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