New in video stores this week: Double-disc DVD editions of two classic Westerns starring John Wayne, John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (co-starring James Stewart and Lee Marvin) and Howard Hawks’ El Dorado (with Robert Mitchum and James Caan). Released as part of Paramount Home Video’s “Centennial Collection” series, each film comes complete with photo galleries, souvenir booklets, optional commentary soundtracks, and behind-the-scenes documentaries. Director-historian Peter Bogdanovich contributes to the commentary tracks of both films – and, on Liberty Valance, shares archival recordings of interviews he did back in the day with Wayne and Ford. And Hawks biographer Todd McCarthy figures into the mix on the El Dorado commentary.
THE extras on both discs borrow heavily from their own commentaries ... I kept waiting for Bogdanovich and then Schickel to mention the J Caan "chinaman" routine and they were strangely silent ... I know let the past rest but that scene so takes you out of the film ... I consider Hawks the more interesting director yet Ford would never shoot a role as oddly racist as that in his films
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