5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Ford and Wayne ride again!,
This review is from: Horse Soldiers [Blu-ray]  [US Import] (Blu-ray)
The Horse Soldiers represents the 11th outing of John Ford and John Wayne. Having created the seminal Westerns Stagecoach, buy the Criterion Blu Ray it's wonderful, and The Searchers some of the other collaborations are a little below par, unsurprising when we have the aforementioned films as benchmarks!
The Horse Soldiers sits comfortably in the upper bracket without ever really reaching the heights of it's predecessors to call it an out and out classic. The story is fast paced and laced with a good dose of underlying humour, most through Constance Towers (slightly miss cast in the role IMO), " Care for some more leg or breast? as she leans over the table with the lowest cut top. Wayne replies "No thank you mam, I've had quite enough". It's a solid Wayne Western.
Onto the Blu ray itself: The colours are vibrant but unfortunately that is where the Blu ray transfer seems to stop. The picture quality is no better than the DVD with the exception of 40% of the close-up scenes which suddenly burst into life and looks great. It is a travesty given the importance of these films and how good transfers can be. If you compare this to How the West was Won, another Ford and Wayne collaboration, albeit John Wayne is only in it for a few minutes, you will see the difference. The Cinerama version of How the West was Won is truly breathtaking and a wonderful transfer. The Horse Soldier alas has been give a cheap update; the film deserves better.
Having said all of the above this version is the best currently available so it's better than not having it at all. We can only hope that maybe a special edition, similar to The Comanchero's digibook a must buy!, may be released in the future. If you can look past the average quality mixed with nice hi def scenes its' an enjoyable film and one which deserves more credit out of the Ford/Wayne collaborations.
4 stars for the film, 3 stars for the transfer