View Full Version : Cassavetes titles coming to Blu-ray!

Ian Jane
03-17-2012, 11:37 AM
From the official press release:

BFI launches The John Cassavetes Collection on 23 April with Dual Format Editions of Shadows and Faces.

Five films by American filmmaker John Cassavetes – the spiritual father of the independent film scene – will have their worldwide Blu-ray premiere this year, with the release of Dual Format Editions (containing DVD and Blu-ray discs) by the BFI. The John Cassavetes Collection is launched on 23 April with his ground-breaking debut feature Shadows (1959) and his 1968 film Faces starring Gena Rowlands.

Cassavetes’ first film charts the doomed relationship between a young mixed-race woman Lelia (Lelia Goldoni) and Tony (Anthony Ray), a white man who betrays his p
rejudice when he meets Lelia’s brother, a struggling jazz singer. Shot on location with a cast and crew largely made up of amateurs Shadows features a swinging, improvised score by Charlie Mingus and Shafi Hadi, and is considered to be the first truly independent American film.

Special features:
-Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
-Audio commentary with actor Seymour Cassel and film critic Tom Charity
-Falk on Cassavetes: the early years (DVD only, 13 mins): never-before-seen interview footage with Cassavetes’ friend and collaborator
-16 mm footage of John Cassavetes and Burt Lane’s acting workshop (DVD only, 4 mins)
-Original theatrical trailer (DVD only, 4 mins)
-32-page illustrated booklet featuring new essays and notes from Michael Atkinson, Brian Morton and Tom Charity


Shot in searing, high-contrast black and white 16mm, Cassavetes dissects the suffocating world of middle-class Los Angeles where hollow laughter and drunken frivolities mask loneliness and social alienation. Nominated for 3 Oscars® – an unheard-of achievement for an independent film at the time – Faces employs a freewheeling, realist approach, and showcases some of the finest performances ever seen in American cinema.

Special features:
-Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
-Alternative opening sequence (DVD only, 20 mins)
-Alternative opening sequence audio commentary (DVD only, 20 mins): Peter Bogdanovich and Al Ruban discuss an earlier cut of Faces
-Seymour Cassel interviewed by Tom Charity (DVD only, 47 mins)
-32-page illustrated booklet featuring interviews and new essays from Tom Charity and Al Ruban

John Cassavetes’ three mid-1970s features A Woman Under the Influence (1974), The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) and Opening Night (1977) will be released in Dual Format later in 2012.

Technical information:

RRP: £19.99 / cat. no. BFIB1125 / Cert PG USA / 1959 / black & white / English language, with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles /
82 mins / Original aspect ratio 1.33:1
Disc 1: BD25 / 1080p / 24fps / PCM mono audio (48k/24-bit)
Disc 2: DVD9 / PAL / Dolby Digital mono audio (320 kbps)

RRP: 19.99 / cat. no. BFIB1126 / Cert 15
USA / 1968 / black & white / English language, with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles / 130 mins / Original aspect ratio 1:66:1
Disc 1: BD25 / 1080p / 24fps / PCM mono audio (48k/24-bit)
Disc 2: DVD9 / PAL / Dolby Digital mono audio (320 kbps)

Ian Jane
03-17-2012, 11:38 AM
And the cover art:



Paul L
03-13-2013, 08:51 AM
I've bought these and am eagerly awaiting OPENING NIGHT and THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE, but the release dates of these two titles keep seeming to be put back - to the point that I'm tempted to give in and order the cheap German set. (IIRC, that set contains the longer cut of BOOKIE in SD only; I'm hoping if and when the BFI release materialises, that cut of BOOKIE will be in HD.)

What's the word on the street about OPENING NIGHT and BOOKIE? Amazon says OPENING NIGHT is now due in May (it was April, last time I checked a week or so ago), and BOOKIE's been pushed back further to July.


Ian Jane
04-18-2013, 10:44 AM
Well, better late then never.

New cover!


Some details:


And... Peter Falk!


Paul L
04-18-2013, 04:57 PM
Good good good! Looking forward to this. Thanks for the new info, Ian!

Ian Jane
05-03-2013, 11:50 AM
No firm details outside of this re: The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie: (http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/news-bfi/announcements/new-bfi-dvd-blu-ray-releases-july-sept-2013)

"John Cassavetes’ classic The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976), starring the late Ben Gazzara, in a three-disc limited edition presentation, featuring two different cuts of the feature."

Paul L
06-04-2013, 03:07 PM
IIRC, the German Blu-ray featured the longer cut of BOOKIE in SD only. Hopefully it'll be in HD here; perhaps this is the reason for the release of that title being delayed?

My BFI OPENING NIGHT Blu-ray came last week. Haven't had chance to watch it yet though.

Ian Jane
06-11-2013, 04:23 PM
Press release for Killing Of A Chinese Bookie.




Ian Jane
08-11-2015, 11:04 AM
From Kino...

A CHILD IS WAITING - cover art

Special Features:
• Audio Commentary by Film Historian Tom Charity, the author of 'John Cassavetes: Lifework'
• Trailer Gallery