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 SoFierce, 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.
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
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Lenny.
Bob Fosse’s first non-musical film confirmed his cinematic talents, creating a grim biopic of controversial stand-up comedian Lenny Bruce that is both heavily romanticized and harshly unsentimental. Dustin Hoffman stars in this relentless depiction of Bruce’s battle with the Establishment authorities that condemned his stage act as obscene and the comedian’s downward spiral from countercultural vanguard to junkie burnout. Supported by a Cannes-winning performance by Valerie Perrine as Bruce’s stripper wife, Bruce Surtees’ rich black and white cinematography, and Julian Barry’s adaptation of his own Broadway play, Fosse’s Lenny was a commercial and critical success that garnered six Academy Award nominations and eulogized the career of one of America’s great champions of free speech.
New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
Scene-specific audio commentary featuring editor Alan Heim and Lenny Bruce’s daughter, Kitty Bruce
New interviews with Dustin Hoffman, Valerie Perrine, Stanley Beck, Alan Heim, and Fosse biographer Sam Wasson
Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth, Robert B. Weide’s 1998 documentary featuring narration by Robert De Niro
Video appreciation by comedian Marc Maron
New interview with Stand-Up! record label owner Dan Schlissel and lawyer Bart Torvi on Bruce legacy in comedy and obscenity law
PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by filmmaker Damon Maulucci and Dick Schaap’s tribute to Bruce for Playboy Magazine.