The Criticwire Survey: Most-Wanted Criterions

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by Matt Singer
October 1, 2012 10:13 AM
29 Comments
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"Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me."
Every week, Criticwire asks film critics a question and brings you their responses in The Criticwire Survey. We also ask each member of the poll to pick the best film currently playing in theaters. The most popular choices can be found at the bottom of this post. But first, this week's question:

Q: What one movie do you most want to see get a Criterion Collection DVD or Blu-ray?

The critics' answers:

Samuel ZimmermanFangoria:

"While I certainly don't think inclusion in the Collection is necessary for a title's validation, I do, like most, love the commitment the Criterion Collection has to preserving such a wide range of films. That said (and I'm almost certain it's a rights issue), it's kind of criminal there is no David Lynch within. He's one of the greats and both 'Lost Highway' and 'Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me,' two of his most astounding are sorely lacking for proper treatment. 'Fire Walk With Me,' in particular, has so much extra material waiting to be released."

Alan ZilbermanBrightest Young Things/Tiny Mix Tapes:

"The Criterion Collection usually focuses on dramas and art films. Comedy is the most overlooked genre, and there are some terrific comedies out there, so I'd like to see 'A Fish Called Wanda' get the Criterion treatment. Goofy and smart, I'm sure the cast and director would provide a terrific audio commentary. Maybe there are some deleted scenes that were too profane for censors. Also, I'm sure the graphic designers would come up with a terrific Criterion cover for 'A Fish Called Wanda.' I envision a crushed puppy, or Kevin Klein sniffing his armpit."

Mark YoungSound on Sight/New York Movie Klub:

"I've always thought that one of the classic blaxploitation movies should get a Criterion release. 'Sweet Sweeback's Baadasssss Song' and 'Shaft' are the obvious choices, but in the interests of giving a more obscure answer I'll mention 'Bucktown,' a 1975 film with Fred 'The Hammer' Williamson and Pam Grier, in which a typical Williamson badass and his friends clean up a Kansas City suburb of its corrupt cops, only to find themselves tempted by corruption instead. I believe it was Nietzsche who said, 'He who sticks it to The Man must take care that he does not become The Man.'"

Chase WhaleNext Movie/Twitch/Film.com:

"I would do cartwheels over a bed of nails if Criterion added Robert Altman's 'Brewster McCloud' to the collection. This film owned up to its tagline and is arguably the smartest satire of all time. Also, the Japanese title is 'Bird Shit' (spelled without the second 'I'). It is important to me you know that. Super important."

Andrew WelchAdventures in Cinema:

"I would love to see Michelangelo Antonioni's 'Blow-Up' get the Criterion treatment. The current DVD release, from 2004, has almost no special features -- a crime given its controversial reception in the '60s, and the impact it had on shaping future filmmakers --and its sound and image quality are only passable. Though a reasonably well-known title among cinephiles, I doubt the general public has ever heard of it, much less seen it (something I lamented in this piece for Filmwell). A movie as engaging, exhilarating, and influential as this one deserves better."

Andreas StoehrPussy Goes Grrr:

"Aside from a 'Directed by Albert Brooks' Eclipse set, my greatest Criterion-related fantasy is a release of 'Hellzapoppin,’' the riotous comedy starring Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson. Chock-full of absurd running gags, non sequiturs, wordplay, and meta-humor, it subverts every rule of Hollywood classicism, then makes up a few more so it can subvert them too. Surrealism, satire, slapstick: all presented and accounted for. 'Hellzapoppin’' is near-impossible to track down on DVD and sorely deserves the audience that the Criterion seal of approval would attract."

Josh SpiegelMousterpiece Cinema/Sound on Sight:

"Here, I’ll list one of my all-time favorite movies, one that doesn’t have a Region 1 Blu-ray at all: 'A Matter of Life and Death,' from writers-directors Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, otherwise known as the Archers. I’d argue that the seven films the Archers made consecutively from 1943 to 1949, beginning with 'The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp' (which has a Criterion DVD, but no Blu-ray yet) and ending with 'The Small Back Room,' are unparalleled in cinema history. 'A Matter of Life and Death' is the cream of that excellent crop, though just by a hair. It’s a fantastical and charming romantic comedy, one which many modern filmmakers would do well to study. In terms of the Blu-ray treatment, the Archers’ deliberate mix of color and black-and-white filmmaking (the film takes place both on Earth and in the 'Other World,' or Heaven, with the former in color and the latter in black-and-white) is crying out for a lovingly detailed high-definition transfer. I’d strongly urge anyone reading this to seek out the Archers’ films if they haven’t already done so (Criterion has released 'The Red Shoes' and 'Black Narcissus' on exceptional Blu-rays), but I’d be even stronger in urging Criterion to give 'A Matter of Life and Death' all the bells and whistles."

Craig SkinnerBleeding Cool/Hey U Guys:

"One film that I would love to see get a Criterion release, or indeed any kind of DVD/Blu-ray release, is Tom Schiller's 'Nothing Lasts Forever.' The film is unfortunately not as widely known as it should be due to copyright issues that have reportedly blocked a home entertainment release but it is a great example of a particular period in American comedy and is also an absolute pleasure to watch. Supplements could be extensive, with contributions from Michael Streeter (who wrote a book on the film and Schiller's work in general) and from the cast (Murray and Aykroyd have both agreed to be involved when it finally gets a release), but ultimately it would just be a delight to finally have the chance to see this film restored and properly released by a company that would do it right."

Jordan RaupThe Film Stage:

"Easily 'The Tree of Life,' particularly the rumored six-hour cut. While Fox Searchlight's Blu-ray looked wonderful, it was light on special features and so I'd love to see Criterion get their hands on it for the ultimate edition."

Rudie ObiasShockYa.com:

"Dear Peter Becker (the President of the Criterion Collection): I plead with you to take a look at the early work of Paul Verhoeven. Before he made iconic action films in the late '80s, Verhoeven made thoughtful melodramas with an underlying focus on the class system of the Netherlands. In the '70s and early 80s, 'Verhoeven engaged Dutch audiences with love stories ('Turkish Delight'), period costume dramas ('Katie Tippel') and World War II films ('Soldier of Orange'). But if I were to choose one film to get the coveted Criterion 'C' on its cover then it would have to be Paul Verhoeven's 1980 film 'Spetters' (now available onNetflix Instant). It's the culmination of Verhoeven's early work and set Hollywood's eye on this exciting foreign director. It's a coming-of-age tale about three motocross racers and their sexual exploits during the post-disco era in a small Rotterdam town. 'Spetters' captures Verhoeven's visual style and subversive satirical nature that we'll see in his latter works including 'RoboCop,' 'Total Recall,' and 'Starship Troopers.' None of Paul Verhoeven's pre-Hollywood films are available on Blu-ray/DVD so Mr. Becker, please give 'Spetters' a proper release or better yet, an Eclipse boxed set featuring Verhoeven's early work would be cool too!"

Scott NyeRail of Tomorrow:

"As a writer for CriterionCast, this is a topic into which I've put no small amount of thought, but for today I'll go with Andrei Tarkovsky's 'The Mirror,' my favorite of his films and one absent a decent (much less Criterion-caliber gorgeous) edition in the States. It's a magnificent, endlessly mysterious film, one whose lyrical and aesthetic beauty easily accounts for the difficulty one may have in discerning what it's 'all about.' We need a great Blu-ray transfer to uphold its most immediate, visceral power."

Tony NunesDreaming Genius/Sound on Sight:

"For years I've wanted one movie above all others to appear on Criterion, Godard's 'Weekend,' which is finally coming out in December. There are three more films I'd equally love to see get the Criterion treatment; Isao Takahata's 'Grave of Fireflies,' Marc Singer's 'Dark Days,' and Emir Kusturica's 'Black Cat, White Cat.'"

Scott MeslowThe Week/The Atlantic:

"'Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me' is a deeply misunderstood film that deserves a critical re-evaluation and a high-caliber home video release -- and a Criterion release would ensure that it receives both. On a purely technical level, 'Fire Walk With Me' is an absolutely gorgeous film, but you wouldn't know it from New Line's slapdash 2002 DVD release - the only U.S. home media release of 'Fire Walk With Me' in a decade. A remastered Blu-ray disc overseen by the experts at Criterion would show off David Lynch's stunning use of color and the career-best soundtrack work of Angelo Badalamenti. As for features, David Lynch would inevitably turn down the chance to participate, but I'd pony up for a commentary track from Sheryl Lee or Kyle MacLachlan. I'd also love to see some in-depth interviews with the cast and crew about the making of 'Fire Walk With Me,' the aborted plans for another follow-up film, and 'Twin Peaks'' pop-culture legacy in general. Best of all: A Criterion release would undoubtedly include 'Fire Walk With Me''s three hours of deleted scenes, which have never been made available publicly in any form."

Mike McGranaghanThe Aisle Seat:

"Every month on their Facebook page, Criterion asks what title we're hoping to see listed among their new releases, and every month I give the same unusual answer. They probably think I'm being a wiseguy, but I'm not. In addition to putting out important or noteworthy films, Criterion also has a history of releasing director's cuts or alternate cuts of movies (the various versions of Terry Gilliam's 'Brazil,' for instance, or the director's cut of Ang Lee's 'Ride with the Devil'). Doing this helps preserve the original intent of those pictures, making sure what the director intended is saved for posterity. Therefore, the movie I'd most like to see get the Criterion treatment is 'Pootie Tang.' This Chris Rock comedy was famously taken away from its director and re-edited into an incoherent mess. However, that director -- a guy named Louis C.K. -- has since become one of the biggest and most respected names in comedy, with a hit TV series and several Emmy awards to his name. At the time, he was powerless to fight the studio. Now, he's a giant in the business, widely acclaimed as a brilliant humorist. I'd love to see Criterion allow him to put together his director's cut so the world can see what he and Rock really wanted that movie to be. If, as I suspect, there was a brilliant comedy in there somewhere, this would be an opportunity to finally bring it to light. Of course, there should also be an audio commentary and a documentary about 'Pootie Tang''s troubled production/release. While it may not seem like traditional Criterion fare, an edition of 'Pootie Tang' would absolutely sine my pitty on the runny kine. Sippy tay!"

Joey MagidsonThe Awards Circuit:

"The one Criterion Blu-ray that I keep crossing my fingers for is Darren Aronofsky's 'The Fountain.' I've always felt it's the type of film with such a strong (if small) following and enough layers to warrant the time and care needed to have this type of edition printed. I may be partial to it because it's one of my ten favorite films of all time, but it's always struck me as a movie perfectly suited to join the Collection. I hope that Criterion is listening, since my money is waiting."

Scott MacDonaldToronto Standard:

"I'd love to see a Criterion edition of Herzog's 'Aguirre: The Wrath of God,' complete with director's commentary, of course. So much of that movie makes me say: 'How'd they DO that?' I could sit for hours listening to on-location stories. And hopefully there'd be some brave crew member who'd share uncensored memories of Herzog and Kinski's craziness. On the other hand, maybe I don't want to know everything about how that movie got made -- it might ruin the mystique. In which case, my next choices would be Lynch's 'The Elephant Man,' Altman's 'McCabe & Mrs. Miller,' or Canadian auteur Claude Jutra's seemingly lost-forever 'Kamouraska,' which I'm dying to see."   

John LichmanFreelance:

"Takeshi Kitano's 'A Scene At the Sea' should be the first of many attempts by Criterion to bring the genre-bending auteurist to their audience. His third film, 'Scene' is also the first time Kitano served as his own editor and took over the writing credit. It would also be his first collaboration with composer Joe Hisaishi, who'd come back later for Kitano's 'Dolls,' 'Kikujiro' and 'Sonatane' among others; but he's best known for being Hayao Miyazaki's go-to man for music from 'Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind' through 'Ponyo.' Kitano's relatively unknown for his non-gangster work outside of the U.S. genre audiences, which is funny since he's one of the most self-analytical and reflective writer-directors working today -- his 2005-08 'Autobiography' trilogy is hilarious and utterly incomprehensible without knowing his entire catalog or a working knowledge of the Japanese film industry. It wouldn't be a stretch to go back and get Casio Abe (author of 'Beat Takeshi vs. Takeshi Kitano') to provide the essay. But 'Scene' is, by far, the best introduction to one of the most underrated directors that got his fame from Yakuza thrillers."

Shawn LevyThe Oregonian:

"Orson Welles' 'Chimes at Midnight.' Back when Bravo used to run movies without commercials, I TWICE tried to tape the version they were showing and TWICE botched the job. Which makes it personal. But the fact is that I love the film, would appreciate a gathering of all the various versions, outtakes, etc., and think it has real scholarly merit AND entertainment value as a movie and as a potential project for the likes of Criterion. Even given my checkered history of trying to obtain it, I still think of it as my favorite Shakespeare on film."

Peter LabuzaLabuzaMovies.com/The Cinephiliacs:

"Despite the changing landscape of international and online cinephilia, a DVD release from the Criterion Collection or another well-regarded company can still have an impact on revealing a hidden gem of film history that thus becomes part of the canon (the release of 'Sátántangó' and 'The Battle of Algiers' surely made the Sight & Sound canon because of their availability on DVD). On that note, I'm going with the obvious but oh so relevant choice of Erich Von Stroheim's 'Greed.' Perhaps the first film maudit, this is one of those films that has built up such a reputation, but the final film, even in its shortened version, is still one of the pinnacles of silent cinema. And of course, with the "Criterion treatment," you'd get the amazing history and production of the film and why this project and its history are such a landmark moment in the development of Hollywood, producer-controlled cinema."

Dan KoisSlate:

"Before Spalding Gray died, I would have said 'Swimming to Cambodia,' because it desperately needs a new release and the extras would be great. Now I'd really love to get a Criterion of 'Chocolat' to go along with 'White Material.' And one of 'Tampopo' would be great. And how about the rest of the Yang catalog?"

Jette KernionSlackerwood:

"I'd like to see the 1938 movie 'Holiday' have a Criterion release on Blu-ray. It's a lovely movie that has been overshadowed by 'The Philadelphia Story,' made two years later with the same stars, filmmaker and screenwriter adapting the same playwright. I think this movie holds up better over time than the later Hepburn-Grant partnering and seems far more relevant today. But to be honest, what I really want are the extras, because I want the set to include the 1930 adaptation of 'Holiday,' which is impossible to find. Also, a featurette on playwright Phillip Barry and the plays he's written that were adapted for film would be welcome, as well as something about screenwriter Donald Ogden Stewart."

Glenn KennyMSN Movies/Some Came Running:

"As someone who's slightly acquainted with Criterion's operations, I'm loathe to answer that question, as one of the last things the hard-working folks over there need is a missive from a bunch of doofus critics saying 'You should do this!' I am also loathe to make the default porn joke. I'll just say I am delighted by and grateful for everything they do and honored to be working for them even as we speak on liner notes for an upcoming title I'm not at liberty to name here."

John Keefer51Deep.com:

"'It's Alive.' Larry Cohen deserves some Criterion love as far as I'm concerned. That, or any PTA movie. Failing that they should revoke the 'Armageddon' release. Come on guys."

Drew HuntChicago Reader/The Talking Pictures:

"I'd love to see any sort of DVD issue of Nicholas Ray's 'The Lusty Men,' his most unappreciated masterpiece. It's highly deserving of the Criterion edition if only to shed light on Ray's production methods, which were loose, to say the least. Of 'The Lusty Men,' he claimed there was only 'about twenty-five or thirty pages script…I like it that way. Keeps the show fresh and spontaneous. And your imagination works overtime. We wrote every night. So there wasn’t much beside instinct and the reactions of my actors to what we had done the day before. There was no possibility of meticulous, Henry James-type of construction.' There's enough historical record out there to piece together how impromptu the production was, which would only bolster the graceful, elegant nature of the film."

Jordan HoffmanScreenCrush:

"Two of my favorite Criterions are the 'By Brakhage' anthology and 'A Hollis Frampton Odyssey.' I've had more exposure to experimental, non-narrative art film than 99% of the rest of the world (e.g. I've made a few trips to the Whitney and Anthology Film Archives), yet I still feel like a bit of a novice regarding this particular aspect of cinema. Maybe Criterion could find a few other avant-garde filmmakers and make similar collections. I'll excuse myself from making specific recommendations."

Eric HavensDownright Creepy:

"Can I go ahead and pick 'Looper' for this? Is there a rule against that? Did I mention 'Looper' is really good and you should see it? 'Looper.'"

Tim GriersonDeadspin/Screen International:

"Anything by Woody Allen, with the possible exception of 'What's Up, Tiger Lily?'"

John GholsonMovies.com:

"'Dick Tracy,' by far. There's a wealth of supplemental material out there for the film, and 'Dick Tracy''s unusual look would lend itself well to the Blu-ray format. Maybe we can finally get Beatty's 'Dick Tracy' feature documentary on there as well (the one he says he's making to keep Tracy's original copyright holders at bay). I don't even love the film, but I'd love a comprehensive look at the film, with a reference quality A/V job."

Kenji FujishimaThe House Next Door:

"I'm going to cheat and throw out three titles that I think could make for a terrific Eclipse set one day: 'City of Sadness,' 'The Puppetmaster,' and 'Good Men, Good Women,' master Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien's unofficial trilogy of Taiwanese history, and some of the most profound movies ever made about the intersection between the political and the personal, among other grand subjects. Hou Hsiao-hsien's films in general are sorely underrepresented on home video in general these days, with many of those crappy Kino Lorber DVDs now out-of-print; it'd be an absolute dream to be able to see these films, especially immaculately restored and available for a wider audience to possibly take in and absorb their visual and temporal beauties and waves of timeless, ageless wisdom. (And while we're on the subject of Taiwanese filmmakers, how about new Criterion releases of the films of his younger, wilder compatriot Tsai Ming-liang? And let's not forget Edward Yang's 'A Brighter Summer Day,' to complement Criterion's inclusion of his later 'Yi Yi' in the collection.)"

Sam FragosoDuke & The Movies:

"'Stardust Memories,' only because Woody Allen's wonderfully romantic and inquisitive surrealist ode to Fellini's '8 1/2' is the most misunderstood movie within the auteur's eclectic filmography."

David FearTime Out New York:

"Celine and Julie Go Boating."

David EhrlichMovies.com:

"I get asked this question a lot (like, a lot a lot), and my answer is always different, because I like to waste people's time and am altogether a rather terrible person. But I suppose that a Criticwire survey is as good a time as any to come clean... so given that my Criterion nerddom prohibits me from selecting anything that is either inevitably on its way to the Collection (say, Bresson's 'L'Argent') or logistically unfeasible for them to acquire ('Citizen Kane,' etc...), my pick is Nelson Pereira dos Santos' bleakly comic masterpiece, 'How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman.' Not only does the film stand toe-to-toe with anything that Criterion has released, but it's historically significant as a watershed moment for Brazil's Cinema Novo, and Criterion -- for all they've done to curate an amazing roster of great movies and rescue certain works from the brink of oblivion -- has seriously neglected South American cinema (and a few others). Other things I demand include a Criterion edition of Edward Yang's 'A Brighter Summer Day' (held up over music rights issues) and a Blu-ray upgrade of the most opulent Criterion release, ever: 'Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters.'"

Alonso DuraldeTheWrap/What The Flick?!:

"Without a doubt, Bill Sherwood's landmark film 'Parting Glances,' a breakthrough queer American indie that's thoughtfully written and acted (by a terrific ensemble that includes a young Steve Buscemi). Outfest and UCLA restored the 35mm print a few years back, but it would be great to have it available on Blu-ray, perhaps with a commentary track featuring Buscemi and his co-stars, as well as an essay by Christine Vachon, who had one of her first professional film gigs on that set. (Full disclosure: I'm currently Senior Programmer at Outfest, but I've been a longtime admirer of the film -- I included it in my 2005 book '101 Must-See Movies For Gay Men,' and back in the early 1990s I made a panel honoring Sherwood and Vito Russo for the NAMES Project AIDS quilt.)"

John DeCarliFilmCapsule:

"I'd want Criterion to take on a film that hasn't yet been released on Blu-ray (at least in this country), so I'd go with 'Mulholland Drive.' It's one of my favorites, and though it's still new, I think it's proven since 2000 that has serious staying power. Thankfully, director David Lynch is still with us, and could perhaps provide some idiosyncratic extras, maybe a glimpse of his original idea of this as a miniseries. It's also a gorgeous-looking film, which could really shine on Blu-ray. Lastly, the film's blurred blue/purple aesthetic would give Criterion a lot of good options for an awesome cover, which they always provides."

Tony DayoubCinema Viewfinder/Press Play:

"'Cutter's Way.' It's a little 1981 neo-noir that has garnered enough of a following (thanks to critics like Richard T. Jameson and Jonathan Rosenbaum) that it would surely fit in alongside Criterion's other cult films like 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' or 'The Game.' Although it's nothing like those movies, it shares the same disquieting sense of paranoia that marks the others. Jameson would correct me (and has), reminding me that the film's original title was 'Cutter and Bone.' That's fair considering that even though the more memorable performance is by John Heard, playing the one-eyed, one-armed, one-legged alcoholic, Cutter, the movie is really about his best friend Bone, played by a lean, bronzed and blond Jeff Bridges. Between Jack Nitzsche's haunting zither theme and the unexpectedly creepy, sun-dappled Santa Barbara locale, the film possesses a strong sense of place. It makes for an intriguing stage on which Cutter must try to move Bone to act on information regarding a murder. I can't think of a movie with a better, more economical ending than 'Cutter's Way.' Unlike the several-ending finale that afflicts many contemporary pictures, it answers the question the film has been posing throughout -- Will Bone do something? -- and gives you nothing more. 'Cutter's Way''s conclusion is odd enough to fuel the entire commentary track on Criterion's disc."

Matt CohenMeets Obsession/Cinespect/Washington City Paper:

"The one film (or, in this case, films) I'd love to see a Criterion release of? The original 'Star Wars' trilogy. No updates, special editions, recuts, digitally restored editions, or any of that bullshit. Just the original uncut versions. Since that seems to be so rare to find these days, I'd love to see Criterion step up to the plate and deliver. There's mountains of material out there to fill out the bonus features -- making of videos, cast and crew interviews, etc -- but i'd like to see each edition paired up with a different 'Star Wars' documentary: 'The People vs. George Lucas,' ''Star Wars' Begins,' 'Building 'Empire,'' and 'Returning to 'Jedi'' would all be good accompaniments. It would even be a great opportunity to see proper releases of fan-made recuts like ''Star Wars' Uncut' as bonus features. Of course, the difficulty of obtaining the rights for Criterion to release this is probably next to impossible, but a guy can dream, can't he?"

Jaime ChristleySlant Magazine:

"Going by their Hulu listings, I know they have rights to at least one Rivette film, 'Paris Belongs to Us,' but he's got to be their foremost, inexplicably omitted director at this point. Each Rivette feature is a Criterion waiting to happen, but I'll go with 'Duelle,' which to me is his most magical."

Daniel CarlsonPajiba:

"That no David Lynch films have received the Criterion treatment is a damn shame. I did some poking around and found a few odds and ends about attempts to put out a Lynch film here or there, but apparently said attempts were always undone by ill-timed press or Lynch's notorious perfectionism. I'd love for Lynch and the company to get on the same page at some point, because I think his whole catalog would be a perfect match for Criterion's auteur-driven, technically lush reissues. The one I'd most like to see? 'Wild at Heart,' which hasn't even seen a regular Blu-ray release stateside. It's a gorgeous, delirious movie that's just the kind of obscure-but-not film that Criterion loves to do."

Christopher CampbellDocBlog

"There are so many documentary classics that aren’t currently in print in any format that I’d love see get the Criterion treatment for availability alone. But among them is one from Errol Morris, who is rumored to be getting a few Criterion editions in the future anyway -- for 'Gates of Heaven,' 'The Thin Blue Line' and 'Vernon, Florida,' I hear. How about his wonderful Stephen Hawking adaptation/portrait, 'A Brief History of Time,' which is not on DVD or Blu-ray?"

Danny BowesTor.com/Movies By Bowes:

"Speaking less to a general feeling of 'this movie is awesome' than to a 'this movie could really benefit from Criterion's scrupulous and careful treatment of film materials,' I have to go with the 1975 Bollywood classic 'Sholay.' 'Sholay' was cut by over a half hour upon initial release, with the (amazingly awesome) intended ending changed, and matted to Cinemascope aspect ratio on the most widely available DVD release when it was shot and exhibited in 4:3 (a bit more of a contrast than the feverishly argued 1.66 vs. 1.85 question). So, it'd be nice to see a full, three-and-a-half hour version in a nicely restored print with the original ending, good subtitles, a couple making-of documentaries along the lines of 'Why Amitabh Bachchan Rules: A Comprehensive Study,' and 'Dharmendra: So Cool He's The Principal Hero In A Movie Co-Starring Amitabh Bachchan.' It's high time 'How many men were there?' joins lines like 'You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig' in that particular chapter of movie quote immortality."

William BibbianiCrave Online:

"We are, all of us, awaiting the inevitable Criterion release of 'The Magnificent Ambersons' on Blu-ray, with the missing footage (located, doubtless, in the janitor's closet of a mental institution in Buenos Aires) finally cut back into the Orson Welles classic. But until that day comes, I keep hoping they'll release Don Siegel's most political film, 'Riot in Cell Block 11,' a powerful movie touting a then-unpopular message about supporting prisoners' rights, shot in Folsom prison, with a cast that included actual prisoners and former Folsom inmate Leo Gordon, who played 'Crazy Mike Carnie.' Siegel doesn't get enough respect as it is, and a Criterion release would not only introduce 'Riot in Cell Block 11' to a new audience -- who can't normally see it otherwise, since it's never been available on DVD -- and also help legitimize his artistic legacy within the critical community."

Adam BattyHope Lies at 24 Frames Per Second:

"I'm quite lucky, in that 'Heaven's Gate' would have been my answer to this question had you asked me it just a few months ago. But alas, and speaking purely hypothetically, I would love to see an American Zoetrope box set in the vein of their BBS collection collecting the lesser known features produced by Francis Ford Coppola and co. in the wake of 'The Godfather' and 'Apocalypse Now.' 'One From The Heart' would lead the way, with the likes of Wim Wenders' 'Hammett,' Caleb Deschanel's 'The Escape Artist' and Jean-Luc Godard's 'Passion' also present. Now would be the perfect time for a reappraisal of that particular period in American cinema: never has the revolutionary work of Coppola during the American Zoetrope years been more relevant."

Raffi AsdourianThe Film Stage:

"If there is one film that I've been dying to see get a proper Criterion treatment, chock full of insightful critics' analysis and behind the scenes stories, it is Andrei Tarkovsky's 'Stalker.' One of the auteur's most enigmatic films that also resulted in him leaving his home country of Russia, it's in dire need of a proper Criterion edition."

Edwin ArnaudinAshvegas:

"When 'No Country for Old Men' had its DVD release in 2008, I saw a giant missed opportunity. Here was the convergence of my favorite living novelist (Cormac McCarthy) and some of my favorite filmmakers (the Coen Brothers), and the take-home version passed by like… well… any other Coen DVD. If a joint Time magazine interview is any indication, the three have plenty to discuss. The film's production converging with that of 'There Will Be Blood' on tiny Marfa, Texas, likewise lends itself to some good stories, perhaps with P.T. Anderson's participation?"

The Best Movie Currently In Theaters on October 1, 2012:
 

The Most Popular Response: "The Master
Other Movies Receiving Multiple Votes: "Looper," "Dredd," Moonrise Kingdom."

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29 Comments

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  • Chris L. | October 4, 2012 5:56 PMReply

    Many fine suggestions here, but the one I crave most is A Brighter Summer Day. Some other titles from my lifelong want-to-see list (though it'd take a lifetime to afford them all): L'Argent, Cold Water, Deep End (Skolimowski), Effi Briest, Eureka (Aoyama), Le Garcu, The Green Ray, Handle with Care (Demme), Housekeeping (Forsyth), Jonah Who Will Be 25..., Kings of the Road, Love Streams, The Mother and the Whore, Providence, Sons and Lovers (Cardiff), Taking Off (Forman), Voyage to Italy, The Woman Next Door. Hope a Criterion exec is taking notes!

  • Property in Lucknow | October 4, 2012 5:02 AMReply

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  • Criterion10 | October 3, 2012 3:52 PMReply

    A few that I'd really love to see:
    The Devils (1971, Ken Russell)
    Women in Love (1969, Ken Russell)
    Gummo (1997, Harmony Korine)
    A Brighter Summer Day (1991, Edward Yang)
    Mulholland Drive (2001, David Lynch)
    Don't Look Now (1973, Nicolas Roeg)
    Greed (1924, Erich von Stroheim)

  • Casey | October 3, 2012 11:30 AMReply

    Robert Altman's NASHVILLE. There is a good Altman commentary and interview on the OOP Paramount DVD, but there is so much more that can be done with this title. Cast and crew interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, premiere footage (this exists in the archive of Alan Berliner in NYC), and most importantly, the incredible amount of jettisoned footage that would have been used if the film had been released as originally planned, in two parts (NASHVILLE RED and NASHVILLE BLUE).

  • Nathan Cone | October 1, 2012 2:25 PMReply

    A great American movie, and a Western that presaged the deconstruction of the genre in the 1960s, is SHANE. The current DVD, from Paramount, is TERRIBLE. It needs the Criterion treatment.

  • Titus | October 1, 2012 1:48 PMReply

    It would be awesome to see GUMMO get a criterion release. That was a very pivotal film in the history of cinema.

  • Criterion10 | October 3, 2012 3:53 PM

    I completely agree with you on that one, but unfortunately it seems as if we are in the minority.

  • Nate | October 1, 2012 1:47 PMReply

    People are actually suggesting Dredd?! Wat.

    I would say anything by John Sayles particularly Matewan, City of Hope, and Brother from Another Planet.

  • Matt Cohen | October 1, 2012 1:45 PMReply

    The other option I was going to go with (but sure someone else would pick) was Dario Argento's SUSPIRIA. Or any other Giallo classics, really. A brilliant and film movement that's been severely unrepresented by Criterion.

  • Cole Bradley | October 1, 2012 1:43 PMReply

    The Manchurian Candidate, if only because the current DVD is shit and that movie needs a boost in exposure.

    Other than that, I'm a firm believer that Criterion needs more horror films in its lineup. Something like Cannibal Holocaust would make a fine addition.

  • Thom Bennett | October 1, 2012 1:37 PMReply

    Would love to see Chaplin's "Monsieur Verdoux" or Wenders' extended version of "Until the End of the World". Or, for that matter, "Mother, Jugs & Speed".

  • Patrick Fisackerly | October 1, 2012 1:00 PMReply

    Can't believe no one mentioned any of my top three - THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG, TO BE OR NOT TO BE (1942), and BADLANDS. The first two are out of print and would greatly benefit from a restoration (and think of how gorgeous UMBRELLAS would look in HD), and BADLANDS only has a crummy pan-and-scan DVD release. It's Malick, for Christ's sake! Multiple votes for LOOPER and THE MASTER (fine films, but they will get nice Blu-ray transfers no matter what), but none for these three films that desperately need to be seen?

  • Criterion10 | October 3, 2012 3:53 PM

    Rumor has it that Badlands will be joining the collection rather shortly.

  • Anna | October 1, 2012 12:56 PMReply

    I'd pay good money to see John Frankenheimer's Seconds becoming a part of the Criterion Collection.

  • spassky | October 1, 2012 12:48 PMReply

    And I'm gonna throw in my vote for 'Out of the Blue' -- Dennis Hoppers underrated gem from 1980. They could do a "Three Women' like treatment and clean it up... the DVD I have (and I believe the only one commercially available) is packaged in full screen with "Mob Wars" (starring Jake La Motta, ughh) and looks and sounds awful. Would be really cool if they packaged this with "The Last Movie" another underrated Hopper picture.

  • Brian Z | October 1, 2012 12:39 PMReply

    While I'd love Before Sunrise & Sunset to get releases, and hear they may, I'd have to go with one of two amazing movies that have never had luck in this country with home release; The Devils by Ken Russell and Sorcerer by William Friedkin.

  • Criterion10 | October 3, 2012 3:54 PM

    The Devils joining would be incredible! If only WB would give over the rights *sighs*

  • Albert | October 1, 2012 12:38 PMReply

    I agree with "Chimes at Midnight". It should be released on a U.S. DVD. But I would also like the 1936 version of "Show Boat" to be released. Voyager released in years ago on Laserdisc, in a collection that also included the 1929 part-talkie version and the 1951 Technicolor version, so I fail to see what the holdup is. Turner has been promising a set like this for years, but they haven't gotten around to it yet. One wonders why, given the fact that the Voyager laserdisc was released with no problem.

  • Patrick Fisackerly | October 1, 2012 1:01 PM

    I am 100% on board with this. While a definitive version of the stage show has never made it to film, the 1936 SHOW BOAT is pretty damned good nonetheless. And apart from the occasional airing on TCM, it's impossible to see!

  • Kevin Hutcheson | October 1, 2012 12:29 PMReply

    I'm just gonna say it: where the hell is THE THIN MAN on this survey?! These are all smart people and none of them said it. For shame, people. For shame. It's such a fine piece of cinema that holds up with every viewing. William Powell and Myrna Loy were never better! For shame!

  • Thomas | October 1, 2012 11:44 AMReply

    We really should be selecting movies that aren't readily available like Jacques Rivette's Out 1 rather than movies like The Tree of Life or No Country for Old Men, which are readily available in high quality blu-rays.

  • Thomas | October 1, 2012 5:51 PM

    Thanks for the replies Kenji and Spassky. For the record Kenji, I thought your pick(s) was/were fantastic! We can always use some more HHH, Tsai Ming-liang, and Edward Yang.

  • Kenji Fujishima | October 1, 2012 1:33 PM

    I'm honestly surprised no one picked "Out 1," a home-video holy grail if ever there was one. I would have picked it, but I was so sure someone else would beat me to it that I went with something else.

  • spassky | October 1, 2012 12:46 PM

    my thoughts exactly. I can't believe there is no available (official) DVD of 'celine and julie go boating' and numerous others...

  • william | October 1, 2012 11:14 AMReply

    Lovers of the Arctic Circle, the rest of Kieslowski's work (Dekalog to start)...OMG JUST SAW THAT THREE COLORS IS ON CRITERION...brb, Amazon...

  • Porter | October 1, 2012 11:02 AMReply

    I would love see Criterion releasing Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Mulholland Dr. or Inland Empire.

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