via press release:
Four memorable Westerns starring Joel McCrea, one of Hollywood’s most popular leading men, are coming to DVD in a very special collection for the first time ever from Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and Universal Studios Home Entertainment (USHE). Released as part of the TCM Vault Collection, the Joel McCrea Westerns Collection features the handsome star in such movies as The Virginian (1946), Cattle Drive (1951) and Border River (1954). The collection also includes McCrea’s final screen appearance in the 1976 western Mustang Country.
The Joel McCrea Westerns Collection will be available for a limited time, exclusively through TCM’s online store at http://tcm.com/vault, beginning April 16. In addition, TCM will celebrate Joel McCrea’s entire career when he takes center stage as TCM’s Star of the Month for May, with movies every Wednesday night.
Starting in the silent era, Joel McCrea rapidly became one of Hollywood’s most popular and versatile leading men. He was cast in everything from pre-Code dramas (The Common Law, 1931) and exotic adventures (The Most Dangerous Game, 1932) to suspense thrillers (Foreign Correspondent, 1940) and Preston Sturges comedies (Sullivan’s Travels, 1942). But his real forte was Westerns. By the late ’40s, he began to specialize in frontier sagas due to his immense appeal to fans of the genre and his preference for Westerns.
Each film in the Joel McCrea Westerns Collection has been fully restored and re-mastered. Together, they confirm McCrea’s iconic status as an enduring Western hero and the embodiment of honor, integrity and courage on the untamed plains of America. The set features digital restorations of both films, along with extensive on-screen bonus materials, such as photos, posters, lobby cards and more. The following are the four films included in the Joel McCrea Westerns Collection:
The Virginian (1946) – Joel McCrea steps into Gary Cooper’s boots with this remake about two cowboys (McCrea and co-star Sonny Tufts) vying for the affections of a newly arrived schoolteacher (Barbara Britton). The situation grows dire when it turns out the Tufts character is mixed up with rustlers. Brian Donlevy co-stars under the direction of Stuart Gilmore.
Cattle Drive (1951) – McCrea plays a veteran cowhand who tries to teach a bratty teenager a sense of values. Dean Stockwell stars as the teen, with Chill Wills and Leon Ames lending support. Kurt Neumann directs.
Border River (1954) – McCrea plays a gun-runner with $2 million in gold to buy guns for the Confederacy. He plans to use the charms of the beautiful Carmelita (Yvonne De Carlo) to get through to the Mexican general (Pedro Armendariz). George Sherman directed this sharp western, which features a scene-stealing performance by Alfonso Bedoya.
Mustang Country (1976) – In his final screen appearance, McCrea stars as an elderly rancher and former rodeo star who meets a runaway Native American teenager while tracking a wild stallion. Robert Fuller, Patrick Wayne and Nika Mina co-star in this film directed by longtime Laramie producer John C. Champion and featuring music by Lee Holdridge.
The Joel McCrea Westerns Collection makes a nice companion to the Audie Murphy Collection previously released under the TCM Vault Collection presented by Universal banner. Other previous Universal titles released include a pair of Marlene Dietrich dramas directed by Josef von Sternberg; a set of memorable Douglas Sirk films; a set of Pre-Code classics from the era before Hollywood began rigid self-censorship; a doublefeature with the 1941 and 1961 film versions of Fannie Hurst’s Back Street; and collections spotlighting such stars as Cary Grant, Fred MacMurray, Claudette Colbert, Barbara Stanwyck, Deanna Durbin and more.