Anyone who follows the Criterion Collection will note that just about every month of releases is exciting for collectors of classic and important cinema. But some months are just a little bit more special than others. This coming June is going to be even more special. With titles from Alfred Hitchcock, Toshiro Mifune, Charlie Chaplin, Steven Soderbergh (on Spalding Gray) and Danny Boyle, Criterion may have on their hands one of the most exciting months of releases in years. You might as well start saving now. Seriously, just check out the line-up after the jump.

THE 39 STEPS – BD & DVD
The 39 Steps is a heart-racing spy story by Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho), following Richard Hannay (Oscar winner Robert Donat of Goodbye, Mr. Chips), who stumbles into a conspiracy that thrusts him into a hectic chase across the Scottish moors—a chase in which he is both the pursuer and the pursued—as well as into an expected romance with the cool Pamela (Madeline Carroll). Adapted from a novel by John Buchan, this classic wrong-man thriller from the Master of Suspense anticipates the director’s most famous works (especially North by Northwest), and remains one of his cleverest and most entertaining films.

1935 • 86 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • 1.33:1 aspect ratio

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary by Alfred Hitchcock scholar Marian Keane
  • Hitchcock: The Early Years (2000), a British documentary covering Hitchcock’s prewar career
  • Original footage from British broadcaster Mike Scott’s 1966 television interview with Hitchcock
  • Complete broadcast of the 1937 Lux Radio Theatre adaptation, performed by Ida Lupino and Robert Montgomery
  • Visual essay by Hitchcock scholar Leonard Leff
  • Excerpts from François Truffaut’s 1962 audio interview with Hitchcock
  • Original production design drawings
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Cairns

AND EVERYTHING IS GOING FINE – BD & DVD
After the death in 2004 of American theater actor and monologist Spalding Gray, director Steven Soderbergh (Traffic) pieced together a narrative of Gray’s life to create the documentary And Everything Is Going Fine. Brilliantly and sensitively assembled entirely from footage of Gray, taken from interviews and one-man shows from throughout his career, it is a rich, full portrait—an autobiography of sorts—of a figure who was never less than candid but retained an air of mystery. In essence, this hilarious, moving, and revealing film has become Gray’s final monologue.

2010 • 89 minutes • Color • Monaural • 1.33:1 aspect ratio

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Making of “And Everything Is Going Fine,” featuring director Steven Soderbergh, producer Kathie Russo, and editor Susan Littenberg
  • Sex and Death to the Age 14, Spalding Gray’s first monologue, created in 1979 and filmed in 1982
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by writer Nell Casey, editor of The Journals of Spalding Gray

GRAY’S ANATOMY – BD & DVD
One of the great raconteurs of stage and screen, Spalding Gray (Swimming to Cambodia), came together with one of cinema’s boldest image-makers, Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh (Traffic), for Gray’s Anatomy, a spellbinding adaptation of Gray’s 1993 monologue of the same name (cowritten with Renée Shafransky). In it, Gray, with typical sardonic relish, chronicles his arduous journey through the diagnosis and treatment of a rare and alarming ocular condition. For the monologist, this experience occasioned a meditation on illness and mortality, medicine and metaphysics; for the filmmaker, it was a chance to experiment with ways of bringing his subject’s words to brilliant, eye-opening life.1997 • 79 minutes • Color/Black & White • 5.1 surround • 1.85:1 aspect ratio

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New high definition digital transfer, supervised by director Steven Soderbergh, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New interviews with Soderbergh and cowriter Renée Shafransky
  • A Personal History of the American Theater, a monologue by Spalding Gray, filmed in 1982
  • Theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Amy Taubin

THE SAMURAI TRILOGY – BD & DVD
The Samurai Trilogy, directed by Hiroshi Inagaki (The Rickshaw Man) and starring the inimitable Toshiro Mifune (Seven Samurai), was one of Japan’s most successful exports of the 1950s, a rousing, emotionally gripping tale of combat and self-discovery. Based on a novel that’s often called Japan’s Gone with the Wind, this sweeping saga fictionalizes the life of the legendary seventeenth-century swordsman (and writer and artist) Musashi Miyamoto, following him on his path from unruly youth to enlightened warrior. With these three films—1954’s Oscar-winning Musashi Miyamoto, 1955’s Duel at Ichijoji Temple, and 1956’s Duel at Ganryu Island—Inagaki created a passionate epic that’s equal parts tender love story and bloody action.

Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto
1954 · 93 minutes · Color · Monaural · In Japanese with English subtitles · 1.33:1 aspect ratio

Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple
1955 · 103 minutes · Color · Monaural · In Japanese with English subtitles · 1.33:1 aspect ratio

Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island
1956 · 104 minutes · Color · Monaural · In Japanese with English subtitles · 1.33:1 aspect ratio

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New high-definition digital restorations of all three films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-ray edition
  • New interviews with translator and historian William Scott Wilson about the real-life Musashi Miyamoto, the inspiration for the hero of the films
  • Trailers
  • New English subtitle translations
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by film historian Stephen Prince and Wilson

THE GOLD RUSH – BD & DVD
The first feature-length comedy by Charlie Chaplin (Modern Times)—which charts a hapless prospector’s search for fortune in the Klondike and his discovery of romance (with the beautiful Georgia Hale)—forever cemented the iconic status of Chaplin and his Little Tramp character. Shot partly on location in the Sierra Nevadas and featuring such timeless gags as Chaplin’s dance of the dinner rolls and meal of boiled shoe leather, The Gold Rush is an indelible work of nonstop hilarity. This special edition features both Chaplin’s definitive 1942 version, for which the directoradded new music and narration, and a new restoration of the original silent 1925 film.

1942 version • 72 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • 1.33:1 aspect ratio
1925 version • 88 minutes • Black & White • Silent • 1.33:1 aspect ratio

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New high-definition digital restoration of the 1942 sound version, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New 2K digital transfer of the reconstructed original 1925 silent film, restored in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, with a newly recorded version of director Charlie Chaplin’s score, presented in 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
  • New audio commentary for the 1925 version by Chaplin biographer and archivist Jeffrey Vance
  • Three new programs: Presenting “The Gold Rush,” which traces the film’s history from original release to rerelease to 2003 reconstruction and features film historian Kevin Brownlow and Vancece; Music by Charles Chaplin,featuring conductor and composer Timothy Brock; and Visual Effects in “The Gold Rush,” featuring effects specialist Craig Barron and Chaplin cinematographer Roland Totheroh
  • Chaplin Today: “The Gold Rush” (2002), a short documentary featuring filmmaker Idrissa Ouedraogo
  • Four theatrical trailers
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Luc Sante and James Agee’s review of the 1942 version

SHALLOW GRAVE – BD & DVD
This diabolical thriller was the first film from director Danny Boyle, producer Andrew Macdonald, and screenwriter John Hodge (the smashing team behindTrainspotting). In Shallow Grave, three self-involved Edinburgh roommates—played by Kerry Fox (An Angel at My Table), Christopher Eccleston (Elizabeth), and Ewan McGregor (Beginners), in his first starring role—take in a brooding boarder. When he dies of an overdose, leaving a suitcase full of money, the trio embark on a series of very bad decisions, with extraordinarily grim consequences for all. Macabre but with a streak of offbeat humor, this stylistically influential tale of guilt and derangement is a full-throttle bit of Hitchcockian nastiness.

1994 • 93 minutes • Color • 2.0 surround • 1.85:1 aspect ratio

FILMMAKER-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New, restored digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Brian Tufano, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Two audio commentaries: one by director Danny Boyle and the other by screenwriter John Hodge and producer Andrew Macdonald
  • New interviews with stars Christopher Eccleston, Kerry Fox, and Ewan McGregor
  • Digging Your Own Grave, a 1993 documentary by Kevin Macdonald on the making of the film
  • Andrew Macdonald and Kevin Macdonald’s video diary from the 1992 Edinburgh Film Festival, where they shopped around the script for Shallow Grave
  • Shallow Grave trailer and Trainspotting teaser trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Philip Kemp

Find out more about these and other releases at Criterion.com


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