'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World' and 'La vie de bohème' Dated and Detailed for Blu-ray

Posted Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 01:00 PM PDT by

The Criterion Collection will also add films from Aki Kaurismäki and Stanley Kramer to their Blu-ray library this January.

In an early announcement to retailers, Criterion is preparing 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World' for Blu-ray on January 21.

Stanley Kramer followed his Oscar-winning Judgment at Nuremberg with this sobering investigation of American greed. Ah, who are we kidding? 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,' about a group of strangers fighting tooth and nail over buried treasure, is the most grandly harebrained movie ever made, a pileup of slapstick and borscht-belt-y one-liners performed by a nonpareil cast, including Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Spencer Tracy, Jonathan Winters, and a boatload of other playing-to-the-rafters comedy legends. For sheer scale of silliness, Kramer's wildly uncharacteristic film is unlike any other, an exhilarating epic of tomfoolery.

The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack will feature a restored 4K digital film transfer of the general release version of the film, with 5.1 surround Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray; New high-definition digital transfer of a 197-minute extended version of the film, reconstructed and restored by Robert A. Harris using visual and audio material from the longer original road-show version—including some scenes that have been returned to the film here for the first time—with 5.1 surround Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray; New audio commentary featuring It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World aficionados Mark Evanier, Michael Schlesinger, and Paul Scrabo; New documentary on the film’s visual and sound effects, featuring rare behind-the-scenes footage of the crew at work and interviews with visual-effects specialist Craig Barron and sound designer Ben Burtt; Talk show from 1974 hosted by director Stanley Kramer and featuring Mad World actors Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, and Jonathan Winters; Press interview from 1963 featuring Kramer and members of the film’s cast; Interviews recorded for the 2000 AFI program 100 Years . . . 100 Laughs, featuring comedians and actors discussing the influence of the film; Two-part 1963 episode of the CBC television program Telescope that follows the film’s press junket and premiere; The Last 70mm Film Festival, a program from 2012 featuring cast and crew members from Mad World at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, hosted by Billy Crystal; Selection of humorist and voice-over artist Stan Freberg’s original TV and radio advertisements for the film, with a new introduction by Freberg; Original and rerelease trailers, and rerelease radio spots; and a booklet featuring an essay by film critic Lou Lumenick.

'La vie de bohème' will also be available on Blu-ray on the same date.

This deadpan tragicomedy about a group of impoverished, outcast artists living the bohemian life in Paris is among the most beguiling films by Finnish master Aki Kaurismäki. Based on stories from Henri Murger's influential mid nineteenth-century book Scènes de la vie de bohème (the basis for the opera La bohème), the film features a marvelous trio of Kaurismäki regulars, André Wilms, Matti Pellonpää, and Karl Väänänen, as a poet, painter, and composer who scrape by together, sharing in life's daily absurdities. Gorgeously shot in black and white, 'La vie de bohème' is a vibrantly scrappy rendition of a beloved tale.

The Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack will feature 1080p video, an uncompressed monaural soundtrack, and supplements will include: Where Is Musette?, an hour-long documentary on the making of the film; New interview with actor André Wilms; Trailer; and a booklet featuring an essay by critic Luc Sante.

Suggested list price for 'La vie de bohème' is $39.95, while 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World' is $49.95.

You can find the latest specs for 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World' and 'La vie de bohème' linked from our Blu-ray Release Schedule, where they are indexed under January 21.

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Discs mentioned in this article: (Click for specs and reviews)
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (Blu-ray)
La vie de bohème (Blu-ray)