Inconceivable! “The Princess Bride” joining the Criterion Collection this October, and it isn’t alone: Brian De Palma’s “Sisters,” Hal Ashby’s “Shampoo,” Cornel Wilde’s “The Naked Prey,” and Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s “Eight Hours Don’t Make the Day” are getting the Criterion treatment as well.
More information (and covert art) below.
“The Naked Prey”
“Glamorous leading man turned idiosyncratic auteur Cornel Wilde created in the 1960s and ’70s a handful of gritty, violent explorations of the nature of man, none more memorable than ‘The Naked Prey.’ In the early nineteenth century, after an ivory-hunting safari offends a group of South African hunters, the colonialists are captured and hideously tortured. A lone marksman (Wilde) is released, without clothes or weapons, to be hunted for sport, and he begins a harrowing journey through savanna and jungle back to a primitive state. Distinguished by vivid widescreen camera work and unflinchingly ferocious action sequences, ‘The Naked Prey’ is both a propulsive, stripped-to-the-bone narrative and a meditation on the concept of civilization.”
“Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day”
“Commissioned to make a working-class family drama for public television, up-and-coming director Rainer Werner Fassbinder took the assignment and ran, dodging expectations by depicting social realities in West Germany from a critical-yet far from cynical-perspective. Over the course of several hours, the sprawling story tracks the everyday triumphs and travails of the young toolmaker Jochen (Gottfried John) and many of the people populating his world, including the woman he loves (Hanna Schygulla), his eccentric nuclear family, and his fellow workers, with whom he bands together to improve conditions on the factory floor. Rarely screened since its popular but controversial initial broadcast, ‘Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day’ rates as a true discovery, one of Fassbinder’s earliest and most tender experiments with the possibilities of melodrama.”
“‘Shampoo’ gives us a day in the life of George, a Beverly Hills hairdresser and Lothario who runs around town on the eve of the 1968 presidential election trying to make heads or tails of his financial and romantic entanglements. His attempts to scrape together the money to open his own salon are continually sidetracked by the distractions presented by his lovers — played brilliantly by Goldie Hawn, Julie Christie, and Lee Grant (in an Oscar-winning performance). Star Warren Beatty dreamed up the project, cowrote the script with Robert Towne, and enlisted Hal Ashby as director, and the resulting carousel of doomed relationships is an essential seventies farce, a sharp look back at the sexual politics and self-absorption of the preceding decade.”
“Margot Kidder is Danielle, a beautiful model separated from her Siamese twin, Dominique. When a hotshot reporter (Jennifer Salt) suspects Dominique of a brutal murder, she becomes dangerously ensnared in the sisters’ insidious sibling bond. A scary and stylish paean to female destructiveness, Brian De Palma’s first foray into horror voyeurism is a stunning amalgam of split-screen effects, bloody birthday cakes, and a chilling score by frequent Hitchcock collaborator Bernard Herrmann.”
“The Princess Bride”
“A high-spirited adventure that pits true love against inconceivable odds, ‘The Princess Bride’ has charmed legions of fans with its irreverent gags, eccentric ensemble, and dazzling swordplay. A kid (Fred Savage), home sick from school, grudgingly allows his grandfather (Peter Falk) to read him a dusty storybook-which is how we meet the innocent Buttercup (Robin Wright, in her breakout role), about to marry the nefarious Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) though her heart belongs to Westley (Cary Elwes). The wedding plans are interrupted, however, by a mysterious pirate, a vengeful Spaniard, and a good-natured giant, in a tale full of swashbuckling, romance, and outrageously hilarious spoofery. Directed by Rob Reiner from an endlessly quotable script by Oscar winner William Goldman, ‘The Princess Bride’ reigns as a fairy-tale classic.”