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4,981 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
...continuing in my quest to encourage people to watch more of what the critics consider the really good films, Amazon is now selling a bunch of their $40 discs at $16.49:

8 1/2

The 39 Steps

49th Parallel

Ali- Fear Eats the Soul



Bicycle Theives

Billy Liar

Black Narcissus

Brief Encounter

The Browning Version

A Canterbury Tale

Divorce, Italian Style


Great Expectations

Green for Danger

Hands Over the City

Henry V

I Know Where I'm Going!



Kind Hearts and Coronets

The Lady Vanishes

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

The Life of Brian

The Lord of the Flies


Mama Roma

The Man Who Fell to Earth

Mona Lisa


A Night to Remember

Oliver Twist


Pandora's Box

Peeping Tom

The Red Shoes

The Ruling Class

Salvatore Giuliano

The Small Back Room

La Strada

The Tales of Hoffmann

The Testament of Dr Mabuse

The Third Man

This Sporting Life

Tne Threepenny Opera

The Tin Drum

Quite a few of the Powell/Pressberger films. Makes you wonder if Criterion is trying to move out a lot of excess titles or titles they will release on Blu-ray or both.

4,827 Posts
Thanks for the heads-up.

Never seen many of these "really good films"

4,981 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A few thoughts on all these films:

I haven't seen Ali- Fear Eats the Soul (German film, Fassbinder, probably slow, but sounds interesting), Billy Liar, Hands Over the City, Jubilee, Mama Roma, Overlord, Salvatore Giuliano, The Testament of Dr Mabuse. Jubilee is a punk film from the seventies (sound interesting), and Dr Mabuse is the final film of a famous trilogy from Fritz Lang about a super-criminal.

The Fellini films are classics: 8 1/2, Amarcord and La Strada. You might wait for Blu-ray on the first two, and I personally am not ecstatic about La Strada. Nights of Cabiria is much better.

BEWARE the Antonionis: L'Avventura and L'Eclisse. The first was a very important film in its day, but... If you find Bergman movies a problem, believe me, don't go for either of these. You've been warned. Blow-Up is much more accessible, and you get to see Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page playing (lip syncing) in the Yardbirds.

The Archers films from Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus, 49th Parallel, A Canterbury Tale, I Know Where I'm Going! The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, The Small Back Room and The Tales of Hoffmann are all very special. Some caveats: at least two of them, The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus are sure to turn up on Blu-ray, and The Tales of Hoffmann is Offenbach's opera. The B&W ones (and Colonel Blimp) would probably do in a DVD version; A Canterbury Tale has a rather problematic source print. Peeping Tom is Powell w/out Pressburger, a serial killer movie that came out the year Psycho did and was so controversial it made it extremely difficult for Powell to get financing for any more films.

The Life of Brian is available cheaper in Blu-ray.

You can get Kind Hearts and Coronets in a great boxed set of Alec Guinness comedies.

A bunch of great early David Lean films: Brief Encounter, Great Expectations and Oliver Twist. Great Expectations has some of the most remarkable B&W photography ever put on film; you might want to wait for Blu-ray.

Two great early Hitchcocks: The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes. Steps is a tiny bit slow; Lady is perfection.

Bicycle Thieves, M, Pandora's Box, The Threepenny Opera and The Third Man are great classics. Pandora's Box is silent, but it enables you to see Louise Brooks and is worth the trouble to experience; The Threepenny Opera has most of the original cast of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's great play, and it contains the German and French version (two different films); The Third Man is available in Blu-ray at this price, and it's transfer is greatly admired.

A Night to Remember is a great little British film about the Titanic, done on a small budget but with a documentary feel. It includes the telling detail left out of Cameron's film about the ship Californian who could see the Titanic miles off but did nothing to save it.

The Ruling Class, a great personal favorite and a film one hears nothing about any more, has what might be Peter O'Toole's finest performance after Lawrence. A trippy tragicomedy about the umpteenth Earl of Gurney, who believes himself to be Jesus, is deprogrammed, and comes to realize that he is actually Jack the Ripper.

Two others worth mentioning are Lindsay Anderson's This Sporting Life and If.... Great extras on Life, and If... is one of the few definitive versions of the life some of the baby boomers lived and aspired to in the late sixties.

Enough already.
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