This page shows you the list charts. By default, the movies are ordered by how many times they have been marked as a favorite. However, you can also sort by other information, such as the total number of times it has been marked as a dislike.
At Criterion, we’re as fond of a good romance as anybody. But it’s the twisted, obsessive ones that really set our hearts ablaze. Love will make you do the damnedest things—just take it from the adulterous, ultimately murderous couple in Oshima’s Empire of Passion; the runaway lonely-hearts lovers in The Honeymoon Killers; the snakeskin-jacketed Marlon Brando and unleashed Anna Magnani in The Fugitive Kind; or Alida Valli’s countess, operatically mad for Farley Granger’s tight-trousered lieutenant in Senso. These are heedless, self-destructive affairs to remember.
Try to think of Charade without that perfectly swoony Henry Mancini title song. Imagine Easy Rider roaring down the highway without Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild” kicking it into high gear, or Dazed and Confused fading out to anything other than Foghat’s “Slow Ride”—or a zitherless The Third Man. Many movies are inextricable from their flawlessly selected soundtracks. Similarly, certain songs don’t seem to have reason to exist without the images they’ve been set to: Jeannette’s unfathomably giddy “Por que te vas” is forever tied to Ana Torrent’s bedroom dance in Cría cuervos . . . , and anyone who’s seen Chungking Express is unlikely to hear the Mamas and the Papas’ “California Dreamin’” without dreaming of Faye Wong bopping along. Below, explore a potpourri of Criterion pop and jazz, in films featuring music from David Bowie, Nat King Cole, Miles Davis, John Lurie, Nico, the Rolling Stones, Annie Ross, Tom Waits, and more.
In a national cinema dominated by behemoth Hollywood studios, independently produced films have always made for refreshing alternatives. There’s a great, diverse history of autonomous moviemaking in the United States, by artists whose intensely personal visions and ideas would have been unlikely to see a green light from, say, MGM or Universal. This selection of American films from the collection—narrative, documentary, experimental—got made without studio financing, whether by choice or necessity. The titles below come from raw, rough, and ready directors of nearly every period, including the silent era (Body and Soul, directed by African-American pioneer Oscar Micheaux), World War II (Paul Strand and Leo Hurwitz’s political semidocumentary Native Land), the radical sixties (the fiercely idiosyncratic films of John Cassavetes and William Greaves), and the indie waves of the eighties (Jim Jarmusch and Gus Van Sant’s daring early works) and nineties (the debuts of Whit Stillman and Wes Anderson). Whether exposés on disenfranchised subcultures, character studies heavy or hilarious, or microbudgeted horror flicks, these are some of the most uncompromised films ever made.
Written and signed by two dozen German filmmakers pledging themselves to “the new German feature film,” the 1962 Oberhausen Manifesto boldly announced the arrival of New German Cinema, with young, innovative, and politically radical directors taking up arms against the propriety of West German society and its failing film industry. In the late sixties and early seventies, filmmakers such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Margarethe von Trotta, Volker Schlöndorff, Wim Wenders, Werner Herzog, Alexander Kluge, and Hans-Jürgen Syberberg set out to create smaller, more independent and artistically challenging films to investigate the state of contemporary Germany (Schlöndorff and von Trotta’s The Lost Honor of Katherine Blum), as well as to grapple with the ghosts of the past, from the Weimar era (Fassbinder’s Berlin Alexanderplatz) and the Nazis (Schlöndorff’s The Tin Drum) to their aftermath (Fassbinder’s “BRD Trilogy”). Like other countries’ new waves, New German Cinema, which ended in the mid-eighties, embraced politically akin but artistically disparate directors with diverse interests, working methods, and spheres of influence, from the avant-garde (Kluge’s Artists Under the Big Top: Perplexed) to major international productions (Fassbinder’s Querelle).
Take a time-traveling tour of New York, starting with the waterfront dives of the late twenties (The Docks of New York), the Upper East Side during the depressed thirties (My Man Godfrey), and the Lower East Side in the noirish forties (The Naked City). Then there are the jazzy fifties beatniks (Shadows) and the artsy sixties Central Park dwellers (Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One), melancholy midtown memories in the seventies (News from Home), and sweltering Bed-Stuy tension in the eighties (Do the Right Thing). Finally, the dying debutante society of the nineties (Metropolitan) gives way to a nostalgic, picture-book image of Manhattan circa 2001 (The Royal Tenenbaums). There are eight million stories in the Naked City. Here are some of them.
Some call it a genre, others a movement, or even a fashion statement, but however one defines noir, with its signature femmes fatales, wisecracking tough guys, and dramatic, high-contrast cinematography, its appeal never seems to wane. Though its origins are in German expressionism and French crime films of the thirties, film noir has always been a distinctly American film movement, influenced and shaped as it was by American pulp fiction, wartime gender politics, and postwar nuclear anxieties. And since its forties and fifties heyday, the legacy of noir has spread everywhere—from Kurosawa (High and Low) to the French new wave (Alphaville) to the proliferation of “neonoirs” in the eighties (Coup de torchon) and nineties (Insomnia). Color may have seeped into noir’s rich gray palette over the years, but some things never change: anxiety, disillusionment, panic.
At Criterion, cinema is king, but the play is also the thing. Look at the lineup of theater legends from whose work films in the collection were adapted: Bertolt Brecht (The Threepenny Opera), Noël Coward (Brief Encounter), Maxim Gorky (The Lower Depths), Eugene O’Neill (The Emperor Jones), Terence Rattigan (The Browning Version), Arthur Schnitzler (La ronde), George Bernard Shaw (Pygmalion), August Strindberg (Miss Julie), Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest), Tennessee Williams (The Fugitive Kind)—and, of course, the Bard himself, whose Henry V, Hamlet, and Richard III became grandiose film spectacles thanks to that towering thespian Laurence Olivier. We also have a cracking selection of films made from lesser known works, including Danton, Andrzej Wajda’s adaptation of Stanisława Przybyszewska’s 1931 play The Danton Affair injected with the fervor of the Solidarity liberation movement, and Nicolas Roeg’s radically exploded version of Terry Johnson’s Insignificance.
Eclipse from the Criterion Collection is a brand for a line of DVD film series released by the Criterion Collection. It debuted on March 27, 2007. The brand was created to produce budget-priced, high-quality DVD editions of hard-to-find films. The DVDs are released in boxed sets that typically contain between two to seven films across and focus on a specific film director. Future sets will also focus on themes. Typically, they are released monthly. In order to keep prices low, the films do not receive the same degree of remastering nor any of the special features that have became associated with Criterion Collection titles.
Films that that have not appeared in the collection as a feature or as an extra for another feature. These also are not available streaming on the Criterion Collection Hulu Channel.
Note: Currently iTunes and Amazon Instant have the exact same exclusive offerings.
Films included on Criterion collection titles in addition to the main feature.
These are both long and short films, however the only requirement is that they are not a traditional 'extra' about the film, like a making of film or an interview. They are instead an additional film, usually by that director, that could easily stand alone (if a full feature) or in a compilation (if a short film).
Note: this does not include individual episodes of portmanteau films
Predators, prey, objects of study, companions: The lives of the other creatures with which we share the planet are so interwoven with our own that it’s only natural they would put in appearances in our cinema from time to time. Some of the animals in the Criterion menagerie are documentary subjects (Koko: A Talking Gorilla); others operate almost purely as metaphor (Au hasard Balthazar). All reward visitors.
Surreal, structural, et cetera: A handful of visionary, largely nonnarrative works belong to the collection, from some of the most important experimental film artists around the world—Jean Painlevé, Kenneth Macpherson, Stan Brakhage, and Chantal Akerman among them.
It’s not that we don’t get into the holiday mood at Criterion, but our carol of choice is less likely to be “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” than “In the Bleak Midwinter.” Our titles have Christmas celebrations that are marred by dysfunction (A Christmas Tale) or poverty (Mon oncle Antoine), lavish parties tinged with morbid melancholia (Fanny and Alexander) or adolescent anxiety (Metropolitan)—and what would Christmas be without some passive-aggressive gift giving (All That Heaven Allows)? Don’t even get us started on Lulu’s grisly yuletide at the climax of Pandora’s Box. Check out the titles below—they may not offer Miracle on 34th Street warm and fuzzies, but they do propose their own undeniable brand of Noel spirit.
The tradition of social realism in British film is often said to have begun with the Free Cinema movement of the mid-1950s. The aim of these documentaries—shown at the National Film Theatre in London from 1956–1959, and made by the likes of Lindsay Anderson, Karel Reisz, and Tony Richardson—was to bring to the screen authentic representations of the working class, largely absent from the conservative mainstream British culture of the day. In the early sixties, this rebellious sensibility was transposed to narrative cinema in the form of rough-edged, often black-and-white character pieces, often referred to as “kitchen-sink dramas,” such as Anderson’s major success This Sporting Life. At the end of the decade, Ken Loach, a political filmmaker with a background in television, took realism even further with the groundbreaking Kes, a grimy, unsentimental portrait of a boy in a Northern England mining town, featuring nonprofessional actors. Today, the legacy of British social realism continues to be felt in the work of many filmmakers, including Mike Leigh, Lynne Ramsay, and Andrea Arnold.
Since its inception in 1946, cinephiles have counted on the Cannes Film Festival, the most prestigious annual film program in the world, to keep up with the medium’s most important artists and movements. Its star-studded red carpets and glorious French Riviera scenery may get as much attention as the carefully selected films in its competition showcases, but the true legacy of Cannes has always been the masterpieces that premiered there—and especially those that have emerged as winners. The festival’s top award was originally called the Grand Prix, and the trophy for it designed each year by a different artist. Then, beginning in 1955, it became the Palme d’Or, with a new trophy modeled after the city of Cannes’s coat of arms. (The festival continues to bestow a Grand Prix, although it’s a second-place honor now.) At Criterion, we’ve collected many titles that have won the festival’s highest award, hailing from many nations of the world, Russia (The Cranes Are Flying), Italy (The Leopard), Japan (Kagemusha), and the U.K. (If….) among them.
Oh, those movies from the dream factory. There’s nothing quite like them. Products of a streamlined studio system, classic Hollywood films have always had a peculiar magic. With their clearly delineated cause-and-effect narratives, invisible continuity cutting style, and glamorous stars, these movies were designed to go down as easy as champagne. Yet we now recognize the directors, writers, cinematographers, and technical craftspeople behind the studios’ effervescent entertainments as artists, and the style they forged is one of the most distinct, beautiful, and important in cinema history. Here are the comedies, romances, melodramas, thrillers, and fantasies in the Criterion Collection that hail from those golden years of Hollywood, commonly defined as 1917 to 1960.
From the sparkling witticisms of the golden age of Hollywood comedy to some of the best in contemporary wisecracks, Criterion has a satisfying selection of cinema’s biggest laughs. Longing for the Lubitsch touch? We’ve got you covered. Wondering “O Sturges, where art thou?” Look no further. Want to purchase a one-way ticket to Tativille? Step right this way. Want to split your sides with some Ozu? Uh . . . okay. Whether satire or slapstick, eliciting giggles or guffaws, a vast array of farcical flicker shows await you. It’s enough to make even the sourest cinephile smile.
For some of our releases, one take is not enough. A number of Criterion titles feature as supplements some kind of alternate version of the main event, whether it’s a different cut (Terry Gilliam’s Brazil includes the infamous, unreleased, studio-edited “Love Conquers All” version of the film); an iteration in a different language for foreign audiences (as with our editions of Visconti’s Senso and The Leopard, in which you can see and hear their American stars delivering their lines in English); an original short that was the basis for the feature (Bottle Rocket); earlier or later versions of the same story by entirely different filmmakers (the mammoth 1980 Berlin Alexanderplatz comes with the ninety-minute 1931 adaptation of the source novel); the original book or novella in its entirety (The Earrings of Madame de . . .’s source novel, Madame de, by Louise de Vilmorin, in the release booklet); or a radio adaptation (My Man Godfrey, The 39 Steps).
Though many drive-ins have been shut down, and the practice of screening midnight movies in theaters has waned considerably from its heyday in the early 1970s, the thrill of sharing boundary-testing films in the dark can now be enjoyed just as well while curled up on the couch—no accompanying cult required. From the whiff of exploitation emanating from Roger Vadim’s sensational And God Created Woman to the touch of snuff in Michael Powell’s voyeuristic Peeping Tom, these films delicately ride the line between pulp and art, always landing firmly in the latter camp. Who better to challenge cinematic standards than Samuel Fuller, with his unforgettable B melodramas Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss, or Brian De Palma, whose wonderfully nasty Sisters ushered in a new era of thrilling post-Hitchcock stylish excess? These films stubbornly refuse to be marginalized, lower budgets and lack of Hollywood gloss be damned.
“Life caught unawares”—that’s how Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov expressed the principle and art of documentary in the 1930s. But the documentary has taken so many forms over the past century that it would be oversimplifying to call it merely the recording of reality. From its anthropological origins in the works of Robert Flaherty, the documentary has come to encompass Soviet and fascist propaganda of the thirties; the Direct Cinema and cinema verité of the sixties; the populist social-reform tradition of today; and so much more. What all great documentaries have in common is the ability to capture a place and time so vividly as to equal the imagery and storytelling of the best fiction.
To paraphrase Tolstoy, happy families are all alike: they’re really boring to watch on-screen. Thus, cinema is besotted with deliciously unhappy families. Below, scan Criterion’s collection of miserable moms, depressed dads, and their sullen offspring, nestled as uncomfortably in the houses and yards of the suburbs of Connecticut as in the apartments of the side streets of Paris.
Joyful professions of belief, self-flagellating admissions of guilt, and heretical abnegations of religion seem to sit alongside one another a bit more easily on the shelves of cinephiles than they do in the world at large. This list includes some films that engage matters of faith as their raison d’etre and others that deal with them more glancingly or derisively, but taken as a whole, it underlines both the compulsion of humankind to ask itself the eternal questions and the paradoxical power of a visual medium to capture the intangible.
It takes some master movie artists years to hone their craft, working through ideas and aesthetics until they achieve their consummate creative statement. But cinema history is also dotted with thunderous works of art that announced their makers’ brilliance right out of the gate. There’s no dearth of dazzling debuts in the Criterion Collection, from the New Wave launchers Breathless and The 400 Blows, by Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut, respectively, to the still career-defining early masterworks of Victor Erice (The Spirit of the Beehive), Marco Bellocchio (Fists in the Pocket), and Maurice Pialat (L’enfance nue). Here’s a great way to savor the beginnings of some of the pillars of cinema.