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Safety Last, Show Boat and Beau Travail on Criterion Blu-ray in September

24 June 2020

The Criterion Collection and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have confirmed the titles to be released on Blu-ray in the UK in September 2020.

On 14 September comes Harold Lloyd in Safety Last!, a movie experience par excellence, anchored by a genuine legend. Also on 14 September, Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s immortal musical of Show Boat receives its most faithful and enduring cinematic adaptation under the elegant direction of James Whale. Finally, on 28 September we have Beau Travail, Claire Denis' shimmering and hypnotic film firmly establishes her as one of the great visual tone poets of our time. 

 

Safety Last! Blu-ray cover art

SAFETY LAST! (USA 1923) | Blu-ray | 14 September 2020

The comic genius of silent star Harold Lloyd is eternal. Chaplin was the sweet innocent, Keaton the stoic outsider, but Lloyd – the modern guy striving for success – is us. And with its torrent of perfectly executed gags and astonishing stunts, Safety Last! is the perfect introduction to him. Lloyd plays a small-town bumpkin trying to make it in the big city, who finds employment as a lowly department-store clerk. He comes up with a wild publicity stunt to draw attention to the store, resulting in an incredible feat of derring-do on his part that gets him started on the climb to success. Laugh-out-loud funny and jaw-dropping in equal measure, Safety Last! is a movie experience par excellence, anchored by a genuine legend.

Special Edition Blu-ray features:

  • New 2K digital film restoration
  • Musical score by composer Carl Davis from 1989, synchronized and restored under his supervision and presented in uncompressed stereo on the Blu-ray edition
  • Alternate score by organist Gaylord Carter from the late 1960s, presented in uncompressed monaural on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary featuring film critic Leonard Maltin and director and Harold Lloyd archivist Richard Correll
  • Introduction by Suzanne Lloyd, Lloyd’s granddaughter and president of Harold Lloyd Entertainment
  • Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius, a 104-minute documentary from 1989 Three newly restored Lloyd shorts: Take a Chance (1918), Young Mr. Jazz (1919), and His Royal Slyness (1920), with commentary by Correll and film writer John Bengtson
  • Locations and Effects, a new documentary featuring Bengtson and special effects expert Craig Barron
  • New interview with Davis
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Ed Park

 

Show Boat Blu-ray cover art

SHOW BOAT (USA 1936) | Blu-ray | 14 September 2020

Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s immortal musical adaptation of Edna Ferber’s sprawling novel receives its most faithful and enduring cinematic adaptation under the elegant direction of James Whale (Frankenstein, The Old Dark House). A rich portrait of changing American entertainment traditions and race relations, Show Boat spans four decades and three generations as it follows the fortunes of the stage-struck Magnolia (The Awful Truth’s Irene Dunne), an aspiring actor whose journey takes her from her family’s humble floating playhouse in the 1880s South to the height of fame in the 1930s North. The cast of show-business legends includes Helen Morgan (Applause), Hatte McDaniel (Gone with the Wind), Charles Winninger (Beyond Tomorrow), and the great Paul Robeson (The Emperor Jones), whose iconic, soul-shaking rendition of “Ol’ Man River” is one of the crowning glories of the American stage and screen.

Special Edition Blu-ray features:

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Audio commentary from 1989 featuring American musical historian Miles Kreuger
  • New interview with James Whale biographer James Curtis
  • Recognizing Race in “Show Boat,” a new interview program featuring professor and author Shana L. Redmond
  • Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist (1979), an Academy Award–winning short documentary by Saul J. Turell, newly restored
  • Two performances from the sound prologue of the 1929 film version of Show Boat, plus twenty minutes of silent excerpts from the film, with audio commentary by Kreuger
  • Two radio adaptations of Show Boat, featuring stage and screen cast members Allan Jones, Helen Morgan, and Charles Winninger; actor Orson Welles; and novelist Edna Ferber
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Gary Giddins

 

Beau Travail Blu-ray cover art

BEAU TRAVAIL (France 1999) | Blu-ray | 28 September 2020

With her ravishingly sensual take on herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Sailor, Claire Denis (White Material) firmly established herself as one of the great visual tone poets of our time. Amid the azure waters and sunbaked desert landscapes of Djibouti, a French Foreign Legion sergeant (Mauvais sang’s Denis Lavant) sows the seeds of his own ruin as his obsession with a striking young recruit (35 Shots of Rum’s Grégoire Colin) plays out to the thunderous, operatic strains of Benjamin Britten. Denis and cinematographer Angès Godard (Let the Sunshine In) fold military and masculine codes of honor, colonialism’s legacy, destructive jealousy, and repressed desire into shimmering, hypnotic images that ultimately explode in one of the most startling and unforgettable endings in all of modern cinema.

Special Edition Blu-ray features:

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director of photography Agnès Godard and approved by director Claire Denis, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack
  • New conversation between Denis and filmmaker Barry Jenkins
  • New selected scene commentary with Godard
  • New interviews with actors Denis Lavant and Grégoire Colin
  • New video essay by film scholar Judith Mayne
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Girish Shambu