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John Cassavetes: Five Films

Spine #250

Sep 21, 2004

Number of Discs: 1

  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • English Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • English subtitles

John Cassavetes: Five Films

Other Versions:


Directed By: John Cassavetes, Charles Kiselyak
Licensor: Castle Hill Productions

Discuss the film and DVD here   View packaging for this DVD

John Cassavetes has been called a genius, a visionary, and the father of independent film. But such rhetoric threatens to obscure the humanism and generosity of his art. The five films included here represent his self-financed works made outside the studio system of Hollywood, on which he was afforded complete control. Populated by beatniks, hippies, businessmen, actors, housewives, strippers, club owners, gangsters, and children, the films are beautiful, emotional testaments to compassion. Cassavetes has often been called an actor's director, but this body of work-even greater than the sum of its extraordinarily significant parts-reveals him to be an audience's director. The Criterion Collection is proud to present Shadows, Faces, A Woman Under the Influence, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, and Opening Night in stunning new transfers, as well as Charles Kiselyak's 2000 documentary A Constant Forge-The Life and Art of John Cassavetes.

Box Set: The following DVDs are included in this set:

Spine #251
Spine #252
A Woman Under the Influence
Spine #253
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
Spine #254
Opening Night
Spine #255
A Constant Forge: The Life and Art of John Cassavetes
Spine #256

  • More than two hours of new video interviews with Lynn Carlin, Seymour Cassel, Peter Falk, Ben Gazzara, Lelia Goldoni, Gena Rowlands, and Al Ruban
  • Two versions of The Killing of a Chinese Bookie: Cassavetes' original 135-minute, on home video for the first time, as well as his subsequent 108-minute re-edit
  • Faces alternate opening: 17 minutes of footage not included in Cassavetes' final cut
  • Cinéastes de notre temps: an episode from the French television series, dedicated to Cassavetes
  • Workshop footage: rare silent clips from the Cassavetes-Lane Drama Workshop, from which Shadows emerged
  • Audio commentary on A Woman Under the Influence by sound recordist and composer Bo Harwood and camera operator Mike Ferris
  • restoration demonstration for Shadows
  • Audio interviews with Cassavetes by film historians Michel Ciment and Michael Wilson
  • Lighting and Shooting the Film: a study of the techniques and equipment used on Faces by Al Ruban
  • Stills galleries: rare behind-the-scenes photos, publicity shots, and posters
  • Biographical sketches of the actors Cassavetes frequently cast in his films, written by Tom Chartity (John Cassavetes: Lifeworks)
  • Plus: a 68-page book featuring new essays on Cassavetes and the films by writers/critics Gary Giddins, Stuart Klawans, Kent Jones, Philip Lopate, Dennis Lim, and director Charles Kiselyak, as well as reprinted writings by and interviews with Cassavetes, and tributes to Cassavetes by director Martin Scorsese, Cassavetes' secretary Elaine Kagan, and novelist Jonathan Lethem


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