Criterion Crime and Comedy Classics

Arthouse Shmarthouse. We’re just kidding, we appreciate our arthouse cinema as much as any film loving website does but sometimes you want to watch something more…well, furious, fun and thrilling i.e. pure entertainment. That’s why we’re really excited about two of Criterion’s upcoming titles in January. These films are both longtime favorites of ours and we really didn’t expect to see them appear.

Michael Mann’s THIEF is simply a crime genre masterpiece. Star James Caan gives of his his greatest performances as a Chicago based car dealer who moonlights as a jewel burglar. His style is all class, no bullshit. You want BADASS? well that’s this film. If you loved HEAT, you will surely enjoy this 1981 neo-noir classic!

Special Features:

– New digital restoration from a 4K film transfer, approved by director Michael Mann, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
– Audio commentary featuring Mann and actor James Caan
– New interviews with Mann, Caan, and Johannes Schmoelling of the band Tangerine Dream, which contributed the film’s soundtrack
– Trailer
– One Blu-ray and one DVD, with all content available in both formats
– PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Nick James

What happens when you put together a cast of all star comedy greats and send them on a no holds barred race to find some buried loot? Well you might get IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD (1965), a hysterical, wild, outrageous road movie starring Spencer Tracy, Sid Caesar, Milton Berle, Mickey Rooney, Buddy Hackett, Phil Silvers, Ethel Merman, Terry-Thomas, Dick Shawn, Jim Backus and Jonathan Winters. This is a timeless screwball adventure that will have you howling on the edge of your seat.

Special Features:

– Restored 4K digital film transfer of the general release version of the film, with 5.1 surround Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
– New high-definition digital transfer of a 197-minute extended version of the film, reconstructed and restored by Robert A. Harris using visual and audio material from the longer original road-show version—including some scenes that have been returned to the film here for the first time—with 5.1 surround Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
– New audio commentary featuring It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World aficionados Mark Evanier, Michael Schlesinger, and Paul Scrabo
– New documentary on the film’s visual and sound effects, featuring rare behind-the-scenes footage of the crew at work and interviews with visual-effects specialist Craig Barron and sound designer Ben Burtt
– Talk show from 1974 hosted by director Stanley Kramer and featuring Mad World actors Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, and Jonathan Winters
– Press interview from 1963 featuring Kramer and members of the film’s cast
– Interviews recorded for the 2000 AFI program 100 Years…100 Laughs, featuring comedians and actors discussing the influence of the film
– Two-part 1963 episode of the CBC television program Telescope that follows the film’s press junket and premiere
– The Last 70mm Film Festival, a program from 2012 featuring cast and crew members from Mad World at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, hosted by Billy Crystal Selection of humorist and voice-over artist Stan Freberg’s original TV and radio advertisements for the film, with a new introduction by Freberg
– Original and rerelease trailers, and rerelease radio spots
– Two Blu-rays and three DVDs, with all content available in both formats
– PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Lou Lumenick



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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