James Stewart’s Anatomy Of A Murder and Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep’s The French Lieutenant’s Woman come to Blu-ray in March courtesy of The Criterion Collection and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Anatomy Of A Murder
A virtuoso James Stewart (Vertigo) plays a small-town Michigan lawyer who takes on a difficult case: that of a young Army lieutenant (The Killing of a Chinese Bookie’s Ben Gazzara) accused of murdering the local tavern owner who he believes raped his wife (Days of Wine and Roses’ Lee Remick).
This gripping, envelope-pushing courtroom potboiler, the most popular film from Hollywood provocateur Otto Preminger (Laura), was groundbreaking for the frankness of its discussion of sex—more than anything else, it is a striking depiction of the power of words.
With its outstanding supporting cast— including a young George C. Scott (Patton) as a fiery prosecuting attorney and legendary real-life attorney Joseph N. Welch as the judge—and influential jazz score by Duke Ellington, Anatomy of a Murder is a Hollywood landmark; it was nominated for seven Oscars, including best picture.
- New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- New alternate 5.1 soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
- New interview with Otto Preminger biographer Foster Hirsch
- Critic Gary Giddins explores Duke Ellington’s score in a new interview
- A look at the relationship between graphic designer Saul Bass and Preminger with Bass biographer Pat Kirkham
- Newsreel footage from the set
- Excerpts from a 1967 episode of Firing Line, featuring Preminger in discussion with William F. Buckley Jr.
- Excerpts from the work Anatomy of “Anatomy”: The Making of a Movie
- Behind-the-scenes photographs by Life magazine’s Gjon Mili
- Trailer, featuring on-set footage
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Nick Pinkerton and a 1959 Life magazine article on real-life lawyer Joseph N. Welch, who plays the judge in the film
The French Lieutenant’s Woman
An astounding array of talent came together for the big-screen adaptation of John Fowles’s novel The French Lieutenant’s Woman, a postmodern masterpiece that had been considered unfilmable.
With an ingenious script by the Nobel Prize–winning playwright Harold Pinter (Betrayal), British New Wave trailblazer Karel Reisz (Saturday Night and Sunday Morning) transforms Fowles’s tale of scandalous romance into an arresting, hugely entertaining movie about cinema.
In Pinter’s reimagining, Jeremy Irons (Dead Ringers) and Meryl Streep (Sophie’s Choice) star in parallel narratives, as a Victorian-era gentleman and the social outcast he risks everything to love, and as the contemporary actors cast in those roles and immersed in their own forbidden affair.
The French Lieutenant’s Woman, shot by the consummate cinematographer Freddie Francis (Glory) and scored by the venerated composer and conductor Carl Davis, is a beguiling, intellectually nimble feat of filmmaking, starring a pair of legendary actors in early leading roles.
- New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- New introduction by film scholar Ian Christie
- New interviews with actors Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep, editor John Bloom, and composer Carl Davis
- Episode of The South Bank Show from 1981 featuring director Karel Reisz, novelist John Fowles, and screenwriter Harold Pinter
- PLUS: An essay by film scholar Lucy Bolton