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Criterion had a nice DVD set nearly 20 years ago, but this 4K restoration should be a way to see Preston Sturges' comedy in the best possible light outside of a good print in a movie theatre.
The story is a tale of switched identities (like a lot of Sturges comedies, mistaken and faked identities crop up a lot) in which Barbara Stanwyck plays both the character Jean, a card shark "working the cruise lines" (with her "father" Charles Coburn) and Stanwyck also plays Jean's twin-sister Eve who wreaks funny revenge on Henry Fonda (as wealthy ale heir Charles Harrington) for spurning Jean.
With Stanwyck and Henry Fonda, Sturges' comedy is physically turned down a little bit more than in his other films. He liked to load up his "funny" with loud noises and pratfalls (not that Lady Eve doesn't have this in it, such as Fonda's misadventures at an evening party in which his outfits are continuously ruined, one after another), but with Stanwyck and Fonda there's softer bits of interchange amid the comedy, and whether this is Sturges in a slightly softer mode or just the result of the two lead actors dominating the proceedings (especially Stanwyck), it is hard to say, but The Lady Eve does stand a little bit apart from the other comedies in the Sturges' oeuvre. Incredibly, the same year Sturges made The Lady Eve, he also made Sullivan's Travels.
Here's the add-on features (copied from the Criterion Web Page here):
- New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Audio commentary from 2001 featuring film professor Marian Keane
- Introduction from 2001 by filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich
- Interview from 2020 with writer-director Preston Sturges’s biographer and son Tom Sturges and friends
- New video essay by film critic David Cairns
- Costume designs by Edith Head
- Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of the film from 1942 featuring Barbara Stanwyck and Ray Milland
- Audio recording of “Up the Amazon,” a song from an unproduced stage musical based on the film
- English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and a 1946 profile of Preston Sturges from LIFE magazine
Source list for Classic film on disc
Criterion has two classic Bette Davis titles set up for Blu-Ray release in Novermber. All About Eve is listed as a 4K restoration, and Now, Voyager is "restored" 4K transfer.
Criterion website page on All About Eve
Criterion web page on Now, Voyager
Easy Living Blu-ray from Criterion
One of the best of the 1930s screwball comedies with a script by Preston Sturges and featuring Jean Arthur. Arthur is Mary Smith, the recipient of a lot of good (or bad) luck all in one day. When financial super-businessman J.B. Ball (Edward Arnold) takes away his wifes fur coat and flings it off the top of their building, it lands on struggling Jean Arthur on her way to work in the street far below. This begins a chain of events that causes her to fall into a world of wealth and luxury, completely oblivious why all the gifts and attention are coming her way.
More on Easy Living
Godzilla - The Showa Era Films - 15 titles
This is the lineup for their box set spine #1000 on Bluray:
- Godzilla (1954)
- Godzilla Raids Again (1955)
- King Kong vs. Godzilla (1963)
- Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)
- Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
- Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)
- Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966)
- Son of Godzilla (1967)
- Destroy All Monsters (1968)
- All Monsters Attack (1969)
- Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)
- Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)
- Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)
- Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
- Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)
Here's Criterion's promo language:
"These fifteen films, all presented in high-definition digital transfers, are accompanied by a slew of supplemental material that brings the King of the Monsters to life in a giant deluxe hardcover book, with new essays and newly commissioned illustrations from sixteen artists; new and archival interviews with cast and crew members; and much, much more!
It’s a colossal set, and we’d have it no other way for our 1000th release! We can’t wait to share it with you when it roars into stores on Blu-ray on October 29."
See the Criterion Godzilla Showa website page
Criterion's September 2019 releases:
Chaplin's The Circus
See the list of extras for The Circus and other info on the 4K HD release at the Criterion Site. Releases Sept 24, 2019.
Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman in the 1954 production from director Douglas Sirk - this looks like an update of the Criterion DVD package from years ago to HD Bluray. Includes on disk (like the DVD 2 disk set) the 1935 version of the story by Director John M. Stahl with Robert Taylor and Irene Dunne. More info at the Criterion page, releases Aug 20, 2019.
The 1983 film with Burt Lancaster and Peter Riegert finally gets an HD release. The "extras" are a bit sparse, but beggers cannot be choosers - Criterion Page. Releases Sept 24, 2019.
Popeye Cartoon Shorts
Warner Bros Archives disk Volume 1 featuring 14 shorts from 1943-1944
Warner Bros Archives disk Volume 2 - 15 shorts from 1946-1947
Criterion Swing Time on Bluray
June 2019: One of the best (some say it is the best of the ten Astaire and Rogers films, usually fighting it out with Top Hat) restored for HD. Features listed by Criterion at their website:
- New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Audio commentary from 1986 featuring John Mueller, author of Astaire Dancing: The Musical Films
- Archival interviews with performers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and choreographer Hermes Pan
- New interview with George Stevens Jr.
- In Full Swing, a new program on the film’s choreography and soundtrack featuring jazz and film critic Gary Giddins, dance critic Brian Seibert, and Dorothy Fields biographer Deborah Grace Winer
- New interview with film scholar Mia Mask on the “Bojangles of Harlem” number
- PLUS: An essay by critic Imogen Sara Smith
Hello, Frisco, Hello 1943
A new Twilight Time disk with Alice Faye and John Payne.
Special Features: Isolated Music Track / Hello Again: The Remaking of Alice Faye / Two Hello, Frisco, Hello Radio Programs / Original Theatrical Trailer
New Princess Bride Bluray disk out
Criterion has put out a "storybook" style packaging for their HD of the film with illustrated pages and a 'restored' 4K transfer to digital.
I remember this film playing endlessly in 1987 in second-run theaters, word-of-mouth-building up a repeat audience that has given it a fanbase that not too many films can still enjoy after 30 years.
Here's the extras that Criterion has packed onto the disk as published on their web site:
- New 4K digital restoration, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Audio commentary from 1996 featuring director Rob Reiner, screenwriter William Goldman, producer Andrew Scheinman, and actors Billy Crystal and Peter Falk
- Edited 1987 audiobook reading of Goldman’s novel The Princess Bride by Reiner
- New program about Goldman’s screenplay
- New program about Goldman’s tapestry based on his novel
- Archival interviews with Reiner, Goldman, and actors Crystal, Cary Elwes, Christopher Guest, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Fred Savage, and Robin Wright
- New interview with art director Richard Holland
- Programs about makeup, fencing, and fairy tales
- On-set video diary filmed and narrated by Elwes
- Five behind-the-scenes videos with commentaries from 1996 by Reiner, Scheinman, and Crystal
- PLUS: An essay by author Sloane Crosley and, for the Blu-ray edition, Goldman’s introduction to his Princess Bride script from his collection Four Screenplays, in a lavishly illustrated, clothbound book
Here's the AMAZON Princess Bride Criterion link for the item
New Classic Film releases
The Awful Truth - 1937
Irene Dunne and Cary Grant in a classic screwball comedy about how a perfectly good divorce can go completely wrong if the departing spouses can't stand for the other to move on. Grant and Dunne hilariously sabotage one another's efforts - film directed by Leo McCarey. New 4K digital transfer. - Releases in April 2018
Maigret and St Fiacre Case - 1959
Directed by Jean Delannoy - was released Dec 2017.
Release Sept 18, 2018 from Criterion: My Man Godfrey
Screwball comedy in the 1930s rarely rose above the balance of humor and gentle pathos which is on display in My Mad Godfrey. Though ragged prints of the film have circulated on TV, VHS, DVDs and on the internet for decades, Criterion is releasing a "restoration" bluray which may be the best version of the film yet. The 2001 DVD included an audio commentary by Bob GIlpin which is not listed with the new Bluray release, on the other hand several new items have been added as supplements. Here's the list:
- New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- New program featuring jazz and film critic Gary Giddins
- New interview with critic Nick Pinkerton on director Gregory La Cava
- Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of the film from 1938
- Newsreels depicting Great Depression class divides
- PLUS: An essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme
- Packaging cover by Seth
The Criterion page about the release: criterion.com/films/653-my-man-godfrey
New release from Criterion: Dietrich and Von Sternberg
Excellent transfer to Bluray for this 6 disk set
AMAZON Bluray: 6 Disc Set: Dietrich and von Sternberg in Hollywood : Morocco, Dishonored, Shanghai Express, Blonde Venus, The Scarlet Empress, The Devil Is a Woman - The Criterion Collection - July 3, 2018
New Invasion of the Body Snatchers disc
New bluray disc from Olive Films is a feature-packed improvement over the old bluray from 2012. The new feature list is:
- New High-Definition digital restoration
- Audio Commentary by film historian Richard Harland Smith
- Audio Commentary by actors Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter, and filmmaker Joe Dante
- “The Stranger in Your Lover’s Eyes” – A two-part visual essay with actor and son of director Don Siegel, Kristoffer Tabori, reading from his father’s book A Siegel Film
- “The Fear is Real” – Filmmakers Larry Cohen and Joe Dante on the film’s cultural significance
- “I No Longer Belong: The Rise and Fall of Walter Wanger” – Film scholar and author Matthew Bernstein discusses the life and career of the film’s producer
- “Sleep No More: Invasion of the Body Snatchers Revisited” – An appreciation of the film featuring actors Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter, along with comments from film directors and fans, John Landis, Mick Garris, and Stuart Gordon
- “The Fear and the Fiction: The Body Snatchers Phenomenon” – Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter, along with film directors John Landis, Mick Garris and Stuart Gordon, discuss the making of the film, its place in history, and its meaning
- 1985 archival interview with Kevin McCarthy hosted by Tom Hatten
- “Return to Santa Mira” – An exploration of the film’s locations
- “What’s In a Name?” – On the film’s title
- Gallery of rare documents detailing aspects of the film’s production including the never-produced opening narration to have been read by Orson Welles
- Essay by author and film programmer Kier-La Janisse
- Original theatrical trailer