Bigger Than Life Bigger Than Life

Bigger Than Life

Nicholas Ray

 
Bigger Than Life (Criterion Blu-Ray)

Blu-Ray

1 Disc

SRP: $39.95

Criterion Store price:$31.96

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  • United States
  • 1956
  • 95 minutes
  • Color
  • 2.35:1
  • English
  •  
  • Spine #507

Though ignored at the time of its release, Nicholas Ray’s Bigger Than Life is now recognized as one of the great American films of the 1950s. When a friendly, successful suburban teacher and father (James Mason, in one of his most indelible roles) is prescribed cortisone for a painful, possibly fatal affliction, he grows dangerously addicted to the experimental drug, resulting in his transformation into a psychotic and ultimately violent household despot. This Eisenhower-era throat-grabber, shot in expressive CinemaScope, is an excoriating take on the nuclear family. That it came in the day of Father Knows Best makes it all the more shocking—and wildly entertaining.

Cast

Ed AveryJames Mason
Lou AveryBarbara Rush
Wally GibbsWalter Matthau
Dr. NortonRobert Simon
Richie AveryChristopher Olsen
Dr. RuricRoland Winters

Credits

DirectorNicholas Ray
ProducerJames Mason
Story and screenplayCyril Hume and Richard Maibaum
Based on an article in the New Yorker byBurton Roueché
CinematographyJoe MacDonald and A.S.C.
MusicDavid Raksin
Conducted byLionel Newman
EditingLouis Loeffler

Disc Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary featuring critic Geoff Andrew (The Films of Nicholas Ray)
  • Profile of Nicholas Ray (1977), a half-hour television interview with the director
  • New video appreciation of Bigger Than Life with author Jonathan Lethem (Chronic City)
  • New video interview with Susan Ray, widow of the director and editor of I Was Interrupted: Nicholas Ray on Making Movies
  • Theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic and video maker B. Kite

    New cover by F. Ron Miller

Film Essays

Bigger Than Life: Somewhere in Suburbia

By B. KiteMarch 18, 2010

1. A Park—Night A man aflame is running directly toward camera. This image, which comes from . . . Read more »

Photo Galleries

A Splash of Red

May 08, 2014


Big Screen


Press Notes

Press Notes: 2010—One Last Look

January 03, 2011

Before we put 2010 to bed, we thought we’d catch up with all the year-end lists that have . . . Read more »


Press Notes

Press Notes: Bigger Than Life

April 01, 2010

Idiosyncratic Hollywood auteur Nicholas Ray’s induction into the Criterion Collection, with . . . Read more »


Film Essays

Bigger Than Life: Somewhere in Suburbia

By B. KiteMarch 18, 2010

1. A Park—Night A man aflame is running directly toward camera. This image, which comes from . . . Read more »