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DVD Reviews: John Wayne Big Westerns Collection: The Big Trail

The Final Say!

Feature Score:
DVD Extras Score

Reviewed by Alex Cuming
Review Date: 01 June 2003
Distributed by:
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Running Time: 104 Minutes

“Lets get our rifles and have ourselves a real big shoot up”.  “Just yonder those hills are the snowy mountains and the valley I told you about”. Words like these are used plentifully throughout and the over acting just keep on comin’.  The story is all right with many action scenes and love, betrayal and deception.  There are also some funny sections throughout which do not seem to show their age.  For example when one man is trying to have a heart to heart conversation with a woman, whilst a man hiding in a wagon makes light of it imitating him by sounding like Donald duck.  There are other funny moments as well which makes this film mildly entertaining. 

The story behind it is about a scout (John Wayne) who works his darndest to help a colony of settler’s find a new home.  Along the way he finds love and many an enemy.  The feuding within the colony is not what this is all about perhaps, but this is a film dedicated to the founders of Americas modern civilisation.  The settlers find themselves in much hardship and some of the comments throughout are profound.  The hardship is more of leverage for inspiration more than anything else.  The colonies have to cross-rivers, battle raging savages (Indians) and endure freezing conditions. 

The Big Trail is a fairly slow journey but it does its purpose well.  To inspire and help modern people understand how we all got here.  The film by the way is black and white but in Dolby Surround which is amazing considering.  It does not have the flashiness and edge of modern productions but is feasibly in it’s own right.  I for one have never really got into Westerns, today's CGI movies I just love so much more being a nerd and all.  The older generation would understand it a bit more especially history scholars.  Young people may not have the patience and tolerance of such old fashioned values and dialogue.  I must admit these older films do seem pretty primitive but practical.  But in all fairness it is a history lesson on colonial times of past era’s.

John Wayne Big Westerns: The Big Trail Features

  • Scene Selections


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