American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 93

Schickel, who knew Walsh in his later
years. "He had the right stuff."
Finally, after shooting what
Walsh estimated to be 500,000' of
70mm film and 700,000' of 35mm film
on a movie boasting 93 feature players,
1,800 head of cattle, 1,400 horses and
500 buffalo - with 700 assorted dogs,
pigs and chickens - production
wrapped on August 20, 1930.
There was only one problem:
Hardly anyone was destined to see the
70mm epic Walsh had just made. Upon
The Big Trail 's release, only two theaters
in the country - Grauman's Chinese in
Hollywood, and the Roxy in New York
- had been refitted with a 70mm
Grandeur projection system. With most
theaters having just undergone costly
upgrades for sound, there was simply no
Depression-era money left to refit for
70mm. So everyone else was going to
see (and hear) The Big Trail on 35mm in
the conventional 1.33:1 aspect ratio.
What they saw and heard was a decent

Western, but nothing spectacular.
Without Grandeur, The Big Trail failed
to live up to its name.
"It's so spectacular in widescreen
that if enough people had actually been
able to see it the way it was intended to
be seen, it could have been a different
story," says USC professor Rick Jewell.
Instead, the 70mm Big Trail would not
be seen widely until it was restored -
by preservationist Peter Williamson at
the Museum of Modern art, in collaboration with Ralph Sargent and others
- in the early 1980s.
Although the 35mm Big Trail
grossed $945,000 domestically, with
$242,000 in foreign receipts, it wasn't
nearly enough to recoup the movie's
budget, which had ballooned to $2.5
million. Already overextended financially, Fox Film would go into receivership shortly after The Big Trail 's release,
eventually merging with Darryl
Zanuck's Twentieth Century Pictures
to create today's 20th Century Fox.

John Wayne would temporarily be
banished to the purgatory of serials,
with the Western genre soon to follow.
And widescreen cinematography -
viewed as costly and impractical -
would be put back on the shelf until the
early 1950s.
Still, everything new about The
Big Trail - including its 70mm
imagery, higher fidelity sound, and
John Wayne - would prove its appeal
in years ahead. The legacy of The Big
Trail would ultimately be as big as the
frontier it depicted. As Hora puts it,
"The Big Trail is monumental."
‚óŹ

93


http://www.filmo-usa.com http://www.filmo-usa.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - April 2015

Contents
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - Intro
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 1
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 2
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - Contents
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 4
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 5
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 6
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 7
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 8
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 9
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 10
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 11
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 12
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 13
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 14
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 15
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 16
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 17
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 18
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 19
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 20
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 21
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 22
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 23
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 24
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 25
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 26
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 27
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 28
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 29
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 30
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 31
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 32
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 33
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 34
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 35
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 36
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 37
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 38
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 39
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 40
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 41
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 42
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 43
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 44
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 45
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 46
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 47
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 48
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 49
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 50
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 51
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 52
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 53
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 54
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 55
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 56
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 57
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 58
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 59
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 60
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 61
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 62
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 63
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 64
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I1
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I2
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I3
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I4
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I5
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I6
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I7
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I8
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 65
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 66
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 67
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 68
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 69
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 70
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 71
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 72
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 73
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 74
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 75
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 76
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 77
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 78
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 79
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 80
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 81
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 82
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 83
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 84
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 85
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 86
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 87
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 88
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 89
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 90
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 91
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 92
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 93
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 94
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 95
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 96
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 97
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 98
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 99
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 100
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 101
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 102
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 103
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 104
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 105
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 106
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 107
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 108
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 109
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 110
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American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 112
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 113
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 114
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 115
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 116
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 117
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 118
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 119
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 120
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - Cover4
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