Preston Sturges’ The Palm Beach Story just came out on Criterion, and I desire it muchly. It tends not to be as well-loved as some of Sturges’ other films (and sure, I rank it below Sullivan’s Travels and The Lady Eve), but I still have great love for it, and Criterion’s short Three Reasons video gets at its endearing zaniness – I’m curious if anyone who hasn’t seen the film can even figure out what’s going on from these clips!
Ah yes, it’s that time of year when cinephiles everywhere (or at least in the United States) are overcome with nearly equal measures of joy and dread. Joy because every DVD and Blu-ray in the Criterion Collection (i.e., the greatest collection of DVD and Blu-ray editions known to mankind) is now half-price at Barnes & Noble, both online and in stores. Dread because that means we have to scramble to find every spare bit of coin to stock up on as many half-price Criterions as possible, and because that usually means having to figure out which few we want the MOST out of the delectable riches the label offers.
I personally try to limit myself to five Blu-rays per sale – going just Blu-ray helps some since Criterion hasn’t upgraded their entire line yet (still pushing for an Elevator to the Gallows Blu-ray every chance I get), but I still ended up with a short list of 21 this time around before finally narrowing it down to these five:
I’m already a bit put out that I couldn’t manage to fit either of these two, but no matter how I did the math, I couldn’t make seven equal five:
Ah well, there’s always another sale. What did you get at this month’s B&N Criterion sale, or what are you planning to get?
Aha! A Criterion Three Reasons video for a film I don’t have to lust after – because I already bought it. And you should to. The Night of the Hunter is one of the most oddball and incredible films ever made, somewhere in between film noir, Southern gothic, fantasy, surrealism, and parable. It’s the only film that actor Charles Laughton ever directed, partially because it was not well-received at the time. But looking back, it’s hard to see what he could’ve done to top this, so perhaps it’s fitting that it stands as his only film as director – as unique in his filmography as it is in cinema history.
I will buy this sight unseen when it comes out on the 28th. Thank you, Criterion, for finally putting this out in good quality – it hasn’t been available in the US except as a VHS New Yorker Video put out in 1991. Now please see about Demy’s Lola, Rivette’s Celine and Julie Go Boating, and Eustasche’s The Mother and the Whore. Thanks! :)