"Red River" (1948)
Director: Howard Hawks
No matter what genre he worked in, Howard Hawks ("His Girl Friday") played by his own rules, and never was this more evident than in his first western, the rowdy and whip-smart "Red River". In it, John Wayne ("Stagecoach") found one of his greatest roles as an embittered, tyrannical Texas rancher whose tensions with his independent-minded adopted son, played by Montgomery Clift ("From Here to Eternity") in a breakout performance, reach epic proportions during a cattle drive to Missouri, which is based on a real-life late nineteenth-century expedition. Yet Hawks is less interested in historical accuracy than in tweaking the codes of masculinity that propel the myths of the American West. The unerringly macho Wayne and the neurotic, boyish Clift make for an improbably perfect pair, held aloft by a quick-witted, multilayered screenplay and Hawks’s formidable direction.
Special Features to look forward to:
- Dual-format Blu-ray/ DVD edition
- New 4K digital restoration of the rarely presented original theatrical release version, the preferred cut of director Howard Hawks, with monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- 2K restoration of the longer version of Red River
- New interview with filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich about Red River and the two versions
- New interview with critic Molly Haskell about Hawks and Red River
- New interview with western scholar Lee Clark Mitchell about western genre literature
- Audio excerpts of a 1972 conversation between Hawks and Bogdanovich
- Excerpts from a 1970 audio interview with novelist and screenwriter Borden Chase
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and a 1991 interview with Hawks’s longtime editor Christian Nyby; a new paperback edition of Chase’s original novel, previously out of print
Also Due For Release:
North to Alaska
MTI Film recently completed an all-new digital restoration of North to Alaska, Twentieth Century Fox’s 1960 comedy starring John Wayne. Employing proprietary technology and image processing techniques, MTI Film scanned the original 35mm cut negative at 4K before putting the film through an intensive restoration process to address faded colour, Newton rings, dirt, scratches and many other defects. MTI Film ultimately delivered fully restored 4K files to produce a new 35mm negative for long-term preservation, along with a 4K DCP Master and high definition masters in a variety of aspect ratios.
Directed by Henry Hathaway, North to Alaska was a critical and popular success upon its original release and remains a favourite among fans of The Duke. Wayne plays a Gold Rush miner who falls in love with his best friend’s fiancé while escorting her to the northern minefields. Stewart Granger, Ernie Kovacs, Fabian, and Capucine co-star. Variety called the film “good-humoured, old-fashioned…slaphappy entertainment.”
North to Alaska was the first film to take advantage of MTI Film’s new high-resolution scanning system which features an Image Trends ScanMaster 4000 system equipped with an Oxberry film transporter. Scanning was done at 4K and in non-realtime to maximise detail, and proprietary infrared technology was employed to automatically detect and eliminate dust and scratches. “We are able to detect surface dirt and scratches on both the cell and emulsion sides of the negative,” explains MTI Film CEO, Larry Chernoff.
Further restoration was applied using MTI Film’s own Correct DRS technology, with work divided between the company’s facilities in Hollywood and China. A newly-developed Color Breathing tool was employed to reverse degradation in the colour channels.
Finally, the new master underwent complete DI colour grading. MTI Film colourist Jeremy Sawyer applied the grade, working under the supervision of Fox’s Michael MacKinnon. “Because the negative was so faded, it was extremely difficult to recreate the film’s original look,” MacKinnon says. “Jeremy and I compared the raw scans to existing prints and from there worked to bring it back, as closely as possible, to its theatrical state. In compensating for the fading, we improved the film tremendously.”
MacKinnon believes that fans of the film will enjoy the results. “The state of the negative would have made it impossible to restore this film photo-chemically,” he observes. “MTI Film’s process allowed us to overcome all of the problems we encountered and produce a new master that will last a generation.”
For more information visit:
And Believe It Or Not:
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Richard Rodgers and Stephen Sondheim’s rarely performed musical Do I Hear A Waltz? and a new play by Made In Dagenham screenwriter William Ivory are among the productions to look forward to in the Park Theatre’s 2014 season.
Both productions will play in the Finsbury Park venue’s Park200, which will also welcome a new stage adaptation of Dorothy M Johnson’s short story The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance later in the year.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance will complete the season in the venue’s largest auditorium from 14 May to 22 June. Adapted and directed by Jethro Compton, the world premiere of the tale made famous in the 1962 film starring James Stewart and John Wayne will transport audiences to the Wild West, where a tale of love, hope and revenge unfolds against the vicious backdrop of a lawless society.
For more information visit: