Looking forward to your answers and a bunch of new stuff I gotta watch. 3 Stars

I know a lot of you on the forum love the commentaries of the films. I would like to know what is your favorite(s). It may not be your favorite movie but the commentary was insightful, or thought provoking, or entertaining or ????? A commentary that stuck with you. And please let us know why you selected it (them)

I posted this in Blu Ray but if your commentary only appears on the DVD or LD please let us know.

Looking forward to your answers and a bunch of new stuff I gotta watch.

Post Disclaimer

Some of our content may contain marketing links, which means we will receive a commission for purchases made via those links. In our editorial content, these affiliate links appear automatically, and our editorial teams are not influenced by our affiliate partnerships. We work with several providers (currently Skimlinks and Amazon) to manage our affiliate relationships. You can find out more about their services by visiting their sites.

Published by

Kevin Collins

administrator

TravisR

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
36,716
Location
The basement of the FBI building
Off the top of my head, the commentaries with John Carpenter and Kurt Russell on Escape From New York, The Thing and Big Trouble In Little China are all fun because it's a couple of old buddies just having fun reminiscing together.

And as a big fan of The Simpsons, the commentaries on every episode of that series are priceless. With about 400 commentaries, they make up what must be the most complete oral history of any TV show ever made. Plus, they're funny since they feature a bunch of comedy writers so even bad episodes play better with the commentary.
 

Keith Cobby

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2013
Messages
2,851
Location
Kent "The Garden of England", UK
Real Name
Keith Cobby
Max Allan Collins commentary on the VCI DVD Slightly Scarlet. A film noir aficionado talking about a favourite film of mine. Where is the blu-ray?

The commentary by the director and composer on the blu-ray of La La Land which is my favourite recent film. So much joy!
 

Bob Cashill

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2001
Messages
3,641
I enjoy listening to Susan Sarandon's track on The Hunger but maybe that was a DVD? Probably carried over to Blu however. The commentary on The Lost World (25) is excellent and so are all the commentaries by Tim Lucas for various titles, most recently A Fistful of Dollars and Death Smiles on a Murderer.
 

TJPC

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2016
Messages
4,089
Location
Hamilton Ontario
Real Name
Terry Carroll
The commentary on the Image DVD of the silent Phantom of The Opera made me keep it even though I purchased the Blu ray version.
 

Billy Batson

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Messages
3,705
Location
London
Real Name
Alan
There's quite a few good ones. One that comes to mind because I saw it the other week is Mike Nichols and Steven Soderburgh on the Catch-22 DVD. Blu-ray please.
 

sleroi

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 3, 2013
Messages
571
Real Name
Gavin Kopp
One of my favorite commentaries is on the DVD of blood simple from the fake film critic. Its dry, sarcastic, pseudo-pretentious. Most people ive shared this with get bored with it after awhile, but for me that's the genius of it, that it just keeps going on and on.

Also, the John Landis/Rick Baker commentary on Schlock is excellent. Lots of insight into how both men got into the biz, low budget filmmaking, and its really funny. Like the Carpenter/Russell commentaries, its two old friends reminiscing.
 

Josh Steinberg

Premium
Reviewer
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
20,295
Real Name
Josh Steinberg
Richard Donner and Tom Mankiewicz on "Superman: The Movie". (They reunited to do a commentary on the Donner Cut of Superman II which is also worthwhile.)

Roger Ebert on "Citizen Kane"

During Steven Soderbergh's hot streak from Out Of Sight through Solaris (which also included The Limey, Erin Brockovich, Traffic, Ocean's Eleven and Full Frontal), he did commentaries on each of those films (except EB) with the screenwriter, and those are all incredibly insightful and entertaining.

Nicholas Meyer on "Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan" (the solo commentary for the director's cut version that was on the DVD and then BD, not the one with Manny Coto for the theatrical cut on the BD).

There are lots of great commentaries I've heard but those consistently remain at the top of my list. I've listened to them multiple times, and even though I know what they have to say at this point, it's still worthwhile listening, like visiting with an old friend.

Honorable mention to the Dalton Trumbo "commentary" on the Criterion edition of "Spartacus". It's not technically a commentary as Trumbo had passed long before the disc was recorded. The makers of the disc had located a very long letter that Trumbo had drafted and had a voice actor record it for the disc. After being invited to view an early cut of the film, Trumbo (who wrote the film) had notes on nearly every single scene and every aspect on the film, for the most part criticizing the choices of director Stanley Kubrick and producer/star Kirk Douglas. It's scene specific and runs the length of the film. I don't agree with a lot of Trumbo's complaints but it's a fascinating insight into the production process and how little control writers have once they've turned in their pages.

Honorable mention also to Walt Disney "commentaries" on "Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs" and "Fantasia". The disc producers used a variety of archival audio interviews, along with memos and transcripts read by an actor, to present Disney's own thoughts on two of his best films. Though the audio quality varies, the information they contain is priceless.
 

Mark-W

Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 6, 1999
Messages
3,207
Real Name
Mark
Tom Weaver's commentary on The Creature From the Black Lagoon is really entertaining and informative. It is the first time I went back and looked for movies with commentaries by Tom and then used that to determine whether I would buy a disc or not.
 
Last edited:

bgart13

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 4, 2008
Messages
1,106
Real Name
Ben
FACES OF DEATH has an excellent, enlightening commentary from the director. One of the very best I’ve ever heard — truly.

Any commentary with Larry Cohen is also top-notch. A real lesson in filmmaking any time he speaks.
 

Powell&Pressburger

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
1,761
Location
MPLS, MN
Real Name
Jack
Wow I could never name just one! I really enjoy film historian commentaries. Ones from Nick Redman, Julie Kirgo and company like Lem Dobbs are some of the best. You really can't go wrong with any they have ever done.

Some newbie's or maybe not as well known to many yet... Kat Ellinger, Samm Deighan You can go with any of their duo or solo commentaries and their knowledge and research that goes into their commentaries are not lazy. Grab discs like Arrow's IMAGES, FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC (UK Region B Locked) Kino Lorber's Love with the Proper Stranger the list goes on!

Tim Lucas... what can you say he is amazing at his commentaries. they are just essential.

Many other deserve praise also I believe my most listened to audio commentary track is the Criterion one for The Tales of Hoffmann. (DVD, Laserdisc only so far)

One person I'd like to mention that should have been featured so MUCH more and IMO was horribly underused was the great animation Historian John Canemaker! Disney should have had him and him alone create audio commentaries for all of their classic animated features. The ones he did out of my memory for FANTASIA and DUMBO (that one only was on a specific DVD release) are great. I would have loved to have heard his thoughts on so many other classics Like Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella.
 

Rodney

Premium
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Messages
2,143
Honorable mention also to Walt Disney "commentaries" on "Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs" and "Fantasia". The disc producers used a variety of archival audio interviews, along with memos and transcripts read by an actor, to present Disney's own thoughts on two of his best films. Though the audio quality varies, the information they contain is priceless.
Thank you for reminding us about that one. When I first got the Platinum Edition DVD in 2001 I used to just play the commentary to listen to it while I was doing other things, not even watching the movie.
 

Johnny Angell

Played With Dinosaurs Member
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 13, 1998
Messages
13,355
Location
Central Arkansas
Real Name
Johnny Angell
Trumbo (who wrote the film) had notes on nearly every single scene and every aspect on the film, for the most part criticizing the choices of director Stanley Kubrick and producer/star Kirk Douglas. It's scene specific and runs the length of the film.
Is this the one where he trashes Kirk’s acting? I know someone did that and I found it refreshing though I disagreed with him.