What are You Buying in Barnes & Noble’s Criterion Sale?

Under normal circumstances, I buy most of my Blu-ray discs from Amazon. The retailer usually has some of the best discounts on the web, and shipping is free with Prime membership. It’s a good deal. However, Blu-ray fans may have noticed that Amazon’s prices for titles from the Criterion Collection have been on the rise in recent months. It simply hasn’t been offering the deep discounts on Criterion discs that it used to, or still does for normal Blu-ray releases. Whether that’s a policy decision that Amazon has made itself, or a contractual issue with Criterion, I’m not sure. In any case, Criterion collectors and fans of quality cinema should take note: Barnes & Noble is currently running a 50% Off Sale on all Criterion Collection Blu-rays and DVDs. The sale ends August 2nd, and is good both online and in stores.

Keep in mind, that’s 50% off MSRP, not off regular discount prices. Even so, this is a great opportunity to pick up some Criterion titles that you may have passed over due to high prices at other retailers. Looking over the list of available discs, I realize how much I’d cut back on Criterion purchases lately. My collection is missing a lot of terrific titles. Unfortunately, I’d have to spend a small fortune to buy everything I want, even at 50% off. I guess I’m never going to be a completist Criterion collector like some fans. I’ll just have to pick and choose a few quality items that catch my eye.

Personally, titles that stand out to me include ‘Walkabout‘, ‘Days of Heaven‘, and the ‘Yojimbo / Sanjuro‘ double-bill. I’ll definitely be getting those. Tell us in the comments what Criterion discs you’ll be buying.

From the web site, it appears that Barnes & Noble is not allowing any stacking with other discounts or promotions. But if anyone has any luck getting other promo discounts to work on top of this 50% off sale, please let us know that in the comments as well.

Happy shopping!


  1. BostonMA

    i picked up The 400 Blows, Bigger Than Life, Kagemusha, and like you Josh, the Yojimbo/Sanjuro 2-Pack. i’ll be getting the Powell and Pressburger films this Tuesday as well.

    i’m also thinking about Last Year at Marienbad even though one viewing seemed like enough for me and i have Walkabout on my DVR, so if i like that enough, i’ll pick it up too.

  2. Steve

    If you are a Barnes & Noble Member, you should be able to get an additional 10% off if you make your purchase in store. Just call ahead to ensure they have the titles you are seeking, or they can order it for you (at no additional cost) over the phone to be picked up within a few days. Sadly, Membership no longer gives you any online discounts, just some relief on shipping.

    Yes, the Membership costs $25/year buy if you’re already a Member (or know the phone number of someone who is), it’s even better.

  3. lordbowler

    Thanks… I don’t normally check Barnes & Noble for Movies. I also usually buy my Blu-Rays from Amazon.

    I already purchased Ride With The Devil from Amazon. I’m certainly going to use this sale to pickup Stagecoach and possibly the doc For All Mankind.

  4. besch64

    I snagged The Seventh Seal, Gimme Shelter and 8 1/2 for a total of $60. What a fucking awesome sale.

    I’m thinking of preordering House from B&N.com, assuming the sale applies to preorders as well.

    • Josh Zyber

      The sale only applies to preorders that will be released during the sale period. So you can get the 50% discount on Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes, and The Secret of the Grain. But House is too far out, unfortunately.

  5. My order was supposed to ship this week, but I got a notice this morning that it’s been delayed “1 to 5 business days”. I hope this doesn’t mean they’ve run out of stock.

    • besch64

      Is it for the Red Shoes? Apparently over the past two weeks or so, it was the single most purchased item on the entire B&N website. Supposedly, they’ve cancelled all the orders because their warehouses are completely out of stock. I had to drive 45 minutes to find a store that had one in stock.

      • Josh Zyber

        That would probably explain why the web site no longer has a listing for Red Shoes when you search for it or browse alphabetically. However, if you go to the main Criterion sale page, there’s a clickable link in the banner that still lets you order it.

        I did order both Powell & Pressburger titles a few days ago. Black Narcissus has shipped, but Red Shoes didn’t. I haven’t yet gotten a cancelation notice, though.

        The following discs are “delayed”:

        Days of Heaven
        Paris, TX
        Summer Hours
        Vivre Sa Vie

        I got an email instructing me to confirm that I still want these discs, so that they can continue to hold the order for 30 days. If I hadn’t confirmed, B&N would have automatically canceled.

        All of the other titles I ordered have already arrived or at least shipped.

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