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Duke of Paramount Importance

9 Sep, 2004 By: Erik Gruenwedel

A slew of films starring and produced by John Wayne are scheduled to make their DVD and cable TV debuts in May 2005 following an agreement between Paramount Home Entertainment and the late actor's production company.

Among the titles slated for first-time video release are The High and the Mighty (1954) and Island in the Sky (1953). The former will be digitally restored in 5.1 surround sound by Gretchen Wayne, the wife of Wayne's late son, Michael, who owned his father's production company, Batjac Productions, for more than 30 years.

Other titles include Hondo (1953) and McLintock! (1962), making their DVD debuts.DVDs will include extensive bonus materials culled from Wayne's personal library. Release dates and pricing have not been announced.

Paramount, which owns 63 Wayne films, including True Grit, El Dorado, The Shootist and Donovan's Reef, will also release five Batjac productions: Man in the Vault (1956), Plunder of the Sun (1953), Ring of Fear (1954), Seven Men from Now (1956) and Track of the Cat (1954).

“With the addition of these [films] … Paramount has truly become the home of John Wayne films,” said Thomas Lesinski, president of Paramount Pictures, Worldwide Home Entertainment.

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