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Criterion has announced their releases for the month of December. Each film will be available on both DVD and Blu-ray, with the same special features.

Design for Living


Quote: Release Date: 6 Dec 2011
SRP: $39.95

Synopsis: Gary Cooper, Fredric March, and Miriam Hopkins play a trio of Americans in Paris who enter into a very adult “gentleman’s” agree­ment, in this continental pre-Code comedy freely adapted by Ben Hecht from a play by Noël Coward, and directed by Ernst Lubitsch. A risqué relationship comedy and a witty take on creative pursuits, it concerns a commercial artist (Hopkins) unable—or unwilling—to choose between the equally dashing painter (Cooper) and playwright (March) she meets on a train en route to the City of Light. Design for Living is Lubitsch at his most adroit, an entertainment at once debonair and racy, featuring three stars at the height of their allure.

Disc Features
-New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
-"The Clerk", starring Charles Laughton—director Ernst Lubitsch’s segment of the 1932 film If I Had a Million, which he made just before Design for Living
-Selected-scene commentary by film professor William Paul
- Play of the Week: A Choice of Coward, a 1964 British television production of the play Design for Living, introduced on camera by playwright Noël Coward
-New interview with film scholar and screenwriter Joseph McBride on Lubitsch and Ben Hecht’s screen adaptation of the Coward play
-A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Kim Morgan

Design for Living - Criterion - Blu-ray

The Lady Vanishes


Quote: Release Date: 6 Dec 2011
SRP: $39.95

Synopsis: In Alfred Hitchcock’s most quick-witted and devilish comic thriller, the beautiful Margaret Lockwood, traveling across Europe by train, meets a charming spinster (Dame May Whitty), who then seems to disappear into thin air. The younger woman turns investigator and finds herself drawn into a complex web of mystery and high adventure. Also starring Michael Redgrave, The Lady Vanishes remains one of the great filmmaker’s purest delights.

Disc Features
-High-definition digital restoration
-Audio commentary by film historian Bruce Eder
- Crook’s Tour, a 1941 feature-length adventure film starring Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne as Charters and Caldicott, their beloved characters from The Lady Vanishes
-Excerpts from François Truffaut’s legendary 1962 audio interview with director Alfred Hitchcock
- Mystery Train, a video essay about Hitchcock and The Lady Vanishes by Hitchcock scholar Leonard Leff
-Stills gallery of behind-the-scenes photos and promotional art
-A booklet featuring essays by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and Hitchcock scholar Charles Barr

Lady Vanishes  - Criterion - Blu-ray

Branded to Kill


Quote: Release Date: 13 Dec 2011
SRP: $39.95

Synopsis: When Japanese New Wave bad boy Seijun Suzuki delivered this brutal, hilarious, and visually inspired masterpiece to the executives at his studio, he was promptly fired. Branded to Kill tells the ecstatically bent story of a yakuza assassin (chipmunk-cheeked superstar Joe Shishido) with a fetish for sniffing boiled rice who botches a job and ends up a target himself. This is Suzuki at his most extreme—the flabbergasting pinnacle of his sixties pop-art aesthetic.

Disc Features
-New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
-Video piece featuring new interviews with director Seijun Suzuki and assistant director Masami Kuzuu
-Interview with Suzuki from 1997
-New interview with actor Joe Shishido
-Original theatrical trailer
-New and improved English subtitle translation
-A booklet featuring an essay by critic and historian Tony Rayns, author of Branded to Thrill: The Delirious Cinema of Suzuki Seijun, and a state­ment by the film’s art director, Sukezo Kawahara

Branded to Kill - Criterion - Blu-ray

Tokyo Drifter


Quote: Release Date: 13 Dec 2011
SRP: $39.95

Synopsis: In this jazzy gangster film, reformed killer Phoenix Tetsu’s attempt to go straight is squashed when his former cohorts call him back to Tokyo to help battle a rival gang. This onslaught of stylized violence and trippy colors got director Seijun Suzuki in trouble with Nikkatsu studio heads, who were put off by his anything-goes, in-your-face aesthetic, equal parts Russ Meyer, Samuel Fuller, and Nagisa Oshima. Tokyo Drifter is a delirious highlight of the brilliantly excessive Japanese cinema of the sixties.

Disc Features
-New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
-Video piece featuring new interviews with director Seijun Suzuki and assistant director Masami Kuzuu
-Interview with Suzuki from 1997
-Original theatrical trailer
-New and improved English subtitle translation
-A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Howard Hampton

Tokyo Drifter - Criterion - Blu-ray

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