HealtH (Robert Altman, 1980)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents HealtH.

criterion logoAfter the success of Nashville, Robert Altman once again tried his hand at political satire, predicting and spoofing the upcoming presidential race between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan by depicting the heated rivalry between candidates for the presidency of a health-food organization.  In a sun-drenched Florida hotel hosting the association’s annual convention, the battle between supporters spreads through Altman’s usually large cast of characters, an all-star ensemble including Lauren Bacall, James Garner, Carol Burnett, Glenda Jackson, Paul Dooley, Henry Gibson, Donald Moffat, Alfre Woodard, and Dick Cavett playing himself.  Mired in two years of delayed releases that effectively ensured that HealtH arrived in limited release to theaters dead on arrival, this wild and wacky parody of the political process exemplifies Altman’s exuberance, his extravagance, and his eccentricity.

Disc Features:

  • New high definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary with co-writer Paul Dooley
  • New interviews with stars Carol Burnett, Dick Cavett, Glenda Jackson, and Alfre Woodard
  • Galleries of rare production and publicity stills
  • PLUS: A new essay by film critic Robert Kolker, an excerpt of David Thompson’s interview with Robert Altman, and Vincent Canby’s review from HealtH‘s limited release in New York

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Scrooged (Richard Donner, 1988)

FRANK CROSS AIN’T AFRAID OF NO GHOSTS!

AV_Inferno_DVD_.inddAfter squaring off against a city full of spooks and specters four years earlier in Ghostbusters, Bill Murray returns in Richard Donner’s Scrooged to face four ghosts intent on abusing the Christmas spirit into him.  This side-splitting take-off on “A Christmas Carol” transports Charles Dickens’ tale of holiday bitterness to 1980s New York and the cynical world of network television.  Frank Cross (Murray) has made the meteoric rise from the depths of the mail-room to TV network president, and has become a modern-day Scrooge in the process – mean, nasty, uncaring, unforgiving.  But on the night of the network’s live Christmas Eve special, Cross will be visited by a maniacal cab driver from the past, a sweetly sadistic fairy from the present, and a towering messenger from the future.

A cult favorite of Christmas counter-programming (until its sing-a-long climax), Scrooged boasts a hilarious starring performance by Bill Murray and an all-star supporting cast that includes Karen Allen, Bobcat Goldthwait, Alfre Woodard, John Forsythe, Robert Mitchum, Carol Kane, David Johansen, John Houseman, Buddy Hackett, Robert Goulet, and Lee Majors.  Yule love it!

Special Features:

  • New High Definition digital transfer
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation
  • Original Stereo 2.0 and 5.1 Dolby Surround options
  • Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Audio Commentary with director Richard Donner
  • Bill Murray’s message from the ShoWest exhibitors convention
  • Five new featurettes – “A Christmas to Remember,” “Updating Ebenezer,” “Bringing Ghosts to Life,” “The Look of Scrooged,” and the two-part “On the Set with Bill Murray”
  • “Put A Little Love in Your Heart” music video featuring Annie Lennox and Al Green
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork
  • Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film, illustrated with original archive stills and posters

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