Press Release Criterion Press Release: Claudine (Blu-ray)

Ronald Epstein

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Diahann Carroll is radiant in an unforgettable, Oscar-nominated performance as Claudine, a strong-willed single mother, raising six kids in Harlem, whose budding relationship with a gregarious garbage collector (an equally fantastic James Earl Jones) is stressed by the difficulty of getting by in an oppressive system. As directed by the formerly blacklisted leftist filmmaker John Berry, this romantic comedy with a social conscience deftly balances warm humor with a serious look at the myriad issues—from cycles of poverty to the indignities of the welfare system—that shape its characters’ realities. The result is an empathetic chronicle of both Black working-class struggle and Black joy, a bittersweet, bighearted celebration of family and community set to a sunny soul soundtrack composed by Curtis Mayfield and performed by Gladys Knight & the Pips.
FILM INFO
  • John Berry
  • United States
  • 1974
  • 92 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #1052
SPECIAL FEATURES
  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2003 featuring actors Diahann Carroll, James Earl Jones, and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs; filmmaker George Tillman Jr.; and Dan Pine, son of screenwriters Lester Pine and Tina Pine
  • New conversation on the film between filmmaker Robert Townsend and programmer Ashley Clark
  • Illustrated audio excerpts from a 1974 AFI Harold Lloyd Master Seminar featuring Carroll
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Danielle A. Jackson
New illustration and design by Alphaville

October 13, 2020
 
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Ronald Epstein

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Ronald Epstein
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bujaki

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Jose Ortiz-Marrero
The extremely beautiful and most talented Diahann Carroll was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in this film. James Earl Jones plays a complicated character and is a perfect foil for her Claudine and her brood. Very good film with a positive message about the urban Black experience in the North.
 
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