Monday, April 22, 2024

The Criterion Collection Reveals Its July Release Slate Toplined By 4K Ultra HD Editions Peckinpah's Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid (July 2) And Writer/Director Paul Brickman's Risky Business (July 23)

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey, @dvdblurayreport
The Criterion Collection announced its July slate of film restorations this past week.   Bookending the month of July are director Sam Peckinpah’s Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (July 2) and the Tom Cruise breakout film from 1983, writer/director Paul Brickman’s Risky Business (July 23).

You can’t talk about Peckinpah’s Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid without mentioning James Aubrey, the gun-for-hire head of MGM at the time (brought in by Kirk Kerkorian to burn the studio down), who fancied himself the god of all-things film (a former CBS executive, which is where he should have stayed … except he was fired by CBS). 

The filming of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid was nothing but a nightmare as Aubrey interfered with Peckinpah time and again.  To add insult to injury, the moment the final cut had been made and the “invitational” screenings had taken place, Aubrey seized Peckinpah’s work and began the process of having it re-cut.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey, @dvdblurayreport
In what could be described as something of a “Hollywood” heist, before Peckinpah’s original version of the film could be destroyed by Aubrey, one of the film’s editors — and several accomplices — spirited the print out of the studio.  It did not surface again until 1986.

Criterion is presenting three different versions of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid in this double-disc 4K Ultra HD/double-disc Blu-ray Combo Pack release on July 2.
There’s a 4K restoration of the original theatrical cut, a 2K restoration of the “stolen” preview print and finally a 4K restoration of the 50th Anniversary release.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey, @dvdblurayreport
Bonus features include commentary by film editors Paul Seydor and Roger Spottiswoode, who are joined by film critic Michael Sragow, plus there’s an archived video session with James Coburn, a new featurette titled “Dylan in Durango” and documentary filmmaker Mike Siegel’s 2005 feature length film titled Passion and Poetry.

At the other end of the month of July (the 23rd), Criterion will be streeting a new 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack edition of writer/director Paul Brickman’s Risky Business, starring Tom Cruise and Rebecca De Mornay.

There are two new 4K film restorations in play here.   The first is the original theatrical cut of the film, while the second is a “director’s cut.”

It was a modest ten-week film production schedule for this teen hijinks comedy, but the final product ended up being so much more than a modest teen hijinks comedy.   After this film, Tom Cruise was on his way.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey, @dvdblurayreport
Bonus goodies include a vintage commentary by Brickman and Cruise, who are joined by producer Jon Avnet, screen tests for Cruise and De Mornay, a collection of video sessions titled “The Dream is Always the Same: The Story of Risky Business,” and newly-prepared video sessions with Avnet, casting director Nancy Klopper, editor Richard Crew and film historian Bobbie O’Steen.

Also on the release calendar in July are French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Samourai (4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack on July 9); a full spread launch of director Wim Wenders’ Perfect Days (July 16, DVD, Blu-ray and 4K selections); director Glauber Rocha’s Black God, White Devil (July 16 — DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions) and director Chen Kaige’s Farewell My Concubine arrives on July 23 as both Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray purchasing options.

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