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1. Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation
$8.92 list($14.98)
2. The Quiet Man
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3. Sitting Pretty
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4. The Parent Trap
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5. The Wings of Eagles
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6. The Black Swan
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7. How Green Was My Valley
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8. How Green Was My Valley
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9. Father Was a Fullback
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10. Rio Grande
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11. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
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12. McLintock!
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13. Miracle on 34th Street
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14. The Christmas Box
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15. The Parent Trap
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16. McLintock! (John Wayne Estate
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17. Buffalo Bill
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18. Fallen Sparrow
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19. Spencer's Mountain
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20. Bagdad

1. Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation
Director: Henry Koster
list price: $19.98
our price: $17.99
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Asin: 6301798740
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 585
Average Customer Review: 4.91 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

James Stewart reunites with his Harvey director, Henry Koster, in this 1962 comedy, which is charming enough even though it doesn't seem quite up to the level of talent involved. (The screenwriter is the legendary Nunnally Johnson--writer and director of The Three Faces of Eve, among many other titles--and the music is by Henry Mancini.) But it is pleasant, summery entertainment with Stewart and his screen wife, Maureen O'Hara, taking their urban family to a crumbling, seaside house for a vacation. The film was calculated to pull in older fans with Stewart as well as draw in a younger crowd that would enjoy the fairly extensive beach scenes with pop-star Fabian. Stewart is deft with the easy jokes about bad plumbing and such, and golden in several nice moments where he gets to play an attentive dad to his kids. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very funny movie.
This is an enjoyable movie, with some very funny scenes and lines. One of my favorite lines takes place in the scene when Jimmy Stewart's shy daughter is at a dance, being the wallflower, and none of the boys ask her to dance. He asks Fabian to ask his daughter to dance (for a $5.00 fee). While they are dancing, Maureen O'Hara (his wife in the movie) asks "How did you find that boy?" and Jimmy Stewart answers "I yelled out 'Joe' to a group of boys. There is always at least one Joe in a group!"

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Funny!
Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation and Harvey are two of the funniest Jimmy Stewart movies. Vacation is especially fun because of the relationship between Maureen O'Hara and Jimmy. You will not be disappointed with this movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars cute movie!!!
My wife loves the scene in this movie when Lauri Peters and Fabian sing "cream puff,shortcake" at the pizza place.Lauri is so cute trying to hide her braces.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Jimmy Stewart at his comedic best!
I am still amazed at the number of people who haven't seen this movie! Mr. Stewart even narrates, here and there, throughout the story, this wonderful tale of his summer vacation with his family at a rented beach house, along with the family maid. There is a running gag throughout the picture about the plumbing and the maid misunderstands the English language, and Mr. and Mrs. Hobbs try very hard to understand their adorable teen-age daughter (Lauri Peters) who falls in love with an adorable boy (played by none other than Fabian!), who shows up at the local dance and then there's a son who prefers to watch westerns on TV all day and night. There's a sexpot neighbor that lives in a nearby beach house who attempts to read War and Peace, and later the Hobb's daughters show up with the misbehaving grandchildren and want nothing to do with "Boompa", otherwise known as Mr.Hobbs! Don't miss the scene when Jimmy Stewart bird-watches with his son-in-in-law's boss and learns "the proper walk". The chemistry between Maureen O'Hara and James Stewart is so wonderful, it's no wonder they were so successful in several films together! She is so convincing as the jealous wife, especially when Jimmy innocently tries to help his son-in-law's boss's wife (Marie Wilson) while she is in the shower and runs into trouble........don't miss it, you'll laugh all the way through this marvelous movie. Let's hope Twentieth Century Fox soon gives us a widescreen DVD version with extras, like an interview with Maureen O'Hara & Lauri Peters!

5-0 out of 5 stars Very cute family movie
You can enjoy this with the kids and everyone. Good clean funny entertainment, that will make you laugh and remember a more innocent time. ... Read more


2. The Quiet Man
Director: John Ford
list price: $14.98
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Asin: 6302320496
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 203
Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential video

Blarney and bliss, mixed in equal proportions. John Wayne plays an American boxer who returns to the Emerald Isle, his native land. What he finds there is a fiery prospective spouse (Maureen O'Hara) and a country greener than any Ireland seen before or since--it's no surprise The Quiet Man won an Oscar for cinematography. It also won an Oscar for John Ford's direction, his fourth such award. The film was a deeply personal project for Ford (whose birth name was Sean Aloysius O'Fearna), and he lavished all of his affection for the Irish landscape and Irish people on this film. He also stages perhaps the greatest donnybrook in the history of movies, an epic fistfight between Wayne and the truculent Victor McLaglen--that's Ford's brother, Francis, as the elderly man on his deathbed who miraculously revives when he hears word of the dustup. Barry Fitzgerald, the original Irish elf, gets the movie's biggest laugh when he walks into the newlyweds' bedroom the morning after their wedding, and spots a broken bed. The look on his face says everything. The Quiet Man isn't the real Ireland, but as a delicious never-never land of Ford's imagination, it will do very nicely. --Robert Horton ... Read more

Reviews (136)

5-0 out of 5 stars John Ford's gentle and loving salute to Ireland.......
From all reports "The Quiet Man" was a very personal and passionate undertaking from director John Ford, and his company of players (most of Irish ancestry)....and what sweet fruit their passion bore...

This is a film of such warmth, tenderness, humour and beauty that it just sparkles from beginning to end.

Irish-born, American boxer Sean Thornton (John Wayne) returns to his place of birth after accidently killing another man in the ring. Seeking to find peace and happiness in the lush green country side, Sean is enraptured with the fiery Mary Kate Danaher (Maureen O'Hara in a wonderful performance) but incurs the wrath of her bully of a brother Red Will Danaher (Victor McLaglen) because of Thornton's purchase of local land. Failing to abide by the customs of Irish courtship as advised by resident matchmaker Michaleen Flynn (Barry Fitzgerald) and Father Peter Lonergan (Ward Bond)...it's not long before the whole county is in a spin about this big Yank in their midst !!

Amidst the lopsided courtship and Red Will's refusal to pay the dowry, Thornton & Danaher square off in what must be the most entertaining and longest on screen fights in cinema history...much to the amusement of the entire town that turned out to watch !!

"The Quiet Man" is such a wonderfully enchanting film, that it is as enjoyable for all ages today, as it was nearly 50 years ago. Truly, a film for those young at heart and those who can appreciate such a warm hearted and lovingly prepared ode to the magic of Ireland.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Movie You'll Watch Over And Over
A true masterpiece, this movie captures the heart and soul of Ireland. That said, not only the Irish will love it. It tells the story of an American, coming home to his mother's beloved Irland. There he meets and falls in love with a beautiful colleen, only to find that her brother is against the affair and basically, out to get him. Shot on location in Ireland, the view is gorgeous, and the plot has everything from exciting fights to tender love scenes. ( My favourite scene is their famous first kiss, when he kisses her in the storm and then she slaps him. Btw, Maureen O'Hara fractured her wrist doing that!)

"The Quiet Man" was John Ford's favourite film, and also his most personal one. He cast his favourite actors in it, and it shows. John wayne is just great -whoever thinks he only played himself in every role should see his performance here. For his love interest we have Ford's kind of a woman, the breathtakingly beautiful Maureen O'Hara.She gives a magnificent performance as Mary Kate, and in my opinion should have won the Oscar for it. (She Wasn't even nominated!) Sparks flew when this couple met on screen, and the result is out there for you to witness.

Don't wait till the next St. Patrick's Day -see this film now. I promise you won't regret it.

4-0 out of 5 stars A romance almost out of time and place - wonderful cast
Anyway, the story is an idyll that is really out of time and place. Apparently it takes place in the early 20th century in Ireland. It seems to be after the Irish Revolution, but before the First World War. I say before the war because the movie never references the awful loss of life that traumatized every European nation that experienced it. Any later than that and you would wonder where the planes and cars would be.

It is a good love story, but the whole concept of dowry and the stubborn character shown by the whole Danaher clan would be mysterious to the younger American generation, as would the purpose of a matchmaker and the formal courting rituals that the movie sends up.

John Wayne is quite fine in this role as is the whole cast. It is a very enjoyable film with a lot to recommend it for the family. It will certainly spark some discussion with the kids that might be helpful and broaden their cultural horizons.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the great classics of world cinema
Everything about this film is first rate. The storyline, cast, the directing, the cinematography. You can't go wrong with this one.

1-0 out of 5 stars Restored ? Huh !
I'm going to keep this short. The Quiet Man is a classic, so why treat it like crap. I have VHS copies of old Disney Afternoon cartoons that are a million times better than this. The transfer is so bad I finally just messed with the color on my set and decided it would be better in black and white.
Theatrical Trailers? That's what the box says, but there are only three "trailers" on the disc, and none are theatrical. they are all commercials for other Artisan discs, which makes no sense as anyone who sees what a terrible job they did to this classic will be very wary before they ever pick up another Artisan disc. Can you imagine the outcry if they did this to Wizard of Oz or any ohter film classics. ... Read more


3. Sitting Pretty
Director: Walter Lang
list price: $12.98
our price: $11.99
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Asin: B00000IBMB
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 232
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Clifton Webb brings the imperious fussiness that made him a prissy film noir icon in such films as Laura and The Dark Corner to the role of Lynn Belvedere, the self-proclaimed genius who takes a position nannying a trio of bratty boys. This professed child-hating bachelor proves to be a godsend for flustered parents Maureen O'Hara and Robert Young. Within days his unconventional mix of child psychology and strict discipline tames the three rambunctious boys--faced with an infant who insists on spattering him with oatmeal, he simply dumps the bowl on the tyke's head. The trouble in paradise begins when a snoopy neighbor spreads gossip about an affair between Belvedere and the mother of the house, which sends hot-headed Dad into a tizzy, but just as things look their darkest Belvedere turns the tables on the neighborhood when the real reason of his suburban relocation is revealed. Director Walter Lang underplays his hand so much that the film takes on all the style of a 1950s TV sitcom, but his fine direction of performers brings out the humor of this middle-class satire with warmth and wit. Ultimately, however, the film belongs to Webb, whose witheringly snide insults and cutting comments roll off his tongue with comic effortlessness. He proved so popular that he starred in a pair of sequels: Mr. Belvedere Goes to College and Mr. Belvedere Rings the Bell. --Sean Axmaker ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Window to a sweeter time
It is a farce/comedy. The story has mystery, romance and humor. What it lacks is the harshness of the movies today. A brief escape to a sweeter time. I love looking at the decor their home.Very enjoyable.

2-0 out of 5 stars Can children really love a man like Mr. Belvedere?
The jack of all trades and self-proclaimed genius Mr. Belvedere is appealing enough, but can a stiff man with admitted contempt for children be truly loveable? None of his unconventional methods of child discipline would account for the doting behavior of the three boys, and that's mainly why I can't recommend this movie. Every character has their appeal, but as a group, it's difficult to believe they interact as well as they do. And the problems that do crop up are equally unbelievable: How could Robert Young be jealous of a rigid fop like Mr. Belvedere? The fantasy of an uber-nanny appearing mysteriously to enrich our lives and control our household is worthy of a suburban comedy like this, but the story here just doesn't use the possibly delightful premise as well as it could. The ending is much too pat without the absurdity that a Preston Sturges would make of it (like the dual marriage at the end of Palm Beach Story).

5-0 out of 5 stars sitting pretty
this is a wonderfully funny and entertaining movie.clifton webb is great as mr. belvedere. robert young and maureen o'hara were also terrific as the parents of the 3 boys. also if someone knows where i can get the 2 sequels on video mr. belvedere goes to college mr. belvedere rings the bell i would appreciate it very much.

5-0 out of 5 stars Clifton Webb is a scream
This is not a particularly well-known movie any more, but it is a great film worth buying and enjoying. Clifton Webb plays the prissy and effeminate Mr. Belvedere, a no-nonsense butler who moves into Robert Young and Maureen O'Hara's home to watch their bratty sons. Webb immediately instills discipline into the home and the boys end up adoring him, even if he is a martinet. The hilarious scenes he finds himself in... delicious!

Clifton Webb's comedic timing is underrated and the plot twists and ancillary characters will entertain and delight you throughout. This is one of the best sleepers from the 1940's and will have you laughing from beginning to end.

5-0 out of 5 stars Delightful farce
This is a delightful little farce about turning the tables on the local busybodies and bullies. ... Read more


4. The Parent Trap
Director: David Swift (II)
list price: $19.99
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Asin: B0000022WA
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 3284
Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Hayley Mills is the two-fer star of this original version of the 1961 Disney comedy. The young actress plays twin sisters originally unaware of each others' existence and who later determine to bring their divorced parents together again by secretly trading places. Brian Keith and Maureen O'Hara bring some adult legitimacy to their roles as the wary parents, Joanna Barnes is a good sport as dad's new and despised girlfriend, and director David Swift makes the whole production sprightly, warm, and fun. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (97)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Fun, Spirited Adventure Starring Hayley Mills
In the original movie, The Parent Trap, Hayley Mills stars, twice! As twins, not knowing about each other's existence, who meet at a summer camp where they immedietly dislike eachother, until, of course, they discover that they are twins. In the course of all this, they switch places in attempt to reunite their parents, played by Maureen O'Hara and Brian Keith. A fun movie to watch. Though perhaps not quite as colorful as the new version, it is a nice addition to your video collection, especially to compare to the new one. A must see movie that your whole family will enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Let's Get Together,Yeah,Yeah,Yeah!"
"The Parent Trap" tells the story of two girls at summer camp: Sharon McKendrick and Susan Evers(both played by Hayley Mills). Their parents got divorced and took both of them separately. Maureen O'Hara plays Margaret McKendrick,and the late Brian Keith plays Mitchell Evers. The song that Hayley sings in the movie was a # 1 hit for her in 1961: "Let's Get Together" is written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman,who also wrote the title song sung by Tommy Sands and Annette Funicello. Hayley Mills also reprised the roles of Sharon and Susan in "The Parent Trap II" (1986),"The Parent Trap III"(1989),and "The Parent Trap Hawaaian Honeymoon"(1989). Lindsay Lohan took Mills' roles in the remake of "The Parent Trap"(1998).

4-0 out of 5 stars Help, I'm seeing Double........
I love this movie. Both versions arwe great. The first one, with Haley Mills, has the song,"lets get together yeah yeah yeah, why don't you and I combine.." and the second one with Lindsay Lohan, has the song "There She Goes" And there are some other diffrences. Like in the new one, there is the lizard fiasco. I'm pretty sure that wasn't in the old one. But they are both good. if I wer you I wouldn't chose. I'd get both.:)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hayley to the Rescue
This was the highest grossing box office success in America in 1961 and if there isn't a statue of Hayley Mills in Disneyland there oughta be. Her successive hits for Walter and Roy Disney bailed them out of a tight spot financially. Ms. Mills effortless adolescent charm is backed by two first rate performers in Brian Keith and Maureen O'Hara and neither was ever better. The plot about separated twins is older than Shakespeare and doesn't bear too close examination, but the theme of a re-kindled love and re-united family is one very few of us can resist. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Special features are wonderful
Of course this is a wonderful Disney family film. I'm in my twenties, and I can remember watching this movie since I was a toddler. Since I'm sure you know how great the movie is and can read other reviews for that, I'll concentrate on the special features of this DVD, some of which aren't even mentioned above.

• "Caught in the Act: The Making of the Parent Trap" is a good documentary (about 30 minutes), including interviews with Hayley Mills, Maureen O'Hara, director David Swift, Joanna Barnes, and more. It provides a lot of background details on how the idea for the film came about, selecting the cast, fine-tuning the screenplay, etc.

• "Disney Legend: Hayley Mills" is a 25-minute feature all about Hayley, and it's quite good. It includes photos and home movies from her childhood as well as interviews with Hayley, Maureen O'Hara, Dean Jones, Kevin Corcoran, David Swift, Nancy Olson, and others she worked with at Disney. Hayley talks about her family, her experiences at Disney, and her departure from that Disney image in the late '60s.

• "Seeing Double" is a short feature on the split-screen technology that allowed viewers to see two images of Hayley Mills side by side at once. This technology was quite innovative and experimental at the time, but it worked beautifully.

• The Sherman Brothers featurette is a short but interesting bit of facts and trivia on two men who wrote songs for many memorable Disney films, including "Mary Poppins" and "The Parent Trap."

• "Lost Treasures: Who's the Twin?" is an interesting feature about Susan Henning, the girl who played the double for Hayley Mills in the film (in scenes with the camera over her shoulder or to her back). Now that I know to look for her, I can plainly see in several profile shots that the other twin is NOT Hayley. Watch the fight scene at the dance closely too. Henning is a warm presence and gives some little-known facts about the film and about Walt Disney.

• "Let's Get Together" is a music video of the two Hayleys singing the song from the movie.

• The Donald Duck animated cartoon, "Donald's Double Trouble," is a Disney short filmed a few years before this movie, but it's a cute bonus.

• Other special features include theatrical trailers, TV spots, radio spots, a lengthy Parent Trap photo gallery, and a 1961 Disney studio album.

• The film's audio commentary by Hayley Mills and director David Swift is also a great feature. Hayley reveals many interesting tidbits about her experiences on the film, her relationships with her costars and Walt Disney, and how she views the film today. Swift offers his own recollections on Hayley's performance and other background information on the film. For example, the scene where Brian Keith finds the bra hanging on his shower was almost censored!

The widescreen transfer is wonderful. I'd never seen this film in its original aspect ratio, so this was a treat. The abundance of special features make this DVD edition truly wonderful. (I had no problems with it playing in my DVD player, either.) This is simply a fun family film that you can watch over and over. I know, because I have for the past 20 years. ... Read more


5. The Wings of Eagles
Director: John Ford
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6301978595
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 1173
Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars A WWII aviator melodrama
John Wayne stars in this sluggish war-related Technicolor bioflick profiling Navy aviator-cum-Hollywood screenwriter Frank Wead, who (apparently) was influential in developing naval strategy before and during WWII... It's not gripping or as grim as director John Ford's similarly reverential "They Were Expendable," but it works in its own way. Dan Dailey steals scene after scene as Wayne's salty Navy sidekick, as does Ward Bond who has a delicious role as John "Dodge", lampooning the director himself, who apparently brought Wead to Hollywood. Maureen O'Hara does her Hepburn-y best as Wead's long-suffering wife. Of particular interest, plotwise, is the depictation of her as a boozy, chainsmoking modern gal, as well as the lengthy exploration of Wead's struggle to overcome a severe physical disability, which kind of undercuts the smothering machismo of the pre-feminist military world. Nice use of stock footage, too. Not Ford's best, but he definitely makes it better than it would have been otherwise.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Wings of Eagles-John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara
This is a typical Ford film. Yes, at times The Duke was a bit compassionate towards his co-star than we are used to seeing it the all tough western parts he is famous for. This movie is ladened with talent through and through, from Dan Daily, Ken "Festus" Curtis and the list goes on. It is a true account of part of our naval history that many do not realize. Filmed aboard the USS Philipine Sea, and utilizing many of this carriers actual sailors for extras. A must to complete any John Wayne Collection.

3-0 out of 5 stars Great Cast. Great Story. OK Movie
It is hard ot believe that the same team that gave us "The Quiet Man" is at work here.

A sense of whimsy and fun permeates that movie. In that film even the darker moments bring a weight and seriousness that makes the humour all the better.

Here the movie never rises above mediocre. The light moments of the film just seem to make the characters look like fools and the dark moments seem to be about what you would expect they deserve. One side note, A lot of this movie takes place in the hospital and I loved watching the doctors standing around smoking cigaretes as they looked at Xrays orconsulted with patients.

I never really felt any concern for the relationship between Wayne and O'Hara and I wondered early on why they didn't just divorce and get it over with.

perhaps I am too hard on this film, but I felt let down that this movie did not live up to the standards set by so many classics produced by this team.

4-0 out of 5 stars Golden Wings, Salt Spray- Ford's Tribute to A Naval Aviator
This is a factual naval aviation story, intermixed with Army Air Corps rivalry and combat scenes. It provides a chronological view of one naval family- their love and adversity, including Navy and Army aviators supported by their loyal maintenance personnel who helped in the advancement of U.S. military aviation during 1920s to 1940s. Add, of course, a mixture of competition provided by the navy wives and their only rival- the United States Navy. Released 22 February 1957, The Wings of Eagles was considered an adult story, wrought with the thrills, laughter, and family hardships all to well experienced by the real heroes of this story- the pioneer naval aviation wives (there is still no "Hall of Fame" dedicated to these gallant ladies at the National Museum of Naval Aviation, NAS Pensacola, FL).

Ms. Maureen O'Hara who acted the gallant part of Mrs. Minnie (Bryant) Wead was well received by the "naval aviation wives of gold", and was nominated at a Naval Aviation Cadet Recruiting Officers Convention, Long Beach, CA, as "Ms. Naval Aviation- 1957." Other familiar actors included: John Wayne (CDR Frank "Spig" Wead), Kenneth Curtis (RADM John "Johnny" Dale Price), Dan Dailey (Chief "Jughead" Carson- loyal Chief Aviation Machinist's Mate), Kenneth Tobey (characterization of Lieutenant Jimmy H. Doolittle), Ward Bond (representing Hollywood director John Ford), Edmund Lowe (RADM William Adger Moffett, USN- Chief, Bureau of Aeronautics), and Charles Trowbridge (representing ADM Ernest J. King) whose one line was: "I like it...write it up". The railroad boxcar scene, the hangar fly-through, the various odd aircraft shown, the newsreel aviation reports of winning the Schneider Cup of 1923, the loyal efforts and contributions by the aviation maintenance personnel keeping the aircraft flying were all real events. Today's aspiring military aviators may find this aviation story of much interest.

This story may bring tears and some fond memories back to those pioneer naval aviation wives who are still around and had experienced it all. Their stories can relate back to the days of sugar white sands at Santa Rosa Island and of Coronado Beach; the babies they lost from the 1919 flu influenza; the open-air jalopy rides down old Warrington Road and Coronado Avenue; the screened front-porch bungalows of Bay Front, Pensacola, and Coronado Island; the seaplanes skimming across Pensacola and San Diego bays; meeting their husbands as they landed in their squadron fighters and torpedo planes following short at-sea flight operations aboard USS LANGLEY (CV-1); followed by the many naval aviator and bridge parties given at Mustin Beach and North Island officers' clubs- all this on just a naval Lieutenant's salary (with flight pay) to make ends meet during the Great Depression.

This is an MGM/ John Ford contribution to those "naval aviators in leather skull caps"- he did this well, focusing on the triumphs and tragedies often found within the War and Navy departments during the development of our country's military aviation. This was also Ford's tribute to Army-Navy aviation camaraderie- America's early combat teams. Seen here are episodes of Army-Navy departmental budget rivalries; around-the-world "beat the Navy" Army Air Corps celebrations; CDR Wead at the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during 1942 - 1943; combat films compiled by CDR Ford, USNR (Chief, Field Photographic Branch, OSS- worked for William "Wild Bill" Donovan, Director of OSS); and, the story of how CDR Wead got production approval of new "jeep" aircraft carriers on converted cruiser hulls- with the approval of ADM King and President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941. There is combat footage aboard carriers- a reenactment of CDR Wead aboard USS YORKTOWN (CV-10) as Chief of Staff/ Operations for RADM Charles A. "Baldy" Pownall, CTF-50, during the Gilbert and Marshall islands operations.

Interests in making this film concerning CDR Wead began with correspondence between Vice Admirals John Dale Price, Calvin Thornton Durgin, and John Ford. Ford received first priority from the Department of Defense (DoD) to film a story about CDR Wead, months ahead of an attempt by Warner Brothers Pictures Distributing Corporation. Priority permission to Ford was granted by Donald E. Baruch (Chief, Motion Picture Section, Pictorial Branch, DoD). The film was to be based upon historical material from DoD, tales from Price and Durgin, earlier correspondence received from CDR Wead, and a book by "Red" Futhven & Jerry Stagg titled "Staircase". The public has seen this magnificent Ford tribute to CDR Wead since 1957. A newcomer to this film might ask- who was this naval aviator called Spig Wead?

CDR Frank Wilbur Wead, USN, acquired the nickname "Spig" during his Naval Academy days (1912 - 1916). He accumulated 9 years & 7 months total sea service prior to his accident. Together, Lieutenants Wead, Price and Durgin received their aviation wings 22 May 1920, NAS Pensacola, FL. Later, LT Wead led the U.S. Navy Schneider Cup Team to England and brought this famous cup to America aboard S.S. LEVIATHAN, October 1923. With LT Price they broke five seaplane records, 11 - 12 July 1924. Along with fleet exercises aboard USS LANGLEY with VT-2, there were staff duty assignments under Admirals Moffett and Joseph M. Reeves, and with 11th Naval District Commander. Wead wrote for leading magazines (The Saturday Evening Post and The American Magazine) and Hollywood during 1930s to 1940s. His final assignment was as commanding officer of VF-2. During WWII, he acquired combat duty aboard USS YORKTOWN, receiving the Legion of Merit (Combat). CDR Wead was relieved from active duty 21 July 1944, at Fleet Air, Alameda, California, where his last naval boss was RADM Pownall (Commander Air Force, Pacific Fleet).

The accident: Tragedy struck Wednesday morning, 14 April 1926, during heavy electrical storm over San Diego and Coronado. Combination of power outage and hurrying in the darkness, LT Wead accidentally tripped, falling down dark stairway, fracturing his neck. This occurred in a two-story home he and Minnie recently rented: 600 9th Avenue, Coronado, CA Today, one can still see this home corner of 9th and H avenues.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Wings Of Eagles
This is a wonderful "campy" John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara movie, alot of fun and hi-jinks. A very strong supporting cast, and it makes fun of not only John Wayne but Howard Hawks. If you are a true John Wayne fan this one is a must! ... Read more


6. The Black Swan
Director: Henry King
list price: $19.98
our price: $19.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6303943004
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 3323
Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (22)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great fun!
Maybe not as good as some of Flynn's better efforts; but it is certainly alot of fun to watch: the beautiful cinematography in gorgeous techincolor, the old fashioned Hollywood story of swashbuckling pirates in the Carribbean, the very handsome leads, and the wonderful supporting characters especially George Sanders. Sanders, who made a career of playing effete English snobs, is almost unrecognizable as the bushy haired, red-bearded pirate heavy, Billy Leech. Overall, vintage entertainment from the golden era of the Hollywood studio system.

Tyrone Power was the Brad Pitt of his era; an actor who wanted to prove that there was more substance to him than just his matinee idol good looks. Unfortunatly, the studio system, which had made Power a star, allowed him little room to grow as an actor. He found himself typecast as the hero of one costume piece movie after the other. "The Black Swan", though, is one of his best. It is a Tyrone Power vehicle made more to showcase his immense good looks rather than his acting range. Power was not happy about this, since he had hoped this movie would allow him to play a more rugged and complex character than his previous "pretty-boy" roles had allowed. Power had even grown a full beard to play this part, but the studio chiefs had conniptions at the thought their star's face being covered from his hordes of female fans. Off went the beard. Once again Tyrone Power had to resign himself to playing the "pretty boy," but he makes the most it. He is a terrific swashbuckler, and seems to have alot of fun doing it and his performance is one of the best parts of the film. (Although some of his scenes with the lovely Maureen O'Hara would be taboo today. Poor Maureen. She was always being physically accosted by her male leads- see the "The Quiet Man.")

5-0 out of 5 stars A ROUSING SWASHBUCKLER!
This sweeping, beautifully made pirate epic has Power play a swashbuckling aide to the notorious buccaneer Henry Morgan, who is pardoned from the gallows and is sent to Jamaica as the new governor. Tyrone falls in love with the gorgeous Maureen O'Hara, the daughter of the previous governor - who spurns the advances of this rough-hewn adventurer...The dialogue and story is very reminiscent of the earlier Flynn vehicle CAPTAIN BLOOD, and although the film is a trifle stilted in capturing the idiom of the period, the action is overwhelming once it begins. Power is terrific as James Waring, full of dash and derring-do. As Captain Morgan, Laird Cregar is fine with his enormous body bedecked with wigs and finery. George Sanders is made even more menacing than usual: he sports a thick red beard! As Margaret, O'Hara is ravishing, her red hair blazing in lush Technicolor & Anthony Quinn snarls and sneers as the heavy, Wogan. This film was nominated for its special effects and musical score (by Alfred Newman); it won an AA for Leon Shamroy's beautiful photography.

4-0 out of 5 stars Women love it, too
(...) Yes, it's a bit "sexist" by today's standards, but have you read a romance novel lately? There is some odd appeal many women have for "reforming" the bad seed through love. Yeah, it never happens in real life, but who says movies have to be real life? I don't understand the psychology behind it, but I do understand a good pirate movie with sword fights, danger at sea, and damsels in distress. A great example of the classic Hollywood genre and I can watch it over and over!

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Tyrone Power masterpiece...needs DVD release
The most gorgeous movies ever made were in the 1940s and 1950s, and all were in Technicolor. One of the most popular male stars to appear in Technicolor was Tyrone Power, and this is another one of his great titles. It is a rip-roaring, exciting pirate adventure that is VASTLY superior to "Pirates of the Caribbean". Lovely Maureen O'Hara photographs beautiful in Technicolor, as does George Sanders (in a red beard!).

Fox needs to stop being so concerned about The Simpsons and The X-Files and start releasing all of Tyrone Power's movies on DVD, including this one. Tyrone Power was the handsomest actor in Hollywood, and his movies were some of the best ever made.

4-0 out of 5 stars Decent 1940's swashbuckler
Tyrone Power and the stunning flame haired Maureen O'Hara make a fetching couple in the colorful and rollicking swashbuckling costumer The Black Swan.

Set in the Caribbean in the 1650's, the former pirate Henry Morgan, played by the blustering and unfortunate titan Laird Cregar has just been named governor of Jamaica. He commissions his right hand man captain Jamie Waring played by the dashing Power, and his mates to rid the area of pirates. Captain Billy Leech played by the ridiculously red wigged and bearded George Sanders refuses to follow Morgan's orders. Aided by Anthony Quinn, complete with eyepatch, they set out to plunder Maracaibo on the The Black Swan.

Power, smitten with O'Hara, who plays the former Jamaican governor's daughter, kidnaps her and sets out to sea after Sanders.

Director Henry King uses a familiar Hollywood formula of adventure, romance, and attractive stars to create a pretty fair representative of this genre. ... Read more


7. How Green Was My Valley
Director: John Ford
list price: $9.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6302640504
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 13879
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com essential video

John Ford's beautiful, heartfelt drama about a close-knit family of Welsh coal miners is one of the greatest films of Hollywood's golden age--a gentle masterpiece that beat Citizen Kane in the Best Picture race for the 1941 Academy Awards. The picture also won Oscars for Best Director (Ford), Best Supporting Actor (Donald Crisp), Best Art Direction, and Best Cinematography; all of those awards were richly deserved, even if they came at the expense of Kane and Orson Welles. Based on the novel by Richard Llewellyn, the film focuses its eventful story on 10-year-old Huw (Roddy McDowall), youngest of seven children to Mr. and Mrs. Morgan (Donald Crisp, Sarah Allgood), a hardy couple who've seen the best and worst of times in their South Wales mining town. They're facing one of the worst times as Mr. Morgan refuses to join a miners union whose members have begun a long-term strike. Family tensions grow and Huw must learn many of life's harsher lessons under the tutelage of the local preacher (Walter Pidgeon), who has fallen in love with Huw's sister (Maureen O'Hara). As various crises are confronted and devastating losses endured, How Green Was My Valley unfolds as a rich, moving portrait of family strength and integrity. It's also a nod to a simpler, more innocent time--and to the preciousness of memory and the inevitable passage from youth to adulthood. An all-time classic, not to be missed. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

Reviews (38)

3-0 out of 5 stars BRING KLEENEX - A POIGNANT TEAR JERKER
"How Green Was My Valley" is a story about the celebration and disillusionment of family. It takes place in a Welsh mining town (actually a Twentieth Century-Fox set built in California) and centers on the Morgan family, mum, dad and five adult sons and one child, played brilliantly by Roddy McDowell. The whole story is seen through McDowell's eyes. Director John Ford cuts a masterful swath in telling this tale. Maureen O'Hara and Walter Pigeon, as the ill-fated lovers, are superb. Donald Crisp and Sara Allgoode are brilliant as the elders of the Morgan clan. This is a wonderful, timeless film to share with your family and friends. A genuine classic in every sense.
The transfer from Fox is pretty much the same as the previously issued DVD. Contrast levels seema bit low at times but the black and white picture is pretty much pristine, especially when it comes to the stunning close ups. The remixed soundtrack is a bit too aggresive in its side channel output, often drowning out the more soft spoken bits of dialogue with music. Not to worry. The film's original mono audio is also included and it is properly balanced. Dialogue, though dated in fidelity is nevertheless well represented. On this incarnation we get a documentary on the making of the movie that is all too brief and some theatrical trailers that don't add anything to the enjoyment of the over-all film experience. BOTTOM LINE: If you have the previously issued DVD you might want to think twice before going out and rebuying this title again. The extras aren't worth it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Forever a One-of-a-Kind Classic
Welsh Author Richard Llewellyn's classic (1940), in 1941 won an Oscar at the Academy Awards over 'Citizen Kane' for Best Picture. Also to recieve an award for Best Supporting Actor, Donald Crisp and Best Director, John Ford. Ford had previously won an Academy Award for Best Director in 1935 for 'The Informer' and in 1940 for 'The Grapes of Wrath.' With this track record it a wonder that the 1941 film's success claimed all the awards at the Oscars. Ford went on later to capture again the Best Director category in 1952 for 'The Quiet Man.'


Most movie-goers and critics who have seen both, 'Citizen Kane' and 'How Green Was My Valley' in comparation choose 'Citizen Kane' as the greatest American film in movie history. According to the American Film Institute (AFI) had been selected as one of the top 100 films of all time. Was it such a disappointment at the 1941 Oscars that left 'Citizen Kane' empty-handed in it's artistic achievement? Concerning at the time the approach of the film's story and Orson Welles are not to go unnoticed. The differences that probably considered at the time, that 'Citizen Kane' approach was a more documentary-type looking at the life of a newspaper mogul. Whereas, 'How Green Was My Valley' is a narrative look at one Welsh family seen through the eyes of the 10-year-old son. My guess that's what the public can relate to more of family values at a time in the early 40s just after the Great Depression and the beginning of World War II. That's what 'The Grapes of Wrath' did. It related to real people the same as 'How Green Was My Valley.' Maybe 'Citizen Kane' in some public's point-of-view at that time left a bad taste in their mouth. Or, maybe we can all just relate more in our life experiences. Isn't that what life and art is all about? If you've read Llewellyn's book you can hear the Welsh speak and the events that affect the Morgan family like that of a soap opera. The same is geniously done in the film.


Ford does a beautiful job creating this memorable drama about a loving, spiritual Welsh family of coal miners. It's gentle portrayal well deserves it's reward in this coming-of-age story in the best and worst times that hold a family together. A true masterpiece, that Hollywood could use as an example in their film notebooks of how a great film is made. There's a great cast that makes a great movie. There's plenty here. The story focuses on the events as seen through the eyes of 10 year old Huw Morgan (Roddy McDowell). His father and mother (Donald Crisp and Sarah Allgood) and five other brothers has seen the best and worst times when tensions of a miner's union causes some turmoil between the Morgan family members and the other villagers as they begin a long strike. Huw Morgan also learns the tougher side of life under the guardianship of local preacher, Mr. Gruffydd (Walter Pidgeon). Mr. Gruffydd has also developed permanent affections towards Huw's sister, Angharad (Maureen O'Hara). Crises arise throughout the film, like the cruel schoolmaster, the bully and the unfortunate accident of a fall causing Hwu to lose the use of his legs are endured. Even when the family are separated because of change or tragic loss the story just unfolds into a moving, lush family portrait of durable strength and sound morals. It was a time that was simple and innocent. The fondness of memory and the journey from childhood to adulthood we all have in common. Such a beautiful classic to cherish. If you like to read more about Richard Llewellyn's work try, 'None But the Lonely Heart.' You may also enjoy in the same gnere as this film, 'The Corn is Green' with Bette Davis.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable Hollywood Classic Of The First Order
"Timeless",is perhaps the best word to use in describing producer Darryl F. Zanuck's beautifully assembled tribute to the Welsh Coal Mining Family that became a well deserved winner of five Academy Awards including Best Picture in 1941. I never fail to be totally moved by this quite simple story of love, devotion to one's family, and pulling together in times of adversity. Those are indeed timeless themes just as applicable nowadays as they were when Richard Llewellyn first wrote his acclaimed novel. Among the many things that make this film a viewing experience to treasure is to see 13 year old Roddy McDowall, give a subtle, beautifully wrought performance way beyond his young years as youngest son Huw Morgan through whose eyes the story unfolds. The film indeed has something for everyone from a fine literate script, low key believable performances and one of the finest outdoor sets from Hollywood's heyday where an entire Welsh village was constructed on a hillside in California. The film is rightly still regarded as one of Hollywood's greatest achievements in storytelling and has a rare sensitivity about it despite the often harsh themes explored during its running time.

"How Green Was My Valley", unfolds through the thoughts of sixty year old Huw Morgan and we are taken back to the time of his childhood in the small Welsh village that is dominated by the Coal Mine that is the chief source of survival for most of the men in the town. Huw is the much younger son of no nonsense "salt of the earth", parents Gwilym and Beth Morgan (Donald Crisp and Sara Allgood), who have raised their brood of five sons and one daughter to be honest, non complaining, God fearing pillars of the community. Integrity of the soul and a belief in the basic good of mankind are the mottos by which the Morgan's live their everyday lives. The film traces the various happy and tragic occasions that colour the families life in the valley from the marriage of oldest son Ivor (Patric Knowles)to sweet Bronwyn (Anna Lee), to the tragedy and divisions caused to the community by a crippling strike that turns friend against friend and in the Morgan's case, Father against son. We also witness young Huw's adjusting to going to a school outside the valley were he must contend with bullies and a sadistic teacher, on his journey to eventual manhood. All the characters encounter either physical or emotional heartbreak along the way as we see Ivor killed in a mining accident widowing Bronwyn with a young child, many of the Morgan boys being forced to seek work else where as the mine retrenches more of its workers, and Huw and Mrs. Morgan almost dying after falling into a freezing river. We witness the budding romance of daughter Angharad(Maureen O'Hara ), with the local minister Mr. Gruffydd (Walter Pidgeon), being destroyed when Angharad is forced into a loveless marriage with the son of the mine owner. The story ends on the final sad note with the death of Morgan family head Gwilym in another mining accident. All is not gloom in this story however as it never is entirely in real life and along the way there are many joyous celebrations of the human spirit and of people supporting others in need. Mr. Gruffydd's devotion to young Huw inspires him to overcome his accident in the river and to walk again which in turn inspires Mrs. Morgan in her recovery as well. Town hypocrisy and gossip are also tackled when vivous rumours about Angharad's affection for Gruffydd despite being married, raises the preacher's indignation to the level where he turns it back on the "un christian", individuals spreading the gossip during a church service.

In "How Green Was My Valley", we constantly see the human spirit rise above adversity to go on and face the next challenge. John Ford directed this film with an eye for detail, sentiment and human emotion without sacrificing the strong themes present here. He does a masterful job with the individual performances he gets from the actors who deliver some of the best work many of them ever did. Donald Crisp as the stern but loving head of the family richly deserved his Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor that year and Walter Pidgeon and Maureen O'Hara as the illfated lovers are nothing short of brilliant with every emotion expressed by the two being of a sincerity and believability that comes from assured playing and strong direction. Character actors Anna Lee, Barry Fitzgerald and especially Sara Allgood are also superlative in their work and are immortalised in these roles forever for their fine work. Roddy McDowall is of course the very heart and soul of "How Green Was My Valley", and rarely has a child's part been so centrally placed as the "emotional crossroads", of a story as here. McDowall displays a maturity in his playing that never fails to amaze me and he brings to life the sensitive youngest son of the Morgans who loves his home and family, like no other could. Twentieth Century Fox paid great attention to detail to make this film one of their biggest productions for 1941. The recreation of Welsh mining life is done with great attention to detail right down to the use of the famous Welsh Singers to provide the voices for the men singing on their way home from another day in the mines. The recreation of the Welsh Village also still stands as one of the outstanding achievements of Hollywood technical know how in it's heyday.

For a journey to a simpler and seemingly more sincere time then John Ford's classic "How Green Was My Valley", is unsurpassed entertainemnt of the old Hollywwod school. The phrase, "they dont make them like this anymore", could most definately be applied to this classic. It will bring tears, laughter, and inspiration as no modern film possibly could and this is what makes viewing this film such a special experience. Treat yourself to a viewing of it soon, you wont regret it.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Love This Movie
The first time I watched this movie I was blown away. I have seen nearly all of Ford's major films, but only the Grapes of Wrath astounded me quite on this level. Everything about this film is beautiful. Roddy McDowell's performance is excellent and memorable. The little town feels alive and real.

4-0 out of 5 stars Passionate Family Brings Tear to Watchers of
This is a captivating film about the Morgans, a simple coal mining family: strict rules, a pot of weeks' shillings, sorrows, love, and hardships. Roddy McDowall (who gives a frightningly strange and disturbing performance and jerks the most tears) is Huw Morgan, a young boy: quiet, meek, the epitome of childhood. His father is the blunt, strong Gwilym Morgan (an Oscar-winning performance by the great Donald Crisp), a father of six boys and the head of his household who almost loses contact with his sons beause of their different opinions through the new era. His mother is Beth (an Oscar-nominated performance by the funny Sara Allgood), a good-hearted mother, a poineer in a new era of thought and wisdom. Then we come to Angharad Morgan, his beautiful sister played wonderfully by Maureen O'Hara. Angharad has the same meekness and childness as her brother though already a grown woman. Angharad and the church's preacher, Mr. Gruffydd (Walter Pidgeon), have a love at first sight relationship even though he tells her they could never marry which devestates her into marrying her father's boss's son. Anna Lee plays Bronwyn, Huw's tragic brother Ivor (Patric Knowles)'s beautiful wife who Huw has a huge crush on. It is a great movie, a big tearerker, and a movie that'll make you glad for all the things avaliable to us today. The film's cast rounds out with Barry Fitzgerald ("Going My Way"), John Loder, and Rhys Williams as Dai Bando. I'd really give it 4.5 out of 5 stars or 9 out of 10 stars. ... Read more


8. How Green Was My Valley
Director: John Ford
list price: $9.98
our price: $9.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00006RCT8
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 926
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (38)

3-0 out of 5 stars BRING KLEENEX - A POIGNANT TEAR JERKER
"How Green Was My Valley" is a story about the celebration and disillusionment of family. It takes place in a Welsh mining town (actually a Twentieth Century-Fox set built in California) and centers on the Morgan family, mum, dad and five adult sons and one child, played brilliantly by Roddy McDowell. The whole story is seen through McDowell's eyes. Director John Ford cuts a masterful swath in telling this tale. Maureen O'Hara and Walter Pigeon, as the ill-fated lovers, are superb. Donald Crisp and Sara Allgoode are brilliant as the elders of the Morgan clan. This is a wonderful, timeless film to share with your family and friends. A genuine classic in every sense.
The transfer from Fox is pretty much the same as the previously issued DVD. Contrast levels seema bit low at times but the black and white picture is pretty much pristine, especially when it comes to the stunning close ups. The remixed soundtrack is a bit too aggresive in its side channel output, often drowning out the more soft spoken bits of dialogue with music. Not to worry. The film's original mono audio is also included and it is properly balanced. Dialogue, though dated in fidelity is nevertheless well represented. On this incarnation we get a documentary on the making of the movie that is all too brief and some theatrical trailers that don't add anything to the enjoyment of the over-all film experience. BOTTOM LINE: If you have the previously issued DVD you might want to think twice before going out and rebuying this title again. The extras aren't worth it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Forever a One-of-a-Kind Classic
Welsh Author Richard Llewellyn's classic (1940), in 1941 won an Oscar at the Academy Awards over 'Citizen Kane' for Best Picture. Also to recieve an award for Best Supporting Actor, Donald Crisp and Best Director, John Ford. Ford had previously won an Academy Award for Best Director in 1935 for 'The Informer' and in 1940 for 'The Grapes of Wrath.' With this track record it a wonder that the 1941 film's success claimed all the awards at the Oscars. Ford went on later to capture again the Best Director category in 1952 for 'The Quiet Man.'


Most movie-goers and critics who have seen both, 'Citizen Kane' and 'How Green Was My Valley' in comparation choose 'Citizen Kane' as the greatest American film in movie history. According to the American Film Institute (AFI) had been selected as one of the top 100 films of all time. Was it such a disappointment at the 1941 Oscars that left 'Citizen Kane' empty-handed in it's artistic achievement? Concerning at the time the approach of the film's story and Orson Welles are not to go unnoticed. The differences that probably considered at the time, that 'Citizen Kane' approach was a more documentary-type looking at the life of a newspaper mogul. Whereas, 'How Green Was My Valley' is a narrative look at one Welsh family seen through the eyes of the 10-year-old son. My guess that's what the public can relate to more of family values at a time in the early 40s just after the Great Depression and the beginning of World War II. That's what 'The Grapes of Wrath' did. It related to real people the same as 'How Green Was My Valley.' Maybe 'Citizen Kane' in some public's point-of-view at that time left a bad taste in their mouth. Or, maybe we can all just relate more in our life experiences. Isn't that what life and art is all about? If you've read Llewellyn's book you can hear the Welsh speak and the events that affect the Morgan family like that of a soap opera. The same is geniously done in the film.


Ford does a beautiful job creating this memorable drama about a loving, spiritual Welsh family of coal miners. It's gentle portrayal well deserves it's reward in this coming-of-age story in the best and worst times that hold a family together. A true masterpiece, that Hollywood could use as an example in their film notebooks of how a great film is made. There's a great cast that makes a great movie. There's plenty here. The story focuses on the events as seen through the eyes of 10 year old Huw Morgan (Roddy McDowell). His father and mother (Donald Crisp and Sarah Allgood) and five other brothers has seen the best and worst times when tensions of a miner's union causes some turmoil between the Morgan family members and the other villagers as they begin a long strike. Huw Morgan also learns the tougher side of life under the guardianship of local preacher, Mr. Gruffydd (Walter Pidgeon). Mr. Gruffydd has also developed permanent affections towards Huw's sister, Angharad (Maureen O'Hara). Crises arise throughout the film, like the cruel schoolmaster, the bully and the unfortunate accident of a fall causing Hwu to lose the use of his legs are endured. Even when the family are separated because of change or tragic loss the story just unfolds into a moving, lush family portrait of durable strength and sound morals. It was a time that was simple and innocent. The fondness of memory and the journey from childhood to adulthood we all have in common. Such a beautiful classic to cherish. If you like to read more about Richard Llewellyn's work try, 'None But the Lonely Heart.' You may also enjoy in the same gnere as this film, 'The Corn is Green' with Bette Davis.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable Hollywood Classic Of The First Order
"Timeless",is perhaps the best word to use in describing producer Darryl F. Zanuck's beautifully assembled tribute to the Welsh Coal Mining Family that became a well deserved winner of five Academy Awards including Best Picture in 1941. I never fail to be totally moved by this quite simple story of love, devotion to one's family, and pulling together in times of adversity. Those are indeed timeless themes just as applicable nowadays as they were when Richard Llewellyn first wrote his acclaimed novel. Among the many things that make this film a viewing experience to treasure is to see 13 year old Roddy McDowall, give a subtle, beautifully wrought performance way beyond his young years as youngest son Huw Morgan through whose eyes the story unfolds. The film indeed has something for everyone from a fine literate script, low key believable performances and one of the finest outdoor sets from Hollywood's heyday where an entire Welsh village was constructed on a hillside in California. The film is rightly still regarded as one of Hollywood's greatest achievements in storytelling and has a rare sensitivity about it despite the often harsh themes explored during its running time.

"How Green Was My Valley", unfolds through the thoughts of sixty year old Huw Morgan and we are taken back to the time of his childhood in the small Welsh village that is dominated by the Coal Mine that is the chief source of survival for most of the men in the town. Huw is the much younger son of no nonsense "salt of the earth", parents Gwilym and Beth Morgan (Donald Crisp and Sara Allgood), who have raised their brood of five sons and one daughter to be honest, non complaining, God fearing pillars of the community. Integrity of the soul and a belief in the basic good of mankind are the mottos by which the Morgan's live their everyday lives. The film traces the various happy and tragic occasions that colour the families life in the valley from the marriage of oldest son Ivor (Patric Knowles)to sweet Bronwyn (Anna Lee), to the tragedy and divisions caused to the community by a crippling strike that turns friend against friend and in the Morgan's case, Father against son. We also witness young Huw's adjusting to going to a school outside the valley were he must contend with bullies and a sadistic teacher, on his journey to eventual manhood. All the characters encounter either physical or emotional heartbreak along the way as we see Ivor killed in a mining accident widowing Bronwyn with a young child, many of the Morgan boys being forced to seek work else where as the mine retrenches more of its workers, and Huw and Mrs. Morgan almost dying after falling into a freezing river. We witness the budding romance of daughter Angharad(Maureen O'Hara ), with the local minister Mr. Gruffydd (Walter Pidgeon), being destroyed when Angharad is forced into a loveless marriage with the son of the mine owner. The story ends on the final sad note with the death of Morgan family head Gwilym in another mining accident. All is not gloom in this story however as it never is entirely in real life and along the way there are many joyous celebrations of the human spirit and of people supporting others in need. Mr. Gruffydd's devotion to young Huw inspires him to overcome his accident in the river and to walk again which in turn inspires Mrs. Morgan in her recovery as well. Town hypocrisy and gossip are also tackled when vivous rumours about Angharad's affection for Gruffydd despite being married, raises the preacher's indignation to the level where he turns it back on the "un christian", individuals spreading the gossip during a church service.

In "How Green Was My Valley", we constantly see the human spirit rise above adversity to go on and face the next challenge. John Ford directed this film with an eye for detail, sentiment and human emotion without sacrificing the strong themes present here. He does a masterful job with the individual performances he gets from the actors who deliver some of the best work many of them ever did. Donald Crisp as the stern but loving head of the family richly deserved his Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor that year and Walter Pidgeon and Maureen O'Hara as the illfated lovers are nothing short of brilliant with every emotion expressed by the two being of a sincerity and believability that comes from assured playing and strong direction. Character actors Anna Lee, Barry Fitzgerald and especially Sara Allgood are also superlative in their work and are immortalised in these roles forever for their fine work. Roddy McDowall is of course the very heart and soul of "How Green Was My Valley", and rarely has a child's part been so centrally placed as the "emotional crossroads", of a story as here. McDowall displays a maturity in his playing that never fails to amaze me and he brings to life the sensitive youngest son of the Morgans who loves his home and family, like no other could. Twentieth Century Fox paid great attention to detail to make this film one of their biggest productions for 1941. The recreation of Welsh mining life is done with great attention to detail right down to the use of the famous Welsh Singers to provide the voices for the men singing on their way home from another day in the mines. The recreation of the Welsh Village also still stands as one of the outstanding achievements of Hollywood technical know how in it's heyday.

For a journey to a simpler and seemingly more sincere time then John Ford's classic "How Green Was My Valley", is unsurpassed entertainemnt of the old Hollywwod school. The phrase, "they dont make them like this anymore", could most definately be applied to this classic. It will bring tears, laughter, and inspiration as no modern film possibly could and this is what makes viewing this film such a special experience. Treat yourself to a viewing of it soon, you wont regret it.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Love This Movie
The first time I watched this movie I was blown away. I have seen nearly all of Ford's major films, but only the Grapes of Wrath astounded me quite on this level. Everything about this film is beautiful. Roddy McDowell's performance is excellent and memorable. The little town feels alive and real.

4-0 out of 5 stars Passionate Family Brings Tear to Watchers of
This is a captivating film about the Morgans, a simple coal mining family: strict rules, a pot of weeks' shillings, sorrows, love, and hardships. Roddy McDowall (who gives a frightningly strange and disturbing performance and jerks the most tears) is Huw Morgan, a young boy: quiet, meek, the epitome of childhood. His father is the blunt, strong Gwilym Morgan (an Oscar-winning performance by the great Donald Crisp), a father of six boys and the head of his household who almost loses contact with his sons beause of their different opinions through the new era. His mother is Beth (an Oscar-nominated performance by the funny Sara Allgood), a good-hearted mother, a poineer in a new era of thought and wisdom. Then we come to Angharad Morgan, his beautiful sister played wonderfully by Maureen O'Hara. Angharad has the same meekness and childness as her brother though already a grown woman. Angharad and the church's preacher, Mr. Gruffydd (Walter Pidgeon), have a love at first sight relationship even though he tells her they could never marry which devestates her into marrying her father's boss's son. Anna Lee plays Bronwyn, Huw's tragic brother Ivor (Patric Knowles)'s beautiful wife who Huw has a huge crush on. It is a great movie, a big tearerker, and a movie that'll make you glad for all the things avaliable to us today. The film's cast rounds out with Barry Fitzgerald ("Going My Way"), John Loder, and Rhys Williams as Dai Bando. I'd really give it 4.5 out of 5 stars or 9 out of 10 stars. ... Read more


9. Father Was a Fullback
Director: John M. Stahl
list price: $9.98
our price: $9.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6303450830
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 22529
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Pleasant , Light Football Comedy!!
Fred MacMurray stars as Football Coach dealing with the trials and tribulations of both football and family life also co-starring Maureen O'Hara and Jim Backus.It's a very pleasant,light football comedy that's well worth watching!! ... Read more


10. Rio Grande
Director: John Ford
list price: $9.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1555260314
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 30494
Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (22)

4-0 out of 5 stars Rio Grande finest of much vaunted "Ford Cavalry Trilogy"
Rio Grande, shot in glorious black and white, is in a way the most colorful of the three cavalry movies that John Ford made with John Wayne. As in "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" Wayne is in the starring role but a fetchingly mature Maureen O'Hara is able to hold her own with Wayne and become as powerful a figure in the story. Much of the fun of watching this picture is the on screen chemistry of Wayne and O'Hara, they are totally believable as lovers and as equals. It must be duly noted that they are supported by the John Ford stock company and they are seldom showcased as well as this. Of particular note are superb efforts by Harry Carey, and Ben Johnson who carry their parts in an easy and natural style, and Victor Mclaglen who reprises his Sgt. Quincanon from "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon". The DVD edition was digitized from the original negative and it is indeed beautiful. The soundtrack is also clear although a trifle shrill at times. Wayne, with mustache and crumpled hat never looked better, Victor Young's score is rousing, and Ford is at his sentimental and poignant best in this "must see" western classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars A John Wayne Western Only A Woman Could Love
The director John Ford and the actor John Wayne made three of the most remarkable Westerns ever made. Critics refer to them as the "Calvary Trilogy and they center on the life and times of horse soldier Nathan Brittles, who "Never apologizes because it's a sign of weakness" but does manage to make amends to the wife he wronged (O'Hara) in spectacular style. The chemistry between Wayne and O'Hara is amazing, all the more so because they kiss only twice in the film. Both are middle-aged when they meet again, but communicate a passion and sexuality which puts any modern screen pairing in the shade. The film is remarkable because O'Hara is truly Wayne's equal, a feminist in hoop skirts and even more suprising, not the only one in the film. Rounding out the cast are Ford's "stock company" a group of some of the finest character actors ever to grace the screen. If you're female and you've never been able to get into Westerns, this is the one that will get you there. It's funny, touching and features a female lead who is far from passive and years ahead of her time.

4-0 out of 5 stars THE TRILOGY'S SUNSET RIDE
RIO GRANDE nicely finishes off the John Ford Cavalry Trilogy. While not as intense as FORT APACHE, or touching as SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON, RIO GRANDE earns its stripes with the trademarks of the trilogy: luminous direction, straight forward story telling and solid work from The Duke, Maureen O'Hara and of course, Victor McLaglen, who steels the first 20 minutes of the film. "Welcome home, darling," he bows to O'Hara as she's escorted into the fort by The Duke, to which she replies: "I see you still have that ox with you." Pappy and The Duke have the regular Ford/Wayne troop still with them and it works. The Sons of the Pioneers offer a new song book, but the band still plays "The Girl I Left Behind Me" when the cavalry marches out. There's a lot to be said for the old ways.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Trilogy Completed
This is the third of Ford's films which focus on the U.S. Cavalry and its violent encounters with the Apache. Wayne's role in each is quite different. He is a subordinate officer in Fort Apache, a commanding officer about to retire in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, and again a commanding officer in this film but estranged from his wife Kathleen (Maureen O'Hara), and son Jeff (Claude Jarman, Jr.) among the men he commands. Lieutenant Kirby Yorke (Wayne) resembles Woodrow F. Call in Lonesome Dove (played by Tommy Lee Jones) who refuses to show any favoritism or even affection whatsoever to his son. (In fact, Call denies his fatherhood.) Of course, Ford ensures that husband and wife are reunited by the end of the film; also, that father and son become close after Trooper Yorke plays a key role in helping to rescue children captured by the Apache and thereby earns his commanding officer's (and father's) respect. A similar relationship exists in Red River except that the conflict is resolved without a brawl. Personally, I would have preferred less reliance on Irish ballads, the focus on Yorke's marital conflicts, and what I view as the macho element of which Ford was so fond. Nonetheless, Wayne's performance is outstanding and the sequence by which the children is rescued is brilliantly portrayed. In additional to much improved sound and image, this DVD version also offers several excellent supplementary features which include a scene-specific commentary with Maureen O'Hara, a mini-documentary "Along the Rio Grande with Maureen O'Hara," and "The Making of Rio Grande" hosted by Leonard Maltin.

5-0 out of 5 stars John Ford's Triumphant Conclusion to Cavalry Trilogy!
'Rio Grande', the last of director John Ford's 'unofficial' Cavalry Trilogy, has often been unfairly judged the 'weakest' of the three westerns. Certainly, it lacks the poetic quality of 'She Wore a Yellow Ribbon', or the revisionist view of a thinly-disguised reworking of the events surrounding the death of George Armstrong Custer ('Fort Apache'), but for richness of detail, a sense of the camaraderie of cavalrymen, an 'adult' (in the best sense of the word) love story, and a symbolic 'rejoining' of North and South conclusion that may have you tapping your toe, 'Rio Grande' is hard to beat!

It is remarkable that 'Rio Grande' ever got to the screen; Ford hadn't planned to make it, but in order to get Republic Pictures to agree to his demands for 'The Quiet Man' (he wanted the film to be shot on location in Ireland, and in color), he had to agree to do a 'quickie' western that would turn a quick profit for the usually cash-strapped studio. This is, perhaps, a reason why the film is held in less esteem than it deserves. 'Rio Grande' may have not been born with high expectations, but with John Ford in the director's chair, and John Wayne and the Ford 'family' in the cast and crew, the potential for something 'special' was ALWAYS present!

A few bits of trivia to enhance your viewing pleasure: Yes, that IS Ken Curtis, singing with The Sons of the Pioneers, in the film...while uncredited, he made a favorable impression with Ford, and soon became a part of his 'family'...Ben Johnson, Harry Carey, Jr, and Claude Jarman, Jr, actually did their own stunts while performing the 'Roman Style' riding sequence (Carey said in interviews that they were all young, and didn't think about the danger of it; a production would lose their insurance if they 'allowed' three major performers to do something as risky, today!)...Did you know that O'Hara, playing Jarman's 'mother', was barely 14 years older than her 'son', and was only 29 at the time of the filming?...Harry Carey barely had any lines in the script; most of what you see in the film was ad-libbed!...the popular ditty, 'San Antoine', sung by Jarman, Carey, Johnson, and Curtis, was, in fact, written by Mrs. Roy Rogers, herself, Dale Evans!

Whether you're viewing 'Rio Grande' for the first time, or have sat through many viewings, the film has a richness and sense of nostalgia for a West that 'may never have existed, but SHOULD have'. It would be a proud addition to any collector's library! ... Read more


11. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Director: William Dieterle
list price: $19.98
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Asin: 6304119038
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 18744
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Of the many film versions of Victor Hugo's novel, this classic from Hollywood's golden year of 1939 remains the best, rivaled only by the 1923 silent version starring Lon Chaney. In his triumphant attempt to create a performance as memorable as Chaney's, Charles Laughton played the lovelorn Parisian hunchback Quasimodo under a disfiguring costume and gruesome makeup that rendered the actor almost unrecognizable. The result is a gripping and heartfelt portrayal of the misshapen bell ringer who falls desperately in love with the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda (played by Maureen O'Hara). The lavish production also greatly benefits from exquisitely moody black-and-white cinematography, brilliant medieval set design, and the atmospheric direction by German expatriate William Dieterle, whose style was heavily influenced by German films of the era. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

Reviews (24)

4-0 out of 5 stars Laughton is Amazing
Charles Laughton is one of the great actors of all time. Watching this version of Vitor Hugo's novel it is not hard to see why. Laughton looks like he was born to play Quasimodo, the deaf and disfigured bell keeper of Notre Dome Cathedral. Wearing heavy face make up and a body suit, Laughton literally transformed himself to play the part. This novel has been adapted several times for the screen , but this is the best one. The performances are on the whole excellent. Particularly Cedric Hardwicke as the cold Chief Justice of Paris. Maureen O'Hara also gives a strong performance as Esmeralda. The direction of William Dieterle is very good, although he concentates a little too much on the subplots at times. On the whole this is an excellent film, that despite it's age, hardly seems dated. The story is a timeless classic and so is this film. Watch it just for Laughton's performance.

5-0 out of 5 stars Grim,filled with pathos and terrific acting!!
This version of "THoND" is in my opinion,the best ever made.Charles Laughton epitomizes all the sadness,frustration and anguish the Hunchback feels when he falls in love with the beautiful Gypsy girl who showed him kindness..The supporting cast is wonderful,with Sir Cedric Hardwicke excelling as the Chief Justice who falls under the spell of the lovely Gypsy girl,Esmeralda,played gently and kindly by Maureen O'Hara.
When you begin watching this movie, you forget it is Charles Laughton.The make-up he wears is grotesque,and he is unrecognizable,but even through all the make up you can feel the gut-wrenching emotions he so ably portrays to the viewer.
Any classic film lover will most certainly already have this masterpiece on his/her DVD shelf.If you don't already have it,please give it a try.You will not be disappointed.Then,after you watch it,check out"The Beauty and the Beast," by Jean Cocteau,1948.Another classic love story not to be missed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hugo's Hunchback: Outer Ugliness Hides Inner Beauty
When director William Dieterle transformed Victor Hugo's THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME to fit the big screen, he succeeded in capturing the power and sweep of an age that was characterized by individual examples of humanity lost in a sea of inhumanity. Much has been said about the universality of the Beauty and the Beast theme that has marked many past and future books, movies, and television series. Here, Dieterle makes use of the considerable talents of Charles Laughton as Quasimodo, Maureen O'Hara as Esmeralda and Sir Cedric Hardwicke as Frollo, all of whom play out their lives against a brute Parisian government that seemed determined to crush any opposition. One of the less acknowledged aspects of the Beauty versus Beast contrast is the theme that the beauty of Esmeralda and the beastiness of Quasimodo are not limited to those two alone. The very system that wrecks the lives of the poverty-stricken populace puts on a facade of saintliness that makes its inner core of corrupt ugliness all the more stark.

O'Hara's Esmeralda is sweetness personified. She is a lovely gypsy woman who unhappily catches the eye of a lecherous Chief Prosecutor, sanctimoniously played by Hardwicke, who commits a murder only to frame Esmeralda, who has rejected his advances. Hardwicke plays the Chief Prosecutor in a way that brings to mind every corrupt official who has ever been caught with his hand in the till. He sees nothing wrong with using the full weight of his office to humiliate and condemn a woman who has done nothing to deserve this. Enter Quasimodo, a hunchbacked and deaf bell ringer whose appearance frightens others to the same extent that Esmeralda's captivates these same others. Early on, she takes pity on him by giving him water after a savage lashing. Later, he shows that his inner being is far more decent and sensitive than the hypocrites that cry out for his blood. The trial that condemns Esmeralda as a murderous witch says a great deal more about the repressed ugliness of the judges even as they mouth pious and empty phrases that can only caricature but not capture the spirit of their criminal justice system, which in any event, stacks the deck against anyone whom the church accuses of misdeeds. Frollo's perfect diction,his sonorous phrasing, and his impressive robes linger in the audience's mind as a truly terrifying symbol of evil. The people of Paris themselves have two faces as well. As Quasimodo is being whipped, nearly every voice is raised against him. The mob of Paris was as unthinking then as when, centuries later, Madame Guillotine lopped off countless heads during the French Revolution. Yet, these same Parisians could storm a church where they mistakenly believed the King's soldiers were headed to arrest Esmeralda and take her for hanging. The theme of outer appearances hiding its inner opposites makes an unexpected appearance when Quasimodo intervenes and kills many of these same Parisians who want only to save Esmeralda from the King's soldiers who have been given new orders to save her. The final scenes of THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME are full of unforgettable savageries made even more unforgettable by their lack of necessity. Quasimodo laughs maniacally as he repells the church door crashing mob. At the end, only Esmeralda finds a measure of closure as she is reunited with her lover. But for Quasimodo, all he has is the certainty that Esmeralda is safe from the rampaging mob, the lecherous criminal justice system, and an uncaring royal army. Quasimodo's closing line as he addresses the stone gargoyles atop the bells of his beloved church--"Why can't my heart be as stony as thee"--well evokes the paradox that often virtue comes with a high price tag. For good-hearted men--even human gargoyles like him, Quasimodo emerges as a man whose humanity dwarfs all those around him.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good movie
Charles Laughton's performance of Quasimodo is excellent, instilling not only sympathy for the character, but also a sense of how the character's deformity caused him to be abused by not only the common people, but by a clergyman also.

It's not really fair to compare this version with the Lon Chaney silent. Chaney's performance is the stuff of legend, but this version is excellent. The visual quality is much better. The Chaney version is a classic, but it was a one-man show practically. Laughton's version has many fine performances by other actors also.

Recommended

5-0 out of 5 stars Movie acting doesn't get any better than this!
Charles Laughton delivers what is,unequivocally, one of Hollywood's greatest performances. His "Quasimodo" embodies all of an actor's craft. Hidden and hard unrecognizable under heavy makeup, the performer manages to convey the spectrum of human emotion.

A young Maureen O'Hara as the beautiful "Esmeralda" and Sir Cedric Hardwicke as the sinister "Frollo" are equally as mesmerizing.

Acting 101 should make this required viewing and no film library is complete without it. ... Read more


12. McLintock!
Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
list price: $7.95
our price: $7.95
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Asin: 6303471730
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 2819
Average Customer Review: 2.45 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (110)

5-0 out of 5 stars Superior Comedy Western -- Fine VHS, but POOR DVD!
John Wayne has never starred in a more entertaining, "soft-core" Western. A story line that includes saloon fights and smashing up of general stores, but spares us the senseless violence and gore of "serious" Westerns. Maureen O'Hara is wonderful as Wayne's estranged wife who, after a lengthy separation, falls back in love with him. This classic is a sure 5-star production.

WARNING: Don't make the mistake of purchasing the DVD version, because it's the worst transfer of such a fairly recent film I have seen. I can understand if an "early talkie" shows signs of wear and loss of luster, but a 1963 Technicolor production should not look and sound like a poorly maintained copy of a 1930s Nickelodeon show! To escape that sort of fiasco, treat yourself to the VHS version, which is as good as it gets! This is The Duke's finest hour and should be enjoyed in the superb quality in which it was intended. I highly recommend this movie!*****

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best John Wayne Movie Ever
I watched the original once as a boy and loved every minute of it. Then for some reason the movie just simply disappeared. When the tape came out, I snatched it up. John Wayne shows he can not only be the rough and tough cowboy, but a real comedian also. The supporting cast, Maureen O' Hara, is a perfect opposite of the Duke and fills the screen with fire and sparks that only O' Hara and Wayne can produce. The only down side is the DVD edition. Extremely poor quality and cropped so badly that you miss very important parts of some scenes that are essential to the story line. I would say use the digitally mastered version to make a DVD and put it in letter box so you don't miss one single exciting moment of this unique treasure.

1-0 out of 5 stars Great film. Awful DVD!
Somebody just please tell me why studio execs keep doing this? They take a great film that needs to be on DVD. But instead of actually taking the time to make it look good like the film deserves, they put out a very inferior production.
The movie on it's own is a classic. Amusing story. Great acting. But the DVD transfer looks like the master copy of this movie came from a tape that somebody picked off a 99 cents rack at Dollar General. Then they took the tape and recorded it off tv. The picture quality of this movie is petheticly awful. It is so grainy and ugly. I think I could record it off tv and get a better quality picture than this!
Also it looks like somebody tried to make the movie closed captioned or something. Because you will see somebody speaking who is almost off screen, but you do get to see their lips! Sad, so sad.......

Bottom Line:
Great movie. But unless you HAVE to have it on DVD, then I recommend not wasting your money. When will the studios get the point that putting a movie on DVD needs to have more done to it than a transfer!

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrible quality
I am glad I came here to read the reviews. I thought my DVD of "McLintock" was bad or my eyes were worse than I thought. Terribe quality. This moive really needs to be in a wide-screen format and cleaned up. Other than that this is one of John Waynes best movies.

4-0 out of 5 stars John Wayne's comical best! The DVD is another story.
I am quite intrigued at the popularity that "McLintock!" still has among John Wayne fans and everyone else, in general. This is a very funny story with the Duke and Maureen O'Hara as a bickering couple in a "Taming of the Shrew" story set in the good ol' west. It's one of John Wayne's more comical and lighter-toned films. I have the DVD version of this film, and I have the same opinion like the rest of you; it's quite a sloppy job. Some of the film looks all right; it's nice and sharp at times. You can tell the film is very dated and at times the image becomes blurry and distorted. I can't understand what's been done to such a good film. There have been so many complaints about this inferior release. Something needs to be done. A major movie studio should try to purchase the rights to this film and give "McLintock!" top feeding. Think of how this would sound. Double sided disc A: 2:35:1 Widescreen and B: 1:33:1 Standard: Modified to fit screen (but better pan and scan). Picture quality could have sharp clean frames, vibrant, true-to-life eye-popping colors making you want to be there. Audio: (1) English Dolby Digital Remixed and Remastered 5.1 Stereo Surround (2) English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (could be commentary) (3) Spanish (4) French (5) German. Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Dutch, Chinese, Thai.
You could have it loaded with special features. How's that sound for a top notch DVD? Someday, that could happen. For now, we're stuck with this mediocre DVD release. An enjoyable film it is, still. ... Read more


13. Miracle on 34th Street
Director: George Seaton
list price: $6.98
our price: $6.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005NKW3
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 42
Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (67)

5-0 out of 5 stars This 1947 Thanksgiving / Christmas TRADITION now on DVD!
This Original 1947 "Miracle on 34th Street" is the one Holiday Tradition starting with the "MACY's THANKSGIVING PARADE" to Christmas Day.

Natalie Wood (is unforgetable & adorable) plays, Susie Walker an 8 year old grown-up who questions everything which is not factual or real. Her holiday skeptic single mother (Maureen O'Hara - is fantastic!) Doris, is a MACY's Junior Executive and Parade Coordinator. Prior to the Parades start Santa is fired for being drunk at the last minute. Miraculously a mysterious white bearded volunteer (Edmund Gwenn - delightful (won an Oscar))appears and saves Doris and the Parade. Hired on the spot this volunteer becomes / is Santa. Is he really Santa? Some believe he is not so he is put on trial to determine his true identity and the greatest tale since "Yes Alice there is a Santa Claus" begins.

Summary: Santa wants to prove he is real and uses Susie & Doris as his challenge to bring the holiday spirit back. If they are converted he has succeeded in bringing back the Christmas Spirit.

The actors are the best and the story is a timeless classic. A true HOLIDAY TRADITON to watch every year (or when you want to be inspired).

The "Miracle" is, the entire family can enjoy the spirit of Christmas together!!

This Black & White digitally restored FULLSCREEN DVD (before Widescreen) is beautifully reproduced.

5-0 out of 5 stars Yes, Susie, there is a Santa Claus.
Delightful Christmas fantasy of a charming old man who believes he is Santa Claus, and the wonderful change he brings to the people around him. This perennial holiday classic is on many short-lists of the all time great Christmas movies. The film just oozes with warm-hearted humor. Very young Natalie Wood sparkles as Susan, who learns to stop being so grown up, and enjoy childhood, with all its wide-eyed wonder. Edmund Gwenn plays Kris Kringle, and lives the role. He totally connects with the kiddies who visit "Santa" at Macy's department store. The brief scene with the little Dutch refugee girl is a definite emotional high point in this movie. The combined reaction of relief and wonder in the child's face as she visits Santa and finds he speaks her language is memorable. Gene Lockhart as the harried judge, and William Frawley as his street-wise political advisor provide the needed comic relief to keep the court-room segments from becoming too overwhelmed by lawyers and their tactics. Even Jack Albertson shows up as an ingenious postal clerk who helps Kringle solve his legal problem. The on-location scenes filmed on the streets of New York assist the viewer in suspending disbelief. An enthusiastic cast, crisp direction by George Seaton, a sentimental holiday message, and great humor make this movie a solid holiday treat for the entire family. Multiple viewing only enriches the rewards. Beware remakes! ;-)

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't let the heartwarming plot fool you...
Don't let cute little Natalie Wood and the heartwarming plot fool you... this is a wickedly funny comedy that is easily the best Christmas movie ever made.

Maureen O'Hara is wonderful as the scorned woman (isn't it funny how a female character in a romantic comedy from the 1940's is so strong and independant, while nowadays the romatic leads are usually scatterbrained flaky blondes?), and Natalie Wood steals the show as the perfectly well brought up little girl who confuses imagination with schitzophrenia ("it's when you think you see something that isn't there" she tells Kris Kringle).

I remember loving this movie as a child, but it is actually a grown-up movie. Politics, pop psychology, and commercialism all take a wicked beating... if you are looking for treakly magical endings, you might be surprised at the motives behind what finally 'saves the day.'

If you've never seen it, or if you've only seen the 1994 sacharine-sticky-sweet remake, then you must see this movie. It is great for all ages: the kids will see the heartwarming plot, and the teenagers and adults will understand the delightful cynisism that crops up in the most surprising places.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rx - - - Revisit Annually
Unless you live under a rock, you have seen this annual favorite every Christmas. A wonderful heartwarming story to rekindle the tiniest doubter about faith and goodwill. Kris Kringle (Santa Claus) goes on trial to prove his sanity after a run in with a Macy's store psychiatrist and has to prove to the world who he is. Events will make you laugh and even cry as you feel the government come to his rescue and little Suzy's (Natalie Wood) coming of age. See the movie!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars This Perennial Classic Shines Like New On DVD!
1947's "Miracle On 34th Street", starring the great Maureen O'Hara and Edmund Gwenn, is a motion picture that can be watched over and over again without losing one bit of its original flavor. And its flavor is quite tasty, in my opinion!

A very spunky 8-year-old Natalie Wood helps to make this movie an even bigger treat. Natalie shows an acting talent in this film that belies her tender age. She gives one of the best performances by a child actor in a film I've ever come across. "34th Street" was Natalie's 4th screen appearance, in a successful career that would eventually span 52 films before her sudden and tragic death at the age of only 43.

Miss Wood seems well-suited for her good-sized role as "Susan Walker" in this movie. She blends perfectly with the other actors, and her scenes with Gwenn (who, of course, plays the part of "Kris Kringle" to utter perfection) are highly memorable.

Could the studio have possibly found a better choice for the part of "Kris" (Santa) in this motion picture? Well, perhaps. But ONLY if the REAL Santa Claus were to have taken a break from his duties at the North Poll and played the part himself. Oh...wait...Gwenn turns out to BE the REAL Santa, doesn't he? LOL! :)

Yes, Edmund Gwenn actually DOES become "Santa Claus" for the 97-minute running time of this movie. He's *that* believable in the role. Gwenn was so good here that he won an Oscar for his memorable performance (Best Supporting Actor).

This is a perfect movie to show your children. It must be a lot of fun watching a child's reaction to seeing Mr. Gwenn's very realistic portrayal of the portly fur-clad Christmas-time gift-giver. To a child that still does believe that Mr. Claus visits his or her house every December 24, this movie must be quite an eye-opener.

This 20th-Century Fox DVD version of "Miracle On 34th Street" brings us the film in its intended (original) screen ratio of 1.33:1 (Full Frame); and the picture looks just dandy! The film, which was shot in "glorious black-and-white", exhibits outstanding clarity on this DVD. I can't spot a bit of grain or "noise". An absolutely beautiful digital transfer. Especially considering the age of this flick.

The audio comes via an English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono soundtrack. The audio comes across nice and clean, with just a small amount of background "hiss" present. There's also a foreign-language track here, too (French). This French track (which is also 2.0 DD Mono) sounds a bit on the "muffled" side. Not nearly as clear-sounding as the English track. There are subtitles in English and Spanish.

There's not a whole lot to talk about in the way of "Special Features" for this DVD release. But there is the Original Theatrical Trailer and a short "TV Spot" advertising the movie (which is a bonus *not* shown on the DVD's packaging). Plus: there's also a small text-only area on the disc, featuring "Cast Credits".

I *must* say, however, even though we don't get many bonus extras with this title, I'm very pleased that the Trailer is included. This Theatrical Trailer is one of the very best, and most innovative, I think I've ever witnessed. It's a relatively-lengthy trailer, which features a studio executive bumping into multiple actors while on the FOX movie lot. He asks several of these actors what they thought of the just-released picture, "Miracle On 34th Street". And what he receives in return (naturally) are glowing reviews for the film.

It's a very well-done trailer, and doesn't seem overly "hokey" or staged. And it's very fun to see stars the likes of Rex Harrison and Anne Baxter pop up here, promoting "34th Street". Harrison even speaks briefly in this trailer of his then-current work on "The Ghost And Mrs. Muir", which, ironically, also featured young Miss Natalie Wood as one of Rex's co-stars. This trailer is a real treat. And it's in remarkably good shape too. Very good video quality. The audio for the trailer is in DD 2.0 Mono, and sounds just fine.

Menus .... I like a good (and simple) Menu design. And this disc has just that. The Main Menu is a "static" one, with separate links to other Sub-Menus (such as Language Selection, Chapter Listing, and Supplements). When you select any of these three items, you'll be treated to a very short (but fun and well-designed) animated transition, which then dissolves into the chosen sub-menu screen. These short "transitions" are all slightly different, with each one featuring a Christmas tune playing as "background" music as the screen fades from the Main Menu to your desired selection. This themed music seems as though it's being played over a Department Store's P.A. system (which is appropriate for this DVD, since we often hear the soft playing of Christmas tunes during the "Macy's" scenes in the film). One menu transition also features a "snowflakes falling" visual effect, along with the music. Very cleverly done, IMO.

Additional Disc Information for this title ..............................

>> Enclosures? .... Yes. There is one here. A one-page Chapter List insert is included (21 chapters), with an excellent promo picture of actors Maureen O'Hara, Natalie Wood, and John Payne on one side; and on the "Chapter" side, an image of "Kris" (Mr. Gwenn). I particularly like the fact that FOX Home Entertainment used a different picture for the insert than what we see on the front cover (normally on DVDs, the two pictures are identical). I might also add, in case one or two picky people might be interested in such trivial matters, that this insert is made out of better-quality (thicker) paper than what we usually see for such paper enclosures.

>> Region? .... This is a "Region 1" (NTSC) disc. Single-sided.

"Miracle On 34th Street" is one of those films that deserves to be seen more than once, and not only in the month of December either (IMO). It holds up very well even in the summer months. And this clear-as-a-bell DVD from FOX Home Entertainment makes viewing this 1947 classic an even more enjoyable experience -- no matter if it's in December, March, or August. ... Read more


14. The Christmas Box
Director: Marcus Cole
list price: $9.98
our price: $9.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1574925881
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 156
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless and haunting -- my favorite
I am a big fan of Richard Paul Evans, and the news that his classic "Christmas Box" had been made into a movie was enough to send me scurrying. As they do with his books, video snobs will dismiss this movie for its spiritual and emotional message, but I say pooey to them. This is one of the best movies I've ever seen.

The ever-loved Richard Thomas ("Good night, John boy!") plays Richard Evans, a young man with a wife and preschool daughter who is overworking himself, because "I want you [wife Keri] and Jenna to have EVERYTHING!" As a result, he is always late and always preoccupied with his ski-supply store and impending expansion.

Tired of being the apartment manager, Keri convinces him to answer an ad, placed by an old woman with an enormous house. The old lady, Mary Anne Parkin, gives them a trial period in her home (Keri does some cooking and cleaning, and Richard does a bit of yardwork) and soon befriends Jenna and Keri. Richard, however, finds her weird, cryptic, and rigid. He's also having strange dreams abou an angel beckoning to him. But as Christmas approaches, changes for the family and for Mary will alter their lives forever, with the secrets of Mary's past and the underlying question, "What was the first gift of Christmas?"

Every scene of this movie is excellent scripted and filmed; scenes ring extremely true, such as the scene where Mary finds Richard drinking straight from a pitcher of orange juice--their expressions are priceless. Richard Thomas perfectly fits the overachiever yuppie who shies away from certain questions and concepts--perhaps because he's afraid of them. Annette O'Toole is equally great as his wife, who is sick of their personal lives playing second-fiddle to business; Kelsey Mulrooney is remarkably good as Jenna, occasionally experiencing flat moments (such as times when Jenna's ashamed) but overall above-average for child actors. Maureen O'Hara is pure gold, playing Mary to perfection; you can see the shell melt away during crucial moments, her eyes shining with warmth.

The camerawork is excellent: the apartment looks cramped and overcrowded, compared to the airy spaciousness of Mary's house. Which, BTW, is gorgeous--I'd love to know where they shot it, because the house is truly beautiful, old and ornate, but with just the right amount of lived-in atmosphere.

I don't watch this movie just at Christmastime--it's far too good to be restricted. If you're in the mood for a beautiful movie, this is truly for you.

(My only questions: When will they put this out on DVD, and when will they also put out the sequel?! I'm waiting for a copy of "Timepiece" people!)

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite Christmas Movie!
Though this was, I believe, a made-for-TV event, it is probably my favorite Christmas movie.

In the movie we meet a young entrepeneur (Richard Thomas) who is striving to become a success -- and his business is doing great! At the same time, his wife (Annette O'Toole) and daughter struggle to cope with his long hours and obsession with work. He cannot seem to understand their dissatisfaction with what he is doing for their family...

With the urging of the wife, the family accepts an offer to move into the elegant home of a stately, elderly women (Maureen O'Hara -- perfect casting for this role) where they take on light housekeeping and maintenance duties. This puts additional stress on the business-minded husband.

Soon after they move into the house, Thomas starts having a strange, disturbing, recurring dream about an angel. At the same time O'Hara begins a quest of sorts to help Thomas realize the need for perspective and balance in his life. That quest focuses on a single question posed by O'Hara to Thomas, "What was the first gift of Christmas?" It isn't until the discovery of "The Christmas Box," and meaningful relection by Thomas that things fall into place.

The story tugs at the heartstrings...strings that need tugging now and again. The story is engaging, and the sentiments ring true to today's over-commercialization of Christmas.

The story, the sentiments, and the main message strike home for me when I think about Christmas and its place in today's world.

I recommend this movie highly. You'll be glad if you give it a look.

You'll be interested to know that there is a prequel to this story as well, it is called "TimePiece." I don't know if it is available yet though.

Well, Merry Christmas!

Alan Holyoak

5-0 out of 5 stars Heart Warming Christmas Tale With Mystical Overtones
"The Christmas Box", based on the well respected book by Richard Paul Evans offers in some ways an interesting alternative to alot of the traditional viewing offered during the festive season. While the story contains a number of expected yuletide elements like learning to give rather than receive and to show love to your neighbours despite their faults, it offers an interesting spiritual element that is not applicable to any one religion. This does succeed in making you think differently about the holidays and those people around us that we see everyday. The almost "supernatural" element to this movie as depicted in a reaccuring dream where angels beckon also gives this charming little story an extra element of originality as for a large part of the film it is not clear as to why this is occuring. The Christmas Box of the title which is another element that reappears throughout the story, is the item that ends up explaining most of what has been occuring and ties in all the threads of the story leading to its suitably touching conclusion.

Veteran television actor Richard Thomas plays rising young businessman Richard Evans who with his partner has set up a ski shop business. The business is thriving and begins to take up more and more of his time and energy much to the dismay of his wife Keri (Annette O'Toole) and his young daughter Jenna. Things go from bad to worse with Richard coming home late every evening and Keri sees her marriage beginning to unravel. She takes matters into her own hands as she sees the family coming apart. She answers an advertisement in the local paper for a live in couple to help out with maintenance work and home duties for an elderly widow Mrs. Parkin (veteran actress Maureen O"Hara), who lives in another part of town. Despite Richard's reluctance to get involved they get the job and move to their new home. Mrs Parkin, first comes across as a cold and stern older woman and Richard and she clash on a number of occasions. However strange things begin to happen soon after their arrival that in particular haunt Richard. He hears strange music coming from the closed up attic where he finds a lovely old antique Christmas box filled with old letters, and he also begins to have recurring dreams filled with the same music, of floating angels that appear to him and beckon for some unexplained reason. Slowly Mrs. Parkin warms to Kerri and her daughter and begins to take an interest in all their lives. Soon she is allowing them to call her Mary and takes a grandmotherly approach towards Jenna, insisting that Richard forget his work for one afternoon and accompany them to buy a beautiful Christmas tree for the house. She both mystifies and intrigues Richard now as she continues to ask him the same puzzling question, "What was the first gift of Christmas?". Following Mary one day on one of her excursions from the house Richard discovers the truth about Mary's past when he sees the grave of her long dead little daughter and finally understands that the letters in the attic are not adressed to an old love but instead to her sadly departed daughter. Mary however is suffering from a heart illness and prior to Christmas she is hospitalised and eventually dies but not before reuniting the shattered little family that came to her unhappily months before and passing onto Richard what the answer to her repeated question to him was which was simply...... Love. The finale sees the family enjoying the real gift that Mary has passed onto them at Christmas which is the universal one of putting family before profit and love for one's family and friends above all else.

The message of this film is a truly beautiful and timeless one and is delivered convincingly by the wonderful cast of this television movie. Richard Thomas is the central character of the story and he is excellent as the hard working businessman with all the best intentions in the world who however has lost sight of the things in life that are really important. Veteran Hollywood actress Maureen O'Hara came out of a twenty year retirement for this part and her presence and sure delivery is the heart and soul of "The Christmas Box", story much the same as her wonderful work was in that earlier Christmas classic "Miracle on 34th Street" in 1947. She works especially well with Richard Thomas and their love hate relationship in the story gives the film it's whole focus. Despite this film being a Christmas story their work together is never simply sentimental or obviously set on having them as rivals from the first scene. The writing and direction by Marcus Cole gives their relationship a sharp realistic ring to it despite the mystical elements present in the story. Annette O'Toole is also excellent in her role as Richard's loving wife who finds herself drawn to Mary and who witnesses the poignant attachment that Mary forms with Jenna who in a way becomes the young daughter that Mary tragically lost all those years ago.

In short "The Christmas Box", is a typical story of hope always existing in at first glance not very promising circumstances. While the story does focus on Richard's family learning from the more experienced Mary I believe the learning here was a two way street with Mary herself learning that at no matter what age you are it is still possible to love and to move on from earlier tragedies you may have experienced. Mary's death near the film's conclusion is not entirely a play to the audiences heart strings I believe but instead is a clear sign that Mary was ready to rejoin her love ones and that a life without love is no life at all. "The Christmas Box", presents all this message in a very beautiful but straightforward manner which makes it totally satisfying viewing during the festive season. The acting by Richard Thomas and Maureen O"Hara in particular puts this Christmas story a cut above most of the television fare we see today so enjoy the simple joys of memorable "The Christmas Box".

5-0 out of 5 stars A cherished story in our home!
Our family has loved The Christmas box since the first time we saw it!
It has become a tridishion for us to watch it every year.
Very heartwarming and touching.
Every time we watch it the story as well as the ending brings us to tears.
It is truly a wonderful movie!

2-0 out of 5 stars Not Totally Faithful to the book!!
First of all I love the chistmas box the book. I have read it and re-read it. I also liked the other 2 books in the series. But i was dissapointed with this movie. I am not saying that its a bad movie but i think that it took most of what was special and magical and left it out. And also the book didn't take place in the 90's it took place in the 1940's. The acting was average nothing else. the only one to live up to the charater in the book was ms. O'toole as keri. I hope they someday make a more faithful movie also they changed little things that they had no reason to change. richard owned a formal wear co. not a ski company, and they didn't move from seattle. ... Read more


15. The Parent Trap
Director: David Swift (II)
list price: $9.99
our price: $9.99
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Asin: B00005RRG8
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 2001
Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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Description

What could be better than one Hayley Mills? How about two? Academy Award(R)-winning actress Hayley Mills (POLLYANNA) shines again, this time playing twin daughters of a divorced couple (Brian Keith and Maureen O'Hara). The girls, who have long been separated, meet accidentally for the first time at summer camp. After discovering they are long-lost twin sisters, the two concoct an outrageous scheme to switch places in an effort to get their parents back together. In her dual role, Miss Mills moves from slapstick to serious, refined to rock 'n' roll. Her delightful performance, coupled with a charming story, will capture your heart and have you doubling up with laughter! ... Read more

Reviews (97)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Fun, Spirited Adventure Starring Hayley Mills
In the original movie, The Parent Trap, Hayley Mills stars, twice! As twins, not knowing about each other's existence, who meet at a summer camp where they immedietly dislike eachother, until, of course, they discover that they are twins. In the course of all this, they switch places in attempt to reunite their parents, played by Maureen O'Hara and Brian Keith. A fun movie to watch. Though perhaps not quite as colorful as the new version, it is a nice addition to your video collection, especially to compare to the new one. A must see movie that your whole family will enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Let's Get Together,Yeah,Yeah,Yeah!"
"The Parent Trap" tells the story of two girls at summer camp: Sharon McKendrick and Susan Evers(both played by Hayley Mills). Their parents got divorced and took both of them separately. Maureen O'Hara plays Margaret McKendrick,and the late Brian Keith plays Mitchell Evers. The song that Hayley sings in the movie was a # 1 hit for her in 1961: "Let's Get Together" is written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman,who also wrote the title song sung by Tommy Sands and Annette Funicello. Hayley Mills also reprised the roles of Sharon and Susan in "The Parent Trap II" (1986),"The Parent Trap III"(1989),and "The Parent Trap Hawaaian Honeymoon"(1989). Lindsay Lohan took Mills' roles in the remake of "The Parent Trap"(1998).

4-0 out of 5 stars Help, I'm seeing Double........
I love this movie. Both versions arwe great. The first one, with Haley Mills, has the song,"lets get together yeah yeah yeah, why don't you and I combine.." and the second one with Lindsay Lohan, has the song "There She Goes" And there are some other diffrences. Like in the new one, there is the lizard fiasco. I'm pretty sure that wasn't in the old one. But they are both good. if I wer you I wouldn't chose. I'd get both.:)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hayley to the Rescue
This was the highest grossing box office success in America in 1961 and if there isn't a statue of Hayley Mills in Disneyland there oughta be. Her successive hits for Walter and Roy Disney bailed them out of a tight spot financially. Ms. Mills effortless adolescent charm is backed by two first rate performers in Brian Keith and Maureen O'Hara and neither was ever better. The plot about separated twins is older than Shakespeare and doesn't bear too close examination, but the theme of a re-kindled love and re-united family is one very few of us can resist. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Special features are wonderful
Of course this is a wonderful Disney family film. I'm in my twenties, and I can remember watching this movie since I was a toddler. Since I'm sure you know how great the movie is and can read other reviews for that, I'll concentrate on the special features of this DVD, some of which aren't even mentioned above.

• "Caught in the Act: The Making of the Parent Trap" is a good documentary (about 30 minutes), including interviews with Hayley Mills, Maureen O'Hara, director David Swift, Joanna Barnes, and more. It provides a lot of background details on how the idea for the film came about, selecting the cast, fine-tuning the screenplay, etc.

• "Disney Legend: Hayley Mills" is a 25-minute feature all about Hayley, and it's quite good. It includes photos and home movies from her childhood as well as interviews with Hayley, Maureen O'Hara, Dean Jones, Kevin Corcoran, David Swift, Nancy Olson, and others she worked with at Disney. Hayley talks about her family, her experiences at Disney, and her departure from that Disney image in the late '60s.

• "Seeing Double" is a short feature on the split-screen technology that allowed viewers to see two images of Hayley Mills side by side at once. This technology was quite innovative and experimental at the time, but it worked beautifully.

• The Sherman Brothers featurette is a short but interesting bit of facts and trivia on two men who wrote songs for many memorable Disney films, including "Mary Poppins" and "The Parent Trap."

• "Lost Treasures: Who's the Twin?" is an interesting feature about Susan Henning, the girl who played the double for Hayley Mills in the film (in scenes with the camera over her shoulder or to her back). Now that I know to look for her, I can plainly see in several profile shots that the other twin is NOT Hayley. Watch the fight scene at the dance closely too. Henning is a warm presence and gives some little-known facts about the film and about Walt Disney.

• "Let's Get Together" is a music video of the two Hayleys singing the song from the movie.

• The Donald Duck animated cartoon, "Donald's Double Trouble," is a Disney short filmed a few years before this movie, but it's a cute bonus.

• Other special features include theatrical trailers, TV spots, radio spots, a lengthy Parent Trap photo gallery, and a 1961 Disney studio album.

• The film's audio commentary by Hayley Mills and director David Swift is also a great feature. Hayley reveals many interesting tidbits about her experiences on the film, her relationships with her costars and Walt Disney, and how she views the film today. Swift offers his own recollections on Hayley's performance and other background information on the film. For example, the scene where Brian Keith finds the bra hanging on his shower was almost censored!

The widescreen transfer is wonderful. I'd never seen this film in its original aspect ratio, so this was a treat. The abundance of special features make this DVD edition truly wonderful. (I had no problems with it playing in my DVD player, either.) This is simply a fun family film that you can watch over and over. I know, because I have for the past 20 years. ... Read more


16. McLintock! (John Wayne Estate Authorized Edition)
Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
list price: $19.98
our price: $19.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6302753295
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 3023
Average Customer Review: 2.45 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara were born to star in "The Taming of the Shrew," and this is the closest they ever got. Wayne plays a cattle baron whose estranged wife (O'Hara) wants a divorce. The film is basically one long, funny brawl between them, ending with a mud pit melee and Wayne publicly spanking O'Hara, which doesn't look quite so politically correct anymore. This is no great shakes--director Andrew V. McLaglen is simply hosting a party here--but it's worth a few chuckles and the stars' broad performances. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (110)

5-0 out of 5 stars Superior Comedy Western -- Fine VHS, but POOR DVD!
John Wayne has never starred in a more entertaining, "soft-core" Western. A story line that includes saloon fights and smashing up of general stores, but spares us the senseless violence and gore of "serious" Westerns. Maureen O'Hara is wonderful as Wayne's estranged wife who, after a lengthy separation, falls back in love with him. This classic is a sure 5-star production.

WARNING: Don't make the mistake of purchasing the DVD version, because it's the worst transfer of such a fairly recent film I have seen. I can understand if an "early talkie" shows signs of wear and loss of luster, but a 1963 Technicolor production should not look and sound like a poorly maintained copy of a 1930s Nickelodeon show! To escape that sort of fiasco, treat yourself to the VHS version, which is as good as it gets! This is The Duke's finest hour and should be enjoyed in the superb quality in which it was intended. I highly recommend this movie!*****

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best John Wayne Movie Ever
I watched the original once as a boy and loved every minute of it. Then for some reason the movie just simply disappeared. When the tape came out, I snatched it up. John Wayne shows he can not only be the rough and tough cowboy, but a real comedian also. The supporting cast, Maureen O' Hara, is a perfect opposite of the Duke and fills the screen with fire and sparks that only O' Hara and Wayne can produce. The only down side is the DVD edition. Extremely poor quality and cropped so badly that you miss very important parts of some scenes that are essential to the story line. I would say use the digitally mastered version to make a DVD and put it in letter box so you don't miss one single exciting moment of this unique treasure.

1-0 out of 5 stars Great film. Awful DVD!
Somebody just please tell me why studio execs keep doing this? They take a great film that needs to be on DVD. But instead of actually taking the time to make it look good like the film deserves, they put out a very inferior production.
The movie on it's own is a classic. Amusing story. Great acting. But the DVD transfer looks like the master copy of this movie came from a tape that somebody picked off a 99 cents rack at Dollar General. Then they took the tape and recorded it off tv. The picture quality of this movie is petheticly awful. It is so grainy and ugly. I think I could record it off tv and get a better quality picture than this!
Also it looks like somebody tried to make the movie closed captioned or something. Because you will see somebody speaking who is almost off screen, but you do get to see their lips! Sad, so sad.......

Bottom Line:
Great movie. But unless you HAVE to have it on DVD, then I recommend not wasting your money. When will the studios get the point that putting a movie on DVD needs to have more done to it than a transfer!

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrible quality
I am glad I came here to read the reviews. I thought my DVD of "McLintock" was bad or my eyes were worse than I thought. Terribe quality. This moive really needs to be in a wide-screen format and cleaned up. Other than that this is one of John Waynes best movies.

4-0 out of 5 stars John Wayne's comical best! The DVD is another story.
I am quite intrigued at the popularity that "McLintock!" still has among John Wayne fans and everyone else, in general. This is a very funny story with the Duke and Maureen O'Hara as a bickering couple in a "Taming of the Shrew" story set in the good ol' west. It's one of John Wayne's more comical and lighter-toned films. I have the DVD version of this film, and I have the same opinion like the rest of you; it's quite a sloppy job. Some of the film looks all right; it's nice and sharp at times. You can tell the film is very dated and at times the image becomes blurry and distorted. I can't understand what's been done to such a good film. There have been so many complaints about this inferior release. Something needs to be done. A major movie studio should try to purchase the rights to this film and give "McLintock!" top feeding. Think of how this would sound. Double sided disc A: 2:35:1 Widescreen and B: 1:33:1 Standard: Modified to fit screen (but better pan and scan). Picture quality could have sharp clean frames, vibrant, true-to-life eye-popping colors making you want to be there. Audio: (1) English Dolby Digital Remixed and Remastered 5.1 Stereo Surround (2) English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (could be commentary) (3) Spanish (4) French (5) German. Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Dutch, Chinese, Thai.
You could have it loaded with special features. How's that sound for a top notch DVD? Someday, that could happen. For now, we're stuck with this mediocre DVD release. An enjoyable film it is, still. ... Read more


17. Buffalo Bill
Director: William A. Wellman
list price: $39.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6301528573
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 13961
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Sanitised biopic
This is standard movie biography of a legendary figure of the old West and modern showbiz and it follows the sanitised version of Cody's life perpetuated by dime novel writers such as Ned Buntline .It does not ecplore the gap between myth and legend but instead follows the advice of the editor in the Ford classic " The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance " -namely "When the facts conflict with the legend -print the legend "
The Cody of this lavish and colourful movie does not have feet of clay but is presented in an uncomplicatedly heroic and mythic mode which may have gone down well when it was made but which now comes across as horribly simplistic and patronising .
Cody is written and played as a plaster saint -handsome ,deeply moral and a spokesman for the cause of the Native American and one who earns their respect by defeating their war chief in hand to hand combat.The first half while inaccurate has vigour and pace and is entertaining enough but interest sags when Cody leaves the West for Washington and thence to a career as a world travelled circus proprietor
Macrae does a decent job in the title role bringing a quiet gravity to scenes showing the character being reduced to a humiliating side show attraction astride a rocking horse before his return to fame and fortune .There is a customarilly peppy performance from the great Maureen O'Hara and a zestful cameo by Thomas Mitchell as the ebullient Buntline ,Cody's chronicler .
Not to be taken seriously as history but a decent if dated movie shot in lustrous colour and which should please lovers of the Western

4-0 out of 5 stars Clash at War Bonnet Gorge highlights this western film
This good screen biography is a hidden gem in western film lore and benefits from Joel McCrea's performance in the title role, great color, a fine cast, great scenery, a superbly mounted U.S. cavalry-Indian battle, and genuinely poignant moments. The random slaughter of buffalo on the plains for their robes is the spark that sets off a powder keg that explodes with hundreds of Sioux and Cheyennes going on the warpath to drive the white invaders from their hunting grounds. Hostilities between the Indians and the pony soldiers result in an exciting clash of red and blue at War Bonnet Gorge, symbolizing the struggle of two cultures and a way of life that the Indians fight desperately to preserve. War bonnets, war paint, buckskins, breechclouts, lances, tomahawks, coup sticks, sabers, tan campaign hats and blue and yellow uniforms are a blur in a savage mixture of military conflict that took place that day that forever broke the resistance of the Plains Indians to white domination.

1-0 out of 5 stars I want to cancel this item
I do not wish to purchase this item. I already purchased one yesterday and I didn't know it went through so please do not send it to me.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Way To Pass The Time on a Saturday Evening...
This is a good film for all ages indeed. Growing up in Stonewall, Texas (birthplace of Lyndon Baines Johnson), I remember seeing this film with my parents in the theatres when I was 15. The cast is perfect with heavy supporting players such as Anthony Quinn and Linda Darnell. So what lowers my rating by one star you ask? Well, the length. Although it couldn't be more that 100 minutes, there is slightly a tad less action than there is verbal communication and the picture sticks to the same theme too long (i.e. Buffalo Bill's friendship with the Cheyenne Indians). If only the dialouge was a little more fast paced, this film would be of more entertainment.

Yet as my headline reads, if you have not too much to do on a Saturday evening and feel like passing the time with a historic movie, watch this then. ... Read more


18. Fallen Sparrow
Director: Richard Wallace
list price: $19.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 630218293X
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 30482
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19. Spencer's Mountain
Director: Delmer Daves
list price: $19.98
our price: $19.98
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Asin: 6303212255
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 2805
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good Adaptation of the Hamner Novel With One Exception
Before THE WALTONS, Earl Hamner Jr. wrote a novel called
SPENCER'S MOUNTAIN, a fictionalized version of his childhood
in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The film version of
his novel is in general excellent--Henry Fonda is a standout
as tough-but-loving Clay Spencer--but I always thought
James MacArthur was too old to be playing Clay-Boy, and he's
certainly NOT the charming but gawky red-headed kid described
in the novel! Richard Thomas was also older than the John-Boy

character he portrayed on the television series, but he
was made to look like a gawky teenager where MacArthur never
does. (Incidentally, the family on TV is known as the Waltons
rather than the Spencers because after the movie was made
the studio owned the rights to the name "Spencer" so Hamner
had to change it for TV.)

My big quibble with this movie, and the reason I won't rate
it higher, is the character of Claris. In the novel she's a
bold, precocious, but ultimately nice girl--in the movie she
just comes off as a slut. The actress slithers and oozes like
some sort of Lolita-clone.

4-0 out of 5 stars INSPIRED "THE WALTON'S"
Fonda plays the larger-than-life patriarch of 9 (with O'Hara as his wife) who's inherited the Wyoming mountain land claimed by his father. Fonda's dream is to build a new house large enough to contain his brood, but something always gets in his way. Sentimental family fare based on a novel by Earl Hamner, Jr.

4-0 out of 5 stars Classic Delmer Daves production
"Spencer's Mountain" , written by Earl Hamner, Jr. of "The Walton's" wrote this script in the 1950s and it shows. Like many of the Delmer Daves movies of this era, this film combines a Max Steiner score, great cinematography and a heart-tugging story from a more innocent America. This is a great movie to get lost in, enjoy, and have a good cry. I sit back and re-live this film at least once a year.

4-0 out of 5 stars A great family video
I loved this movie--Henry Fonda is wonderful as the hard-working, loving, commonsense father of nine children. Maureen O'Hara plays his wife and does a great job as a woman of faith who is constantly being challenged by the struggles of raising a large family with little income. It gives a beautiful portrait of a close-knit family whose members sacrifice freely for one another. A great family movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is a funny, heartwrenching movie
This is such a beautifully made film. It made me laugh (really hard), then had me on the verge of tears. This is a true look at rual America in the 40's (or was it the 30's). And for a movie made 40 years ago, it has some pretty smart dialogue. Spencer's son has this "loose" girlfreind who's always getting the poor guy in trouble. "Wannna get the dictionary and look up all the dirty words?" she asks the son while she tries (unsuccessfully) to seduce him in the town library. Don't get me wrong there is nothing vulgar about this film. It really is a family classic. Hnery Fonda is in peak form here. A REAL look at family life. ... Read more


20. Bagdad
Director: Charles Lamont
list price: $14.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 630434208X
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 10266
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars She was a goddess playing a princess!
Maureen O'Hara played her part in Bagdad to perfection. She became such a part of the movie that the viewer was drawn into the play and you could not be released even after the movie was over. You will compare all other films about that part of the world to this movie for the restr of your life! ... Read more


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