Woody & Jerry – Criterion Style

There it is, folks: the official Criterion cover for the original 2 1/2 first cut of Woody Allen’s ANHEDONIA, before he and master editor Ralph Rosenblum shaped the film down to 90 minutes and a new title: ANNIE HALL (1977). Both have denied the cut exists at all as it was never intended to be the final version. Apparently, Rosenblum did indeed make an excellent tape copy that was recently unearthed among some of his personal reels. Criterion, Allen and co-writer Marshall Brickman have been working on this project completely under the radar as per Woody’s understandable caution given his reluctance to revisit any of his films for their video release. The Blu-Ray will feature a good as print as possible given its tape origins, but allegedly looks terrific in Gordon Willis’s 1:85 color palette. The image from the Blu-Ray cover above takes place after Alvy Singer is arrested in Los Angeles and placed in, yes, Precint 13; the restored ANHEDONIA includes this important moment where Alvy escapes a beating and briefly bonds with his fellow prisoners by making them laugh. We’ll also get those famed scenes such as Woody meeting God; going to Hell; playing basketball against the Knicks, etc. The Criterion disc retails for $29.95, a steal to actually view the legendary first cut of what would become ANNIE HALL. After all, we need the eggs.

This is undoubtedly THE video release of the year, and let me say, quite possibly, of the 21st century. Yes folks, a re-mastered version of Jerry Lewis’s famous unseen 1970 cinematic statement, THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED. Although he actually shot most of the film using his own funds when the producers skipped town, the rights were tied up others, including the outraged original screenwriters, Joan O’Brien and Charles Denton, and for other various reasons, the final 35mm result remained in legal limbo, acquiring barnacles of myth since only a few have seen Lewis’s personal opus. Defying all reality as befits his oeuvre, Jerry Lewis and Criterion with other interested parties finally made the unimaginable happen with the announcement of the Blu-Ray premiere of THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED, featuring a new 2:35.1 anamorphic print struck from Lewis’s own perfectly preserved reels. Unlike Woody Allen, Lewis is a serious archivist so this amazing disc will include not only the remastered film, but a two hour documentary directed by Peter Bogdanovich, featuring numerous out-takes and behind-the-scenes material — including an hour’s worth of actual video assist footage from the production. At only 19.95, this is a beautiful treat for cinephilic fans of  The Total Film-Maker.

Pre-order both today on Amazon and get 20 percent off!


7 Responses to “Woody & Jerry – Criterion Style”

  1. (Intended to be taken with a laugh:)

    You fuck!

  2. Yeah I posted this on FB just to see how many people would notice…it was on up a minute! The lynch mob is forming as I type!

  3. […] Monsiuer Lewis’s first film in a decade, HARDLY WORKING (1980) and his unseen masterpiece, THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED… Share this:DiggTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  4. Very nice. Had you made some fake covers, a lot of people probably would have believed you.

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