Category Archives: Film

Criterion in October


Criterion announced their October releases this week, and the premiere item is a box set collection all of Jacques Tati’s films (a great companion piece to next week’s release of the The Essential Jacques Demy). That’s all six of his features, plus seven shorts, everything newly restored. Plus alternate versions of some of the features, documentaries, visual essays, interviews, archival interviews and publicity, and the usual booklet of essays. I am definitely gonna have to put this on my wishlist.

See the rest of the announced titles after the jump.

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Classics on Disc: July 15


This film has a pretty fascinating history – directed by Lewis Milestone (All Quiet in the Western Front), it was originally released in 1943 as The North Star. In 1957, it was edited and a voiceover added to make it explicitly anti-Communist and re-released as Armored Attack!. I haven’t seen either version, but Olive Film has included both on this disk. I’m not sure I’ve heard of many other cases like this, where a film was overhauled and rereleased with a new title. I’m pretty fascinated to see it. Plus that cover is gorgeous!

See more new old releases after the jump.

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Classics on Disc: July 8


My pick this week is Olive Film’s release of Max Ophül’s Caught, a noir film that I haven’t seen but very much want to. I’ve seen several of Ophül’s French films, and Letter from an Unknown Woman (which I didn’t care for, but I think I’d like it better on rewatch), but I’ve never seen him do a genre film quite like this, and this looks like a great release from Olive to amend that. Seriously, Olive is really imitating Criterion lately, especially on cover art. I almost thought this WAS Criterion for a minute. They just need to get rid of the ugly blue snap cases and go with something sleeker. Here’s the description for the film from Olive’s site:

Caught is a tale of Leonora (Barbara Bel Geddes), an aspiring carhop who meets and marries a mysterious millionaire, Smith Ohlrig (Robert Ryan). Soon after the wedding, Laura realizes she’s trapped in a loveless marriage with a ruthless workaholic husband who torments her with twisted mind games. Unable to obtain a divorce from Smith, she moves out of the mansion and goes to work for a dedicated doctor, Larry Quinada (James Mason). The two quickly fall in love but the romance comes to an abrupt halt when Leonora learns that she is pregnant with Ohlrig’s child. Legendary director Max Ophüls and the top-notch cast masterfully navigate the ensuing complications through atmospheric cinematography by Lee Garmes (Duel In The Sun) and stylish art direction from Frank Paul Sylos (Suddenly).

More new (old) releases after the jump.

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Classics on Disc: July 1


My pick this week is from Olive Films, which has been releasing some pretty solid classic Blu-rays lately. I actually haven’t heard of Good Sam before, but I’m surprised I haven’t, with it starring Gary Cooper and Ann Sheridan, and directed by Leo McCarey. That’s some first-rate talent all around, so I’m hoping this one is a hidden gem that’s been off the radar for a while, rather than a misfire. Here’s the description from Olive’s website:

In the tradition of It’s a Wonderful Life… Everyone in town agrees that there ought to be more good Samaritans like Sam Clayton (Gary Cooper, High Noon). Sam is a department store manager and a devoted family man. Unfortunately for Sam, no good deed goes unpunished. When Sam loans the family car to the neighbors … he gets sued when they have an accident. When he invites his brother-in-law for a visit – much to the dismay of Sam’s wife (Ann Sheridan, Kings Row) – the man stays around for six months. Sam is even willing to loan his own family savings to a young couple so they can start their own business and have a baby. Eventually, Sam learns why nice guys finish last when he himself needs someone to turn to! Legendary director, Leo McCarey (The Bells of St. Mary’s, An Affair to Remember) directed this dark comedy with gorgeous black-and-white cinematography by the great George Barnes (The File on Thelma Jordon, Rebecca).

See more new old releases after the jump.

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Classics on Disc: June 24


My pick this week is a no-brainer – it’s Criterion’s only release, which helps, but even so, A Hard Day’s Night is a must-own, especially for Beatles fans. And I am one. It defies genre, being sort of a narrative film, sort of a concert film, sort of a documentary, and sort of a music video. Director Richard Lester brings a great sense of fun and spontaneity to the film that to some extent introduced the Beatles to the US, and set the standard for rock music films forever after. This package is loaded with extras, too – multiple documentaries and interviews, a commentary track, a short film by Lester, and much more.

See more releases after the break.

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