Criterion Classics from Hawks and Wilder

In May Criterion will be releasing two films from the Golden Age of Hollywood in all new Blu Ray Collector’s Editions. Howard Hawks’ Western RED RIVER and Billy Wilder’s ACE IN THE HOLE. Both will feature hi-def restorations and a slew of special features.

 

RED RIVER (1948): One of Howard Hawks’ greatest Westerns was based on the true story of the first cattle drive from Texas to Kansas along the Chisholm Trail. John Wayne stars as Thomas Dunson a tough as nails rancher and leader of the exhaustive expedition. Montgomery Clift is his strongminded adopted son Matt. The story focuses on the myriad of conflicts that arise between the two men who represent the old and new generations of cattle ranchers as they make the trek across the rough terrain with their fellow cowhands. The supporting cast includes Walter Brennan, Harry Carey Jr, Joanne Dru and Colleen Gray.

Special Features: New 4K digital restoration of the rarely presented original theatrical release version, the preferred cut of director Howard Hawks, with monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray • 2K restoration of the longer version of Red River • New interview with filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich about Red River and the two versions • New interview with critic Molly Haskell about Hawks and Red River • New interview with western scholar Lee Clark Mitchell about western genre literature – Audio excerpts of a 1972 conversation between Hawks and Bogdanovich • Excerpts from a 1970 audio interview with novelist and screenwriter Borden Chase • More! • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and a 1991 interview with Hawks’s longtime editor Christian Nyby; a new paperback edition of Chase’s original novel, previously out of print

 

ACE IN THE HOLE (1951) – This dusky film noir gem directed by Billy Wilder is a scathing examination of the lengths media will go to sell out. Kirk Douglas gives one of his most intense and powerful performances as Chuck Tatum, an unruly newspaper reporter who’s been fired from every job he’s had. After he leaves New York City and stops in New Mexico he luckily secures a position on the small Albuquerque Sun Bulletin. One day while reporting on a random dull story, Tatum discovers a guy trapped inside a cave after it collapsed while he was searching for ancient Indian artifacts. Seeing this as a once in a lifetime opportunity, Tatum creates a huge media frenzy about Leo’s deadly predicament and uses it as a way to get himself back on top in his profession. It’s an enthralling and well crafted drama that is still just as relevant 60+ years later. Co-starring Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur and Porter Hall.

Special Features: Restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray • Audio commentary by film scholar Neil Sinyard • Portrait of a “60% Perfect Man”: Billy Wilder, a 1980 documentary featuring interviews with Wilder by film critic Michel Ciment • Interview with actor Kirk Douglas from 1984 • Excerpts from a 1986 appearance by Wilder at the American Film Institute • Excerpts from an audio interview with Wilder’s coscreenwriter Walter Newman • Video afterword by filmmaker Spike Lee • Stills gallery • Trailer • PLUS: Essays by critic Molly Haskell and filmmaker Guy Maddin

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Peter

Editor-In-Chief of The Grindhouse Cinema Database/Furious Cinema contributor. Pete is a rabid movie geek who enjoys everything from wild n' crazy exploitation/cult flix to big budget mainstream classics. His other interests include: graphic design, cartooning and music.

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