John Cassavetes: Five Films [1959-2000] [Criterion] (DVD)

John Cassavetes

DVD Currently unavailable


8-Disc Set



John Cassavetes has been called a genius, a visionary, and the father of independent film. But all this 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. While about beatniks, hippies, businessmen, actors, housewives, strippers, club owners, gangsters, and children, all of them are beautiful, emotional testaments to compassion. Cassavetes has often been called an actor's director, but this body of work astoundingly, 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.


This boxed set includes the following titles:

Shadows (1959)

Faces (1968)

A Woman Under the Influence (1974)

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)

Opening Night (1977)

A Constant Forge: The Life and Art of John Cassavetes (2000)

Product Details

  • Starring: John Marley, Rupert Cross, Seymour Cassel, Anthony Ray, Ben Gazzara, Hugh Hurd, Fred Draper, Lelia Goldoni, Lynn Carlin, John Red Kullers, Morgan Woodward, Robert Phillips, Timothy Agoglia Carey, Ben Carruthers, Peter Falk, Joan Blondell, Gena Rowlands, Al Ruban, Zohra Lampert, Val Avery, John Cassavetes
  • Format: Black & White, Color, Dolby, DVD, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85.1
  • Number of Discs: 8
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Label: The Criterion Collection
  • Release Date: 09/21/2004
  • Run Time: 657 minutes
  • Catalogue #: 250

Special Features

  • More than two hours of new video interviews with Lynn Carlin, Seymour Cassel, Peter Falk, Ben Gazzara, Lelia Goldoni, Gena Rowlands, and Al Ruban
  • Silent footage from the Cassavetes-Lane Drama Workshop
  • Alternate eighteen-minute opening sequence for Faces
  • Episode of the French television series Cineastes de notre temps
  • 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 & Shooting The Film: A study of the techniques and equipment used on Faces by Al Ruban
  • Stills galleries with hundreds of behind-the-scenes photos, publicity shots, and posters
  • Biographical sketches of the actors Cassavetes frequently cast in his films, written by Tom Charity (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, Phillip Lopate, Dennis Lim, and director Charles Kiselyak, as well as reprinted writings by and interviews with Cassavetes, and tributes to Cassavetes' secretary Elaine Kagan, and novelist Jonathan Lethem.
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