Skip to content

DVD Review: John Wayne Essential 14-Movie Collection

August 9, 2021

By John Corrado

Back in May, Paramount released the John Wayne 14-Movie Collection on DVD, a mammoth set featuring films from three decades of the iconic actor’s career.

The 14 films included in the set are: Hondo (1953), Island in the Sky (1953), The High and the Mighty (1954), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (1962), Hatari! (1962), Donovan’s Reef (1963), McLintock! (1963), In Harm’s Way (1965), The Sons of Katie Elder (1965), El Dorado (1966), True Grit (1969), Rio Lobo (1970), Big Jake (1971), and The Shootist (1976).

Out of these films, it’s worth noting that Rio Lobo and Big Jake were released on Blu-ray a few years back as part of a Double Feature, and Hondo and McLintock! previously received standalone Blu-ray releases from Paramount.

While many of the films in this collection are Westerns, the set also notably features several films encompassing other genres as well. We get the two aviation films Island in the Sky and The High and the Mighty, a pair of survival thrillers that were both based on novels by pilot Ernest K. Gann, as well as Otto Preminger’s World War II Navy drama In Harm’s Way, which is set around the events of Pearl Harbour and was shot on location.

There’s also Howard Hawks’s safari adventure comedy Hatari! which is set in Africa, and John Ford’s Hawaiian-set comedy Donovan’s Reef. The latter of which presented a much lighter change of pace in terms of the collaborations between Wayne and Ford, who had previously directed him in some of his finest films such as Stagecoach, The Quiet Man, The Searchers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (included here). Many of the films feature notable supporting casts as well, with appearances from a variety of recognizable character actors.

Some highlights of the set include such films as Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, Wayne’s sole Oscar-winning performance in True Grit, and his final leading role in The Shootist. While this is only a small sampling of the over 140 films that Wayne starred in, and a number of his non-Paramount classics are absent from the set, the John Wayne 14-Movie Collection serves as an economical way to get a good sampling of the iconic actor’s filmography.

Bonus Features (DVD):

There are bonus features on all but two of the fourteen discs, including a lot of appearances from film critic and historian Leonard Maltin who offers some informative introductions that provide greater context on the films and how they fit into Wayne’s career. Due to the variances in cover art from plain silver to actual illustrations, the discs themselves appear to have been pulled from different collections, with a couple being labelled as disc one suggesting they originated from a two-disc set.

The discs themselves come packaged in an extra wide clamshell case, which resembles the cases that Paramount has used for their releases of TV series. My one criticism of the packaging is that some of the discs are stacked on top of each other, and were rattling around the case when I got it.

Hondo: Special Collector’s Edition:

Introduction by Leonard Maltin (2 minutes 31 seconds)

Commentary by Leonard Maltin, Western Historian Frank Thompson and Actor Lee Baker

The Making of Hondo

The Making of Hondo (19 minutes, 49 seconds)

Profile: James Edward Grant (12 minutes, 34 seconds)

The John Wayne Stock Company: Ward Bond (9 minutes, 35 seconds)

From the Batjac Vaults (2 minutes, 28 seconds)

The Apache (14 minutes, 50 seconds)

Hondo is 83 minutes and rated G

McLintock!: Authentic Collector’s Edition:

Introduction by Leonard Maltin (2 minutes 39 seconds)

Commentary by Leonard Maltin, Frank Thompson, Maureen O’Hara, Stefanie Powers, Michael Pate, Michael Wayne and Andrew McLaglen

The Making of McClintock!

The Batjac Story Part 2: The Legacy of Michael Wayne (15 minutes, 53 seconds)

Maureen O’Hara and Stefanie Powers Remember McClintock! (13 minutes, 18 seconds)

A Good Ol’ Fashion Fight (10 minutes, 50 seconds)

McClintock! Is 127 minutes and rated PG

The Shootist:

Theatrical Trailer (3 minutes, 16 seconds)

The Shootist – The Legend Lives On (18 minutes, 22 seconds)

The Shootist is 99 minutes and rated 14A

El Dorado:

Theatrical Trailer (3 minutes, 5 seconds)

El Dorado is 126 minutes and rated G

The Sons of Katie Elder:

Theatrical Trailer (3 minutes, 12 seconds)

The Sons of Katie Elder is 121 minutes and rated PG

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence: Centennial Collection (Disc One):

Selected Scene Commentary (with intro by Dan Ford along with his archival recordings with John Ford, James Stewart and Lee Marvin) (22 minutes, 43 seconds)

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence is 123 minutes and rated PG

True Grit: Special Collector’s Edition:

Commentary by Jeb Rosebrook, Bob Bose Bell and J. Stuart Rosebrook

True Writing (4 minutes 29 seconds)

Working With The Duke (10 minutes, 15 seconds)

Aspen Gold: The Locations of True Grit (10 minutes, 20 seconds)

The Law and the Lawless (5 minutes, 47 seconds)

Theatrical Trailer (3 minutes 41 seconds)

True Grit is 127 minutes and rated PG

Rio Lobo:

No bonus features.

Rio Lobo is 114 minutes and rated PG

Big Jake:

No bonus features.

Big Jake is 109 minutes and rated PG

Island in the Sky:

Introduction by Leonard Maltin (3 minutes, 57 seconds)

Commentary by Leonard Maltin, Darryl Hickman, William Wellman Jr., Vincent Longo and James Lydon

The Making of Island in the Sky

Dooley’s Down (8 minutes, 8 seconds)

Ernest K. Gann: Adventurer, Author & Artist (18 minutes, 45 seconds)

Flight School: The Art of Aerial Cinematography (5 minutes, 58 seconds)

The John Wayne Stock Company: Harry Carey, Jr. (7 minutes, 48 seconds)

Flying for Uncle Sam (8 minutes, 44 seconds)

Theatrical Trailer (2 minutes, 44 seconds)

Island in the Sky is 109 minutes and rated G

Donovan’s Reef:

Theatrical Trailer (2 minutes, 44 seconds)

Donovan’s Reef is 108 minutes and rated G

The High and the Mighty (Disc 1):

Introduction by Leonard Maltin (4 minutes, 0 seconds)

The High and the Mighty is 148 minutes and rated G

Hatari!:

Theatrical Trailer (2 minutes, 57 seconds)

Hatari! Is 157 minutes and rated G

In Harm’s Way:

Trailer 1 (4 minutes, 56 seconds)

Trailer 2 (1 minute, 57 seconds)

Trailer 3 (1 minute, 47 seconds)

Original 1965 Featurette: “The Making of a Movie” (8 minutes, 4 seconds)

In Harm’s Way is 166 minutes and rated PG

John Wayne Essential 14-Movie Collection is a Paramount Home Entertainment release.

Street Date: May 11th, 2021

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: