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Umberto D., The Breaking Point & The Big Chill from Criterion in August

30 May 2022

The Criterion Collection and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have confirmed the titles to be released on Blu-ray in August 2022.

On 15 August, neorealist masterpiece Umberto D., directed by Vittorio De Sica is released. This classic film follows the daily life of an elderly pensioner as he struggles to make ends meet during Italy’s postwar economic recovery. Also on 15 August is The Breaking Point.  The thriling story of an honest charter-boat captain who, facing hard times, takes on dangerous cargo to save his boat, support his family, and preserve his dignity. Following on 29 August The Big Chill arrives. Poignant and warmly humorous in equal measure, this 1983 baby boomer milestone is perhaps the decade’s defining ensemble film.

 

Umberto D. Blu-ray cover art

UMBERTO D. (Italy 1952) | Blu-ray | 15 August 2022

This neorealist masterpiece by Vittorio De Sica (Bicycle Thieves) follows the daily life of an elderly pensioner as he struggles to make ends meet during Italy’s postwar economic recovery. Alone except for his dog, Flike, Umberto is determined to maintain his dignity in a city where human kindness seems to have been swallowed up by the forces of modernization. His simple quest to satisfy his most fundamental needs—food, shelter, companionship—makes for one of the most heart-breaking stories ever filmed, and an essential classic of world cinema.

SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY FEATURES:

  • High-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • That’s Life: Vittorio De Sica, a fifty-five-minute documentary made for Italian television in 2001
  • Video interview with actress Maria Pia Casilio from 2003
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Stuart Klawans and reprinted recollections by De Sica and Carlo Battisti, who plays Umberto D.

 

The Breaking Point Blu-ray cover art

THE BREAKING POINT (USA 1950) | Blu-ray | 15 August 2022

Michael Curtiz (Mildred Pierce) brings a master skipper’s hand to the helm of this thriller, Hollywood’s second crack at Ernest Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not. John Garfield (The Postman Always Rings Twice) stars as Harry Morgan, an honest charter-boat captain who, facing hard times, takes on dangerous cargo to save his boat, support his family, and preserve his dignity. Left in the lurch by a freeloading passenger, Harry starts to entertain the criminal propositions of a sleazy lawyer (Harvey’s Wallace Ford), as well as the playful comeons of a cheeky blonde (A Face in the Crowd’s Patricia Neal), making a series of compromises that stretch his morality—and his marriage—farther than he’ll admit. Hewing closer to Hemingway’s novel than Howard Hawks’s Bogart-Bacall vehicle, The Breaking Point charts a course through daylight noir and working-class tragedy, guided by Curtiz’s effortless visual fluency and a stoic, career-capping performance from Garfield.

SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY FEATURES:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with biographer and film historian Alan K. Rode (Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film)
  • New piece featuring actor and acting instructor Julie Garfield speaking about her father, actor John Garfield
  • New video essay by filmmakers Tony Zhou and Taylor Ramos, analysing Curtiz’s directorial techniques
  • Excerpts from a 1962 episode of the Today show showing contents of the Ernest Hemingway House in Key West, Florida, including items related to To Have and Have Not, the novel on which The Breaking Point is based
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Stephanie Zacharek

 

The Big Chill Blu-ray cover art

THE BIG CHILL (USA ,1983) | Blu-ray | 29 August 2022

After the shocking suicide of their friend, a group of thirtysomethings reunite for his funeral and end up spending a weekend together, reminiscing about their shared pasts as children of the sixties and confronting the uncertainty of their lives as adults of the eighties. Poignant and warmly humorous in equal measure, this 1983 baby boomer milestone made a star of writer-director Lawrence Kasdan (Body Heat) and is perhaps the decade’s defining ensemble film, featuring memorable performances by Tom Berenger (Platoon), Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction), Jeff Goldblum (The Fly), Eilliam Hurt (Altered States), Kevin Kline (The Ice Storm), Mary Kay Place (Being John Malkovich), Meg Tilly (Agnes of God), and Bobeth Williams (Poltergeist). And with its playlist of hit songs from the sixties, The Big Chill all but invented the consummately curated soundtrack.

DIRECTOR APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY FEATURES:

  • New, restored 4K digital film transfer, supervised by cinematographer John Bailey and approved by director Lawrence Kasdan, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Alternate remastered 5.1 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Reunion with cast and crew, including Kasdan, actors Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Kevin Kline, Mary Kay Place, Meg Tilly, and JoBeth Williams, from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival
  • Documentary from 1998 on the making of the film
  • Deleted scenes
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by writer, director, and actor Lena Dunham