Reviews

Republic Pictures

Blaine Kyllo

Republic Pictures was an independent genre film studio active in the 194s and ’5s, specializing in westerns and action-adventure serials—the movies kids went to see on Saturday afternoons. But while the movies the studio released were B films on first release, a number of them have become classics to contemporary audiences. So the release of the Republic Pictures catalogue on DVD (distributed by Artisan) offers viewers such films as High Noon with Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly, or The Quiet Man (John Ford) with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, with remastered video and restored audio. And each DVD includes interviews with the stars, commentary tracks and other extras. Maureen O’Hara’s commentary on The Quiet Man is like Grandmother’s stories about the olden days: details about which bridge is gone, interspersed with fascinating trivia on what it was like to make movies back then. Of John Ford she says: “He was a mean old diddle, but a wonderful director. He liked to show what he wanted to talk about, not have lots of dialogue.” My only complaint is that the producers of this DVD, like many others, have included special features that are nothing more than pages of text on screen. A DVD is not a book.

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