The Criterion Collection revealed its August DVD and Blu-ray release line-up this past week … so let’s get to it.
Our subjective choice for the lead title for the month of August from Criterion is director Alex Cox’s 1986 bio tale, Sid & Nancy, featuring Gary Oldman (in his first starring role) as Sid Vicious and Chloe Webb in her screen debut as Nancy Spungen.
This new 4K transfer will be available as both DVD (a double-disc set) and Blu-ray product offerings on Aug. 22.
Bonus goodies included with this presentation are two vintage commentary options — one featuring the 1994 Criterion laserdisc commentary by screenwriter Abbe Wool, actors Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb and Eliot Kidd (frontman for The Demons and contemporary of Sid and Nancy) and the second from 2001 with director Alex Cox (Repo Man) and actor Andrew Schofield (as Johnny Rotten) — and documentary filmmaker Martin Turner’s 1987 film England’s Glory (a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Sid & Nancy).
Other nuggets are the Sid and Nancy interview segments from documentary filmmaker Lech Kowalski’s D.O.A.: A Rite of Passage, a 1980 film chronicling the Sex Pistols’ disastrous 1978 U.S. tour and other archival interviews.
Of note, MVD Entertainment Group released documentary filmmaker Danny Garcia’s Sad Vacation: The Last Days of Sid and Nancy on DVD last Dec. 9. It is the perfect companion piece to filmmaker Alex Cox’s Sid & Nancy.
On Aug. 8, The Criterion Collection has a new 2K restoration of director Michael Curtiz’s The Breaking Point, his 1950 interpretation of the Ernest Hemingway novel, “To Have and Have Not.” Both DVD and Blu-ray editions will be available.
John Garfield plays the Harry Morgan character (made famous by Humphrey Bogart in 1944), with Patricia Neal, Phyllis Thaxter and Juano Hernandez rounding out the cast.
Bonus goodies include newly prepared video sessions with Michael Curtiz biographer Alan Every Frame a Painting) analyze Curtiz’s filmmaking techniques. There is also a video snippet from the Today show (circa 1962) showing details of the Ernest Hemingway House in Key West, Florida.K. Rode (“Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film”), John Garfield’s daughter, Julie Garfield (discussing her father’s film work) and filmmakers Tony Zhou and Taylor Ramos (
Rounding out the August release slate from The Criterion Collection are director Mike Leigh’s 1984 MOW, Meantime, and director Ronald Neame’s 1980 comedy, Hopscotch, teaming Walter Matthau with Glenda Jackson (both will be available on Aug. 15 as Blu-ray and DVD product offerings) … and on Aug. 22 look for DVD and Blu-ray editions of French actor, playwright and filmmaker Sacha Guitry’s 1951 film release of La Poison.