Building A Collection: Essential Criterions & Other Must Have Classics?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Sean Hardiman, Apr 5, 2004.

  1. Sean Hardiman

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    Hi everyone,

    I've found myself bored with much of what is currently out from the Hollywood factory and am interested in building up my collection of classic films, starting with the Criterion Collection. So far on the Criterion front, I have the Hitchcock OOP box set, For All Mankind, Tokyo Olympiad, The Third Man, (all aforementioned are being shipped), Spartacus, and Traffic. On the "classic" front, I have Citizen Kane, Casablanca, and The Day The Earth Stood Still (a classic to me ).

    I am looking for suggestions of great films that are worthy of a blind purchase. The only requirement I have is that the film be OAR and/or anamorphic widescreen.

    I love dramas (suspense, mystery, etc), documentaries, but for some reason, the upcoming release of Charade really piques my interest. Hopefully that gives you something to go on when making a suggestion. [​IMG]

    Thanks in advance for your feedback.

    SCH
     
  2. Craig Beam

    Craig Beam Screenwriter

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    A few highly worthwhile titles from my collection:

    The Diary Of Anne Frank (Fox Studio Classics series)
    The Killers (Criterion Collection)
    The Seventh Seal (Criterion Collection)
    To Kill A Mockingbird: Collector's Edition (Universal)
    Rear Window: Collector's Edition (Universal)

    ...and my all-time favorite:

    Vertigo: Collector's Edition (Universal)
     
  3. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    The 400 Blows Criterion. Excellent film. Don't have it myself but I would if I had money. [​IMG]
     
  4. Jeff Swearingen

    Jeff Swearingen Second Unit

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    anything kurosawa...especially

    Seven Samurai
    Throne of Blood
    Rashomon
    Ikiru
    Ran

    the Samurai trilogy
    Tarkovsky's Solaris

    and a big vote to: Lawrence of Arabia Superbit, Das Boot Superbit, and Vertigo Collector's Edition.
     
  5. Jon_W

    Jon_W Stunt Coordinator

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    I would suggest Lawrance of Arabia: SB, Doctor Zhivago, and The Godfather as being worth while classic purchases
     
  6. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    Excellent Criterion Blind Buys:

    Grand Illusion (Renoir/1937)
    The Rules of the Game (Renoir/1939)
    The Devil and Daniel Webster (Dieterle/1941)
    Le Corbeau* (Clouzot/1943)
    Children of Paradise (Carné/1945)
    Brief Encounter (Lean/1946)
    Black Narcissus* (Powell & Pressburger/1947)
    Quai des orfèvres* (Clouzot/1947)
    The Red Shoes (Powell & Pressburger/1948)
    Diary of a Country Priest (Bresson/1950)
    Rashomon (Kurosawa/1950)
    Ikiru (Kurosawa/1952)
    Tokyo Story (Ozu/1953)
    Wages of Fear* (Clouzot/1953)
    Seven Samurai (Kurosawa/1954)
    Nights of Cabiria (Fellini/1957)
    The Seventh Seal (Bergman/1957)
    Wild Strawberries (Bergman/1957)
    The Hidden Fortress (Kurosawa/1958)
    Diabolique* (Clouzot/1955)
    The 400 Blows (Truffaut/1959)--only available in the "Antoine Doinel" boxset
    Yojimbo (Kurosawa/1961)
    Le Cercle rouge* (Melville/1970)


    I limited these films to Dramas (excellent Mystery/Suspense films are starred). I excluded a lot of "love it or hate it" type films which are inarguably great, but wouldn't necessarily make great blind buys, like those by Antonioni, Godard, Olmi, later Fellini, later Bergman, Peckinpah, Varda, Dreyer, Fassbinder, et al.
     
  7. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    don't forget Brazil Criterion Collection
     
  8. Derek_McL

    Derek_McL Second Unit

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    I'm not a great one for foreign language films so a lot of the Criterions don't interest me. One wonderful one I've got which is a comedy but a very dramatic one is Preston Sturges' Sullivan's Travels (1941) which also includes a fascinating documentary on the life and work of Sturges.

    Looking at what you have so far I'd recommend the following :

    more Bogart :

    High Sierra (1941)
    The Maltese Falcon (1941)
    To Have and Have Not (1945)
    The Big Sleep (1946)
    Dark Passage (1947)
    Key Largo (1948)

    Most of these are barebones but really should be in any classics collection.

    Also consider the Warner Legends Collection for Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948),Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)and The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)all laden down with extras the biggest one a bonus disc which relates the history of the Warner Brothers studio.

    If you like Welles and Kane : Touch of Evil(1958) is a great dark thriller.

    Here's a general list of some of my favourites of the sound era : 1930s to 1950 which I think are among the essential classic thrillers/ horror and dramas on DVD (a few I've missed because of rumours of improved versions coming soon like Gone with the Wind) :

    Universal Monster legacy collections : Frankenstein / Dracula / The Wolf Man
    Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Double feature (1932/1941)
    Grand Hotel (1932)
    Mr Smith Goes To Washington (1939)
    The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
    Shadow of a Doubt (1943) (great Hitchcock)
    The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
    It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
    Sunset Boulevard (1950)
    All About Eve (1950)
     
  9. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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    The original poster required anamorphic dvd's (when applicable).

    I own and love all of the above mentioned "ordered" titles, and would recommend the following Criterions (in order of "essentialness"):

    1. The Passion Of Joan Of Arc
    2. The Rules Of The Game
    3. Grand Illusion
    4. Anything from Kurosawa
    5. Salesman (or Hearts and Minds, both great documentaries)
    6. Carl Th. Dreyer Collection (an expensive blind buy however)
    7. Children Of Paradise
    8. The Seventh Seal
    9. Knife In The Water
    10. Brief Encounter

    A few other essentials:

    1. More Kubrick and Hitchcock movies.
    2. The Godfather
    3. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
    4. The Right Stuff
    5. Once Upon A Time In The West (& Once Upon A Time In America)
    6. The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre
    7. Blue Velvet
    8. Witness
    9. Annie Hall (or Manhattan, or Hannah And Her Sisters)
    10. Breaking The Waves
     
  10. Arnie G

    Arnie G Supporting Actor

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    Criterion Written on the Wind [​IMG]
     
  11. Will*B

    Will*B Supporting Actor

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    Don't forget Jean-Luc Godard...

    Criterion have superb editions of

    Contempt (100% Blind purchase guaranteed!)
    Band of Outsiders
    Alphaville

    as well as a forthcoming version of A Woman Is A Woman.
     
  12. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    A couple not mentioned already:

    How Green Was My Valley
    The Three Colors Trilogy (Blue, White, Red)
     
  13. Keith M.

    Keith M. Second Unit

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    A couple more "must have classics" recommendations:

    City Lights
    Some Like It Hot
    On The Waterfront
    Mutiny on the Bounty
    Hidden Fortress
     
  14. Johnny_G

    Johnny_G Auditioning

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    Little Big Man
    Hud
    My Darling Clementine
    The Grapes of Wrath
    Sunset Blvd.
    Ikiru- The Criterion Collection
    Badlands-R2
    Notorious- The Criterion Collection
    The Godfather DVD Collection
    The Conversation
    The Parallax View
    La Grande illusion- The Criterion Collection
     
  15. Kenneth English

    Kenneth English Second Unit

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    Criterion's awesome Ingmar Bergman box set featuring:

    Through a Glass Darkly
    Winter Light
    The Silence
    Ingmar Bergman Makes a Film
    (documentary)

    As well as their other excellent Bergman releases:

    Autumn Sonata
    Cries and Whispers
    The Seventh Seal
    Scenes From a Marriage
    Wild Strawberries


    No true fan of cinema should be without these.
     
  16. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    To add (and perhaps duplicate a bit) to the excellent suggestions so far, I’ll list some essential comidies (just to expand your drama list):

    The recently released Chaplin Collection sets (both vol 1 & 2) are musts for those interested in either cinema history or comedy.

    Both of the Criterion Preston Sturges films (Sullivan’s Travels already mentioned) are worth a purchase. The Lady Eve also has a great commentary track.

    If you like screwballs, I would add a couple like My Man Godfery (Criterion).

    A film or two by Ernst Lubitsch are essential—Trouble in Paradise (Criterion) and The Shop Around the Corner are good places to start.

    I would consider the three Tati Criterions to be essential—but everyone does not care for Mr. Hulot.

    Ànd finally some by Billy Wilder: Some Like it Hot and The Apartment are must-haves.
     
  17. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    On the documentary front, Criterion has a few essentials:

    Nanook of the North

    Salesman

    Gimme Shelter

    Hearts and Minds
     
  18. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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    ...and though it's a bit recent, Capturing The Friedmans is a great doc too. And maybe you should also try Häxan (1922). It's a truly unique pseudo-doc, and one of Criterion's best discs.
     
  19. Dom

    Dom Stunt Coordinator

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    To be safe, I'd just look up the top 250 on IMDB and then find out if a DVD is available according to your viewing criteria. You won't find many documentaries though.

    For documentaries I would suggest anything by Errol Morris.

    Cheers
     
  20. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I disagree with Dom as to the top 250 on the IMDB—but agree with his suggestion of Errol Morris.

    Here in Dallas, I’m just waiting for The Thin Blue Line to be released on DVD. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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