"No one can see every release during the entire calendar year - so we hope our lists can introduce and expose some of the many lauded Blu-rays and DVDs that surfaced during 2013. Hopefully you will find a few unique surprises. We don't discriminate based on regional limitations or broadcast standards. Expanding the borders of your digital entertainment horizons has always been the primary goal of this website. We always appreciate your suggestions and contributions."



DVDBeaver are proud to announce our voting results for Blu-ray and DVD of the Year - 2013. Our participants have done their best to help expose some of the important, and often clandestine, digital packages that surfaced in the last 12 months.


Where Criterion always do well in our poll - in 2013 they dominated like no other year. There are some wonderful digital editions to investigate - even if you simply look at the Omissions list. The SD-DVD format continues to survive and thrive in a niche market of desirable made-for-demand discs with other large studios (Fox, MGM, etc.) following Warner's lead. Blu-ray is spreading to new, important, titles. If not for its late release, large package/price and French-only extras Coffret Rohmer intégral - Potemkine may have placed even higher on the list. Big thanks ALL the participants from journalists, historians, producers, film buffs and especially to our friend Adam Lemke - if not for his hard work, this poll would not exist! Thank you Adam! Thank you also to Negar who did the above banner!     


The Totals (click to access)

TOP 95 in Total


THE TOP TEN Blu-rays OF 2013  

Blu-ray Omissions

 TOP LABELS        Best Cover Design

     Best Audio Commentaries       Notable Rant and Praise

NOTE: Legend:

'Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide' indicates that this is a region-free disc

'' is a clickable link to the DVDBeaver review

'BUY from Amazon!' is a clickable purchase link to Amazon

'' is the purchase link to Barnes and Noble

'Click to access Warner Archive' is a clickable purchase link to The Warner Archive





 TOP SELECTIONS IN ORDER - Discs with 2 or more votes:



           1.      3 Films by Roberto Rossellini (Rossellini, 1950, 1952, 1954) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           2.      Zatoichi The Blind Swordsman (Various 1962-1973) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           3.      Late Mizoguchi Box (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1951-1956) Masters of Cinema BUY from Amazon!


           4.      Shoah (Claude Lanzmann, 1985) Criterion Collection BUY from Amazon!


           5.      On the Waterfront (Elia Kazan, 1954) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           6.      Eclipse Series 38: Masaki Kobayashi Against the System  Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           7.      Lost & Found: American Treasures from the New Zealand FA, NFPF BUY from Amazon! Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide


           8.      Ikarie XB-1 (Jindrich Pol, 1963) Second Run DVD BUY from Amazon! Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide


           9.      City Lights (Charlie Chaplin, 1931) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           10.    Marketa Lazarova (Frantisek Vlacil, 1967) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           11.    Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau, 1922) - Masters of Cinema BUY from Amazon! BUY from Amazon!


           12.    Coffret Rohmer intégral - Potemkine BUY from Amazon! BUY from Amazon!


           13.    French Masterworks: Russian Emigres in Paris 1923-1928 Flicker Alley BUY from Amazon! Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide


           14.    Complete (EXISTING) Films of SADAO YAMANAKA Masters of Cinema BUY from Amazon!


           15.    Ozu Collection - The Gangster Films (Yasujiro Ozu 1929-33) BFI; R2 PAL BUY from Amazon!


           16.    The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Powell, Pressberger, 1943) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           17.    Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           18.    Charulata (Satyajit Ray, 1964) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           19.    A Man Escaped (Robert Bresson, 1956) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           20.    Safety Last! (Fred Newmeyer and Sam Taylor, 1923) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           21.    Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder BUY from Amazon!


           22.    The Big Parade (King Vidor, 1925) Warner Home Video  BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide


           23.    Sun in a Net (Stefan Uher, 1962) Second Run DVD BUY from Amazon! Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide


           24.    Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion - Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           25.    The Quiet Man (John Ford, 1952); Olive BUY from Amazon!


           26.    To Be or Not To Be (Ernst Lubitsch 1942) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           27.    Out 1-Noli me tangere / Spectre (Jacques Rivette, 1971) absolut Medien GmbH BUY from Amazon!


           28.    The Tarnished Angels (Douglas Sirk, 1958) - Masters of Cinema BUY from Amazon!


           29.    Life of Oharu (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1952) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           30.    Badlands (Terrence Malick, 1973) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           31.    Berberian Sound Studio (Peter Stickland, 2012) Artificial Eye BUY from Amazon!


           32.    The Fog (John Carpenter, 1979) Scream Factory/Shout! Factory BUY from Amazon!


           33.    Polish Cinema Classics Volume 2 - Second Run BUY from Amazon! Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide


           34.    Curtis Harrington Short Film Collection  (1946-2002) Flicker Alley BUY from Amazon! Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide


           35.    Dr Mabuse, der Spieler (Fritz Lang, 1922) Masters of Cinema BUY from Amazon! BUY from Amazon!


           36.    Medium Cool (Haskell Wexler, 1969) Criterion  BUY from Amazon!


           37.    Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (F.W. Murnau, 1931) - Masters of Cinema BUY from Amazon!


           38.    Cry of the City (Robert Siodmak, 1948) Fox - Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide BUY from Amazon!


           39.    Tabu  (Miguel Gomes, 2012) Newwavefilms BUY from Amazon!


           40.    Glenn Ford - Undercover Crimes - TCM  BUY from Amazon!


           41.    Hors Satan (Bruno Dumont) New Wave Films BUY from Amazon!


           42.    Pere Portabella: Complete Works - Blaq Out BUY from Amazon!


           43.    Seconds (John Frankenheimer, 1966) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           44.    The Fury (Brian De Palma, 1978) Arrow BUY from Amazon!


           45.    Hot Nights of Linda (Jess Franco, 1975) Severin Films Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide BUY from Amazon!


           46.    Pierre Étaix (Pierre Étaix ,1962-1971) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           47.    Fearless (Peter Weir, 1993) Warner Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive


           48.    Gun Crazy (Joseph H. Lewis, 1950) Wild Side Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide BUY from Amazon!


           49.    Nashville (Robert Altman, 1975) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           50.    The Big City (Satyajit Ray, 1963) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           51.    The Long Goodbye (Robert Altman, 1973) Arrow BUY from Amazon!


           52.    Time Bandits (Terry Gilliam 1981) Arrow Video BUY from Amazon!


           53.    Cria Cuervos (Carlos Saura, 1976) BFI


           54.    John Ford: The Columbia Films Collection (TCM Vault) BUY from Amazon!


           55.    La Poison (Sacha Guitry, 1951) Masters of Cinema BUY from Amazon!


           56.    Intolerance (D. W. Griffith, 1916) Cohen Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide BUY from Amazon!


           57.    La Notte (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1961) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           58.    Red River (Howard Hawks, Arthur Rosson, 1948) Masters of Cinema BUY from Amazon!


           59.    Upstream Color (Shane Carruth, 2013) Flatiron Film Company BUY from Amazon!


           60.    Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach, 2012) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           61.    Possession (Andrzej Zulawski, 1981) Second Sight BUY from Amazon!


           62.    Autumn Sonata (Ingmar Bergman, 1978) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           63.    Beast With Five Fingers (Robert Florey, 1946) Warner Archives Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive


           64.    Chronicle of A Summer (Edgar Morin, Jean Rouch, 1961) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           65.    Lifeforce (Tobe Hopper, 1985) Arrow Films BUY from Amazon! BUY from Amazon!


           66.    Wicker Man - 3 disc 40th Anniversary Edition (R. Hardy 1974) Studio Canal BUY from Amazon!


           67.    Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, 2012) Columbia BUY from Amazon!


           68.    Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics IV -TCM Vault Collection/Sony BUY from Amazon!


           69.    Forbidden Hollywood Collection: Volume 7 (1932-1933) Warner Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive


           70.    Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project - Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           71.    Top Sensation (Ottavio Alessi, 1969) Camera Obscura BUY from Amazon!


           72.    Bakkumatsu Taiyo-Den (Yuzo Kawashima, 1957) Masters of Cinema BUY from Amazon!


           73.    Big Gundown (Sergio Sollima, 1968) Grindhouse BUY from Amazon!


           74.    Mask of Dimitrios (Jean Negulesco, 1944) Warner Archives Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive


           75.    Monsieur Verdoux (Charlie Chaplin, 1947) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           76.    Robin Redbreast (James MacTaggart, 1970) BFI BUY from Amazon!


           77.    My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988) Disney BUY from Amazon!


           78.    Black Sabbath (Mario Bava, 1963) Arrow Films BUY from Amazon!


           79.    Black Sunday (Mario Bava 1960) Arrow Films BUY from Amazon!


           80.    Me and My Gal (Raoul Walsh,1932) Warner BUY from Amazon!


           81.    Producers (M. Brooks, 1968)  Shout! Factory BUY from Amazon!


           82.    The Sun Shines Bright (John Ford, 1953) Olive Films BUY from Amazon!


           83.    The Murderer Lives at 21 (Henri Georges Clouzot, 1942) MOC BUY from Amazon!


           84.    Dead of Night (Don Taylor and Robert Holmes, 1972) BFI BUY from Amazon!


           85.    Little Man, What Now? (Frank Borzage, 1934) Universal Vault Series BUY from Amazon!


           86.    Wild River (Elia Kazan,1960) 20th Century Fox BUY from Amazon!


           87.    Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman, 1959) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           88.    Argo (Ben Affleck, 2012) Warner Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive


           89.    Tristana (Luis Buńuel, 1970) Cohen Media BUY from Amazon!


           90.    The Witches (Cyril Frankel, 1966) Studiocanal BUY from Amazon!


           91.    A New Leaf (Elaine May, 1971) Olive Films BUY from Amazon!


           92.    The Uninvited (Lewis Allen, 1944) Criterion BUY from Amazon!


           93.    Two Men in Manhattan (Jean Pierre Melville, 1959) Cohen Media Group BUY from Amazon!


           94.    Zulu Dawn (Douglas Hickox, 1979) Severin Films Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide BUY from Amazon!


           95.    Underground (Anthony Asquith 1928) BFI BUY from Amazon!






First Place with 322 pts Eclipse Series 38: Masaki Kobayashi Against the System - One of the most important filmmakers to emerge from Japan’s cinematic golden age, Masaki Kobayashi is remembered in great part today for his three-part epic The Human Condition (1959–61), but that is just one of the blistering films he made in a career dedicated to criticizing his country’s rigid social and political orders. He first found his voice—rebellious, angry, engaged—in the fifties, following his life-altering experiences as a soldier in World War II; the four films collected here, made during the same period as The Human Condition, reflect Kobayashi’s coming into his own as an artist. He fought to get these powerful dramas made at a studio more oriented at the time toward quiet family melodramas, and they are unforgettable depictions of a postwar Japan troubled by identity crises and moral corruption on scales both intimate and institutional.




Second Place with 300 pts is Lost and Found: American Treasures from the New Zealand Film ArchiveThis 3-1/4 hour DVD celebrates the largest international collaboration in decades to preserve and present American films found abroad. It draws from an extraordinary cache of nitrate prints that had been safeguarded in New Zealand and virtually unseen in decades. Through a partnership between the New Zealand Film Archive and American film archives, the NFPF arranged for 176 films to be shipped to the United States for preservation to 35mm film. Treasures New Zealand brings some of these major discoveries to DVD. None of the films have been presented before on video; in fact, none were even thought to exist just four years ago. Treasures New Zealand not only resurrects lost works by major directors—John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, and Mabel Normand—but also samples the variety of American pictures exported abroad and saved through this project. Industrial films, news stories, cartoons, travelogues, serial episodes, previews, comedies—Treasures New Zealand samples them all.





Third Place with 288 pts is Ikarie XB-1 – Jindrich Polák's pioneering and much-imitated feature is one of the cornerstones of contemporary sci-fi cinema. Adapted from Stanislaw Lem's 1955 novel The Magellanic Cloud, and predating Gene Rodenberry's Star Trek and Kubrick's 2001, Ikarie XB-1's influence can be seen on both - and on almost every other science-fiction vehicle that followed. "Remains one of the most original and exciting science fiction films ever made... the film is packed with sublime moments unlike those of any film preceding it. A game-changing film that profoundly influenced the genre and showed that science-fiction movies weren't only about special effects; they were also high art. Of the hardest and most admirable kind" - Alex Cox.





Fourth Place with 246 pts is French Masterworks: Russian Émigrés in Paris 1923-1928The five exciting features in this collection, each restored to excellent condition by the Cinematheque Francaise, are all U.S. home video premieres, accompanied by outstanding new music scores by Timothy Brock, Robert Israel, Neil Brand, Antonio Coppola and the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. Three of the films showcase the multi-faceted talents of Ivan Mosjoukine, who left a starring career in Russia for even greater glory in France. He wrote and directed The Burning Crucible (Le Brasier ardent, 1923) in which he also plays eleven parts. Of this film Jean Renoir said "I was ecstatic … I decided to abandon my trade, ceramics, to try to make films." Mosjoukine also collaborated on the script and plays the title role in Alexandre Volkoff's lavish Kean (1924), dramatizing the later life of Edmund Kean, the greatest Shakespearian of the early 19th century.





Fifth Place with 185 pts is Masters of Cinema's The Complete (Existing) Films of Sadao Yamanaka – The brief but prodigious career of Japanese director Sadao Yamanaka resulted in a catalogue of work characterised by an elegant and unforced visual style, fluid editing, and a beautiful attention to naturalistic performances. Although he made 22 films over a six - year period (before dying of dysentery in a Japanese Imperial Army outpost in Manchuria at the age of 28), only three of them survive, collected here for the first time in the West.



 In for Sixth Place with 31 points - Yasujiro Ozu (Tokyo Story) honed his craft in the early 1930s, a time when young Japanese directors were experimenting with cinematic conventions. This 2-disc set features three gangster-genre films (Walk Cheerfully - Hogaraka ni ayume, That Night's Wife - Sono yo no tsuma, and Dragnet Girl - Hijosen no onna) in which Ozu mixes a Hollywood-infused dynamism with elements of his later style.



7th Place with 132 pts is Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder: From the very beginning of his incandescent career, the New German Cinema enfant terrible Rainer Werner Fassbinder (World on a Wire, Berlin Alexanderplatz) refused to play by the rules. His politically charged, experimental first films, made at an astonishingly rapid rate between 1969 and 1971, were influenced by the work of the antiteater, an avant-garde stage troupe that he had helped found in Munich. Collected here are five of those fascinating and confrontational works; whether a self-conscious meditation on American crime movies, a scathing indictment of xenophobia in contemporary Germany, or an off-the-wall look at the dysfunctional relationships on film sets, each is a startling glimpse into the mind of a twentysomething man who would become one of cinema’s most madly prolific artists.




8th Place with 112 pts is Second Run's The Sun in a Net – Stefan Uher's exquisite, groundbreaking feature is consistently ranked among the greatest films in the history of Czechoslovak cinema and is cited as the film that kick-started the whole 'Czechoslovak New Wave' movement. Bringing to the screen a number of hitherto unacceptable social and political themes, The Sun in a Net is a complex interplay of sunlight and darkness, sound and silence, vision and blindness, truth and lies. We are delighted to bring this masterpiece of East European cinema to UK audiences for the very first time. "The Sun in a Net is still fresh and young, complex and rewarding. It has the vivacity and love of life that we found in the early films of Truffaut, for example. The only mystery is why has it been unknown outside Czechoslovakia for almost half a century?" - Senses of Cinema.





In Ninth with 84 pts is Jacques Rivette's Out 1 – The most radical and daring film project of the cult director of the Nouvelle Vague. "An experiment of genius" called the Berliner Zeitung this masterpiece of improvised cinema, at the same time a document of the living and working conditions of the independent theater scene after 68 "Game in every sense of the word, the only idea behind OUT 1 was: the game of the players, the game between the characters play as children play, and a social game, so how groups interact in a meeting," says Jacques Rivette whose interest has always been working with actors. In OUT 1 it sets this work, a moving monument and gathered for the best actors / actresses of the auteur cinema of the seventies. His legendary magnum opus was created in 1970 and is now available for the first time in years: in the original version of 13 hours or longer (Out 1 - Noli me tangere).



Tenth Place with 54 pts is Polish Cinema Classics Volume II – A second volume of our acclaimed series. Second Run DVD proudly presents three celebrated works of Polish Cinema, now fully restored and released for the first time ever in the UK. Andrzej Wajda PROMISED LAND (Ziemia obiecana, 1974) Voted the best film in the history of Polish cinema in the monthly Polish magazine FILM, Krzysztof Zanussi - ILLUMINATION (Iluminacja, 1973) Zanussi's philosophical/scientific exploration of man's place in the world. And Wojciech Marczewski - ESCAPE FROM 'LIBERTY' CINEMA (Ucieczka z kina 'Wolnosc', 1990) - an engaging anti-communist satire (with shades of Keaton's Sherlock, Jr. and Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo) is a darkly comic, complex, allusive and deeply-felt examination of the nature and effects of censorship...







First Place with a whopping 1209 pts is Criterion's 3 Films By Roberto Rossellini (Stromboli, Europe 51', Journey to Italy) – In the late 1940s, the incandescent Hollywood star Ingrid Bergman found herself so stirred by the revolutionary neorealist films of Roberto Rossellini that she sent the director a letter, introducing herself and offering her talents. The resulting collaboration produced a series of films that are works of both sociopolitical concern and metaphysical melodrama, each starring Bergman as a woman experiencing physical dislocation and psychic torment in postwar Italy. It also famously led to a scandalous affair and eventual marriage between filmmaker and star, and the focus on their personal lives in the press unfortunately overshadowed the extraordinary films they made together. Stromboli, Europe ’51, and Journey to Italy are intensely moving portraits that reveal the director at his most emotional and the glamorous actress at her most anguished, and that capture them and the world around them in transition.




Second Place with 594 pts is Criterion's 25 film boxset of Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman The colossally popular Zatoichi films make up the longest-running action series in Japanese history and created one of the screen’s great heroes: an itinerant blind masseur who also happens to be a lightning-fast swordsman. As this iconic figure, the charismatic and earthy Shintaro Katsu became an instant superstar, lending a larger-than-life presence to the thrilling adventures of a man who lives staunchly by a code of honor and delivers justice in every town and village he enters. The films that feature him are variously pulse-pounding, hilarious, stirring, and completely off-the-wall. This deluxe set features the string of twenty-five Zatoichi films made between 1962 and 1973, collected in one package for the first time.





Third Place with 496 pts is The Masters of Cinema Group's 8-film Late Mizoguchi boxset– Kenji Mizoguchi looms over the history not only of Japanese cinema - but of world cinema altogether. These eight films from the last decade of Mizoguchi's career represent a collection of eight of his greatest works, which is to say, eight of the greatest films ever made.




Fourth Place with 408 pts is Shoah – Over a decade in the making, Claude Lanzmann’s nine-hour-plus opus is a monumental investigation of the unthinkable: the murder of more than six million Jews by the Nazis. Using no archival footage, Lanzmann instead focuses on first-person testimonies (of survivors and former Nazis, as well as other witnesses), employing a circular, free-associative method in assembling them. The intellectual yet emotionally overwhelming Shoah is not a film about excavating the past but an intensive portrait of the ways in which the past is always present, and it is inarguably one of the most important cinematic works of all time.





Fifth Place with 392 pts is Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront – Marlon Brando gives the performance of his career as the tough prizefighter-turned-longshoreman Terry Malloy in this masterpiece of urban poetry. A raggedly emotional tale of individual failure and social corruption, On the Waterfront follows Terry’s deepening moral crisis as he must decide whether to remain loyal to the mob-connected union boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb) and Johnny’s right-hand man, Terry’s brother, Charley (Rod Steiger), as the authorities close in on them. Driven by the vivid, naturalistic direction of Elia Kazan and savory, streetwise dialogue by Budd Schulberg, On the Waterfront was an instant sensation, winning eight Oscars, including for best picture, director, actor, supporting actress (Eva Marie Saint), and screenplay.




Sixth Place with  282 pts is Criterion's Blu-ray of Chaplin's City Lights – the most cherished film by Charlie Chaplin, is also his ultimate Little Tramp chronicle. The writer-director-star achieved new levels of grace, in both physical comedy and dramatic poignancy, with this silent tale of a lovable vagrant falling for a young blind woman who sells flowers on the street (a magical Virginia Cherrill) and mistakes him for a millionaire. Though this Depression-era smash was made after the advent of sound, Chaplin remained steadfast in his love for the expressive beauty of the pre-talkie form. The result was the epitome of his art and the crowning achievement of silent comedy.





Seventh Place with 266 pts is Marketa Lazarová - In its native land, František Vláčil’s Marketa Lazarová has been hailed as the greatest Czech film ever made; for many U.S. viewers, it will be a revelation. Based on a novel by Vladislav Vančura, this stirring and poetic depiction of a feud between two rival medieval clans is a fierce, epic, and meticulously designed evocation of the clashes between Christianity and paganism, humankind and nature, love and violence. Vláčil’s approach was to re-create the textures and mentalities of a long-ago way of life, rather than to make a conventional historical drama, and the result is dazzling. With its inventive widescreen cinematography, editing, and sound design, Marketa Lazarová is an experimental action film.




Eighth Place with 258 pts is the Masters of Cinema's Blu-ray of F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu - An iconic film of the German expressionist cinema, and one of the most famous of all silent movies, F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror continues to haunt — and, indeed, terrify — modern audiences with the unshakable power of its images. By teasing a host of occult atmospherics out of dilapidated set-pieces and innocuous real-world locations alike, Murnau captured on celluloid the deeply-rooted elements of a waking nightmare, and launched the signature “Murnau-style” that would change cinema history forever.





Ninth Place with 250 pts is Potemkine's 24 feature film / 9 shorts (52 disc!) colossal boxset collection of Eric Rohmer's oeuvre offering removable English subtitles (features only) – All nestled in a solid cardboard box illustrated, as well as its content, drawings Nine Antico, limited and numbered edition. A total of 24 feature films, nine short films including 2 unreleased short films and dozens of hours of bonus unreleased interviews with the actors and closest collaborators of the filmmaker, rare Eric Rohmer interview documentaries, archival documents .The short films reunite Rohmer with his actresses on two bonus DVDs...




Tenth Place with 160 pts is Criterion's The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp – it's almost impossible to define this 1943 masterpiece by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. It was ostensibly based on a cartoon series that satirized the British military class, yet its attitude toward the main character is one of affection, respect, and sometimes awe; it was intended as a propaganda film, yet Churchill wanted to suppress it; it has the romantic sweep of a grand love story, yet none of the romantic relationships it presents is truly fulfilled, and the film's most lasting bond is one between the British colonel (Roger Livesey) and his Prussian counterpart (Anton Walbrook).






Some appreciated Blu-rays that received mention but did not make the official Top 100. Presented here in alphabetical order:


3:10 to Yuma (Delmer Daves, 1957) Criterion BUY from Amazon!
The Big Combo (Joseph H. Lewis, 1955) Olive
BUY from Amazon!
Birth of a Nation (DW Griffith, 1915) Masters of Cinema
BUY from Amazon!
The Blue Angel (Josef von Sternberg, 1930) Masters of Cinema
BUY from Amazon!
City That Never Sleeps (John H. Auer, 1953) Olive
BUY from Amazon!
Cleopatra (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1963) Fox
Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide BUY from Amazon! BUY from Amazon!  
The Devil Bat (Jean Yarbrough, 1940) Kino
BUY from Amazon!
The Duellists (Ridley Scott, 1977) Shout! Factory
BUY from Amazon!
The File on Thelma Jordan (Robert Siodmak, 1950) Olive
BUY from Amazon!
The Fly (Kurt Neumann, 1958) 20th Century Fox
Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide BUY from Amazon! BUY from Amazon!
The Hitch-Hiker (Ida Lupino, 1953) Kino
BUY from Amazon!

The Hunt aka Jagten (Thomas Vinterberg, 2012) Magnolia BUY from Amazon!
Kuroneko (Kaneto Shindô, 1968) Masters of Cinema
BUY from Amazon! BUY from Amazon!
Laura (Otto Preminger, 1944) Fox
Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide BUY from Amazon!
Little Fugitive (Ray Ashley, Morris Engel, 1953) Kino
BUY from Amazon!
Lonely are the Brave (David Miller, 1962) Koch Media
Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide BUY from Amazon!  
Lord of the Flies (Peter Brook, 1963) Criterion
BUY from Amazon!
The Man Who Knew Too Much (Alfred Hitchcock, 1934) Criterion
BUY from Amazon!
The Medusa Touch (Jack Gold, 1978) Henstooth
BUY from Amazon!
The Men (Fred Zinnemann, 1950) Olive
BUY from Amazon!
Ministry of Fear (Fritz Lang, 1944) Criterion
BUY from Amazon!
The Naked Island (Kaneto Shindô, 1960) Masters of Cinema
BUY from Amazon!
Nanook Of The North (Robert J. Flaherty, 1922) Flicker Alley
Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide BUY from Amazon!
Niagara (Henry Hathaway, 1953) Fox Home Entertainment
Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide BUY from Amazon!
Night of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur, 1957) Wild Side
Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide BUY from Amazon!
Panic in the Streets (Elia Kazan, 1950) Fox Home Entertainment
BUY from Amazon!
The Red Pony (Lewis Milestone, 1948) Olive
BUY from Amazon!
Shane (George Stevens, 1953) Paramount
Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide BUY from Amazon!
The Thief of Bagdad (Raoul Walsh, 1924) Cohen Media
Region-Free - plays on Blu-ray worldwide BUY from Amazon!



Label Results


Top Labels
#1 - Criterion (by a wide margin)
#2 - Eureka - Masters of Cinema
#3 - Second Run
#4 - Arrow
#5 - BFI
#6 - Warner
#7 - Flicker Alley
#8 - Olive
#9 - Cohen Media
#10 - Artificial Eye



Best Cover Designs: (votes for covers by Arrow (steelbooks often cited as favorites), Criterion and Masters of Cinema) NOTE: In no order!



Most Praised Audio Commentar


Jeffrey Vance on Criterion's City Lights
Peter Strickland on Artificial Eye's Berberian Sound Studio
Paul Cronin on Criterion Medium Cool
Catherine Deneuve and Kent Jones on Cohen's Tristana



Notable Rants and Praise


DVDBeaver-ites are a discerning lot, but there wasn't a ton of complaints about any one subject. A lack of new audio commentaries was cited by a few. DNR always get mention - notably, this year, in Criterion's The Earrings of Madame de... Blu-ray release. The, more damaged/scratched, print used for Welles' The Stranger (Kino) Blu-ray was not appreciated and cited by a few. The air-brushed cheek-bones of a, supposed, Gene Tierney on the cover of Fox's Blu-ray of Laura raised some eyebrows. Made-on-demand discs didn't bother as many fans through 2013 - with their inherent media weaknesses, presumably, becoming more stable. Artificial Eye received some ugly stares for non-removable subtitles and constant release date delays. We wish them the best.


World Cinema fans are still pining for more Antonioni and Bresson in 1080P - with desperate hopes for future titles like L' Argent (1983), The Devil Probably (1977), The Passenger (1975), Lancelot du Lac (1974), Blowup (1966), Procčs de Jeanne d'Arc (1962), L'Eclisse (1962), L'Avventura (1960),  Pickpocket (1959), Diary of a Country Priest (1951) etc. in the Blu-ray format.


'Beaucoup' fan praise for 'steelbook cases' (notably Arrow and Masters of Cinema), as well as the 'new' Blu-ray Audio format (ex. Ella & Louis) gets a huge nod, and further appreciation for Arrow who have really stepped-up with some definitive Blu-ray packages in 2013 - noting them as the 'breakout label of the year' - although Cohen Media should also be praised in this category - receiving deserved nods of approval across the board. The book package in Wild Side's Gun Crazy continues to get impressive 'wow's'. Acknowledgment to reviewers Eric Cotenas and Gregory Meshman who continue to churn out valuable disc information for the digital consumer.




Have a super 2014!



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Gary Tooze

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