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Nelson Au

Senior HTF Member
Mar 16, 1999
Hey guys, I'm late to this thread. I had no idea this title was coming from Criterion! I just read Neil's review of it.

On the discussion that Criterion made its name from doing arthouse films, I must admit that I sort of started to drink fro that punchbowl too. I thought back on those early days. I actually have several of those Criterion laserdiscs of the early titles. When you look at it, its a lot of mainstream titles! I mostly remember how celebrated the release of King Kong was! And 2001: A Space Odyssey, I got that one used and in mint condition back in the day. There's also a slew of Hitchcock titles. And Blade Runner was a popular title from them on LD. I remember waiting a year for Criterion to finally get the Robocop LD released. I have quite a few of the LD's, including those mentioned above and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Graduate and A Hard Days Night and one of my favorites, Forbidden Planet too. And don't forget, they released Dr. No, From Russia With Love and GoldFinger on laserdisc with the infamous audio commentary that had to be removed. I'm glad I still have those discs. But you can probably download that commentary now.

Here's a list of the first 60 titles on laserdisc from wikipedia
Citizen KaneOrson Welles19410011104
King KongMerian C. Cooper1933002
The 39 StepsAlfred Hitchcock1935003056
The Lady VanishesAlfred Hitchcock1938004003
The Third ManCarol Reed1949005064
Swing TimeGeorge Stevens1936006979
High NoonFred Zinnemann1952007
Invasion of the Body SnatchersDon Siegel1956008
The Magnificent AmbersonsOrson Welles1942009952
The Seventh SealIngmar Bergman1957010011
The Hidden FortressAkira Kurosawa1958011116
The Red Balloon and White ManeAlbert Lamorisse1953
CC2000LN/A (Janus)
Lola MontèsMax Ophüls1955012503
Black OrpheusMarcel Camus1959013048
Shock CorridorSamuel Fuller1963015019
Help!Richard Lester1965016
The GraduateMike Nichols1967017800
It's a Wonderful LifeFrank Capra1946018
Blade RunnerRidley Scott1982019
A Hard Day's NightRichard Lester1964020711
Monsieur Hulot's HolidayJacques Tati1953021110
SabotageAlfred Hitchcock1936022
Secret AgentAlfred Hitchcock1936023
Young and InnocentAlfred Hitchcock1937024
Grand IllusionJean Renoir1937025001
The Asphalt JungleJohn Huston1950026847
12 Angry MenSidney Lumet1957027591
The Night of the HunterCharles Laughton1955028541
La StradaFederico Fellini1954029219
Forbidden GamesRené Clément1952030318
A Night at the OperaSam Wood1935031
ScaramoucheGeorge Sidney1952032
PygmalionLeslie Howard and Anthony Asquith1938033085
Vengeance is Mine (open matte)Shohei Imamura1979034384
Fellini SatyriconFederico Fellini1969035747
The ProducersMel Brooks1968036
The Life and Death of Colonel BlimpMichael Powell and Emeric Pressburger1943037173
Black NarcissusMichael Powell and Emeric Pressburger1947038093
The Three Penny OperaGeorg Wilhelm Pabst1931039405
The Princess BrideRob Reiner1987040948
Tunes of GloryRonald Neame1960041225
The Horse's MouthRonald Neame1958042154
Shoot the Piano PlayerFrançois Truffaut1960043 #315
Monterey PopD. A. Pennebaker1969043 #168
Show BoatJames Whale19360441021
North by NorthwestAlfred Hitchcock1959045
Adam's RibGeorge Cukor1949047
BlowupMichelangelo Antonioni1966048865
RashomonAkira Kurosawa1950049138
The Rules of the GameJean Renoir1939050216
Singin' in the RainGene Kelly and Stanley Donen1952052
Forbidden PlanetFred M. Wilcox1956053
ZuluCy Endfield1964054
DarlingJohn Schlesinger1965055
Paths of GloryStanley Kubrick1957057538
The Wizard of OzVictor Fleming1939059
2001: A Space OdysseyStanley Kubrick1968060


Senior HTF Member
Mar 29, 2020
Hamster Shire
Real Name
Well, of course, it should be considered that when people talk about Criterion releasing "popular" films, they tend to mean relatively recent popular films. Vintage films that were indeed popular entertainment rather than arthouse fare -- like King Kong or The Wizard of Oz or A Night at the Opera -- tend to get a pass from people who have no trouble dismissing more modern popular films.

Blade Runner was quite an odd duck in its time. Because it flopped at the box office, I think a lot of people at the time didn't think of it as a "popular" film, and it did get props from its more artistically-minded cinematography and production. It was also the title that more than any other put Criterion on the map. That LD was talked about in all sorts of mainstream publications, and hailed as a milestone for home video.

Nelson Au

Senior HTF Member
Mar 16, 1999
Those are good points Jerry, those are mostly vintage titles. And the dismissal of the inclusion of more modern films.


Senior HTF Member
May 26, 2016
Real Name
Back in the day, in describing the Criterion Collection to someone who wasn't a laserdisc collector, I'd say that they were the closest thing the home video industry had to the Harvard Classics. Which in retrospect gives the wrong impression, because one wouldn't expect, say, a Stephen King novel to be a selection of the Harvard Classics. But if you're trying to create a shelf that displays a cross-section of notable 20th Century Literature (as opposed to "the best" or "most important" 20th Century Literature) a Stephen King novel would probably be a reasonable entry.
"the complete works of Jacqueline Susann, the novels of Harold Robbins… The Giants";)


Second Unit
Apr 16, 2021
Real Name
Michael Kochman

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