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We're campaigning for a Special DVD edition of "The Night of the Hunter": Join the cause!
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Miracle Can Happen

Today I was feeling like Félicie, the heroine of Eric Rohmer's Conte D'Hiver , because, you know, I found out that it's worth waiting for miracles to happen, even if the chances are seemingly infinitesimal.

What happened, then? Well, you may remember that a couple of years ago there was talk about a new DVD release of The Night of The Hunter. The project seemed shelved shortly after its announcement, and I crossed my fingers in case that cancellation was for the better.

And then today, Professional Tourist most kindly e-mailed me the news. Well, fasten your seatbelts!:

Night of the Hunter will be released in november in a two-disk DVD and Blu-Ray edition. By Criterion. With loads of extras.

I will confess that a NOTH edition by Criterion was the ultimate dream of many film-lovers. Personally, the actual release comes very near to my wildest cinephile dreams :

:: New, restored high-definition digital transfer (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
:: Audio commentary featuring assistant director Terry Sanders, film critic F. X. Feeney, archivist Robert Gitt, and author Preston Neal Jones
:: Charles Laughton Directs “The Night of the Hunter,” a two-and-a-half-hour archival treasure trove of outtakes from the film
:: New documentary featuring interviews with producer Paul Gregory, Sanders, Jones, and author Jeffrey Couchman
:: New video interview with Simon Callow, author of Charles Laughton: A Difficult Actor
:: Clip from the The Ed Sullivan Show, in which cast members perform live a scene that was deleted from the film
F:: ifteen-minute episode of the BBC show Moving Pictures about the film
:: Archival interview with cinematographer Stanley Cortez
:: Gallery of sketches by author Davis Grubb
:: New video conversation between Gitt and film critic Leonard Maltin about Charles Laughton Directs “The Night of the Hunter”
:: Original theatrical trailer
:: PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by critics Terrence Rafferty and Michael Sragow

You see, the extras are substantial in amount and quality: One the most welcome features are Robert Gitt's documentary Charles Laughton Directs The Night of the Hunter, containing precious outtakes of the film, and the comments, interviews and contributions by first-rate Laughtonians and people who participated in the making of the film.

One still would have wished a few more items: I feel that Simon Callow's 1987 documentary about Charles Laughton would have been a fine addition to the luxuriant list of extras, and hopes that the interview can make up for it. I'd also liked that there was an extra disk containing the original soundtrack... Still, this upcoming release sounds like near perfection, and will certainly be welcomed by most.

I'd like to thank anyone who ever spread the love for this film, and particularly, those who joined this blog's campaign, which I hope helped at least to send the right vibes for the thing to happen, also to a few choice entities who have obviously been very thankful for their wax candles. And thanks indeed to the guys of Criterion, for taking the challenge and making a dream come true!