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!
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!).
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.
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.
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!
- 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:
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!