Criterion Collection Announces November 2014 Releases

By @pinkstonaa
Criterion Collection Announces November 2014 Releases

The November release slate for The Criterion Collection is always an important one. With the Holidays just around the corner, this is typically one of the most loaded months. Last November, Criterion released its massive 25-film Zatoichi boxset and announced the now defunct Blu-Ray/DVD dual releases. This year, releases include the Blu-ray upgrade of an Italian classic and one of the great screwball comedies.

Be sure to check out our discussion of these announcements in our Criterion Club video.

The Shooting / Ride in the Whirlwind

Monte Hellman – Available November 11

My Darling Clementine Criterion Collection

Monte Hellman, best known for the already Criterion enshrined Two-Lane Blacktop, is one of the 1960s best genre filmmakers. This double-feature includes two classic westerns, notably produced by icon Roger Corman. Ride in the Whirlwind is also notable as an early starring role for Jack Nicholson. I haven’t seen either film, but knowing Hellman’s work, this two-for-one release is exciting.

Notes and Selected Features:

  • New 4K digital restorations for both films
  • Audio commentaries featuring Hellman and film historians
  • Video essay by critic Kim Morgan on actor Warren Oates

It Happened One Night

Frank Capra – Available November 18

It Happened One Night Criterion Collection

Surprisingly, It Happened One Night is the first Frank Capra film to be added to the Criterion Collection, though that may be fitting as his best work. The film, arguably the greatest screwball comedy of its time, features magnetic performances from the under-appreciated Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable in a madcap romantic adventure. This era of comedy is sorely under-represented in the collection, so this is a welcome addition.

Notes and Selected Features:

  • New 4K digital restoration with uncompressed monoaural soundtrack
  • Frank Capra’s American Dream, a 1997 feature-length documentary
  • Capra’s first film, 1922 silent short The Ballad of Fisher’s Boarding House


Michalangelo Antonioni – Available November 25

L'avventura Criterion Collection

Already released on Criterion DVD (Spine #98), L’avventura‘s beautiful black-and-white cinematography will be well presented in this Blu-ray upgrade. One of the prime examples of the counter to Italian neorealism, the film is a challenging and lavish thriller.

Notes and Selected Features:

  • New 4K digital restoration with uncompressed monoaural soundtrack
  • Audio commentary with film historian Gene Youngblood
  • Selected-scene commentary with filmmaker Olivier Assayas
  • Writings by Antonioni, read by Jack Nicholson


Sydney Pollack – Available November 25

Tootsie Criterion Collection

In the mid-1980s, women in the workplace comedies were extremely popular, with Tootsie being its best example. The satirical comedy of a struggling actor who decides to take a soap opera gig in a cross-dressed persona is as cutting today, shining a light on the way women are represented on TV and film. Both hilarious and thought-provoking, it is incredible that a film like Tootsie was ever made (and that it was so successful).

Notes and Selected Features:

  • New 4K digital restoration with uncompressed monoaural soundtrack
  • Two “making of” documentaries
  • New interviews with Dustin Hoffman and writer Phil Rosenthal

Les Blank: Always for Pleasure

Available November 25

Les Blank: Always for Pleasure Criterion Collection

Les Blank: Always for Pleasure is a 14-film tribute to one of the most important independent filmmakers in cinema. Blank’s documentaries took us to strange corners of the world, introduced us to a number of incredible real-life characters. As someone who is aware of Les Blanks’ importance but fairly unfamiliar with the films, this box set is certainly one of my most anticipated releases of this year.

Notes and Selected Features:

  • Box set includes: The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins (1968); God Respects Us When We Work, but Loves Us When We Dance (1968); Spend It All (1971); A Well Spent Life (1971); Dry Wood (1973); Hot Pepper (1973); Always for Pleasure (1978); Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers (1980); Sprout Wings and Fly (1983); In Heaven There Is No Beer? (1984); Gap-Toothed Women (1987); Yum, Yum, Yum (1990); The Maestro: King of the Cowboy Artists (1994); Sworn to the Drum (1995)
  • Excerpts from Les Blank: A Quiet Revelation, an upcoming documentary by Gina Leibrecht
  • Interviews including Blanks’ family, documentary subjects, and filmmakers.
  • Seven short films directed by Blank
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