Here at Old Time Review, we have already discussed John Ford’s 1950 masterpiece, Rio Grande. In this review, we talked about the content of the film, an overview of the story and depictions of character and setting.
However, Eureka Entertainment have honoured this brilliant cavalry western with a brand new Blu-ray release as part of their Masters of Cinema series. In a new 1080p transfer completed only last year, Rio Grande really shines.
The picture quality is second to none, really emphasising Ford’s masterful use of atmosphere and the foreboding landscapes he highlighted in his films. The sound is also worth a mention here, as many will have probably seen this film over the years via a lesser medium. This transfer brings the audio elements out, making them crisp and vibrant. Together with the beautifully clear image, this means that Rio Grande has never felt more alive.
Another very welcome yet unexpected feature of this brand new release is the collection of extra features. This includes an audio commentary with star Maureen O’Hara; an archival documentary also featuring O’Hara; a making-of documentary; the theatrical trailer and a collector’s booklet filled with essays and transcripts featuring John Ford and Harry Carey Jr.
This era in Ford’s career, also the beginning of the partnership between Wayne and O’Hara, is so fascinating and full of wonderful characters. Even for the first time viewer, the extra material adds so much to the experience of owning this film. For the avid fan and collector of such works, they are more than one could hope for.
As a film, Rio Grande is second to none for drama, jeopardy and heartfelt character portrayal. It delivers on all the levels anyone would expect from John Ford. Then there is the added value of John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara and Ford’s stable of often used, incredibly talented familiar players.
Overall, both the film and its new release by Eureka are so worth checking out.