We hear all the time of the demise of physical media, causing anxiety and dread from movie collectors like myself. A couple of months ago I was in a Costco and saw only two titles on Blu-ray: Dunkirk and a season of A Game of Thrones. Just last week I went to another Costco and saw no DVDs or Blu-rays. I’ve heard reports that some theatrical releases will only be offered streaming or on a non-physical digital platform. I’m hoping there are enough of us physical media lovers out there for these products to continue, even if that means only the boutique labels will release them.
So while I’m glad to have any new DVD and Blu-ray releases on the horizon, I always have a list of titles I hope to one day see on Blu-ray. Some of these titles have never been released on any format, others are currently available on DVD transfers that are less than adequate. With that in mind, here are the movies I’d most like to see on Blu-ray soon in order of my personal sense of urgency. As far as I know, none of these films have ever had a North American or UK release.
A Face in the Crowd (1957)
Is there any other movie in more urgent need of a Blu-ray release? If so, I don’t know what it is. The story of Lonesome Rhodes (Andy Griffith) as an entertainer who gains too much power is frighteningly relevant. Please, Warner Archive, release this on Blu-ray soon!
This Gun for Hire (1942)
I could list many, many film noir titles here, but am going to limit myself to only one. This film is such an important entry in the film noir canon, but also the dynamite first pairing of Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake. I just can’t understand why Paramount hasn’t released this on Blu-ray.
One of the best cat-and-mouse films ever, containing what might just be Michael Caine’s best performance ever. (Of course he’s playing opposite Sir Laurence Olivier, so no pressure, mind you…) You can find copies on DVD, but it certainly deserves a Blu-ray release.
Memories of Murder (2003)
It’s been called the Korean Zodiac, but this powerful police-procedural/thriller stands on its own just fine. Directed by the amazingly talented Bong Joon-ho, who also directed Snowpiercer.
(Japanese and Korean Blu-ray editions are available. The Korean has English subtitles; the Japanese does not.)
Hard Eight (1996)
Paul Thomas Anderson’s first feature film is a winner about losers, focusing on casinos and con artists with great performances by John C. Reilly, Phillip Baker Hall, Gwyneth Paltrow and Samuel L. Jackson.
Passion Fish (1992)
I could also include any films by John Sayles. I don’t think any of them are available on Blu-ray. Although readily available on DVD, but this woefully neglected gem features stunning performances from Mary McDonnell as a disabled former soap opera star and Alfre Woodard as her caregiver.
Ball of Fire (1941)
Although this screwball comedy starring the amazing Barbara Stanwyck is currently streaming on FilmStruck, I’d love to have it on Blu-ray. I beseech my friends at the Warner Archive to start working on this one right after they release A Face in the Crowd.
Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)
I haven’t seen this in decades, but I have fond memories of this adaptation of one of my favorite Ray Bradbury novels about an evil carnival coming to town. This one’s owned by Disney, so who knows when or if we’ll ever see it on Blu-ray.
I reviewed Hud last year, a film that’s as powerful now as it was when it was released over 50 years ago with a towering performance by Paul Newman and an amazing supporting cast including Melvin Douglas and Patricia Neal, both of whom won Oscars for their performances.
Also known as North Sea Hijack, ffolkes (and yes, all the letters are meant to be lower case) is one of those movies that practically no one has seen, but should. It’s a nifty little thriller with Roger Moore as a commando leader taking a team of men on a mission to stop a crazed Anthony Perkins from exploding an oil rig in the North Sea. Available on DVD.
Other films I’d like to see on Blu-ray:
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)
The World’s Greatest Sinner (1962)
Light of Day (1987)
After Hours (1985)
The Mosquito Coast (1986)
Anything starring W.C. Fields
And films from previous lists that are now on Blu-ray, with a big thanks to the companies that released them:
Day of the Jackal (1973) Arrow UK release
Stalker (1979) Criterion
Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) Warner Archive
The Iron Giant (1999) Warner Bros.
A Shot in the Dark (1964) from The Pink Panther Collection – Shout Factory
Now I’d like to know what’s on your wish list. Please comment.