Kicking things off, Charlie Chaplin gets the Criterion treatment for the second time with "The Great Dictator" and as you might expect, the release is arriving loaded with extras. Among the highlights will be "The Tramp and the Dictator" a documentary about the film narrated by Kenneth Branagh and featuring interviews with author Ray Bradbury, director Sidney Lumet, historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., screenwriter Budd Schulberg, and more; on set, color footage shot by Chaplin's half-brother Sydney; a deleted scene from the silent "Sunnyside" and more. No word yet if that eyesore of a cover will stand but regardless of that, if you haven't seen this classic of wartime satire yet, the Criterion release should clear up any excuses you have.
Jonathan Demme will make his sophomore appearance in the collection with "Something Wild." The delightfully off-kilter comedy stars Jeff Daniels, Melanie Griffith, and Ray Liotta and follows an ordinary business man who is "kidnapped" by a free-spirited woman and they end up being pursued by her violent ex-husband. This release will be a stripped down affair with a couple of interviews and a trailer filling out the extras.
Other titles of note: Criterion dips into the Japanese New Wave again with Masahiro Shinoda's "Pale Flower" about a yakuza fresh from the joint who begins a relationship with a beautiful gambling addict. Smoldering looks ensue. Meanwhile, Criterion beefs up their BluRay back catalogue with Andrei Tarkovsky's "Solaris," Ingmar Bergman's "Smiles Of A Summer Night" and Catherine Breillat's "Fat Girl" all getting the high def upgrade treatment. Finally, Criterion will be re-releasing the out-of-print classic "Diabolique" by Henri-Georges Clouzot in both formats as well.