• We highlight the art of the heist in this week’s festival of free Criterion films on Hulu. There’s something indescribably pleasurable about watching criminals plan and then (possibly) prevail—as you can see in these entertaining titles. In Koreyoshi Kurahara’s diamond-sharp thriller Intimidation, a bank manager and his timid employee, at odds with each other, are embroiled in an unpredictable plot; in Takumi Furukawa’s twisty Cruel Gun Story, Joe Shishido is a gangster just released from jail who is coerced into helping knock over an armored car full of racetrack receipts; Basil Dearden’s witty action-comedy The League of Gentlemen concerns a cadre of British war veterans persuaded to commit a major bank robbery by an ex-colonel bitter about being forced into retirement; and another group of war veterans plan to steal a stash of morphine hidden below a butcher shop, in Shohei Imamura’s dark comedy Endless Desire. But perhaps the craziest—and most colorful—movie in the series is Black Lizard, Umetsugu Inoue’s outrageous comic-musical-thriller about a female jewel thief (Ugetsu’s Machiko Kyo). Once you watch the dazzling opening credits, you’ll be hooked. See the whole film here or at Hulu. And if you sign up for Hulu Plus for a monthly fee of just $7.99, you can now see more than seven hundred other Criterion films.


  • By 6dwk6
    August 17, 2012
    06:10 PM

    You have the Umetsugu Inoue directed BLACK LIZARD, not the Kinji Fukasaku one, on Hulu (I noticed that the Fukasaku version is a Shochiku, so maybe you have the rights to that one as well, but it isn't on Hulu.)
    • By Anna T.
      August 17, 2012
      08:41 PM

      You're right, 6dwk6. It's fixed now. Thank you!
  • By Chuck
    November 25, 2012
    05:35 AM

    I was really excited when I saw Black Lizard on Hulu, and then terribly disappointed when I discovered it wasn't the Fukasaku version. That's the one that really needs the Criterion treatment!
  • By shohei
    December 05, 2012
    03:04 AM

    watching Endless Desire now. I love it! how about a set of Imamura blurays? one set could be early Imamura, and another set late Imamura? and another set of Imamura docs?
  • By johnson weiner
    December 05, 2012
    03:05 AM

    how about a 3-bluray set of: Inoue Kurotokage Fukasaku Kurotokage Fukasaku Kuro Bara no Yakata ? Do it !
  • By Mario A. Nunez
    February 28, 2014
    04:06 PM

    I have been dreaming for many years the time when Criterion investigates, restores and produces a Blu Ray version of Kinji Fukasaku"s "Black Lizard"(1968) complete with a Yukio Mishima cameo and music by Isao Tomita (not to mention that Fukasaku is the director of such a wild variety of films (Green Slime, Battle Royale I and II, Black Rose, etc). When will we EVER see this? The rights of the film were owned by Cinevista in the 80's, a production and film company specializing on gay-themed American and foreign films. Criterion, will you EVER give us a Blu Ray of Black Lizard??
  • By Eric Luther
    June 27, 2014
    11:37 AM

    How about a double disc BLU-RAY with both the Umetsugu Inoue and the Kinji Fukasaku versions of BLACK LIZARD?