The IMDb page says the widescreen version ran 158 mins., vs. 120 - 125 mins. for the 35mm and "FMC library" prints, respectively. I haven't clocked what runs on FMC (and it's impossible to do so on the now crummy and commercial-filled AMC), but these times seem about right. But even if there are scenes, or poorer-quality film elements, missing on the various prints, it's inconceivable that Fox, alone of all its widescreen films, refused to put this title out in a letterboxed version (putting it on a dual-film disc, with their FMC version, would have seemed a logical way to go too). As one poster said, it's an old film and you can't necessarily expect pristine elements throughout the film.
The widescreen version they usually show on FMC does seem to me to be about a 2.20:1 a.r., but does anyone know what the true aspect ratio for "Grandeur" was? It might not necessarily have been the same as Cinemascope (2.55 or 2.35:1), as it was a different process.
I said on another thread on this subject that there are occasional rumors of a re-issue with the letterboxed version, but so far nothing coming. I'd have thought Wayne's centennial this year would have provided the perfect excuse for it, but no dice. And Fox is usually good about releasing their stuff.
Oh, per another poster's observation: this is NOT the movie that made Duke a star. In fact, it was a big box office flop (theaters' inability to show it in "Grandeur" being among its problems), and this disaster relegated Wayne to B westerns for the rest of the 30s, till John Ford finally gave him the role that did make him a star, Ringo in the superlative "Stagecoach".
The widescreen "Grandeur" version will be released alongside the full-screen version of the film as part of the The Big Trail SE on May 13th, 2008.
I recently made the mistake of purchasing the Fox DVD version....Boy did that suck! First it's not letterboxed and 2nd it's the edited version! needless to say I returned it!
Fortunately I have an older copy that I taped years ago of AMC - before they screwed the pooch.........It's letterboxed and basically intact, content-wise.
Guess I'm going to have to transfer my VHS copy to DVD and leave it at that....It's hard to believe now that AMC used to run stuff uncut and sometimes letterboxed.
The only thing in favor of the Fox DVD is that the print has been cleaned up and the sound improved....What a disappointment.
Didn't you see the other thread (which I posted in Feb.)? The original, widescreen version is finally being released by Fox May 13. It's a two-disc set that also includes the full screen, presumably shorter version, plus a bunch of extras, remastered picture and sound, etc., etc. Don't bother to transfer anything, the real deal will be here in a month.
By the way, you're 100% right about the now-trashed AMC.
For those who missed it. A great version was released on Blu-Ray.