John Wayne's daughter-in-law oversees release of 'Hondo' on widescreen Blu-ray
BY GENE TRIPLETT
The general public hasn’t seen “Hondo” ride across a wide screen since its initial 1953 release. Even then, most small-town theaters hadn’t yet converted to CinemaScope-
Consequently, most John Wayne fans have only seen the film in the old square format on screens both large and small.
But the Duke’s daughter-in-law has finally done something about all that.
“It’s really nice to be able to bring it to an audience that gets to see it the way it was intended to be seen,” said Gretchen Wayne in a recent phone interview promoting the debut of “Hondo” on Blu-ray, widescreen video format.
She is the keeper of many of her father-in-law’s best-loved films as owner and president of Batjac Productions, the independent film company founded in 1951 by John Wayne, and run for 40 years by Gretchen’s late husband Michael.
Gretchen Wayne took over Batjac after her husband’s death in 2003, and entered into a multi-picture, multiyear distribution deal with Paramount in 2004, supervising the restoration and rerelease of these films for home video.
The Blu-ray release of “Hondo” is another step toward fulfilling her husband’s mission to make all of his father’s films available to the public.
“And it is one of my favorite films,” she said. “It was certainly one of my husband’s favorites. And my father-in-law always felt he looked his best in this film. This was his peak in terms of physical appearance. And I think he’s right.”
Adapted by James Edward Grant from a Louis L’Amour short story, and directed by John Farrow, “Hondo” stars the Duke in the title role of a Cavalry scout who happens upon the modest Lowe ranch where he finds strong-willed Angie (Geraldine Page in her screen debut) and her small son Johnny (Lee Aaker of TV’s “Rin Tin Tin”), going about their business unaware of hostile Apaches nearby.
The film also stars Ward Bond, Michael Pate and James Arness, two years before he made his bow as Matt Dillon on TV’s “Gunsmoke.”
“My husband and I were dating, we were both in high school at the time this film was being made, and he left to go down to Mexico with his brother Patrick to be on location with his
dad,” Gretchen Wayne recalled. “So I got to hear all the stories about how there hadn’t been rain in seven years, and that’s why they went down there, to have the beautiful clouds and the sky and not worry about water. And, of course, it rained for the first time in seven years.”
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 15818Live blog: "The Voice" Season 4 live finale - performance episode
- 15704Oklahoma storms: Profile of Life: Megan and Case Futrell
- 11547Police shoot, kill man holding child hostage in Midwest City
- 11243'Firehouse' in Oklahoma City's Deep Deuce is set to become new home
- 10839Norman man threatens Oklahoma Gov. Fallin's 'child' and local sheriff in emails
- 9666OKC Central: Architectural "Worsts"
- 7447Dillon Overton rips former Sooners coach Sunny Golloway on Twitter
- 6917Red meat might be delicious, but not as nutritious
- 6738Was Special Treatment Given in Oklahoma Vice Mayor DUI Traffic Stop?
- 6691Brad Lund granted two-year lease to Taft Stadium for soccer team
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients