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Criterion Offers Up Ernst Lubitsch's 'Design For Living' & 3 BluRay Upgrades For December

by Kevin Jagernauth
September 15, 2011 7:18 AM
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December is traditionally a lean month for Criterion. With the holidays in full swing and dozens of other high profile holiday releases all battling on store shelves to be the stocking stuffer for the cinephile in your family, the boutique label has traditionally scaled back their releases. However, we've never seen a month as thin as this. Today, Criterion announced their December slate of movies and there is only one new title and three BluRay upgrades.

Marking the only fresh movie to get a wacky C stamped on it, Ernst Lubitsch's "Design For Living" will join the collection, boasting some solid extras. This pre-code comedy, adapted by Ben Hecht from a play by Noël Coward, stars a great trio in Gary Cooper, Fredric March, and Miriam Hopkins as Americans in Paris. The story follows a commercial artist (Hopkins) unable—or unwilling—to choose between two suitors: the dashing painter (Cooper) or a playwright (March). The set will include “The Clerk” starring Charles Laughton, Lubitsch's segment from the 1932 omnibus film "If I Had A Million"; a 1964 British television production of the play "Design for Living" introduced by playwright Noël Coward; scene specific commentary and more.

As for the rest, here's what's getting an upgrade to shiny 1080p: Alfred Hitchock's classic "The Lady Vanishes" will unspool its classic mystery of a missing woman on a train in BluRay while two Seijun Suzuki titles -- "Branded To Kill" and "Tokyo Drifter" -- will go high definition as well. Great new covers for the both of these, too (particularly for 'Drifter').

So you wallet is spared this December, but 2012 will be right around the corner, so you might want to save those Christmas checks from grandma for whatever Criterion has ready for January.

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  • jimmiescoffee | September 15, 2011 12:01 PMReply

    i want 'The Game' as well, even though its flawed, its still great.

    'Branded To Kill' and 'Tokyo Drifter' look awesome, those DVDs were showing age for sure.

  • James | September 15, 2011 10:00 AMReply

    I was convinced they'd release their long-promised edition of THE GAME to coincide with DRAGON TATTOO. Sad to see that didn't show up, although Fincher said in one interview that he had no time to sign off on the materials they needed while making the new film. Maybe it'll be timed to the eventual Blu of DRAGON TATTOO.

  • Kevin Jagernauth | September 15, 2011 7:43 AMReply

    Yes, the standard DVDs of the Suzuki's are getting new covers and upgrades too.

  • buck swope | September 15, 2011 7:38 AMReply

    are the suzuki's getting standard def reissues as well? the website makes it seem so. criterion is so confusing with this stuff. some they just upgrade the blu, some they upgrade both. the only way to tell, i feel, is to see if the standard def cover has changed.

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