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How The West Was Won [Blu-ray] [1962] [Region Free]

4.5 out of 5 stars 137 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Henry Fonda, Gregory Peck, James Stewart, George Peppard, John Wayne
  • Directors: Henry Hathaway, John Ford, George Marshall
  • Producers: Bernard Smith
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Sept. 2008
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0017U09LC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,135 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

A sprawling epic tracing the fortunes of several generations of an American pioneer family as they move West and cope with the Civil War. The film's several sections were made by different directors, including Henry Hathaway and John Ford. Spencer Tracy narrates, while Henry Fonda, Gregory Peck, James Stewart and John Wayne top the all-star bill. Not to be confused with the 1970s television series.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
I saw this film first fully about a year ago, prior to that on and off when i was young boy, on and off because its a long film and when you are young you lose interest. Anyway i got the blu ray version yesterday evening and sat down and watched the lot. The version i saw last year was grainy drab and suffered the cinarama effects of vertical lines dividing the picture in 3 portions. The new version in widescreen ( very wide , 2.86:1 i think ) is fantastic!! The picture is truly beautiful, some of the landscapes are breathtaking, the picture is sharper, brighter. Because the film is shot in such a wide format the picture is sometimes strange to watch, especially when an actor gets close to the camera, which is why i guess there are no close ups. My only slight reservation is that if you have a smaller hd ready set, because of the wide aspect ratio of the film it may be too small an image to truly appreciate the spectacle that is ... HOW THE WEST WAS WON .....
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Format: DVD
What a fantastic print we now have of this film since the original cinerama has now been restored and the three joins of the original can no longer be seen. Finally the film can be seen in glorious depth and colour with both images in the foreground and background in crystal clarity.

A fantastic commentary is also added by filmmaker David Strohmaier, Director of Cinerama, Inc. John Sitting, Film Historian Rudy Behlemer, Music Historian Jon Burlingame and Stuntman Loren James which throws so much new light on the making of the movie.

For those who have never seen the film; sit back and enjoy.

For those who have seen the film many times on TV or video, and longed for the day.....welcome for the first time to "HOW THE WEST WAS WON" as it should be seen.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
If you have never seen this film or have only seen on TV or in standard format in the cinema, you are in for a treat.

I bought it initially to try out my new Blueray player but boy did I get a surprise. The restoration is outstanding. State of the art digital technology has been used to remove the annoying vertical lines cause by the Cinerama process. The colour has been tweaked to a standard as good probably as the original print. The sound also has been worked over with both Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby HD 7.1. One disc also has a thing called, 'Smilebox' which simulates the Cinerama effect. It works!!!

The film features three interlinked narratives and directed by three of Hollywood's greatest directors including John Ford. You'll laugh, you'll cry and you'll be uplifted in this moving piece of cinema history. It deserves to be up there along with Gone With the Wind and Citizen Kane.
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Format: Blu-ray
This is 5 stars just for the print of this blu-ray edition- you cannot believe you are watching a 50 year old movie here-the scenery is obviously stunning and you will think you are actually there looking thru a window. Who cares that you're not getting the book that they're getting with the US edition- this is less than ten quid- you cannot complain about what you get for it!
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Format: Blu-ray
How the West Was Won seems to become more of an endurance task every year. While it throws in everything - injun attacks, shooting the rapids, stampedes, train wrecks, the Civil War, wagon trains - except a good old fashioned gunfight, the characterization and linking narrative wrapped around Richard Talmadge's impressive action scenes are a long way from the best of the West. Whether it's Karl Malden, Carol Baker, Robert Preston or Gregory Peck hamming it up or Debbie Reynolds raising yet another ruckus in another painfully gratuitous musical number, the squirm factor is high. Although John Ford's Civil War section (aided by plentiful stock footage from Raintree County) is the best remembered, the film doesn't really pick up until Reynolds is sidelined out of the picture and George Marshall takes over the directorial reins for the impressive railroad section, where it really starts to confront a few of the darker aspects of the price of progress and allows George Peppard, Richard Widmark and Henry Fonda to shine. Unfortunately by then fatigue is beginning to set in, and for all the beauty of the color the transfer from three-panel Cinerama to letterboxed DVD on the original release left the film with some very jarring distortion problems that leaves much of the film looking like it's being played in a semi-circle. And the film's exultant ending that sees the magnificent scenery buried under miles of highways and skyscrapers now seems more tragedy than triumph. At the end of the day it's pure popcorn fodder, but it has its moments and Alfred Newman's score at least has the dynamism that the majority of the film lacks.

As others have mentioned, the quality of the original single-disc NTSC release left quite a bit to be desired but WHV's Blu-ray release is a distinct improvement on the DVD.
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3 Comments 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: VHS Tape
Way back when they could afford it(1962), under the name of Cinerama "How the West was Won" came to be.It employed several directors,and many of the great actors of its time ,and was shot in the tri/camera system know as Cinerama,and sterophonic sound.It was and still is an impressive piece of film making although some of its impact is lost on the medium of video.If like me you are a fan of the western none of "How the West was Won " will be lost on you ,from its magnificent musical score to the story ,whose telling ,of the fortunes of the Rawlins/Prescott family through several generations,and many adventures,Its just great !watch and enjoy
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