We’ll take a Ford to steer you to the best DVD set this year.
John Ford is a giant of American cinema, with a career that spanned more than half a century, earning him an unprecedented four Academy Awards for Best Director. Now, five John Ford classics from Columbia Pictures are coming to DVD for the first time ever from Turner Classic Movies, The Film Foundation and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. John Ford: The Columbia Films Collection includes four films from the latter half of the director’s long career: The Long Gray Line (1955), Gideon’s Day (1958), The Last Hurrah (1958) and Two Rode Together (1961). It also features the 1935 comedy gem The Whole Town’s Talking.
Available only through TCM’s online store (shop.tcm.com), John Ford: The Columbia Films Collection not only boasts five films that have been fully restored and remastered, but the collection’s digital bonus content includes video introductions by author, critic and film historian Leonard Maltin, as well as John Ford biographical information, scene stills, behind-the-scenes photos, movie posters and lobby cards.
Complete descriptions of all five movies in the collection are included below.
The Whole Town’s Talking
Edward G. Robinson is delightful in a dual role as a mild-mannered clerk and the notorious mobster to whom he bears a strong resemblance. Jean Arthur, whom Robinson called “a delight to work with and to know, plays the clerk’s co-worker and love interest. Arthur Hohl, Wallace Ford, Edward Brophy and Paul Harvey co-star.
The Long Gray Line
Tyrone Power stars in this dramatic biopic as Marty Maher, an Irish immigrant who worked his way up from dishwasher to non-commissioned officer and coach during his 50-year career at West Point. Ford regulars Maureen O’Hara and Ward Bond co-star, and Harry Carey Jr. makes a brief appearance as a young Dwight D. Eisenhower. This marked the finale film for young actor Robert Francis, who died in a plane crash at age 25. The Long Gray Line was filmed on location at West Point.
Novelist John Creasey’s popular Scotland Yard detective, George Gideon, gets his first screen treatment with Jack Hawkins in the lead role. This is the British original release, color version of the film, which follows Gideon through the ups and downs of a single day It co-stars Dianne Foster, Cyril Cusack and Andrew Ray, and features outstanding camera work by three-time Oscar winner Freddie Young.
The Last Hurrah
Spencer Tracy won a BAFTA for his performance in this adaptation of Edwin O’Connor’s acclaimed novel about a mayor who does everything he can to win re-election. Tracy and John Ford were also cited by the National Board of Review for their work on the film, which also stars Jeffrey Hunter, Dianne Foster, Pat O’Brien, Basil Rathbone, Donald Crisp, James Gleason, Edward Brophy, John Carradine, Anna Lee and Jane Darwell.
Two Rode Together
James Stewart and Richard Widmark star as a marshal and cavalry officer hired to rescue a group of pioneers from Commanches. Shirley Jones co-stars, along with Linda Cristal, Andy Devine, Mae Marsh and Anna Lee. The movie is based on a novel by Will Cook and was shot on location in Bracketville, Texas. It features a celebrated five-minute sequence between Stewart and Widmark that was filmed in one long take and required the film crew to brave icy waters in order to capture the shot Ford wanted.