Straight Time (Ulu Grosbard, 1978)

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

In this highly underrated classic of ’70s crime cinema, Dustin Hoffman shrewdly stars as Max Dembo, an ex-con just released from a six-year stretch in prison for armed robbery and struggling to go straight while under the oversight of his smug parole officer. Despite finding a job, a home, and even a girl of his own, Max remains trapped in an unrelenting criminal system until he breaks free with ruthless, criminal abandon and tragic consequences. Adapted from Edward Bunker’s No Beast So Fierce, featuring a score by David Shire, and boasting a terrific supporting cast including Theresa Russell, Harry Dean Stanton, Gary Busey, M. Emmet Walsh, and Kathy Bates, Ulu Grosbard’s Straight Time is a lean and bitter portrait of inevitable recidivism.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • New 4K digital master with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary from 2007 with director Ulu Grospard and actor Dustin Hoffman
  • New interviews with actors Hoffman, Theresa Russell, and Kathy Bates
  • Straight Time: He Wrote It For Criminals, a 1978 documentary on writer Edward Bunker and the making of the film
  • Theatrical trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by novelist Jonathan Lethem

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The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (Joseph Sargent, 1974)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.

criterion logoFour ruthless men hijack a subway train en route from New York’s Pelham Station, threatening to kill one hostage per minute unless a million dollar ransom is paid in an hour.  When the mayor reluctantly decides the cash-strapped City will meet the demand, it’s up to Transit Police Lt. Zachary Garber (Walter Matthau) to somehow stall one of cinema’s craftiest, cruelest villains (Robert Shaw) from carrying out his threats while also trying to unlock how the hijackers plan to escape from a subway tunnel while surrounded by police from all sides.  With an exceptional cast including Martin Balsam, Héctor Elizondo, Dick O’Neill, and Jerry Stiller, a highly admired score composed and conducted by David Shire, and innovative cinematography by Owen Roizman, Joseph Sargent’s The Taking of Pelham One Two Three is a fascinating document of 1970s New York and an underrated marvel in urban tension.

Disc Features:

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Owen Roizman and approved by director Joseph Sargent, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New audio commentary featuring Sargent and Roizman
  • David Shire: One To Twelve, a new interview with composer David Shire on the film’s score, including unused music and an alternate version of the film’s main theme
  • Location tour with New York City subway historian Joe Cunningham
  • PLUS:  A booklet featuring essays by TIME arts editor Jessica Winter and comedian Greg Proops

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