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How The West Was Won
The Complete First Season

review by Zach B.

 

Running Time: 398 Minutes 

Starring: James Arness, Eva Marie Saint, Bruce Boxleitner, Kathryn Holcomb, William Kirby Cullen, Vicki Schreck

 
 

Studio: Warner Bros.

Retail Price: $19.98

Features: None

Specs: 1.33:1 Full Screen, Dolby Digital Mono, English Subtitles, Episode Selection, Chapters, Two-Disc Set 

Released: July 9th, 2013

 


Sorry gang, but the first episodes of "How The West Was Won" represent some of the worst transfers for an older show I have seen come to DVD in a long time. Not that I was expecting a clean-up, but what's here is comparable to tape-dub VHS quality. The whole show looks washed out, and the image is far from stabalized. The prints used are messy and grainy, and everything related to color appears off. Mosquito noise is always apparent, too. When it comes to the series, there is nothing picturesque here. Pretty much unwatchable, but if you like the show, you'll have to bear with it.


Faring better are the English mono tracks on the episode. I would not necessarily call them crisp, but on the other hand, they don't have distracting issues. Dialogue comes in clear enough, sound effects are audible and the music cues are fine. These are straightforward and listenable — as expected — but nothing more. 

Subtitles are available in English.

 



Sorry, but I am not counting the television film "The Machans" — which inspired the series — as an extra. It's nice for it to be included though, and you can find it on the second disc. What's here is straightforward, and nothing more.

 


Unfortunately, there is not too much to recommend about the first season of "How The West Was Won" on DVD. (The term season should be used loosely, as this set includes the original telefilm that inspired the show, and the first mini-series.) Not that any restoration was expected, but the show looks downright awful and the mono mixes are passable. Warner Bros. must think there is an audience for this on DVD, so if you don't mind the presentation, then enjoy this first season.