covers the arduous and harrowing journey of the Joad family from their abandoned home in Oklahoma to California, and their attempts to try and find work in this new land. The first half of the film is faithful to the book. The second half less so. Henry Fonda gives one of his more powerful performances as Tom Joad, just released from prison who returns to a deserted home. He travels on to find his family. The film is very strong on family loyalty but is mostly about the ills of social injustice.
At the end of the film Tom goes off to join a movement committed to social justice and says the following famous words:-

"I'll be all around in the dark. I'll be everywhere. Wherever you can look, wherever there's a fight, so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad. I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready, and when people are eatin' the stuff they raise and livin' in the houses they build, I'll be there, too."

"How Green Was My Valley"(41) is also based on a famous novel by Richard Llewellyn, who strangely enough was an Englishman. This film chronicles the lives of the Morgan family in the South Wales coalfield at a time of great social and economic upheaval. We follow their loves and hardships as fortunes fluctuate. Again we see the close family bonds. Walter Pidgeon and that Ford female stalwart Maureen O'Hara star, with the youngest family member played by Roddy McDowell who provides the narration. The film was made in Hollywood due to WW2, which does give it a rather false look. The Welsh accents are a very dodgy Hollywood Welsh, certainly not heard in the Valleys. It is also a little over sentimental. It is a good film but not a classic as was "The Grapes of Wrath".

"The Horse Soldiers"(59) is based on the novel by Harold Sinclair who based it on a true event from the American civil war when Union soldiers raided far behind Confederate lines to saboutage a railway line. In doing so they rode some 700 miles. In the film John Wayne plays Col John Marlowe and William Holden plays the surgeon Maj Henry Kendall. The two are constantly at odds. They are also forced to take along the pretty Constance Towers who complicates matters. They are constantly on the run and have several scrapes with Pursuing Confederate troops. The film is not as strong as Ford's earlier cavalry trilogy and shows a distinct lessening of his powers after the epic "The Searchers"(56). It fails to capture Ford's usual stylistic hallmarks. An interesting film but not one of his best.

"My Darling Clementine"(46) is another take on "The Gunfight at the OK Corral" between the Earp's and the Clanton's. The title is taken from an old folk song. It is 1882 and the Earp's are driving cattle to California. They have a run in with the Clanton's led by old Man Clanton played by Walter Brennan. The brothers later go into nearby Tombstone leaving younger brother James in charge. On their return the cattle are gone and James is found murdered. Wyatt Earp played by Fonda swears vengeance and takes on the job as Marshall for Tombstone to ensure justice is done. He is aided by the consumptive Doc Holliday played by Victor Mature who constantly coughs into the worlds largest and most used hanky. The film shows Ford on top form. It travels at a measured pace and is both moody and stylised. In short a fine film full of the typical Ford flourishes.

At the present time of writing this review the DVD is available at an absolute snip. You have two superb classics and two very watchable films at a bargain price. Look at the individual prices for these films and you will see what I mean. Although it is an odd mix, it contains great quality and is a good buy at the present price. Highly recommended.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Box set specs, 28 Aug 2010
By 
D. Vitale (Rome) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: John Ford Collection [DVD] (DVD)
The Grapes Of Wrath:
Languages: English, Italian, Spanish, German, French.
Subs: English (HoH), Italian, Spanish, German, French, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Dutch, Swedish, Portuguese, Turkish.

The Horse Soldiers:
Languages: English, Italian, Spanish, German, French.
Subs: English (HoH), German (HoH), French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Danish, Portuguese.

How Green Was My Valley:
Languages: English.
Subs: English (HoH), Czech, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Swedish, Portuguese, Hebrew, Hungarian, Polish.

My Darling Clementine:
Languages: English.
Subs: English (HoH).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars john ford dvd collection, 8 Oct 2010
This review is from: John Ford Collection [DVD] (DVD)
delighted to get this john ford collection. thoroughly enjoyed as i had read the books of these films some years ago. highly recommended. many thanks.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars John Ford Collection, 19 Nov 2009
By 
Mr. Michael Evans "MikeinDarwen" (Darwen, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: John Ford Collection [DVD] (DVD)
Each title in this collection is delivered in an updated format, easy on the eye and ear. An excellant combination of thFord's work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Collection, 11 Feb 2013
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This review is from: John Ford Collection [DVD] (DVD)
This is a great opportunity to obtain four GREAT movies at a great price. It was recently bought by me as a present but had already been bought by me for my own viewing a couple of years ago. Highly recommended.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Ford Collection, 8 Jan 2010
By 
J. Docherty - See all my reviews
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This review is from: John Ford Collection [DVD] (DVD)
I bought the collection for a 90 years old relative and he is highly delighted, hence the five stars.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Ford Collection, 2 July 2009
This review is from: John Ford Collection [DVD] (DVD)
John Ford did a directors classic with these four classics. The Films are all good
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't understand the Yanks!, 23 Sep 2012
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This review is from: John Ford Collection [DVD] (DVD)
Grapes Of Wrath [1940]: One of the many of my most favourite films that I have purchased from Amazon, this time on 22-06-2012 within a John Ford box set, so's a soupcon belated review, & my second one re 'the silver screen' (other favourites purchased from Amazon for example, Alien quadrilogy [1979,86,92&97], Angel-A [2005], The Bourne trilogy [2002,04&07], Fried Green Tomatoes [1991], How Green Was My Valley [1941], Out Of Africa [1985], Tea With Mussolini [1999], ... I could go on, ...).

I am deeply moved by the Grapes Of Wrath [1940] & fail to comprehend the populous of the United States of America. Within their recent history they have a wealth of soooh much good social literature, in this case the writings of John Steinbeck, which show how little, if anything at all, that the Yanks have learnt from their greedy, uncaring capitalist past, ... which is still soooh evident today. Just why is this 'bible-thumping', feverously religious, fanatical, mixed race society soooh 'blind' to what has happened to them in the past & how nowt has changed? It 'beggars-belief' (as does Creationism in the light of Darwin & the anti Global Warming 'camp' in the light of changing weather patterns) that soooh many of them should apparently be soooh ignorant? Why don't the vast majority of yanks (& other 'put-upon', 'down-trodden', repressed sections of populous throughout this Multi-Corporate run world) learn from their recent past & `rise-up-on-mass' to right the wrongs of their 'elite' classes, i.e., the rich & influential? There are, of course, within the massive North American continent some sane, rational & philanthropic individuals, i.e., Robert Redford who publicly stated he would leave the USA if George Bush were to be elected for a second term (which he (Geo) did, ... & which he (Rob) didn't).

It's true to say that the 'dust-bowl' phenomena & mass migration that followed was due to these uneducated farmers 'sowing-the-seeds' of their own 'doom' with poor farming practice (much as the native North American Indians did once they had access to horses & rifles with which they could follow & decimate the herds of buffalo which before the 'white-man' cometh, could only be harvested during a twice annual migration of the herds as they passed the tribes camping grounds). This 1930's human tragedy was, of course, exacerbated by big, greedy Corporations. But, 'man's inhumanity to man' is an anathema to moi. Without social justice, fairness, kindness & compassion for others our human race is no better than the animals we make use of. And, like animals, is just how the 'fortunate' treat their fellow 'less-fortunate' human beings in this film.

Ergo, moi's recommendation for school curriculums is to have Grapes Of Roth included. However, with shameless, immoral & disreputable lobbyists paid by the rich & influential to influence, in their favour, our lying, corruptible & inept government political leaders, ... I doubt this will occur prior to the inevitable, messianic & bloody, Ernesto Che Guevara type, revolutions which will come with Global Warming, rising sea levels, contamination of drinking & irrigation ground water with salty sea water, reduced land areas for our already over populated planet, ... culminating in food & drinking water shortages, ... ergo mass starvation, panic, riots & a change of those at the 'top'. Watch this film, it may just stimulate the `old-grey-matter'!
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