To Be Or Not To Be

Criterion Collection/Janus Films
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The Ruling Class
Part of the Series: The Criterion British Collection
Peter O'Toole gives a tour-de-force performance as Jack, a man "cured" of believing he's God--only to become Jack the Ripper incarnate. Based on Peter Barnes's irreverent play, this darkly comic indictment of Britain's class system peers behind the closed doors of English aristocracy. Insanity, sadistic sarcasm, and black comedy--with just…
Nothing Sacred
In this classic screwball comedy, newspaperman Frederic March makes a national heroine of a smalltown bumpkin (Carole Lombard) diagnosed with a fatal illness...but her doctor's assessment turns out to be wrong.
Three Colors: White
The most playful and also the grittiest of Kieslowski's Three Colors films follows the adventures of Karol Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski), a Polish immigrant living in France. The hapless hairdresser opts to leave Paris for his native Warsaw when his wife (Julie Delpy) sues him for divorce (her reason: their marriage…
The Blob
A cult classic of gooey greatness, The Blob follows the havoc wreaked on a small town by an outer-space monster with neither soul nor vertebrae, with Steve McQueen playing the rebel teen who tries to warn the residents about the jellylike invader. Strong performances and ingenious special effects helpThe Blob…
Faces
John Cassavetes puts a disintegrating marriage under the microscope in the searing Faces. Shot in high-contrast 16 mm black and white, the film follows the futile attempts of the captain of industry Richard (John Marley) and his wife, Maria (Lynn Carlin), to escape the anguish of their empty relationship in…
The Rise of Catherine the Great
Part of the Series: The Criterion British Collection
A quick-witted and compelling dramatization of the troubled marriage of Catherine II (played by German actress Elisabeth Bergner, in her English-language debut) to Peter III (a randy Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) and her subsequent ascension to the throne as Empress of Russia. With its luxurious renderings of the eighteenth-century St. Petersburg…
Kanal
"Watch them closely, for these are the last hours of their lives," announces a narrator, foretelling the tragedy that unfolds as a war-ravaged company of Home Army resistance fighters tries to escape the Nazi onslaught through the sewers of Warsaw. Determined to survive, the men and women slog through the…
The End of Summer
The Kohayakawa family is thrown into distress when childlike father Manbei takes up with his old mistress, in one of Ozu's most deftly modulated blendings of comedy and tragedy. Additional Reading: http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/634-eclipse-series-3-late-ozu
Stagecoach
This is where it all started. John Ford's smash hit and enduring masterpieceStagecoach revolutionized the western, elevating it from B movie to the A-list and establishing the genre as we know it today. The quintessential tale of a group of strangers thrown together into extraordinary circumstances,Stagecoach features outstanding performances from…
I Married a Witch
Veronica Lake casts a seductive spell as a charmingly vengeful sorceress in this supernatural screwball classic. Many centuries after cursing the male descendants of the Salem puritan who sent her to the stake, this blonde bombshell with a broomstick finds herself drawn to one of them--a prospective governor (Fredric March)…
Murmur of the Heart - Le souffle au coeur
Louis Malle's critically acclaimed Murmur of the Heart gracefully combines elements of comedy, drama, and autobiography in a candid portrait of a precocious adolescent boy's sexual maturation. Both shocking and deeply poignant, this is one of the finest coming-of-age films ever made. Additional Reading: http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/415-murmur-of-the-heart-all-in-the-family
A Generation
Stach is a wayward teen living in squalor on the outskirts of Nazi-occupied Warsaw. Guided by an avuncular Communist organizer, he is introduced to the underground resistance--and to the beautiful Dorota. Soon he is engaged in dangerous efforts to fight oppression and indignity, maturing as he assumes responsibility for others'…