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Janus Films (The Criterion Collection)
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The Naked City
"There are eight million stories in the Naked City," as the narrator immortally states at the close of this breathtakingly vivid film--and this is one of them. Master noir craftsman Jules Dassin and newspaperman-cum-producer Mark Hellinger's dazzling police procedural, The Naked City, was shot entirely on location in New York.…
Young Törless
Part of the Series: The Janus German Collection
At an Austrian boys' boarding school in the early 1900s, shy, intelligent Torless observes the sadistic behavior of his fellow students, doing nothing to help a victimized classmate--until the torture goes too far. Adapted from Robert Musil's acclaimed novel, Young Torless launched the New German Cinema movement and garnered the…
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
John Cassavetes engages with film noir in his own inimitable style with The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. Ben Gazzara brilliantly portrays a gentleman's club owner, Cosmo Vitelli, desperately committed to maintaining a facade of suave gentility despite the seediness of his environment and his own unhealthy appetites. When he…
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…
Pandora's Box
One of the masters of early German cinema, G. W. Pabst had an innate talent for discovering actresses (including Greta Garbo). And perhaps none of his female stars shone brighter than Kansas native and onetime Ziegfeld girl Louise Brooks, whose legendary persona was defined by Pabst's lurid, controversial melodrama Pandora's…
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.…
Lacombe, Lucien
One of the first French films to address the issue of collaboration during the German occupation, Louis Malle's brave and controversial Lacombe, Lucientraces a young peasant's journey from potential Resistance member to Gestapo recruit. At once the story of a nation and one troubled boy, the film is a disquieting…
I Shot Jesse James
After years of crime reporting, screenwriting, and authoring pulp novels, Samuel Fuller made his directorial debut with the lonesome ballad of Robert Ford (played by Red River's John Ireland), who fatally betrayed his friend, the notorious Jesse James. At once modest and intense, I Shot Jesse James is an engrossing…
The Steel Helmet
The Steel Helmet marked Samuel Fuller's official arrival as a mighty cinematic force. Despite its relatively low budget, this portrait of Korean War soldiers dealing with moral and racial identity crises remains one of the director's most gripping, realistic depictions of the blood and guts of war, as well as…
A Woman Under the Influence
This uncompromising portrait of domestic turmoil details the emotional breakdown of a suburban housewife and her family's struggle to save her from herself. Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk give unforgettably harrowing performances as a married couple deeply in love but unable to express their ardor in terms the other can…
Breathless
Part of the Series: Janus French New Wave Collection
There was before Breathless, and there was after Breathless. Jean-Luc Godard burst onto the film scene in 1960 with this jazzy, free-form, and sexy homage to the American film genres that inspired him as a writer for Cahiers du cinema. With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, anything-goes crime…
The Tin Drum
Part of the Series: The Janus German Collection
Oskar is born in Germany in 1924 with an advanced intellect. Repulsed by the hypocrisy of adults and the irresponsibility of society, he refuses to grow older after his third birthday. While the chaotic world around him careers toward the madness and folly of World War II, Oskar pounds incessantly…