As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, my birthday was July 29, and my birthday month happens to match up with one of the year’s Barnes & Noble Criterion Collection sales. Not only did I hit the Criterion sale twice for my birthday, but I also got a couple of film-related gifts from my family and found some great birthday bargains at a local video store. Below is my belated birthday haul!
Criterion Collection Selections
I visited the local Barnes twice in July and walked out with a total of eight new, beloved babies for my Criterion shelf. Four of these were purchased by my dad as a birthday gift, and the other four… well, I decided to treat myself, haha. What better time than your birthday?
- The 39 Steps (1935) – Spine #56
- Brief Encounter (1945) – Spine #76
- Kiss Me Deadly (1955) – Spine #568
- The Killing (1958) – Spine #575
- The Innocents (1961) – Spine #727
- Fantastic Planet (1973) – Spine #820
- The Asphalt Jungle (1950) – Spine #847
- Detour (1945) – Spine #966
Nerdy side note: I keep a color-coded spreadsheet with my Criterion wishlist featuring the top priorities, the must-haves, the watch-before-buying titles, the “maybe” list, and the boxed sets, as well as a column for those I own. Does anyone else do this? (It’s super handy if you like to test your luck at your local store and shop the B&N sale in-person, as I do.) I’d love to know which titles are topping your wishlists!
Lucky Finds at the Video Store
My sister lives in a city with a hoppin’ video rental store and has been meaning to join up since she moved there. We finally ventured over to the store on my birthday weekend and I fell in love. I hadn’t been in a video store since my local Blockbuster closed, so it was an extremely nostalgic experience… and they had some amazing stuff! My sister rented a few films (including Blindspotting, my favorite film of 2018), and I found a movies on the “for sale” shelf…
- Flower (2018)
- Ricki and the Flash (2015)
- The Sapphires (2012)
- TiMER (2009)
The deal was “buy three, get one free,” so I chose the blind buy of Flower as my freebie. I was so surprised to find The Sapphires — underrated musicals from Australia, in my local video store? (I hope it uses its magic powers to bring me New Zealand’s Daffodils next.)
As much as I love my Criterions and every other film I buy, TiMER was easily my most exciting movie purchase of the year so far. I have never been able to find a U.S. copy of this DVD. Even on Amazon, there are only used, international editions. I screeched out loud when I found it!
Mama Knows Best
My mom gave me a classic film on DVD as one of my gifts — 1945’s A Song to Remember, a fictionalized Chopin biopic! I’ve never seen this film — never knew that Paul Muni and Merle Oberon starred in a Chopin biopic, in fact — so I’m very excited to watch it!
Book Sale Finds, etc.
I’m a fiend for book sales so, naturally, I visited a couple during my birthday month. I mostly purchased fiction, but found a few DVDs and cool additions to my “movie books” bookcase. Finally, I visited my favorite antique shop on my birthday and couldn’t help making a couple small buys!
- American Psycho (2000) on DVD
- A Portrait of All the President’s Men: The story behind the filming of the most devastating detective story of the century by Jack Hirshberg (with photos by Stanley Tretick), Paperback, 1976
- Blues In The Night (1941) on DVD
- Daisy Kenyon (1947) on DVD
- E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982) “Be Good” commemorative glass from Pizza Hut
- I haven’t been able to get a good photo, but it is listed on eBay if you’d like to see it or buy one of your own!
- If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) on DVD
- John Willis’ Screen World 1976 Film Annual, Hardcover, 1976
- Movie Stars magazine: September 1968
- Cover features Elizabeth Taylor and Robert F. Kennedy
- The White Angel (1936) on DVD