5 classic films starring "The Duke," with tons of extra features!...
The High And The Mighty - 2-Disc Special Collector's Edition (1954, 148 mins.): Soar into the skies on a thrilling airborne adventure in this meticulously restored John Wayne film classic. In one of his most memorable roles, Wayne plays Dan Roman, a veteran pilot haunted by a tragic past. Now relegated to second-in-command cockpit assignments, he finds himself scheduled on a routine Honolulu-to-San Francisco flight - one that takes a terrifying, suspense-building turn when disaster strikes high above the Pacific Ocean at the point of no return. A "Who's Who" of Hollywood greats - Claire Trevor, Laraine Day, Robert Stack, Jan Sterling, Phil Harris and Robert Newton, among others - are aboard for this celebrated drama bursting with conflict and excitement. Nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Director (William A. Wellman) and two Best Supporting Actress nods (Trevor and Sterling), the film nabbed the Oscar for Dimitri Tiomkin's unforgettable musical score.
Donovan's Reef (1963, 108 mins.): Acclaimed director John Ford and screen legend John Wayne team up for what would be their final collaboration in this boisterous, rowdy South Seas escapade. The Duke, Lee Marvin and Jack Warden play World War II navy buddies who have made the French Polynesian island of Haleakaloha their post-war paradise. Local headquarters is Donovan's Reef, Wayne's rough-and-tumble watering hole where bragging, brawling, and full-blown misbehavior are the order of the day. But destined to create more turmoil than any barroom fisticuffs is the sudden arrival of Elizabeth Allen, a straight-laced Boston blue blood. She's hoping to locate her long-estranged father (Warden), affirm that he is "not of good moral character," and then assume control of the family's shipping dynasty back home in the States. Suave, debonair Cesar Romero and a strong-clad Dorothy Lamour add to the laughs - and mayhem - in this tropical comedy treat.
Hatari! (1962, 159 mins.): Hatari! is Swahili for "danger" - and also the word for action, adventure and broad comedy in this two-fisted Howard Hawks effort. John Wayne stars as the head of a daring Tanganyka-based group which captures wild animals on behalf of the world's zoos. Hardy Kruger, Gerard Blain and Red Buttons are members of Wayne's men-only contingent, all of whom are reduced to jello when the curvaceous Elsa Martinelli enters the scene. In tried and true Howard Hawks fashion, Martinelli quickly becomes "one of the guys," though Wayne apparently can't say two words to her without sparking an argument. The second half of this amazingly long (159 minute) film concerns the care and maintenance of a baby elephant; the barely credible finale is devoted to a comic pachyderm stampede down an urban African street, ending literally at the foot of Martinelli's bed. The other scene worth mentioning involves comedy-relief Red Buttons' efforts to create a fireworks-powered animal trap. Not to be taken seriously for a minute, Hatari! is attractively packaged and neatly tied up with a danceable-pranceable theme song by Henry Mancini.
In Harm's Way (1965, 167 mins.): Director Otto Preminger's epic treatment of the bombing of Pearl Harbor details the devastating attack on the Hawaiian naval base as well as the explosive, behind-the-scenes stories. An awesome cast - including John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal, Henry Fonda, Carroll O'Connor, Burgess Meredith, Paula Prentiss, Dana Andrews and host of other notables - is interwoven into this account of the attack itself, the disobeyed orders, the American counter-offensive, father-son reunions, battles at sea, and layers of romantic entanglements. It's a story that's been told and re-told, but perhaps never so completely.
Island In The Sky - Special Collector's Edition (1953, 109 mins.): John Wayne heads an all-star cast in this edge-of-the-seat drama of heroism and survival. Set after WWII, Pilot Dooley (Wayne) and his flight crew are forced into an emergency crash landing in the frozen Canadian wilderness. As Dooley and his men battle hunger and below-zero temperatures in a desperate struggle for survival, his fellow pilots launch a seemingly impossible rescue mission. Lloyd Nolan, Walter Abel, James Arness, Andy Devine and Harry Carey Jr. also star in this engrossing tale of bravery, hope and triumph of the human spirit.