Reminder: Stock Up on Your Criterion Blu-rays

It’s time to break open your piggy-banks for the latest round of Barnes & Noble’s semi-annual Criterion Collection sale. At the request of our readers (well, at least one of them), I’ve put together a list of all the Blu-rays that Criterion has released since the last sale.

Each July and November, Barnes & Noble discounts all in-print Criterion Collection titles 50% off MSRP. Considering Criterion’s typically high prices, many fans wait for these sales to build their collections.

The following is not intended to be a comprehensive listing of every Criterion Blu-ray. This is merely a reference to those discs issued since B&N’s previous sale ended in late November. If you plan to buy older Criterion releases during this sale, vote “Other” and tell us which ones in the Comments section.

The current sale started June 30th and runs through July 28th, both in stores and at The discounted price applies to upcoming titles that will be released through the end of the sale period, but not to any preorders scheduled for after the sale ends.

What Will You Buy in the July 2014 Criterion Sale?

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There are so many great titles on this list that I hardly know where to begin. If I were a wealthy man (which, regrettably, I am not), I’d be tempted to buy up all of the following in one big order: ‘Ace in the Hole’, ‘A Brief History of Time’, ‘L’Eclisse’, ‘Foreign Correspondent’, ‘The Freshman’, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’, ‘The Hidden Fortress’, ‘Jules and Jim’, ‘King of the Hill’, ‘Persona’, ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’, ‘Pickpocket’, ‘Scanners’ and ‘Tess’. Sadly, because I’m a broke father-of-two, I’ll have to prioritize a couple of these discs and covet the rest.

Will you buy anything in the B&N sale?


  1. Chris B

    Placed an order on Monday morning after I read the sale had already kicked off (thanks for the heads up Drew!). Bought the following
    King of the Hill
    Heaven’s Gate
    Days of Heaven
    Foreign Correspondant
    Paris, Texas
    The Uninvited

    So mostly catalog stuff for me, I had planned on picking up Rififi and Ace in the Hole, but those will have to wait till the next sale in November, for which I’m definitely going to grab Eraserhead, Scanners and Insomnia.

    I seriously envy you guys in the states for being able to go to an actual B&N store in person and load up, it would feel like bloody Christmas! Hopefully the postman doesn’t take to long to deliver mine. Thanks for this post Josh, I second Drew’s comments as these Criterion related ones are among my favorite on this blog.

    • William Henley

      There are not that many brick-and-mortar B&N left. Both them and Boarders started expanding like crazy in the 90s and early 2000s, but both stores sold most of their products at MSRP. They expanded at the same time Amazon was coming onto the scene. After huge losses, both B&N and Boarders started closing stores like crazy (is Boarders even still around?)

      There used to be maybe a dozen B&N in my city. Now I have to drive 20 minutes to get to one, and it might be the only one left.

      Also, thanks to Drew for pointing out the sale. The timing this year was perfect for me, so I was able to pick up a few titles. It was my first time to buy anything Criterion that wasn’t on laserdisc

        • Chris B

          I’ve been hearing for a while now that Barnes and Noble have been hurting financially, kinda makes me worried they’ll close up shop and that means no more of these sales…which would obviously suck big time. I wish Amazon would get on board and start holding a similar event…even if it was only once a year.

          • Josh Zyber

            I believe these 50% sales are an initiative that Criterion themselves started by partnering with Barnes & Noble. If B&N went under, I’m sure Criterion would find another retail partner to continue the sales, or would simply hold more frequent 50% sales on its own web site.

            That’s my hope, anyway.

  2. Bill

    Ordered Red River. I’m a big fan of John Wayne. Still hoping that The High And The Mighty will get a BD release. Thanks to High-Def Digest for bringing the sale to my attention. I have to agree with Chris B. It would be great if there were B&N stores up here in Canada.

  3. William Henley

    I picked up A Hard Day’s Night, Godzilla and Au Revoir Les Enfants. I might pick up some others, there are some good titles on this list (had no clue Life Aquatic or Scanners were Criterion titles), but I may wait for November to pick up any more – I am saving up for a trip I am taking in September (already got plane tickets, need hotel, food, train tickets and spending money), so I really need to watch my spending right now. If I had of actually picked up Star Trek TNG season 6 last week like I had budgeted, I would not have picked up any of these titles. I got the money, I just shouldn’t be spending it right now. 🙂

  4. Drew


    I can’t thank you enough! Looks like I’ll have to settle for ‘Scanners’, ‘Insomnia’, and ‘The Hidden Fortress’, this time. I wish I could buy about five more.

    • NJScorpio

      I knew this sale was coming, so I braced myself for the financial blow…but I spent a tad more than I expected I would.

      – A Life Aquatic
      – A Hard Day’s Night
      – A Brief History of Time
      – Following
      – Insomnia
      – Pickpocket
      – Scanners
      – Throne of Blood
      – Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project – I got a 20% Off coupon email this morning and was able to apply it. After tax, it came to $53 shipped!

      • NJScorpio

        Oh…and there are many great titles in the poll above that I didn’t select, and it’s not for lack of interest. It’s because I bought them prior to this sale. I know, I should have waited!

  5. I find it quite amazing that this sale includes very recent titles (A Hard Day’s Night, for one). What a great deal/steal. I always associate ‘sale’ with ‘older titles, likely impossible to sell at the original asking price’. Thumbs up for Barnes & Nobles!

  6. Chris B

    On a side note, how long does it normally take for B&H to ship orders placed online? It’s been about 3 days and my status is still listed as “being processed”…Anytime I order witg Amazon it has shipped with the first day or two…

    • Josh Zyber

      B&N gets slammed with big orders during the Criterion sale. I would give them some extra leeway with the processing time. They will let you know if they have trouble filling a particular item.

      • Chris B

        Yeah, I figured it’s probably a pretty busy month for them. I was just wondering because I actually had to talk to a customer service rep after I placed my order to make sure that they knew which province they were shipping to and not just the city and country. After which I received an email stating I would receive a follow up email detailing the changes which I’m stilll waiting on. However, like you said I’m guessing they’re just slammed at the moment. I’ll give them a ring early next week if I still haven’t heard anything.

  7. Peter

    Thanks Josh for the post. I was waiting for it since I heard the sale was starting this week, I can’t believe you were thinking of not posting. I first found about the Criterion B&N sale on this website a few years ago, and even though I may hear about it somewhere else, I always look forward to seeing your post. It is the best place for seeing what is new since the last sale, which I don’t find easy to do even on Criterion’s own website. I also like hearing your thoughts on anything that stands out to you in the releases since the last sale.

    So I have been waiting on this sale for a while since I’ve had a few B&N gift cards burning a hole in my pocket for a few months. (Yes I read and buy books, but I usually buy used on Amazon or even new it is usually substantially cheaper on Amazon so I hold the gift cards for Criterions).

    The problem, as always, is that there are more discs I am interested in than I can get even with the gift cards. I am going to get Godzilla, Foreign Correspondent, Il Sorpasso, Red River, Grey Gardens, and All That Heaven Allows. I’ll probably wind up with a couple more since 4-5 of those are paid for by my gift cards already.

    • Josh Zyber

      I wasn’t sure how useful people found these posts, since they don’t have a comprehensive listing of all in-print Criterion discs. (That would be outside the scope of what I have time and space to do in a blog post.)

      • Peter

        Those of us that have been buying Criterions for a while have a good idea of the back catalog and always have some in mind for the sale, but it is incredibly useful to get a list of the new ones for those of us that buy several, then don’t really keep up on new releases while we watch the ones we’ve already bought, and want to know this info when the sale starts. As a regular reader, I also like when you sometimes give some thoughts on some of the new releases because let’s face it, even for people who love movies including old movies, many of the releases are going to be unfamiliar to us.

  8. Lol, like the artsy fartsy vote.
    Truthfully though, *MOST* of these titles I have never heard of before. Maybe it’s the lack of explosions or lack of Michael Bay, Jerry Brucheimer or Roland Emmerich style of film making.

    If I were to blind buy (and believe me I would be blind) I do not know which titles I would get.
    I don’t care for Hard Day’s Night, I bought Fantastic Mr. Fox release week and the sale price vs. the regular price @ amazon for say Godzilla are so close, is it worth the trouble?

    • Chris B

      As much as I like The Beatles, I’ve actually never seen and have zero interest in even watching A Hard Day’s Night. Just doesn’t appeal to me at all, at least now I know I’m not the only one.

    • Peter

      Everyone’s tastes are different so hard to give recommendations, but I’ll tell you some of my favorite Criterions. Through Criterion (and Martin Scorsese) I learned about the films of Michael Powell (Scorcese’s editor Thelma Schoonmaker was even married to him later in life) and Emeric Pressburger, including The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp which are all on Criterion. There movies were made in the late 1940s and 1950s in Britain, have beautiful use of technicolor, and I find very entertaining.

      On The Waterfront is a Marlon Brando classic and a beautiful package with lots of extras on Criterion.

      Rosemary’s Baby by Roman Polanski created a sensation when it was released in the late 1960s, and is one of the first movies dealing with demonic possession and devil worship – a topic copied like a million times since.

      Charade is like a Hitchcock film but by Stanley Donen. Great classic mystery/suspense with a fun humorous streak throughout. Stars Gary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.

  9. Dave

    With the sale, my memebrship discount and a 15% off coupon, I picked up La Cage Aux Folles for $15.29. I’ll try to get The Blob and Scanners next time.

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