Criterion verkündet das Film UK Line-Up für September 2016! «Cat People» und «The Samurai Trilogy».
The first of the horror films producer Val Lewton made for RKO Pictures redefined the genre by leaving its most frightening terrors to its audience’s imagination. Simone Simon stars as a Serbian émigré in Manhattan who believes that, because of an ancient curse, any physical intimacy with the man she loves (Kent Smith) will turn her into a feline predator. Lewton, a consummate producer-auteur who oversaw every aspect of his projects, found an ideal director in Jacques Tourneur, a chiaroscuro stylist adept at keeping viewers off-kilter with startling compositions and psychological innuendo. Together, they eschewed the canned effects of earlier monster movies in favor of shocking with subtle shadows and creative audio cues. One of the studio’s most successful movies of the 1940s, Cat People raised the creature feature to new heights of sophistication and mystery.
- New, restored 2K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Audio commentary from 2005 featuring film historian Gregory Mank, with excerpts from an audio interview with actor Simone Simon
- Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows, a 2008 feature-length documentary that explores the life and career of the legendary Hollywood producer
- Interview with director Jacques Tourneur from 1977
- New interview with cinematographer John Bailey about the look of the film
- PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien
The Samurai Trilogy, directed by Hiroshi Inagaki and starring the inimitable Toshiro Mifune, was one of Japan’s most successful exports of the 1950s, a rousing, emotionally gripping tale of combat and self-discovery. Based on a novel that’s often called Japan’s Gone with the Wind, this sweeping saga fictionalizes the life of the legendary seventeenth-century swordsman (and writer and artist) Musashi Miyamoto, following him on his path from unruly youth to enlightened warrior. With these three films—1954’s Oscar-winningMusashi Miyamoto, 1955’s Duel at Ichijoji Temple, and 1956’s Duel at Ganryu Island—Inagaki created a passionate epic that’s equal parts tender love story and bloody action.
- New high-definition digital restorations of all three films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-ray editions
- New interviews with translator and historian William Scott Wilson about the real-life Musashi Miyamoto, the inspiration for the hero of the films
- New English subtitle translations
- PLUS: A booklet featuring new essays by film historian Stephen Prince and Wilson