The Criterion Collection announced its August DVD and Blu-ray release slate this past week. It is a month full of surprises, including new film restorations and alternate cuts of well-known films.
In chronological release order the release parade kicks on Aug. 4 with newly transferred Blu-ray and DVD editions of director Jules Dassin’s 1950 film noir thriller, Night and the City, starring Richard Widmark as an American in London who pulls one too many scams and ends up dead in the dreary Thames River. Gene Tierney, Herbert Lom and Mike Mazurki co-star.
Bonus features include two cuts of the film — the domestic theatrical version and the English cut — vintage commentary from film scholar Glenn Erickson and more.
Next up on Aug. 11 is director Karel Reisz’s 1981 film release of The French Lieutenant's Woman, which was nominated for five Oscars, including Best Actress (Meryl Streep) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Harold Pinter). DVD and Blu-ray editions will be available.
Bonus features for this new restoration include newly-filmed interview sessions with the film’s stars, Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep, the film’s editor, John Bloom (Oscar nominated) and composer Carl Davis.
Of note, 1981 was one of those years where the members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences couldn’t get anything right. Raiders of the Lost Ark, which, by any standard, has become a screen classic, was passed over for both Best Picture and Best Director honors and Harold Pinter’s brilliant adaptation of the John Fowles novel lost out to On Golden Pond (really?)!!!
Aug. 18 brings home DVD and Blu-ray editions of a newly restored 4K transfer of director Brian De Palma’s 1980 thriller, Dressed to Kill. The Criterion Collection will be releasing De Palma’s unrated cut of the film (a companion featurette details the cuts necessary to get the film down from X to R).
Other bonuses include a newly prepared video sessions with Brian De Palma, Nancy Allen, the film’s producer, George Litto, composer Pino Donaggio and show-scene double Victoria Lynn Johnson (she doubled for Angie Dickinson).
On the same date, Aug. 18, French New Wave auteur, François Truffaut’s 1973 film-about-filmmaking Oscar-winning masterpiece, Day for Night, arrives with a new 2K restoration.
There are two newly prepared video sessions — one with cinematographer Pierre-William Glenn and the second with film scholar and author Professor Dudley Andrew — archival interviews with Truffaut and cast and crew members.
Lastly, The Criterion Collection will debut both DVD and Blu-ray editions of Belgium filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s Two Days, One Night on Aug. 25.
This Oscar-nominee (Marion Cotillard for Best Actress) arrives with an ARR of 242 days and domestic ticket sales were a robust $1.4 million (that’s a very strong number for a foreign language import).
Also included with the release is the 1979 documentary from the Dardennes, Léon M.’s Boat Went Down the Meuse for the First Time.