Here is an issue of a March 7, 1931 English magazine, Boy's Cinema, with the story of The Big Trail. It has a few other stories in it as well.
Here is an issue of a March 7, 1931 English magazine, Boy's Cinema, with the story of The Big Trail. It has a few other stories in it as well.
"I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "
Here is an excellent review by Stuart Galbraith IV of 'DVD Talk' regarding the two disc special edition of "The Big Trail", for the first time since it's 1930 premiere run in it's original widescreen format:
well I watched my new copy of the big trail today and man, I love it. The new widescreen presentation is just amazing. And seeing fourteen minutes of footage that has een "lost" for eighty years is also very awe- inspiring. I loved the movie before, and this spectacular rerelease has only made it better
Thanks for the update! I had forgotten about this release, but it sounds VERY enticing!
Have you had a chance to watch any of the extras yet?
Hondo, did you get yourself a birthday present . . . a la The Big Trail?
I did get a chance to watch a twelve minute featurette on the granduer process that was very interesting. Most of what they tell you has been posted in this thread, as to what happened and why it didn't succeed. There are more featuresttes, but I haven't had a chance to watch them yet!
Thanks Jim, for finding these posts.
And as you say it does have the unfortunate effect
of bumping the filmography/synopsis,
several pages into the thread,
which obviously is illogical, for the good of the movie review.
I attempted to do this when compiling the Movie Reviews,
and found this a major problem.
There are endless earlier threads,several about the same movie,
with bits and pieces, here and there.
Attempting to merge them, was a logistic headache,
so I decided, that the compilation of the Movie Reviews,
should be the new starting point,
and anything before, left to be.
In most cases, as I have done here, I copied
the earlier posts into the thread,
therefore still having all the posts under one roof.
In one Movie,
you may have noticed,
I asked Jay, if I could edit in the filmography/synopsis,
into his initial thread, and that worked well!
old january 31st, 2004
hello everyone! I'm new to the board here at jwayne.com but have been a huge duke fan my whole life. I would like to know if anybody knows of any plans of a cleaner, better, newer version of "the big trail" to be released? Twentieth century fox certainly didn't do it justice. This was one of the first widescreen movies to be filmed and yet they released it in full frame format. Besides that, the original film ran somewhere around 145 min, so why is the dvd release only 108 min long? Finally, and this is the least of them, there are no extras on the dvd. An old classic like this deserves much better. If any body knows anything about future plans for this film, i would certainly be interested. Thankyou.old january 31st, 2004
general sterling price
the big trail is simply a story of hard luck. This film is the chicago cubs and boston red sox of jw films. Its a great show, but under a curse. It was released at the time of the stock market crash, and was a box office failure. It contributed to a false notion that no one wanted westerns, and the genre all but died until stagecoach a decade later. It also killed the career of the leading lady in the film, and sent wayne back to the poverty row b studios where he wouldn't make his escape until stagecoach. All that for a film that really is pretty good. Then when it was "rediscovered" the sound track was damaged, and so part of it is missing, and then when the dvd was released, they didn't do anything special for it. Go figure. I really like the film.
Gspold january 31st, 2004
welcome to the john wayne message board, the best of it's kind on the 'net! You have found the greatest place for john wayne fans to hang out and have some thought provoking and fun conversations about one of the greatest stars to ever grace the silver screen!
Gsp pretty much said all i know about the big trail. I agree that the missing section(s) of film and lack of more bonus materials on the dvd would be disappointing, but considering how old the film, we're fortunate to have any of it at all, especially after hearing some of what itdo has to say about film deterioration.
Check out some of the other threads on new releases and such. Plenty of info there.
__________________old february 5th, 2004
is this true that segments of 'the big trail' are missing is this on the dvd version alone or also on the vcr version.
robbieold february 5th, 2004
hello there jdw; .....nice to meet you, as to the big trail being edited it seems to be a common thing on dvd's. Searching on e-bay for some films can be a problem. I usually e-mail the seller for the running time of the video if it isn't listed on their page. I have bought a couple dvd's that were edited versions and was very dissapointed. No bodys fault but mine because i didn't do my research. The imb is a good place for reference to the running times on movies. I find that vhs usually are the full length features but they should still be looked into if you are not sure. One thing i also find now is that some of the new stuff is in color now instead of b+w. I may get flack from the b+w purists but i do like the color versions a little better. Keep the posts coming jdw and watch the "duke" with a friend....saddletramp......old february 5th, 2004
Originally posted by saddletramp@feb 5 2004, 05:59 pm
hello there jdw; .....nice to meet you, as to the big trail being edited it seems to be a common thing on dvd's. Searching on e-bay for some films can be a problem. I usually e-mail the seller for the running time of the video if it isn't listed on their page. I have bought a couple dvd's that were edited versions and was very dissapointed. No bodys fault but mine because i didn't do my research. The imb is a good place for reference to the running times on movies. I find that vhs usually are the full length features but they should still be looked into if you are not sure. One thing i also find now is that some of the new stuff is in color now instead of b+w. I may get flack from the b+w purists but i do like the color versions a little better. Keep the posts coming jdw and watch the "duke" with a friend....saddletramp..
february 5th 2004
hello again saddle tramp
it isnt your fault you purchased an edited dvd, it should never have been edited in the 1st place. Regarding dukes movies i was wondering if this messagebaord should start a section stateing the movie and its exact running length in minutes. Even if one source states 130 minutes and the running time is actually 131 you could miss out on a minute extra duke time which by anybodys standards would be bad. ;) how or where would a person go to find the exact running time, i have over 60 duke movies on vcr and a lot were taped from tv so for all i know some may have a scene or two missing.
robbiefebruary 6th 2004
hi robbie; .....i get some of the running times off the internet movie database. How close they are is something i don't know. I think most of their info is close. Another trick i use is e-bay. Find two different sellers, one with a vhs and one with a dvd and compare the running times. Some times a quick e-mail to a seller will get you the info you need or at least the info they have. I recently bought the hurricane express on dvd only to find it was edited to 78 min. I then bought one on vhs and it is 227 min. Quite a bit of editing! It seems that it is usually the dvd's that are edited. I don't know if it is for quality or what. Vhs are usually fairly grainy on the real old stuff but if i can't get the whole thing i don't want it. I don't think i am the only one who has suffered this deception. The three musketeers is another one that i have seen edited on dvd. It should run about 210 minutes, give or take a couple min. Shadow of the eagle is another at 218 min. These are all 12 part serials. And beware the young duke series . These are 3x56min. Westerns cut down to 69 min. And if you see the high and mighty or island in the sky in dvd it is a scam. I have seen one e-bay seller trying to sluff this off. He won't answer my e-mails when question him so i think he is a crook. Ask questions when buying. If you can't get them answered to your satisfaction then move on to some one who will.....saddletramp.....old february 6th, 2004
hondo duke lane
welcome to the greatest message board in the world for a great talk about john wayne. I have the dvd version of the big trail, and it is 108 minutes. In my filmology of john wayne movies, they list the movie to 125 minutes. There is 17 minutes from the original.
I broke down and bought this movie, but neglected to check the time. I haven't sit down yet to see this movie, and i don't know what will be missing, nor will i know after i see it, since i haven't ever seen this movie before. But i'd be interested in knowing why 13% of this movie is missing, and it's not because it's saving dvd spcae.
Cheers, hondo b)..old february 6th, 2004
hello hondo duke wayne;.... I do believe some of these films are edited to fit in a 2 hour time slot for tv. I recently purchased big jake and there is a scene that i had never saw on tv. Before. It was when they were picking buckshot out patrick's backside after the shootout with the texas rangers and the kidnappers. They just have to have room for advertising. For those who have satelite or cable tv. Maybe they run full length,i don't know.....saddletramp..
old february 12th, 2004
hi saddletramp (do you have any other names that you would prefer to be called as i don't like calling you saddletramp it sounds a little rude)
that buckshot scene is commonly cut out of tv versions of big jake according to the imdb, i suppose it isn't really important to the storyline, however i do wish that if tv broadcasters do decide to show movies they show the entire movie and do not edit them to accommodate their own agenda.
Regarding 'the big trail' does the vcr version have the full running time[
12th february 2004
some time ago, i read somewhere that all the serials have an edited version released as "feature film" in cinemas.
Several films were released for the second time some years after the first. Sometimes second releases were shorter. Maybe the big trail dvd is a second release.old february 12th, 2004
nathan brittles welcome to this messageboard
does this mean that there could be a first release of 'the big trail' in its entire version within the marketplace.
robbieold february 13th, 2004
hondo duke lane
this is the first release of the big trail. I have kept up with most of duke's movies, and when this movie was released, i didn't realize that is was shorten. I am very disappionted. I haven't seen this movie yet. And i had it for a while now.
Cheers, hondo b)old february 15th, 2004
there are several versions with several different lenghts.
As you all know, the big trail failed at the box office mainly because fox introduced a new widescreen process. The theatre-owner were supposed to rebuild their moviehouses accordingly with a wide screen but with the depression going, this was a money gamble they wouldn't take. So the big trail was seen in this format only in a handful of cinemas. Fox wouldn't re-introduce the idea for another 20 years. But then cinemascope came back to stay. This original 70mm print (you notice the difference) was 158 minutes long. I imagine this included an overture music, maybe a walk-in music, entr'acte, exit music, as it was the case with such an "event" film. But when fox buried the idea of widescreen it certainly had no more use for the 70mm print - it just couldn't run anywhere to make money. So you guess yourself what they did. Fact is, that print wasn't reintroduced later.
At the same time, fox was wise enough to print the standart 35mm prints. That print was 125 minutes long. By the way, at the same time, walsh even shot another film for domestic market: A german version with german actors in the lead role.
The print now commonly used is the 108 minute print on the dvd. I have seen it on a movie-screen once being exactly the same, and that print came from the swiss cinematheque, the national film-archive, which is one of the largest. So my guess is the print that went into the archive - if it made it at all because there is no rule to it - is the 108 min. Print.
Of course, we shouldn't give up hope that through some miracle the widescreen print pops up. You never now. But chances are slim. Maybe somebody in the us wants to inquire directly, either at fox or at the library of the congress.old february 22nd, 2004
have watched the dvd and compared to the 1990 fox-video release. It's the same length, the same version (the fox pal video declares running time approx. 116 min. There's another difference about lenghts: Pal and the us format, ntsc - spell: Never twice the same color - run at different speed).
So i wanted to let you know we don't get cheated by the dvd version. It's still the same one.old february 22nd, 2004
quote (itdo @ feb 15 2004, 12:50 am)
And that print came from the swiss cinematheque, the national film-archive, which is one of the largest
haven't heard of this film archive before, is it as big as our library of congress archive? I would presume you have allready checked it out for other rare films,
maybe of a john wayne variety
ps looks like you are very close to your 600th post. ;)
Last edited by ethanedwards; August 8th, 2008 at 09:10 AM.
Totnes- the Tombstone of England
The wife and I watched The Big Trail the other night. She loves Duke anyway, but the young Duke she just thinks he is so cute.
Ward Bond wasn't credited for his character in the movie, I guess that was a common thing in early movie releases. The Pete Morrison listed is he related to Duke?
just watched "the big trail" and while i wouldn t class it as a favourite, it was interesting and fun to see john wayne running about as just a kid. some of the lines made me laugh and it brought home how hard it must have been for the original settlers. i agree that when you think about how old the film is, we re lucky to have it
Any opinions or viewings on new released version of Big Trail from Fox?
I own an original script and screen continuity from the 1930 movie THE BIG TRAIL, I have made a few copies of the 150 page item if anyone is interested to purchase for a small fee, or trade. Please send me an email if you are interested at:
I have one copy of the big trail script left with a copy of the DVD, I will not print anymore. The cost is a flat $20.00 and this includes free shipping within the USA. Please contact me at-Paypal required.
I thought the Big Trail was a very good movie considering when it came out. Bad timing with the Depression at the same time but I have seen other movies that came out about that time,,,(Public Enemy,, Little Ceasar,,and a King Kong from 33) and the acting is pretty much the same. I got the DVD but no extras so I will be getting the 2 DVD set.... Its a favorite of mine as you got to see how he started in films and his style of acting back then. Some of the other players in that movie,, yes I agree, were horrible...... but,,most did act like that because they were mostly stage actors, which the Duke wasn't .
Lloyd Fonvielle's mardescortesbaja.com site has a post today which is illustrated with a lovely still of John Wayne and Margaret Churchill in The Big Trail.
If you don't know this site, you may want to spend some time looking around. Lloyd is a huge John Ford fan and writes beautifully about his films. :)
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