A belated birthday haul!

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

5 thoughts on “A belated birthday haul!

  1. Man oh man, that Criterion haul is outstanding! I own The 39 Steps and Brief Encounter, but I’d love to get my hands on The Killing and The Asphalt Jungle! And I know you reviewed TiMER a while ago, but I’d still like to see it…if I can ever find it (I guess I’ll have to start checking video stores…)


    1. I hope you are able to find TiMER somehow! It’s a shame that it isn’t more readily available. You’d think it would at least be available to buy on iTunes. (It is in Canada!) I’m so excited to have the chance to finally re-watch it. I’ll keep an eye out for a second copy at my magic video store!


  2. What a super collection of films and books. Proper birthday geek out and many days of fun to be had ahead. I spy one of my super favourites in there. Fantastic Planet aka La Planete Sauvage. Such a brilliant surreal and compelling story (if you haven’t seen it yet) the soundtrack is so perfect. It’s an animated sci-fi masterpiece I’d say. If you want something different, yep that would be it.
    Hope you have a wonderful time with all your goodies.


    1. Thank you! I would agree with “animated sci-fi masterpiece” — it was one of my favorite FilmStruck discoveries and I’m so glad to own it now! Can’t wait to rewatch! I already have plans to introduce my sister to it, too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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