The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Our Friends in the North.
Based on Peter Flannery’s 1982 stage-play, this award-winning BBC mini-series charts the lives of four friends from Newcastle over four decades – Nicky, a radical socialist preoccupied with the class struggle; Tosker, a cocky young man with dreams of celebrity and success; Mary, who struggles with the pressures of marriage and motherhood while pursuing her own professional ambitions; and Geordie, a troubled young man who flees his hometown for London. Over its nine episodes, Our Friends in the North traces the fortunes of an ever-changing England through the break-out performances of Christopher Eccleston, Mark Strong, Gina McKee, and Daniel Craig. The Criterion Collection is proud to present this sprawling milestone in British drama for the first time ever in North America.
- New 4K digital restoration, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Interview with Christopher Eccleston and Gina McKee
- Retrospective with Peter Flannery, producer Charlie Pattison, executive producer Michael Wearing, and directors Pedr James and Simon Cellan Jones
- New interviews with Christopher Eccleston, Gina McKee, Mark Strong, and Daniel Craig
- Visual essay by playwright Michael Eaton
- Complete soundtrack listing with chart history
- Precis and color stills of the original first episode
- TV spots
- PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by film scholar Marcus Hearn and television scholar Robin Nelson
THE GREATEST VAMPIRE WESTERN-MUSICAL EVER MADE ABOUT SNOOKER!
Set within a twilight labyrinth of concrete corridors and bunker-like rooms, director Alan Clarke plays out a musical grudge match between conflicting generations of master snooker players. On one side is Billy the Kid (Phil Daniels), a cocky young cockney decked out as an Old West outlaw. On the other is seven-time world champion Maxwell Randall (Alun Armstrong as the Green Baize Vampire), a bloodsucking traditionalist resentful of his young challenger. Manipulated by his manager T.O. (Bruce Payne as “The One”) and a scheming loan shark called the Wednesday Man (Don Henderson), Billy agrees to a seventeen-frame snooker match against Randall where the loser will put down his cue forever. Can Billy vanquish his foe or does the Wednesday Man have some more tricks up his sleeve?
Featuring music by celebrated composer George Fenton and inspired by the rivalry between true-life snooker players Ray Reardon and Jimmy White, Alan Clarke’s Billy the Kid and the Green Baize Vampire is an uncharacteristic foray into fantasy by a British master of gritty realism. The result is an astonishingly strange and captivating work that resembles a musical adaptation of The Hustler if remade by Ken Russell.
- New high definition transfers of the film in its 93-minute and 121-minute versions
- High-Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard DVD Presentation
- Original 2.0 and 5.1 Dolby Surround Options
- Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Making BTK – Extensive interviews on the film’s making with cinematographer Clive Tickner, composer George Fenton, production designer Jamie Leonard, costume designer Tudor George, and editor Steve Singleton
- Shooting from the Hip, a brand new interview with Phil Daniels made especially for this release
- Biting Back, a new interview with Alun Armstrong made especially for this release
- Being #1, a brand new interview with Bruce Payne
- Sullivan Reporting, a new interview with Louise Gold
- Bride of the Green Baize Vampire, a brand new interview with Eve Ferret
- Sports Life Stories: Jimmy White, an ITV documentary on Jimmy White, the inspiration for Billy the Kid
- Archival interview with Ray “Dracula” Reardon, the inspiration for Maxwell Randall, on the eve of the 1981 World Snooker Championship
- Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Michael Brooke