Directed by: John Farrow
Starring: John Wayne, Geraldine Page, Ward Bond, Michael Pate, James Arness
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Distributed by: Paramount Home Entertainment
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Running Time: 83 minutes
Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars
When it comes to Western’s I usually approach cautiously but when it comes to John Wayne I run like a charging bull. John Wayne is such a legend and this film has such history behind it and it great to be able to finally see it restored on Blu-ray. “Hondo” just looks fantastic in its 1080p Blu-ray transfer and is presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. There is a bit of grain in places, but overall still looks out of this world. The audio though is not as impressive especially with its Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track. It really doesn’t add much to the film, I would recommend sticking with the Dolby TrueHD Mono track, also included. Since the film was originally shot in 3D, hopefully Paramount has plans of releasing this film on Blu-ray 3D in the near future.
“Hondo” is based on the Louis L’Amour story “The Gift of Cochise,” and features John Wayne as a half-Indian Cavalry scout and meets the strong-willed Angie Lowe (Geraldine Page) and her boy, Johnny (Lee Aaker). It is up to Hondo to protect Angie and her son as she is sitting right in the middle danger coming from nearby Native American tribes. As the two grow close, Angie finds out that Hondo, a man hardened by experience, is still capable of sympathy, kindness and love.
The special features are impressive overall. There is an amazing audio commentary featuring critic Leonard Maltin, Western Historian Frank Thompson, and Actor Lee Aaker. They focus on everything from the release to the shooting to the film’s 3D aspects. Highly recommended. “The Making of Hondo” is a three-part feature which features Leonard Maltin talking about the film, its director, the production and again the aspect of 3D. The next part is called “Profile: James Edward Grant” is a feature focusing on one of John Wayne’s favorite screenwriters. Lastly ” The John Wayne Stock Company: Ward Bond” takes a looks at John Wayne’s continuous on-screen companion actor. “From the Batjac Vaults” is a short feature with Leonard Maltin interviewing Michael Wayne, originally aired on “Entertainment Tonight” in 1994. “The Apache” run just about 15 minutes and takes a look at the Apache history. Lastly there is a Photo Gallery and Theatrical Trailer.