Written By: Bryan Kluger

It will be the year 2018 in a couple short months, which bring in the New Year with tons of optimism, new slates, blossoming relationships, low-carb diets, and tons of new, exciting movies. Speaking of movies, Criterion has unveiled the first films they will release for 2018, starting in January, which looks like it’s gonna be BADASS! I mean, are we really getting ‘The Breakfast Club’ on Criterion? YES, yes we are. Does that mean we will get more John Hughes’ films in the future? Let’s hope so. Below you can read about each release.

In January, the Criterion Collection will ring in the New Year with John Hughes’s generation-defining high school movie The Breakfast Club, in an edition packed with special features, including extensive new and archival interviews with the film’s iconic cast and fifty minutes of never-before-seen deleted scenes. That’s just the beginning of a month that will also see the releases of two revelatory films by G. W. Pabst: long unavailable and newly restored, Westfront 1918 and Kameradschaft are thrillingly realistic, socially engaged landmarks of early sound cinema.

In another rediscovery, our Eclipse line returns with Claude Autant-Lara – Four Romantic Escapes from Occupied France, a quartet of sophisticated, slyly subversive romances from an unsung master. And there’s more: a defiant individual takes on uncaring bureaucracy in I, Daniel Blake, the Palme d’Or-winning drama from veteran British rabble-rouser Ken Loach, in an edition featuring two documentaries surveying the director’s career and working methods; and Young Mr. Lincoln, John Ford’s poetic biopic starring Henry Ford, on Blu-ray for the first time in a new 4K restoration.

The Breakfast Club

What happens when you put five strangers in Saturday detention? Badass posturing, gleeful misbehavior, and a potent dose of angst. With this exuberant film, writer-director John Hughes established himself as the bard of American youth, vividly and empathetically capturing how teenagers hang out, act up, and goof off. The Breakfast Club brings together an assortment of adolescent archetypes – the uptight prom queen (Molly Ringwald), the stoic jock (Emilio Estevez), the foul-mouthed rebel (Judd Nelson), the virginal bookworm (Anthony Michael Hall), and the kooky recluse (Ally Sheedy) – and watches them shed their personae and emerge into unlikely friendships. With its highly quotable dialogue and star-making performances, this film is an era-defining pop-culture phenomenon, a disarmingly candid exploration of the trials of adolescence whose influence now spans generations.

1985 * 97 minutes * Color * Monaural * 1.85:1 aspect ratio


* 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray

* Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray

* Audio commentary from 2015 featuring actors Anthony Michael Hall and Judd Nelson

* New interviews with actors Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy

* New video essay featuring director John Hughes’s production notes, read by Nelson

* Documentary from 2015 featuring interviews with cast and crew

* 50 minutes of never-before-seen deleted and extended scenes

* Rare promotional and archival interviews and footage

* Excerpts from a 1985 American Film Institute seminar with Hughes

* 1999 radio interview with Hughes

* Segment from a 1995 episode of NBC’s Today show featuring the film’s cast

* Audio interview with Molly Ringwald from a 2014 episode of This American Life

* PLUS: An essay by critic David Kamp


Young Mr. Lincoln

Few American historical figures are as revered as Abraham Lincoln, and few director-star collaborations embody classic Hollywood cinema as beautifully as the one between John Ford and Henry Fonda. This film, their first together, was Ford’s equally poetic and significant follow-up to the groundbreaking western Stagecoach,and in it, Fonda gives one of the finest performances of his career, as the young president-to-be as a novice lawyer, struggling with an incendiary murder case. Photographed in gorgeous black and white by Ford’s frequent collaborator Bert Glennon, Young Mr. Lincoln is a compassionate and assured work and an indelible piece of Americana.

1939 * 100 minutes * Black & White * Monaural * 1.37:1 aspect ratio


* New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray

* New audio commentary featuring film scholar Joseph McBride (Searching for John Ford: A Life)

* Omnibus: John Ford, part one: director Lindsay Anderson’s profile of the life and work of director John Ford before World War II

* Talk show appearance by actor Henry Fonda from 1975

* Audio interviews from the seventies with Ford and Fonda, conducted by the filmmaker’s grandson Dan Ford

* Academy Award radio dramatization of the film

* PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and an homage to Ford by filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein

I, Daniel Blake

An urgent response to the political realities of contemporary Britain, this bracing drama from celebrated filmmaker Ken Loach takes a hard look at bureaucratic injustice and ineptitude through the eyes of an unassuming working-class hero. After a heart attack leaves him unable to hold a job, the widowed carpenter Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) begins a long, lonely journey through the Kafka-esque labyrinth of the local welfare state. Along the way, he strikes up a friendship with a single mother (Hayley Squires) and her two children, at the mercy of the same system after being evicted from their home. Imbued with gentle humor and quiet rage and conceived for maximum real-world impact, the Palme d’Or-winning I, Daniel Blake is a testament to Loach’s tireless commitment to a cinema of social engagement.

2016 * 100 minutes * Color * 5.1 Surround * 1.85:1 aspect ratio


* New high-definition digital master, supervised by director Ken Loach, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray

* Audio commentary from 2016 featuring Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty

* How to Make a Ken Loach Film, a 2016 documentary on the production of I, Daniel Blake, featuring interviews with Loach, Laverty, actors Dave Johns and Hayley Squires, director of photography Robbie Ryan, producer Rebecca O’Brien, and casting director Kahleen Crawford

* Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach, a 93-minute documentary from 2016, directed by Louise Osmond

* Deleted scenes

* PLUS: An essay by critic Girish Shambu

* Trailer

Eclipse Series 45: Claude Autant-Lara – Four Romantic Escapes from Occupied France

Too often overlooked after his work was spurned by the New Wave iconoclasts as being part of the “tradition of quality,” Claude Autant-Lara was one of France’s leading directors of the 1940s and ’50s. He began as a set and costume designer and went on to direct French-language versions of comedies in Hollywood, but it was back in his home country that Autant-Lara came into his own as a filmmaker. He found his sophisticated and slyly subversive voice with these four romances, produced during the dark days of the German occupation. Sumptuously appointed even while being critical of class hierarchy, these films – all made with the same corps of collaborators, including the charmingly impetuous star Odette Joyeux – endure as a testament to the quick wit and exquisite visual sense of the director whose name they established.

Le mariage de Chiffon

This delightful comedy brought Claude Autant-Lara his first popular success as a director. Chiffon (Odette Joyeux) is being pushed by her mother to wed a dashing military officer (André Luguet) but finds herself drawn to her stepfather’s penniless brother (Jacques Dumesnil). For Le mariage de Chiffon, Autant-Lara convened the creative team – including screenwriter Jean Aurenche, cinematographer Philippe Agostini, and the incomparable Joyeux – that would reunite for each of his subsequent three features, initiating a remarkable run of sharp love stories.

1942 * 103 min * Black & White * Monaural * In French with English subtitles * 1.37:1 aspect ratio

Lettres d’amour

A deceptive lightness distinguishes this farcical second feature made by Claude Autant-Lara while Germany occupied France. During the reign of Napoleon III, a plucky postmistress (Odette Joyeux) agrees to receive love letters to a prefect’s wife from a young official, and soon finds herself embroiled in a scandal that inflames a town’s class tensions. A transporting period piece with ornate costumes by Christian Dior, Lettres d’amour paints a blithely pointed portrait of life in a highly stratified society.

1942 * 110 min * Black & White * Monaural * In French with English subtitles * 1.37:1 aspect ratio


As belle epoque Paris prepares for Christmas, the residence of Countess de Bonafé hosts more than its share of intrigue: the countess’s headstrong granddaughter, Douce (Odette Joyeux), pines for the estate manager, whose heart has been broken by the governess, who is being courted by Douce’s widower father. Elegantly shot, Douce is a dizzying romantic roundelay that contains a biting critique of France’s rigid social order. This film, which ultimately takes a tragic turn, found Claude Autant-Lara in full command of his craft.

1943 * 109 min * Black & White * Monaural * In French with English subtitles * 1.33:1 aspect ratio

Sylvie et le fantôme

With this film, conceived during the occupation and released after the war, Claude Autant-Lara entered the realm of pure fantasy. Odette Joyeux stars as Sylvie, in love with a figure from the lore of her family’s castle. Sylvie’s father hires three actors to impersonate the ghost of her beloved, while the spirit himself (Jacques Tati, in his first feature-film role) stalks the grounds. Marrying a playful script, artful special effects, and wistful performances, Sylvie et le fantôme stages a delicate dance of enchantment.

1946 * 97 min * Black & White * Monaural * In French with English subtitles * 1.33:1 aspect ratio

Westfront 1918

G. W. Pabst brought the war movie into a new era with his first sound film, a mercilessly realistic depiction of the nightmare that scarred a generation, in the director’s native Germany and beyond. Digging into the trenches with four infantrymen stationed in France in the final months of World War I, Pabst illustrates the harrowing ordeals of battle with unprecedented naturalism, as the men are worn away in body and spirit by firefights, shelling, and the disillusion that greets them on the home front. Long unavailable, the newly restored Westfront 1918 is a visceral, sobering antiwar statement that is as urgent today as when it was made.

1930 * 96 minutes * Black & White * Monaural * In German with English subtitles * 1.19:1 aspect ratio


* New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray

* Hour-long French television broadcast of World War I veterans reacting to the film in 1969

* 2016 interview with film scholar Jan-Christopher Horak

* New restoration demonstration featuring Martin Koerber and Julia Wallmüller of the Deutsche Kinemathek

* New English subtitle translation

* PLUS: An essay by author and critic Luc Sante


When a coal mine collapses on the frontier between Germany and France, trapping a team of French miners inside, workers on both sides of the border spring into action, putting aside national prejudices and wartime grudges to launch a dangerous rescue operation. Director G. W. Pabst brings a claustrophobic realism to this ticking-clock scenario, using realistic sets and sound design to create the maze of soot-choked shafts where the miners struggle for survival. A gripping disaster film and a stirring plea for international cooperation, Kameradschaftcemented Pabst’s status as one of the most morally engaged and formally dexterous filmmakers of his time.

1931 * 88 minutes * Black & White * Monaural * In German and French with English subtitles * 1.19:1 aspect ratio


* New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray

* New interview with German film scholar Hermann Barth on the film’s production

* 1988 interview with editor Jean Oser

* 2016 interview with film scholar Jan-Christopher Horak on the historical context of the film

* New English subtitle translation

* PLUS: An essay by author and critic Luc Sante and the 1930 story by Karl Otten on which the film is based

By Bryan Kluger

Former husky model, real-life Comic Book Guy, genre-bending screenwriter, nude filmmaker, hairy podcaster, pro-wrestling idiot-savant, who has a penchant for solving Rubik's Cubes and rolling candy cigarettes on unreleased bootlegs of Frank Zappa records.

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