Chimes at Midnight

Janus Films (The Criterion Collection)
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Wise Blood
In this acclaimed adaptation of the first novel by legendary Southern writer Flannery O'Connor, John Huston vividly brings to life her poetic world of American eccentricity. Brad Dourif, in an impassioned performance, is Hazel Motes, who, fresh out of the army, attempts to open the first Church Without Christ in…
La ronde
Simone Signoret, Anton Walbrook, and Simone Simon lead a roundelay of French stars in Max Ophuls's delightful, acerbic adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler's controversial turn-of-the-century play Reigen. Soldiers, chambermaids, poets, prostitutes, aristocrats--all are on equal footing in this multicharacter merry-go-round of love and infidelity, directed with a sweeping gaiety as knowingly…
Smiles of a Summer Night
After fifteen films that received mostly local acclaim, the 1955 comedy Smiles of a Summer Night (Sommarnattens leende) at last ushered in an international audience for Ingmar Bergman. In turn-of-the-century Sweden, four men and four women attempt to navigate the laws of attraction. During a weekend in the country, the…
Chains
After years of making mostly comedies and literary adaptations, Raffaello Matarazzo turned to melodrama with this intense tale of a tight-knit working-class family shattered by temptation. There's a touch of noir in Chains, in which the saintly yet earthy Yvonne Sanson, as the devoted wife of a mechanic (Amedeo Nazzari),…
Les enfants terribles
Writer Jean Cocteau and director Jean-Pierre Melville joined forces for this elegant adaptation of Cocteau's immensely popular, wicked novel about the wholly unholy relationship between a brother and sister. Elisabeth (a remarkable Nicole Stephane) and Paul (Edouard Dermithe) close themselves off from the world by playing an increasingly intense series…
Hopscotch
Miles Kendig knows too much. One of the CIA's top international operatives, he suddenly finds himself relegated to a desk job in an agency power play. Unwilling to go quietly, Kendig, with the aid of a chic Viennese widow, puts himself back in the game by writing a memoir exposing…
Throne of Blood
A vivid, visceral Macbeth adaptation, Throne of Blood, directed by Akira Kurosawa, sets Shakespeare's definitive tale of ambition and duplicity in a ghostly, fog-enshrouded landscape in feudal Japan. As a hardened warrior who rises savagely to power, Toshiro Mifune gives a remarkable, animalistic performance, as does Isuzu Yamada as his…
Richard III
Part of the Series: The Janus British Collection
In Richard III, director, producer, and star Laurence Olivier brings Shakespeare's masterpiece of Machiavellian villainy to ravishing cinematic life. Olivier is diabolically captivating as Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who, through a series of murderous machinations, steals the crown from his brother Edward. And he surrounds himself with a royal supporting…
Mr. Arkadin
Orson Welles's Mr. Arkadin (a.k.a. Confidential Report) tells the story of an elusive billionaire who hires an American smuggler to investigate his past, leading to a dizzying descent into a cold-war European landscape. The film's history is also marked by this vertigo. There are at least eight Mr. Arkadins: three…
The Honeymoon Killers
Martha Beck (Shirley Stoler) is sullen, overweight and heartbreakingly alone. Desperate for affection, she joins Aunt Carrie's Friendship Club and strikes up a correspondence with Ray Fernandez (Tony Lo Bianco), a suave, charismatic smooth talker who could be the man of her dreams--or a wicked con artist bound for trouble.…
Brute Force
As hard-hitting as its title, Brute Force was the first of Jules Dassin's forays into the crime genre, a prison melodrama that takes a critical look at American society as well. Burt Lancaster is the timeworn Joe Collins, who, along with his fellow inmates, lives under the heavy thumb of…
Shock Corridor
In Shock Corridor, the great American writer-director-producer Samuel Fuller masterfully charts the uneasy terrain between sanity and madness. Seeking a Pulitzer Prize, reporter Johnny Barrett (Peter Breck) has himself committed to a mental hospital to investigate a murder. As he closes in on the killer, insanity closes in on him.…