Product DetailsVienna-born, New York–raised Josef von Sternberg directed some of the most influential, stylish dramas ever to come out of Hollywood. Though best known for his star-making collaborations with Marlene Dietrich, von Sternberg began his career during the final years of the silent era, dazzling audiences and critics with his films’ dark visions and innovative cinematography. The titles in this collection, made on the cusp of the sound age, are three of von Sternberg’s greatest works, gritty evocations of gangster life (Underworld), the Russian Revolution (The Last Command), and working-class desperation (The Docks of New York) made into shadowy movie spectacle. Criterion is proud to present these long unavailable classics of American cinema, each with two musical scores. Underworld Josef von Sternberg 1927 Josef von Sternberg’s riveting breakthrough is widely considered the film that launched the American gangster genre as we know it. The Last Command Josef von Sternberg 1928 Emil Jannings won the first best actor Academy Award for his performance as a sympathetic tyrant: an exiled Russian general turned Hollywood extra who lands a role playing a version of his former czarist self, bringing about his emotional downfall. The Docks of New York Josef von Sternberg 1928 Fog-enshrouded cinematography by Harold Rosson (The Wizard of Oz), expressionist set design by Hans Dreier (Sunset Boulevard), and sensual performances by Bancroft and Compson make this one of the legendary director’s finest works, and one of the most exquisitely crafted films of its era.
Store CommentsSpecial Features New, restored high-definition digital transfers Six scores: by Robert Israel for all three films, Alloy Orchestra for Underworld and The Last Command;, and Donald Sosin and Joanna Seaton for The Docks of New York Two new visual essays, one by UCLA film professor Janet Bergstrom and the other by film scholar Tag Gallagher Swedish television interview from 1968 with director Josef von Sternberg PLUS: A ninety-six-page booklet featuring essays by Geoffrey O’Brien, Anton Kaes, and Luc Sante; notes on the scores by the composers; Ben Hecht’s original story for Underworld; and an excerpt from von Sternberg’s autobiography, Fun in a Chinese Laundry, on actor Emil Jannings
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