Director: John Ford
Cast: James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles
Release Date: May 17, 2022
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Paramount Presents brings one of the greatest movies of the Western genre to 4K UHD with HDR. Pioneering Oscar-winning director John Ford brings together an all-star cast that features (for the first time together) John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart, alongside Vera Miles, Lee Marvin, John Carradine and Lee Van Cleef. Adapted from a short story by Dorothy M. Johnson, the screenplay by James Warner Bellah and Willis Goldbeck left us with an iconic quote—“when the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”
Please Note: Paramount Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
The acclaimed Western classic ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ tells the story of a Senator recounting the tale of his early days fresh out of law school. Attacked by a vicious outlaw named Liberty Valance which resulted in his stay in a nearby town where the friendships and experiences he built within, as well as the conflict with the bandit Valance all ended up changing his life forever. From four-time Academy Award winning director John Ford, the film brings together icons James Stewart and John Wayne onscreen for the first time and also stars Vera Miles, Lee Marvin, John Carradine and Lee Van Cleef.
The beloved 1962 Western Masterpiece ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ arrives home in glorious 4K Ultra HD for the first time as the thirty-first entry in the ongoing Limited Edition ‘Paramount Presents’ line. The release also marks the first ‘Paramount Presents’ release in 4K, while additionally including a newly remastered Blu-ray disc with extras on top of it. This cinematic gem is certainly a tremendously welcome addition to the ‘Paramount Presents’ line which showcases various beloved films from Paramount’s decades spanning catalog with newly remastered video presentations paired with solid audio presentations, extras and collectible packaging. It’s also great to see the lineup finally offering a title in 4K Ultra HD while at the same time including a newly remastered Blu-ray within for those who haven’t yet upgraded to the format or are simply still fully satisfied with the Blu-ray format.
‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ is guided along by multiple Academy Award winning director John Ford and teams cinematic icons James Stewart and John Wayne for the first time. Considered by many as one of the greatest westerns of the era and rightly so, it still delivers a powerful, touching and altogether rewarding viewing today to say the least, a whopping sixty years after its initial release. If you’ve never had the pleasure of this iconic western then I would strongly urge you to give it a shot. Fans of this western gem should be blown away by this wonderful release that delivers marvelously in nearly every way, bringing the film home looking better than many probably ever expected it to. If you’re already considering a purchase of this one then I can’t possibly recommend it highly enough.
Overall, the ‘Paramount Presents’ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of the 1962 western ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ brings the iconic John Ford classic starring John Wayne and James Stewart home for the first time in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc, newly remastered and looking simply stunning. Offering both a 4K Ultra HD disc with a marvelous 2160p Ultra High Definition video presentation that’s further complemented by Dolby Vision HDR and a solid Dolby TrueHD soundtrack, as well as a newly remastered Blu-ray disc sporting a gorgeous high definition video presentation and some notable bonus content, plus of course the collectible packaging featured on each of the Limited Edition ‘Paramount Presents’ releases. Altogether it’s a truly spectacular release that any dedicated fan will probably want to consider adding to their collection. This one is definitely highly recommended!
The ‘Paramount Presents’ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack release of ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ features a full 2160p Ultra High Definition presentation with Dolby Vision and HDR-10, presented in its original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio on a 4K Ultra HD disc, along with a newly remastered full 1080p High Definition presentation on a Blu-ray disc.
The 4K Ultra HD video presentation looks phenomenal and delivers a clean, faithful and richly detailed presentation from start to finish that never suffers from any noticeable faults or issues along the way, yet still retains plenty of grain and other welcome artifacts representative of its source material. The 4K presentation is only further complemented by the Dolby Vision addition which helps to deliver a perfectly balanced look with rich, deep blacks and vibrant whites throughout and the ultra HD offering also shows noticeable improvement in detail from minor specifics of buildings to the clarity of stubble and other facial details and the end result is a wonderful video presentation that should utterly thrill fans of this classic.
The newly remastered Blu-ray presentation also looks fantastic in its own right and while it may not be quite as immaculate and stunning as its 4K counterpart, it serves up a sharp, beautifully detailed and nearly flawless high definition video presentation that’s also rich with natural grain and detail throughout; almost surely the best it’s looked on Blu-ray and honestly not a far drop from the 4K disc either. Those fans who haven’t yet fully upgraded to 4K Ultra HD should still truly love this outstanding high definition video presentation which never disappoints.
The 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray discs within both feature a restored 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack offers a crisp, clean and well balanced audio presentation throughout. Unsurprisingly, there’s little to no real activity in the surround channels which is understandable considering its age and source soundtrack and in that respect it remains quite faithful to what one would imagine the original experience provided. It does a great job of keeping every auditory element within well balanced and sounding sharp, clean and fully audible without ever allowing action related effects and dialogue nor anything else that might be occurring simultaneously to clash with one another. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack that may not be overly immersive but certainly does its job well and should please the film’s fans.
The ‘Paramount Presents’ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ features the usual collectible packaging included on each of the Limited Edition ‘Paramount Presents’ releases complete with a slipcase that opens up to feature a large version of the original theatrical poster, along with more photos on the inside of the interior disc case (see the included beauty shot from the studio at the bottom of the review for a look inside). The release also offers a few worthwhile extras that can be found on the included Blu-ray disc including a ‘Feature Audio Commentary with filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich, along with his archival recordings with John Ford and James Stewart’, in addition to ‘Selected Scene Audio Commentary with introduction by Dan Ford, along with his archival recordings with John Ford, James Stewart and Lee Marvin’ on 7 notable sequences. The release also features the new retrospective Featurette ‘Filmmaker Focus: Leonard Maltin on The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ (running approximately 7 minutes in length) in addition to the multi-part feature ‘The Size of Legends, The Soul of Myth’ (running approximately 51 minutes altogether). The film’s ‘Original Theatrical Trailer’ (approximately 3 minutes) is also included.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the included Blu-Ray disc and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this 4K UHD/Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
The Beloved Western Masterpiece ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack; Newly Remastered as part of the ‘Paramount Presents’ line from Paramount Home Entertainment
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