Who are you to argue with Al Bundy? The long-suffering husband from TV's "Married with Children" declared that the classic John Wayne western Hondo was his favorite film of all time, and if he were around today – and able to afford a Blu-ray player (which seems unlikely) – he'd be thrilled that Paramount has just announced the film's high-definition debut on June 5th. The film stars Wayne as an army despatch rider who defends a frontier family caught in the middle of a war with the Apaches, and earned Geraldine Page an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Hondo was based on the story "The Gift of Chochise" by famed western writer Louis L'Amour, which L'Amour then adapted back into a best-selling novel based on the film. John Farrow directed, but was forced to leave the project shortly before it was completed. Frequent John Wayne collaborator John Ford (The Searchers) shot much of the film's climactic action sequence in Farrow's place. Hondo was also shot in 3-D, although it seems that this release only includes the film's more commonly screened two-dimensional presentation.
Hondo comes to high-definition with a 1080p transfer and a saddlebag full of special features, including an introduction by Leonard Maltin, a commentary track by Maltin, western historian Frank Thompson and Lee Aaker, who played Page's six-year old son Johnny in the film and later starred in the TV series "The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin." Other special features include the four-part "The Making of Hondo," as well as "From the Batjac Vaults," "The Apache," a photo gallery and the film's theatrical trailer.
Hondo premieres on Blu-ray June 5th, suggested retail price $24.99.