• Best known for the technical specs- 70mm three screen Cinerama— made it impossible to have a close up and until the spectacular Bluray transfer made it impossible to watch at home
  • It’s a film that has grown on me and gotten better as the transfers from VHS has improved when I started getting into cinema around the year 2000 when I first saw the film
  • Nearly every great actor from the period is in the film. Cousins of the film are the longest day with the ensemble and it’s a mad mad mad  mad world with 70mm (mad world), overcrowded ensemble (both films) and attempt to define a genre (both films)
  • Stars Debbie Reynolds, Karl Malden, Gregory Peck, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Henry Fonda, Eli Wallach, Richard Widmark, Cobb, Brennan, Van Cleef, Massey, Moorehead and many more
  • Close to an anthology film with different directors but it’s really the story of one family- perhaps Hollywood’s ultimate answer to television as a visual spectacle figuratively saying “ you cannot watch something like this at home”
  • Great score by Alfred Newman
  • 12,000 extras
  • Ford’s segment is short but stunning—he knows exactly what to do with the extra space and frame. There are trees surrounding these characters on the massive tableau. Symmetry in his frame
  • Debbie Reynolds in all of them- really the story of her character’s family through the trip west, Indians, railroad, etc
  • Love the Spencer Tracy voice over
  • Visually splendid with the landscapes and jaw-dropping vistas
  • Again in Ford’s short Civil War story we have a gorgeous shot of the river at night with canon fire lighting it up
  • The buffalo stampede set piece is a wow as well
  • Grand Canyon shot finale and the montage of the country growing with a series of beautiful helicopter shots in movement is a triumph as well
  • All 4 DP’s used had previously won an Academy Award
  • Top 10 film of the year quality
  • Highly Recommend