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Category:    Home > Reviews > Western > John Wayne - The Early Years Collection (Roan)

John Wayne The Early Years Collection (Roan Group)


Picture: C- Sound: C- Extras: D Shorts: C



For fans of John Wayne, rarely seen feature films (reviewed elsewhere on this site) have been hitting DVD to the relief of die hard fans. You have to be even more die hard to want his old early 1930 serials. The Roan Group has released John Wayne The Early Years Collection, featuring the following shorts through the long defunct Lone Star Productions:


1)     Blue Steel (1934)

2)     The Lucky Texan (1934)

3)     West Of The Divide (1934)

4)     Hell Town (1936)

5)     Paradise Canyon (1935)



These were made before The Western became a full fledged genre in 1939 with the Wayne/John Ford classic Stagecoach and have their historic worth, so having any copies are a plus. There was definitely work done to fix these, but that could only go so far. Wayne plays a different character in each in a situation typical of the genre.


The 1.33 X 1 image has been as restored as possible, but the condition of the picture on all five are scratched up with vertical lines all over and are a few generations down. The sound is in MPEG 2.0 Mono, though the package says Dolby Digital, which we do not run into much. Most DVD players are set to convert the signal to PCM sound, but if you get silence, just go into your menu and reset the sound for conversion to something you can hear. With that said, the sound is brittle and old, suffering as much as the picture. There are no extras.



- Nicholas Sheffo


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