Aug 242019

Although one of his lesser and simpler films, John Ford’s Wagon Master is a very well made 1950s western featuring a great setting and some solid performances all around.



Wagon Master
— Warner Archive Collection —

Genre(s): Western
Warner Archive | NR – 86 min. – $21.99 | August 13, 2019

Date Published: 08/24/2019 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: John Ford
Writer(s): Frank Nugent (written by)
Cast: Ben Johnson, Joanne Dru, Harry Carey Jr., Ward Bond

Features: Commentary
Slip Cover: No
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono)
Video: 1080p/Full Frame 1.37
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 26.58 GB
Total Bitrate: 41.26 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C



When a group of Mormons are run out of town for their religious beliefs, Elder Wiggs (WARD BOND) searches for a wagon master to guide the outcasts to the San Juan Valley. Happening upon horse traders Travis Blue (BEN JOHNSON) and Sandy (HARRY CAREY JR.), Wiggs convinces the men to take the position due to their intimate knowledge of the area. Despite Blue and Sandy’s guidance, the travelers experience numerous setbacks, especially when the Clegg family outlaws take refuge in their wagon train.



This does come with an Audio Commentary with Actor Harry Carey Jr. and filmmaker Peter Bogdonovich, who has a vast knowledge of the work by John Ford and also serves a moderator to ask Carey Jr. questions about the production.


VIDEO – 4.5/5, AUDIO – 4.25/5

Wagon Master debuts on Blu-ray presented with a 1.37 full frame aspect ratio and the picture looks pretty dang pristine. Detail was incredibly sharp throughout and the black and white presentation was clean, free of dust marks, aliasing and other flaws while the natural grain was retained.

The movie includes a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono track which does sound solid. Dialogue comes through with good clarity and the old west setting does show off some depth-filled, even through a singular channel, ambient noises.

OVERALL – 3.5/5

Although one of his lesser and simpler films, John Ford’s Wagon Master is a very well made 1950s western featuring a great setting (filmed both in Utah and Arizona) and some solid performances all around. The Blu-ray release from Warner’s Archive Collection includes brilliant video and audio transfers and the commentary makes for an entertaining listen.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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