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Charlie Chaplin, Sidney Poitier & Peter Davis from Criterion in September

8 July 2022

The Criterion Collection and Sony Pictures Home Entertainmenthave confirmed the titles to be released on Blu-ray in the UK in September 2022.

On 26 September comes The Great Dictator,  Charlie Chaplin's masterpiece offers a cutting caricature of Adolf Hitler and a sly tweaking of his own comic persona. Also on 26 September, Buck and the Preacher, Sidney Poitier's rousingly entertaining directorial debut helped rewrite the history of the western bringing black heros to the genre in which they had always been underrepresented. Finally, also on 26 September comes Peter Davis’s landmark 1974 Vietnam documentary Hearts and Minds.

 

The Great Dictator Blu-ray cover art

THE GREAT DICTATOR (USA 1940) | Blu-ray | 26 September 2022

In his notorious masterpiece The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin (City Lights, Modern Times) offers both a cutting caricature of Adolf Hitler and a sly tweaking of his own comic persona. Chaplin (in his first pure talkie) brings his sublime physicality to two roles: the cruel yet clownish “Tomanian” dictator and the kindly Jewish barber who is mistaken for him. Featuring Jack Oakie (Thieves’ Highway, Lover Come Back) and Paulette Godard (Modern Times, The Women) in stellar supporting turns, The Great Dictator, boldly going after the fascist leader before the U.S.’s official entry into World War II, is an audacious amalgam of politics and slapstick that culminates in Chaplin’s famously impassioned plea for tolerance.

SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY FEATURES:

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack 
  • New audio commentary by Charlie Chaplin historians Dan Kamin and Hooman Mehran
  • The Tramp and the Dictator (2001), a documentary narrated by filmmaker Kenneth Branagh and featuring interviews with author Ray Bradbury, director Sidney Lumet, historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., screenwriter Budd Schulberg, and a host of others
  • Two new visual essays, by Chaplin archivist Cecilia Cenciarelli and Chaplin biographer Jeffrey Vance 
  • On-set, color production footage shot by Chaplin’s half-brother, Sydney 
  • Deleted scene from Chaplin’s 1919 film Sunnyside 
  • Theatrical trailer 
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Michael Wood and a 1940 article by Chaplin on the film

 

Buck and the Preacher Blu-ray cover art

BUCK AND THE PREACHER (USA 1972) | Blu-ray | 26 September 2022

With his rousingly entertaining directorial debut, Sidney Poitier (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner) helped rewrite the history of the western, bringing Black heroes to a genre in which they had always been sorely underrepresented. Combining boisterous buddy comedy with blistering, Black Power–era political fury, Poitier and a marvellously mischievous Harry Belafonte (Carmen Jones) star as a tough and taciturn wagon master and an unscrupulous, pistol-packing “preacher,” who join forces in order to take on the white bounty hunters threatening a westward-bound caravan of recently freed enslaved people. A superbly crafted revisionist landmark, Buck and the Preacher subverts Hollywood conventions at every turn and reclaims the western genre in the name of Black liberation.

SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY FEATURES:

  • New digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • New interview with Mia Mask, author of Black Rodeo: A History of the African American Western
  • Behind-the-scenes footage featuring actor-director Sidney Poitier and actor Harry Belafonte
  • Interviews with Poitier and Belafonte from 1972 episodes of Soul! and The Dick Cavett Show
  • New interview with Gina Belafonte, daughter of Harry Belafonte
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Aisha Harris

 

Hearts and Minds Blu-ray cover art

HEARTS AND MINDS (USA 1974) | Blu-ray | 26 September 2022

A startling and courageous film, Peter Davis’s landmark 1974 documentary Hearts and Minds unflinchingly confronted the United States’ involvement in Vietnam at the height of the foment that surrounded it. Using a wealth of sources—from interviews to newsreels to footage of the conflict and the upheaval it occasioned on the home front—Davis constructs a powerfully affecting picture of the disastrous effects of war. Explosive, persuasive, and wrenching, Hearts and Minds is an overwhelming emotional experience and the most important nonfiction film ever made about this devastating period in history.

SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY FEATURES:

  • High-definition digital restoration, supervised by director Peter Davis and cinematographer Richard Pearce, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Audio commentary featuring Davis
  • A collection of over two hours of never-before-seen outtakes from the film, including interviews with presidential adviser George Ball, broadcast journalist David Brinkley, French journalist and historian Philippe Devillers, political activist Tony Russo, and General William Westmoreland
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by Davis, film critic Judith Crist, and historians Robert K. Brigham, George C. Herring, and Ngo Vinh Long

See our DVD review of Hearts and Minds.