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Criterion’s May Slate Includes Chaplin’s ‘The Great Dictator,’ Demme’s ‘Something Wild’ & More

Criterion's May Slate Includes Chaplin's 'The Great Dictator,' Demme's 'Something Wild' & More

‘Diabolique’ Gets Re-Release; ‘Smiles Of A Summer Night,’ ‘Fat Girl’ & ‘Solaris’ Go Blu

Criterion is looking to catch those still caught up in the warmth of Valentine’s Day as they have unveiled their May lineup and as usual, it’s set to hurt your wallet.

Kicking things off, Charlie Chaplin gets the Criterion treatment for the second time with “The Great Dictator” and as you might expect, the release is arriving loaded with extras. Among the highlights will be “The Tramp and the Dictator” a documentary about the film narrated by Kenneth Branagh and featuring interviews with author Ray Bradbury, director Sidney Lumet, historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., screenwriter Budd Schulberg, and more; on set, color footage shot by Chaplin’s half-brother Sydney; a deleted scene from the silent “Sunnyside” and more. No word yet if that eyesore of a cover will stand but regardless of that, if you haven’t seen this classic of wartime satire yet, the Criterion release should clear up any excuses you have.

Jonathan Demme will make his sophomore appearance in the collection with “Something Wild.” The delightfully off-kilter comedy stars Jeff Daniels, Melanie Griffith, and Ray Liotta and follows an ordinary business man who is “kidnapped” by a free-spirited woman and they end up being pursued by her violent ex-husband. This release will be a stripped down affair with a couple of interviews and a trailer filling out the extras.

Other titles of note: Criterion dips into the Japanese New Wave again with Masahiro Shinoda‘s “Pale Flower” about a yakuza fresh from the joint who begins a relationship with a beautiful gambling addict. Smoldering looks ensue. Meanwhile, Criterion beefs up their BluRay back catalogue with Andrei Tarkovsky‘s “Solaris,” Ingmar Bergman‘s “Smiles Of A Summer Night” and Catherine Breillat‘s “Fat Girl” all getting the high def upgrade treatment. Finally, Criterion will be re-releasing the out-of-print classic “Diabolique” by Henri-Georges Clouzot in both formats as well.

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I’m glad Olly Moss is getting some love from Criterion, his design work is wicked.


I first became a fan of Jonathan Demme because of his underrated “Something Wild.” I believe this is the first time I realized that Ray Liotta is an explosive actor- seriously, this guy needs better film material.

Eneko Ruiz

Even though it’s light on (needless?) bells n’ whistles, it’ll be great to finally have an excellent transfer of Demme’s underrated gem.


As rotch noted, this is the second Chaplin Criterion release; MODERN TIMES was released in November of last year…


Awesome lineup! Can’t wait for Something Wild.

I wonder if they will actually credit this guy for the Great Director art (which is the second Chaplin Criterion release fiy)

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