In the next Collector’s Corner, I’ll talk about decluttering my film-related book collection.

I haven’t decluttered my DVD and Blu-ray collection in the same way — discs are lighter and easier to move, haha — but I’ve slowed down on buying them over the past couple of years.

I skipped several Criterion flash sales and B&N sales in my time away from the blog (almost all of them, in fact), but my love for Criterion’s releases never puttered out!

Around the time I began contemplating bringing TMP back from hibernation, Criterion happened to be hosting one of its 24-hour savings extravaganzas.

I took the opportunity to grab a few titles that have been on my wishlist. Here’s what I picked up!

Criterion DVD edition of History Is Made at Night, featuring a lovely cover illustration by Abigail Giuseppe (Photo by Lindsey for TMP)

History Is Made at Night (1937) – Spine #1072

Jean Arthur and Charles Boyer star in this tale of a soon-to-be divorcee’s new romance with a headwaiter… and her soon-to-be ex-husband’s attempts to derail it.

Romance, drama, crime, tragedy, and blackmail come together in this charming film.

It starts out with a bogus jewel thievery plot, transitions to a sparkling rom-com, and then pivots toward disaster film (with the audience bearing witness to a shipwreck!).

It might sound like a mess from this description, but History Is Made at Night was one of my favorite discoveries of 2018 and I’m glad to finally own it on DVD! (See my full review.)

The film was directed by Frank Borzage, who occupies many of the Criterion edition’s special features, including audio excerpts from a 1958 George Eastman Museum interview and insights from film critics/historians like Peter Cowie and Farran Smith Nehme.

The DVD also includes a radio adaptation from 1940, once again starring Charles Boyer.

Criterion DVD edition of The Incredible Shrinking Man, with a cover designed by Adam Maida (Photo by Lindsey for TMP)

The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) – Spine #1100

Grant Williams stars in this existential sci-fi film as a man who gets exposed to a mysterious substance while out on his boat, only to begin shrinking six months later.

The Incredible Shrinking Man is filled with your typical sci-fi fun and hints of corn (such as the shrunken man’s encounters with spiders and cats, which now look enormous to him).

It’s also far more thought-provoking than you’d expect, offering up a surprisingly sincere exploration of life itself and the central character’s psychology.

As noted in my 2018 review, I originally discovered this film through a fairly inexpensive DVD set called “The Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection,” which I still own — but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to snag Criterion’s version since I love this film so much!

In addition to a new restoration, the DVD features audio commentary, a program on the film’s special effects, a featurette about director Jack Arnold, an 8 mm home-cinema version of the film, a trailer narrated by the great Orson Welles, and more.

Illustrated cover of Criterion's Godzilla film set
Criterion’s Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films, 1954-1975 set (Photo by Lindsey for TMP)

Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films (1954 to 1975) – Spine #1000

This is really what I was referring to when I mentioned the “splurge” in my last post. Even at 50% off, this gorgeously-illustrated, oversized set comes with a hefty price tag.

This set has been on my radar since its initial release. I’ve considered it every time I’ve seen it on the shelf at Barnes & Noble when perusing the entertainment section, but have always hesitated due to the price… until now.

I’ve been in a bit too much of a “treat yourself” mode lately, but I’m glad to finally own this set. I know the films can be found elsewhere in similar quality for a smaller price tag, but the beautiful illustrations, the included essays, and the films themselves bring me joy. I regret nothing!

Included are:

  • Godzilla (1954)
  • Godzilla Raids Again (1955)
  • King Kong vs. Godzilla (1963)
  • Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)
  • Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
  • Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)
  • Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966)
  • Son of Godzilla (1967)
  • Destroy All Monsters (1968)
  • All Monsters Attack (1969)
  • Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)
  • Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)
  • Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)
  • Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
  • Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

And here are a couple more pics for anyone else who has put off buying this set and wants to be swayed by its beauty:

Illustration of Mothra and Godzilla from Criterion's Showa-Era set
Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) cover illustration by Angela Rizza (Photo by Lindsey for TMP)

 

Illustration of Godzilla emerging from the water
The back cover of the set is every bit as worthy of display as the front cover! (Photo by Lindsey for TMP)

For those interested in tallies, this brings my personal Criterion collection to 78 spines.

In the interest of transparency, I also have to admit a flub: my Criterion wishlist/collection spreadsheet wasn’t at all complete when this sale came around. It hadn’t been updated in over a year… so I also ordered copies of The Blob and Night of the Living Dead, only to realize I already own them.

Not quite sure what I’ll do with the extras yet, but let this serve as a reminder for you to keep your catalogs up-to-date!

If you picked up anything cool in the recent flash sale, feel free to share your pick-ups in the comments. I’d love to know what you’ve been adding to your collections!