Get the latest DVD release information (free) every Tuesday morning. Subscribe here.
Into the Night
(1975) Dir.: John Landis; Jeff Goldblum, Michelle Pfeiffer, David Bowie, Dan Aykroyd. Unhappily married, unsatisfyingly employed and unsurprisingly depressed, aerospace engineer and insomniac Ed Okin (Goldblum) needs to get away. But getting away proves to be no easy feat when Ed drives to the airport and a gorgeous smuggler, Diana (Pfeiffer), leaps his car, pursued by four killers. Chased across the landscape of a truly mythical Los Angeles, Ed and Diana encounter an endless array of intriguing nocturnal characters (played by a bevy of famous directors) and a charming English hitman (Bowie). Extras: New "John Landis: Back Into The Night” featurette, new "Jeff Goldblum: Requiem for an Insomniac” featurette, award-winning documentary "B.B. King Into the Night," original theatrical trailer. (Shout! Factory Select).
The Philadelphia Story
(1940) With this furiously witty comedy of manners, Katharine Hepburn revitalized her career and cemented her status as the era’s most iconic leading lady -- thanks in great part to her own shrewd orchestrations. While starring in the Philip Barry stage play "The Philadelphia Story," Hepburn snapped up the screen rights, handpicking her friend George Cukor to direct. The intoxicating screenplay by Donald Ogden Stewart pits the formidable Philadelphia socialite Tracy Lord (Hepburn, at her most luminous) against various romantic foils, chief among them her charismatic ex-husband (Cary Grant), who disrupts her imminent marriage by paying her family estate a visit, accompanied by a tabloid reporter on assignment to cover the wedding of the year (James Stewart, in his only Academy Award–winning performance). A fast-talking screwball comedy as well as a tale of regrets and reconciliation, this convergence of golden-age talent is one of the greatest American films of all time. New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack.
Extras: Audio commentary from 2005 featuring film scholar Jeanine Basinger; new introduction to actor Katharine Hepburn’s role in the development of the film by documentarians David Heeley and Joan Kramer; "In Search of Tracy Lord," a new documentary about the origin of the character and her social milieu; two full episodes of "The Dick Cavett Show" from 1973, featuring rare interviews with Hepburn, plus an excerpt of a 1978 interview from that show with director George Cukor; Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of the film from 1943, featuring an introduction by filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille; restoration demonstration; an essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme. (The Criterion Collection).
(1985) Donna Deitch’s swooning and sensual first narrative feature, "Desert Hearts," was groundbreaking upon its 1985 release: A love story about two women, made entirely independently, on a self-financed shoestring budget, by a woman. In the 1959-set film, an adaptation of a novel by Jane Rule, straitlaced East Coast professor Vivian Bell (Helen Shaver) arrives in Reno to file for divorce but winds up catching the eye of someone new, the younger free spirit Cay (Patricia Charbonneau), touching off a slow seduction that unfolds against a breathtaking desert landscape. With undeniable chemistry between its two leads, an evocative jukebox soundtrack, and vivid cinematography by Robert Elswit, "Desert Hearts" beautifully exudes a sense of tender yearning and emotional candor.
New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Robert Elswit and created by the UCLA Film & Television Archive in conjunction with the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project and the Sundance Institute, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack.
Extras: Audio commentary from 2007 featuring director Donna Deitch; new conversation between Deitch and actor Jane Lynch;
new conversation between Deitch, Elswit, and production designer Jeannine Oppewall about the film’s visual style; new interviews with actors Helen Shaver and Patricia Charbonneau; excerpt from "Fiction and Other Truths: A Film About Jane Rule," a 1995 documentary about the author of "Desert of the Heart," the 1964 novel on which the film is based; an essay by critic B. Ruby Rich. (The Criterion Collection).
The Incredible Shrinking Woman BLU-RAY DEBUT
(1981) Lily Tomlin, Charles Grodin, Ned Beatty, Henry Gibson. Exposed to a heady mix of household chemicals, housewife Pat Kramer (Tomlin) contracts a strange side effect: She begins to shrink! Baffling doctors, Pat’s diminishing size starts to really bring her down -- until her story captures the hearts of the American people and the attention of a sinister group of scientists bent on world domination. Getting out of this predicament while still taking care of her family will be no small feat. 2017 high-definition transfer. Extras: New conversation with Lily Tomlin and writer-executive producer Jane Wagner; new interview with director Joel Schumacher; new interview with cinematographer and visual effects supervisor Bruce Logan; new audio interview with composer Suzanne Ciani; new "On Location: Now and Then" featurette; “Edith Ann” deleted scene; theatrical trailer; still gallery. (Shout! Factory).
(1987 -- France) In a career-defining performance, Alain Delon plays Jef Costello, a contract killer with samurai instincts. After carrying out a flawlessly planned hit, Jef finds himself caught between a persistent police investigator and a ruthless employer, and not even his armor of fedora and trench coat can protect him. An elegantly stylized masterpiece of cool by maverick director Jean-Pierre Melville, "Le samouraï" is a razor-sharp cocktail of 1940s American gangster cinema and 1960s French pop culture -- with a liberal dose of Japanese lone-warrior mythology. New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack.
Extras: Interviews with Rui Nogueira, editor of "Melville on Melville," and Ginette Vincendeau, author of "Jean-Pierre Melville: An American in Paris"; archival interviews with Melville and actors Alain Delon, François Périer, Nathalie Delon, and Cathy Rosier; "Melville-Delon: D’Honneur et de nuit" (2011), a short documentary exploring the friendship between the director and the actor and their iconic collaboration on this film; an essay by film scholar David Thomson. The Blu-ray also features an appreciation by filmmaker John Woo and excerpts from "Melville on Melville." (The Criterion Collection).
(1977) Amid the filth and muck of England in the Dark Ages, a fearsome dragon stalks the land, casting a shadow of terror upon the kingdom of Bruno the Questionable. Who should emerge as the town’s only possible savior but Dennis Cooper (Michael Palin), an endearingly witless bumpkin who stumbles onto the scene and is flung into the role of brave knight? Terry Gilliam’s first outing as a solo director -- inspired by Lewis Carroll’s poem “Jabberwocky” and made on the heels of Gilliam’s success as a member of the iconic comedy troupe Monty Python -- showcases his delight in comic nonsense, with a cast chock-full of beloved British character actors. A giddy romp through blood and excrement, this fantasy remains one of the filmmaker’s most uproarious visions of society run amok. New 4K digital transfer from a restoration by the BFI National Archive and The Film Foundation, approved by director Terry Gilliam; 5.1 surround mix, supervised by Gilliam and presented in DTS-HD Master Audio. Extras: Audio commentary from 2001 featuring Gilliam and actor Michael Palin; new documentary on the making of the film, featuring Gilliam, producer Sandy Lieberson, Palin, and actor Annette Badland; new interview with Valerie Charlton, designer of the Jabberwock, featuring her collection of rare behind-the-scenes photographs; selection of Gilliam’s storyboards and sketches; an essay by critic Scott Tobias. (The Criterion Collection).
General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait
(1974 -- France) In 1974, Barbet Schroeder went to Uganda to make a film about Idi Amin, the country’s ruthless, charismatic dictator. Three years into a murderous regime that would be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Ugandans, Amin prepared a triumphal greeting for the filmmakers, staging rallies, military maneuvers, and cheery displays of national pride, and envisioning the film as an official portrait to adorn his cult of personality. Schroeder, however, had other ideas, emerging with a disquieting, caustically funny brief against Amin, in which the dictator’s own endless stream of testimony -- charming, menacing, and nonsensical by turns -- serves as the most damning evidence. A revelatory tug-of-war between subject and filmmaker, "General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait" is a landmark in the art of documentary and an appalling study of egotism in power. On DVD and Blu-ray, with a new, restored 2K digital transfer, supervised by Schroeder, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray.
Extras: New interview with Schroeder;
new interview with journalist and author Andrew Rice about Idi Amin’s regime; an essay by critic J. Hoberman. (The Criterion Collection).
Young Mr. Lincoln
(1939) Few American historical figures are as revered as Abraham Lincoln, and few director-star collaborations embody classic Hollywood cinema as beautifully as the one between John Ford and Henry Fonda. This film, their first together, was Ford’s equally poetic and significant follow-up to the groundbreaking western "Stagecoach," and in it, Fonda gives one of the finest performances of his career, as the young president-to-be as a novice lawyer, struggling with an incendiary murder case. Photographed in gorgeous black and white by Ford’s frequent collaborator Bert Glennon, "Young Mr. Lincoln" is a compassionate and assured work and an indelible piece of Americana. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray.
Extras: New audio commentary featuring film scholar Joseph McBride ("Searching for John Ford: A Life"); "Omnibus: John Ford, Part One": director Lindsay Anderson’s profile of the life and work of director John Ford before World War II; talk show appearance by actor Henry Fonda from 1975; audio interviews from the seventies with Ford and Fonda, conducted by the filmmaker’s grandson Dan Ford; Academy Award radio dramatization of the film; an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and an homage to Ford by filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein.
(The Criterion Collection).
I, Daniel Blake
(2016 -- UK) An urgent response to the political realities of contemporary Britain, this bracing drama from celebrated filmmaker Ken Loach takes a hard look at bureaucratic injustice and ineptitude through the eyes of an unassuming working-class hero. After a heart attack leaves him unable to hold a job, the widowed carpenter Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) begins a long, lonely journey through the Kafka-esque labyrinth of the local welfare state. Along the way, he strikes up a friendship with a single mother (Hayley Squires) and her two children, at the mercy of the same system after being evicted from their home. Imbued with gentle humor and quiet rage and conceived for maximum real-world impact, the Palme d’Or–winning "I, Daniel Blake" is a testament to Loach’s tireless commitment to a cinema of social engagement. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new high-definition digital master, supervised by director Ken Loach, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray.
Extras: Audio commentary from 2016 featuring Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty; "How to Make a Ken Loach Film," a 2016 documentary on the production of "I, Daniel Blake," featuring interviews with Loach, Laverty, actors Dave Johns and Hayley Squires, director of photography Robbie Ryan, producer Rebecca O’Brien, and casting director Kahleen Crawford; "Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach," a 93-minute documentary from 2016, directed by Louise Osmond; deleted scenes; trailer; n essay by critic Girish Shambu.
(The Criterion Collection).
Opera BLU-RAY DEBUT
(1987 -- Italy) Cristina Marsillach, Ian Charlston, Umberto Barberini, Daria Nicolodi, William McNamara. Italian filmmaker Dario Argento’s (best known for his work in the horror and thriller genres and regarded as one of the most influential artists of the past half-century) 1987 cult classic film "Opera" will arrive for the first time on Blu-ray, remastered/restored in high definition, with over 45 hours of color correction,and a brand new 5.1 soundtrack. When young opera singer Betty (Cristina Marsillach, Every Time We Say Goodbye) takes over the leading role in an avant-garde presentation of Verdi’s Macbeth, she triggers the madness of a crazed fan who repeatedly forces her to watch the brutal murders of her friends. Will her recurring childhood nightmare hold the key to the identity of this psychopath, or does an even more horrific evil lay waiting in the wings? Extras: Rare interview with Argento, never-before released to U.S. audiences; new interview with star William McNamara; original trailer. (Doppelgänger Releasing/Scorpion Releasing).
(1931 -- Germany) When a coal mine collapses on the frontier between Germany and France, trapping a team of French miners inside, workers on both sides of the border spring into action, putting aside national prejudices and wartime grudges to launch a dangerous rescue operation. Director G. W. Pabst brings a claustrophobic realism to this ticking-clock scenario, using realistic sets and sound design to create the maze of soot-choked shafts where the miners struggle for survival. A gripping disaster film and a stirring plea for international cooperation, "Kameradschaft" cemented Pabst’s status as one of the most morally engaged and formally dexterous filmmakers of his time.
On DVD and Blu-ray, with new high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: New interview with German film scholar Hermann Barth on the film’s production; 1988 interview with editor Jean Oser; 2016 interview with film scholar Jan-Christopher Horak on the historical context of the film; an essay by author and critic Luc Sante.
(The Criterion Collection).
(1930 -- Germany) G. W. Pabst brought the war movie into a new era with his first sound film, a mercilessly realistic depiction of the nightmare that scarred a generation, in the director’s native Germany and beyond. Digging into the trenches with four infantrymen stationed in France in the final months of World War I, Pabst illustrates the harrowing ordeals of battle with unprecedented naturalism, as the men are worn away in body and spirit by firefights, shelling, and the disillusion that greets them on the home front. Long unavailable, the newly restored "Westfront 1918" is a visceral, sobering antiwar statement that is as urgent today as when it was made. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: Hour-long French television broadcast of World War I veterans reacting to the film in 1969; 2016 interview with film scholar Jan-Christopher Horak; new restoration demonstration featuring Martin Koerber and Julia Wallmüller of the Deutsche Kinemathek; an essay by author and critic Luc Sante.
(The Criterion Collection).