You’re looking at it. Two movies.
John Ford’s The Searchers (1956) and Howard Hawks’ Rio Bravo (1959).
Two movies. Of course, they’re two of the absolute best. And from what I’ve heard, both are stunning, particularly The Searchers with its VistaVision photography — though I’ve heard of audio sync problems with it. (As far as I’m concerned, Blu-Ray was developed primarily for sticking VistaVision onto your television.)
Other incredible Westerns, from other decades, are available on the format — from Ford’s Stagecoach (1939) to How The West Was Won (1962) to the three Eastwood/Leone pictures to Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch (1969). Good stuff. And good-looking.
Let’s all try to forget just how many times we’ve already bought these films. The videotapes. The laserdiscs. The letterboxed laserdiscs. The DVDs. The special edition DVDs. And on and on. Sure, we’ll buy ‘em again — and probably again when Blu-Ray winds up on the technological slag heap.
I’m sure every fan of these old cowboy pictures has a favorite or two (or 57) they’d love to see benefit from all that extra resolution. Randolph Scott in Budd Boetticher’s Ride Lonesome (1959) would be number one for me. Or maybe The Man From Laramie (1955). Or The Big Country (1958), with all those William Wyler long shots. (I really hate that Son Of Paleface showed up on HD just in time for the entire format to be sent to Boot Hill.)
We can wish all we want. And in the meantime, we can marvel at John Wayne and company in their full 1080 splendor. But does that justify the new TV and all the necessary accessories (cables, mounts, furniture, Raisinets) that go with it?
For two movies?