They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (Sydney Pollack, 1969)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

On the Santa Monica Pier, in the shabby La Monica Ballroom, a bizarre Depression-era fad unfolds – the dance marathon. A worn out collection of hopefuls (Jane Fonda, Michael Sarrazin, Susannah York, Bonnie Bedelia, Red Buttons, and Bruce Dern) compete in hopes that a Hollywood casting agent spots them or that they at least win the contest’s $1,500 cash prize. But the competition is a grueling public spectacle, lasting thousands of hours and taking weeks to proceed, leaving dignity and salvation farther and farther away. Based on Horace McCoy’s brutally poetic novel and featuring stand-out performances including Gig Young’s award-winning role as the marathon’s huckstering emcee, Sydney Pollack’s seminal film puts a cap on 1960s idealism and paints a bleak portrait of the American Dream that still resonates today.

Disc Features:

  • New 2K digital transfer, presented with uncompressed stereo on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary by director and producer Sydney Pollack
  • Audio commentary with Jane Fonda, producer Irwin Winkler, former president of ABC Pictures and talent agent Martin Baum, Bonnie Bedelia, Michael Sarrazin, Red Buttons, and legendary hair stylist Sydney Guilaroff
  • New interviews with actors Jane Fonda, Bruce Dern, and Bonnie Bedelia
  • New interview with film critic Kim Morgan
  • New interview with filmmaker Sarah Gertrude Shapiro discussing They Shoot Horses and introducing her 2013 short film Sequin Raze
  • Original featurette on the making of the film
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Scott MacDonald, composer John Green’s musical continuity notes, Pollack’s forward to the screenplay, and notes, pictures, and diagrams taken from Pollack’s shooting script; a new paperback edition of McCoy’s original novel

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Freud (John Huston, 1962)

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

criterion logoJohn Huston directs Montgomery Clift, Susannah York, Larry Parks, and Susan Kohner in this biographical study of psychologist Sigmund Freud (Clift) as he develops his ground-breaking theories on the subconscious and its impact on daily life.  At a point in his life where disillusionment abounds and Freud finds himself at odds with his fellow colleagues, a visit to a Parisian clinic where hypnosis is used to treat hysterical patients inspires him to experiment with bold new techniques.  Freud concentrates his efforts on Cecily Koerttner (York), a young woman suffering a nervous and physical breakdown in the wake of her father’s death, and through whom Freud comes to appreciate the significances of sexual repression, paternal obsession, free association and hypnosis.  Gradually, the dark and frightening depths of the human mind are revealed to Freud, forcing him to examine his own disturbing dreams and question his own assumptions about himself.  Huston draws an earnestly conflicted performance from Clift in this shadowy, Gothic dramatization of the psychoanalyst’s work from 1885 to 1890.

Disc Features:

  • New, restored 2K digital film transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary featuring film scholar Norman N. Holland
  • Huston, Sartre and the Freud Scenario, a visual essay on Huston’s failed collaboration with Jean-Paul Sartre to develop an original screenplay for Freud, made in collaboration with the National University of Ireland, Galway Archive’s Huston Family Collection
  • Huston’s 1946 documentary on the treatment of American soldiers suffering from shell-shock, Let There Be Light
  • PLUS:  A booklet featuring an essay by director David Cronenberg

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