As the first authorized DVD release of the John Wayne/Maureen O'Hara-starring comedy McLintock! (1963), the image and sound on this disc literally run circles around every competing unauthorized DVD that preceded it. The letterboxed image (2.35:1) is unique to this disc and is the first proper presentation that the Panavision Western has had since it left theaters in early 1964, and it looks amazingly sharp and crisp; the colors have been captured in especially vivid terms, and that goes double for Maureen O'Hara's red hair and the gowns that she wears in many of her scenes. Additionally, the sound quality is incomparably better than any competing edition, right down to the light-hearted folk-style number, "Love in the Country," that plays over the credits. The chapter encoding is generous as well, and to top it off Paramount and the Wayne estate have loaded this release up with a ton of extras, in part to help distinguish it from the unauthorized competing versions (the movie's copyright was accidentally allowed to lapse at the end of 1991, which is why the Wayne estate doesn't have control of its distribution). It is with the supplemental materials that the release gets a little more uneven, however. The main attraction among the bonus features is an audio commentary track featuring Leonard Maltin, Maureen O'Hara, Patrick Wayne, Stefanie Powers, the late Michael Wayne, Michael Pate, director Andrew V. McLaglen, and film scholar Frank Thompson. The comments by the actors and other participants are consistently interesting and entertaining enough -- although O'Hara was much more informative in her own book, Herself, and is better in her on-camera interview segments, in a separate part of the supplementary section -- and the account of John Ford's arrival on the set at one point is especially welcome. However, Maltin and Thompson seem to just be talking to fill holes, without being truly informative or flexing too many intellectual or analytical muscles by actually thinking about and taking a long hard look at the script or the participants. Indeed, it's as though because most of the movie has the tone and texture of a light-hearted Western romp, they don't want to apply too much in the way of thought to it. They keep treating the movie as though it really isn't that important in John Wayne's output, and ignore or overlook various serious elements of the screenplay -- including its politics -- not to mention the serious undertone of the story. Yes, it's a slapstick comedy on one level, and can be viewed that way, as Maltin and Thompson keep reminding us ad nauseam, but it's also a story about aging and coming to terms with one's own mortality, and it was no accident that the film's production coincided with the recent or impending departures from this life of many members of the John Wayne (and John Ford) stock companies. The movie also coincided with a turn in Wayne's health that led to a diagnosis of cancer, which he did beat at the time. All of this gets overlooked along with the autumnal theme that runs through the entire movie, and Maltin and Thompson also pass up numerous opportunities to tell us more about some of the Wayne film alumni who are present, some of whom had very long and very colorful histories (most notably screenwriter James Edward Grant). So their talk is a superficial waste of time and energy, surrounded by some worthwhile recollections of the surviving participants in the production. The other supplementary materials range from the fun and occasionally informative to the just plain silly, including a short featurette on the corset. Much better -- in fact, the best part of the bonus features -- is a 12-minute short in which Maureen O'Hara and Stefanie Powers recall their work on the movie and their impressions of John Wayne and company. Powers compares the interaction she saw as a young actress between Wayne and O'Hara with what she believes she achieved with Robert Wagner on Hart to Hart. As with other releases in this group of movies from the Wayne estate, we get a history of Batjac, the production company that Wayne founded, this time presented as a memorial to Wayne's eldest son Michael, who produced McLintock! and ran the company for many years. It's all woven together around an easy-to-use menu, and enjoyable and informative, as far as these features are allowed to go by their participants.