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Hallelujah Trail, The

Comparison:

  • DVD Version
  • LaserDisc Version
Release: Mar 30, 2022 - Author: brainbug1602 - Translator: Mike Lowrey - external link: IMDB

Forty Wagons Westward

When the mining town of Denver faces a shortage of whiskey in 1867, the hard-drinking residents anticipate the worst and hire the Wallingham Freighting Company to send them 40 wagons full of whiskey. The trek is threatened because the Indians have learned of the whiskey shipment. The young Captain Paul Slater is therefore ordered by his boss Thaddeus Gearhart to guard the wagon train. Meanwhile, the Irish wagoners plan to strike for better working conditions and a group of teetotalers, led by Cora Templeton Massingale, do everything they can to stop the trek completely. When miners also set out to protect the transport, everything ends in chaos.
 
The Hallelujah Trail joins the ranks of epic comedies like It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World or The Great Race, which had their heyday in the 1960s. Director legend John Sturges is not necessarily known for his comedies and so not every gag ignites and in some places the film is a bit draggy, but all in all a very enjoyable and entertaining film, especially because of Lee Remick as a strict teetotaler.

No extended version on US LaserDisc

There are four different runtime listings about the film on IMDb, starting with what appears to be a shortened German version at 134 minutes and ending with a 165 minute version. In between is a TCM print and a Cinemax version.
  • 2 hr 45 min (165 min)
  • 2 hr 36 min (156 min) (TCM print)
  • 2 hr 26 min (146 min) (Cinemax) (USA)
  • 2 hr 14 min (134 min) (cut) (West Germany)
On the back of the US LaserDisc is the runtime of 2 hours and 46 minutes, which is much longer compared to the US DVD and has fueled speculation. As a comparison has now shown, this runtime is not correct. The cut is the same as on the US DVD. During the overture and the exit music, the LaserDisc shows a still image of a landscape shot, while in the DVD the image remains black. Other than that, there are no other differences. The differences between the US DVD and the German version have already been listed in a separate cut review. In the German version, only the music tracks at the beginning, middle and end of the film are missing. In the middle section, one scene was slightly shortened as a result. A 165 minute version of the film probably doesn't exist and this information probably goes back to the incorrect runtime information on the US LaserDisc.
 
Runtimes:
 
US LaserDisc: 155:16 min.
US DVD: 155:27 min.
 
Comparison between the US DVD by MGM and the US LaserDisc by MGM.
[00:00:00][00:00:16]

The DVD begins with the MGM/UA logo, followed by the United Artists logo.



The overture after that is heard on black screen.



The LaserDisc starts with the MGM/UA Home Video logo.



While the overture sounds, a landscape shot is seen here.



DVD: 3:45 min.
LD: 3:35 min.


[02:32:00][02:32:06]

During the exit music, the DVD shows a black screen, while the LaserDisc again shows a landscape shot.



No time difference. (3:27 min. each)