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With Vampyr, Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer’s brilliance at achieving mesmerizing atmosphere and austere, profoundly unsettling imagery was for once applied to the horror genre. Yet the result is nearly unclassifiable. Vampyr is one of cinema’s great nightmares.
Charlie Chaplin plays shockingly against type in his most controversial film, a brilliant and bleak black comedy about money, marriage, and murder.
In his controversial masterpiece The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin offers both a cutting caricature of Adolf Hitler and a sly tweaking of his own comic persona.
Modern Times, Charlie Chaplin’s last outing as the Little Tramp, puts the iconic character to work as a giddily inept factory employee who becomes smitten with a gorgeous gamine (Paulette Goddard).
The writer-director-star achieved new levels of grace, in both physical comedy and dramatic poignancy, with this silent tale of a lovable vagrant falling for a young blind woman who sells flowers on the street (a magical Virginia Cherrill) and mistakes him for a millionaire.
Charlie Chaplin’s comedic masterwork—which charts a prospector’s search for fortune in the Klondike and his discovery of romance (with the beautiful Georgia Hale)—forever cemented the iconic status of Chaplin and his Little Tramp character.
Agnès Varda used the skills she honed early in her career as a photographer to create some of the most nuanced, thought-provoking films of the past fifty years.
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In this beautifully shot, psychologically complex western, Van Heflin is a mild-mannered cattle rancher who takes on the task of shepherding a captured outlaw (played with cucumber-cool charisma by Glenn Ford) to the train that will deliver him to prison.
Vienna-born, New York–raised Josef von Sternberg directed some of the most influential, extraordinarily stylish dramas ever to come out of Hollywood. The titles in this collection, made on the cusp of the sound age, are three of Sternberg’s greatest works.
In 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her, Jean-Luc Godard beckons us ever closer, whispering in our ears as narrator. About what? Money, sex, fashion, the city, love, language, war: in a word, everything.
Four desperate men sign on for a suicide mission to drive trucks loaded with nitroglycerin over a treacherous mountain route—a white-knuckle ride from France’s legendary master of suspense, Henri-Georges Clouzot.
As nervy as it is hilarious, this screwball masterpiece from Ernst Lubitsch stars Jack Benny and, in her final screen appearance, Carole Lombard as husband-and-wife thespians in Nazi-occupied Warsaw who become caught up in a dangerous spy plot.
In Sam Fuller’s hardboiled classic, a petty crook and an unsuspecting woman find themselves on the run from Communists in a precarious gambit.
Two unemployed actors drown their frustrations in booze, pills, and lighter fluid. When an uncle offers his cottage, they escape the squalor of their flat for a week in the country. Bruce Robinson’s semi-autobiographical cult favorite is intelligent, superbly acted, and hilarious.
Named one of the ten best British films of the century by the British Film Institute, Ken Loach’s Kes, concerns Billy, a fifteen-year-old miner’s son whose close bond with a wild kestrel provides him with a spiritual escape from his dead-end life.
Utilizing a new cameraman—the incomparable Sven Nykvist—Bergman unleashed Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, and The Silence in rapid succession, exposing moviegoers worldwide to a new level of intellectual and emotional intensity.
dudlyarse: “Probably the single movie in the Criterion Collection I most anticipate watching.”
Before Psycho, Peeping Tom, and Repulsion, there was Diabolique, a heart-grabbing benchmark in horror filmmaking, featuring outstanding performances by Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, and Paul Meurisse.
Internationally revered Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami has created some of the most inventive and transcendent cinema of the past thirty years, and the fiction-documentary hybrid Close-up is his most radical, brilliant work.
Daring in its refusal to make the socialist leader into an easy martyr or hero, Che paints a vivid, naturalistic portrait of the man himself (Benicio del Toro), from his overthrow of the Batista dictatorship to his 1964 United Nations trip to the end of his short life.
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Jacques Becker lovingly evokes the belle epoque Parisian demimonde in this classic tale of doomed romance. When gangster’s moll Marie (Simone Signoret) falls for reformed criminal Manda (Serge Reggiani), their passion incites an underworld rivalry that leads inexorably to treachery and tragedy.
Criterion is proud to present these Dreyer masterpieces on DVD for the first time, with brand new digital transfers. Each is an intense exploration of the clash between individual desire and social expectations, with Dreyer’s famously perfectionist attention to detail shining throughout.
An aging gambler navigates the treacherous world of pimps, moneymen, and naive associates while plotting one last score in Jean-Pierre Melville’s Bob le flambeur, which melds the toughness of American gangster films with Gallic sophistication, laying the road map for the French New Wave.
Milcho Manchevski’s Before the Rain crosscuts the stories of an orthodox Christian monk, a British photo agent, and a native Macedonian war photographer to paint a portrait of simmering ethnic and religious hatred about to reach its boiling point.
Rod Steiger is ferocious as a scheming land developer in Francesco Rosi’s Hands over the City, a blistering work of social realism and the winner of the 1963 Venice Film Festival Golden Lion.
The Moment of Truth, from director Francesco Rosi, is a visceral plunge into the life of a famous torero—played by real-life bullfighting legend Miguel Mateo, known as Miguelín.
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A young provincial in search of adventure stumbles into the subterranean world of sadomasochism when he is implicated in a burglary of a Paris apartment in Barbet Schroeder’s Maîtresse.
dudlyarse: “Had a chance to get this online for about $25 a few years ago, and I didn't do it for some reason. Ah well.”
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dudlyarse: “This would be a lot of fun to check out back-to-back-to-back.”
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