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The Complete Monterey Pop Festival (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (2009)

Otis Redding , Jimi Hendrix , D.A. Pennebaker  |  Unrated |  Blu-ray
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)

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The Complete Monterey Pop Festival (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music (40th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray] + The Last Waltz [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, Ravi Shankar, Country Joe McDonald, Pete Townshend
  • Directors: D.A. Pennebaker
  • Producers: John Phillips, Lou Adler
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: September 22, 2009
  • Run Time: 146 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002E01M9C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,535 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Complete Monterey Pop Festival (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

  • High-Definition Digital Transfers of All Three Films
  • Soundtrack Featuring 5.1 Mixes by Eddie Kramer
  • Presented in Dolby Digital and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Two Hours of Outtake Performances
  • Audio Commentaries by Pennebaker, Lou Adler, Charles Shaar Murray, & More
  • Video Interviews with Adler and Pennebaker, and Phil Walden
  • Audio Interviews with John Phillips, Derek Taylor, Cass Elliot and David Crosby
  • Photo Essay by photographer Elaine Mayes
  • Original Theatrical Trailers and Radio Spots
  • Monterey Pop Festival Scrapbook
  • Essays by Critics Armond White, Michael Lydon, Barney Hoskyns, and David Fricke

Editorial Reviews

A special message from Lou Adler, an original promoter/producer for the Monterey International Pop Festival:

It was the first major Rock ‘n’ Roll Festival. No prerequisite…no precedents. We had no idea what to expect. The question of would people come was answered by mid-week prior to the start of the festival. They came and kept on coming. A major surprise was the extent of mainstream media coverage. When John Phillips and I arrived at the fairgrounds on the morning of the first day there were camera crews, photographers and journalists from all over the world. Add to that the advent of FM radio; and the following year Rolling Stone Magazine…Rock ‘n’ Roll was here to stay. Monterey gave birth to the first rock charity Monterey International Pop Festival Foundation, which continues to fund worthwhile causes in the names of the artists who appeared at Monterey. Precedents and prerequisites would be set for future concerts and festivals, including the overall treatment of the artist…Derek Taylor’s handling of the press…Chip Monks’ sound and lights…Pennebaker’s groundbreaking movie “Monterey Pop. The true legacy of The Monterey International Pop Festival is not the crowd size…not the weather…not a violent incident…it is the music. The groundbreaking artists who were introduced (Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and The Who) and the “rock royalty” (Simon & Garfunkel, Otis Redding and The Mamas & The Papas) that performed there continue to be revered and continue to impact to this day the music and musicians who came after it happened in Monterey on June 16, 17, and 18, 1967.

Product Description

On a beautiful June weekend in 1967 at the height of the so-called "summer of love," the first and only Monterey International Pop Festival roared forward - capturing a decade's spirit and ushering in a new era of rock and roll. Monterey would launch the careers of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Otis Redding, but they were just a few among a wildly diverse cast including Simon and Garfunkel, The Mamas and the Papas, The Who, The Byrds, Hugh Masekela, and the extraordinary Ravi Shankar. With his characteristic verite style, D.A. Pennebaker captured it all, immortalizing those moments that have become legend: Pete Townshend destroying his guitar; Jimi Hendrix burning his. The Criterion Collection is proud to present the most comprehensive document of The Monterey International Pop Festival ever produced, featuring all three films of the festival - "Monterey Pop" (1967, 80min.), "Jimi Plays Monterey" (1986, 50min.) and "Shake! Otis At Monterey" (1987, 18min.) - along with nearly every complete performance filmed by Pennebaker and his crew, the "Outtakes" (1997, 120min.).

Stills from Monterey Pop Festival (Click for larger image)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
350 of 355 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Summer of Love" revisited October 25, 2004
This box set released by the Criterion Collection is one of the most impressive sets they've released to date. It contains the original "Monterey Pop" film plus three others "Jimi Plays at Monterey" "Shake! Otis at Monterey" and "Outtake Performances"

Disc one has the first film "Monterey Pop" which portrays the festival from construction to the festival's end.

It contains performances of (in sequence): "Combination of the Two" by Big Brother and the Holding Company, "San Francisco" by Scott McKenzie, "Creeque Alley" & "California Dreamin'" by the Mamas and the Papas, "Rollin' and Tumblin'" by Canned Heat, "59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" By Simon and Garfunkel, "Bajabula Bonke (Healing Song)" by Hugh Masekela, "High Flyin' Bird" and "Today" by Jefferson Airplane, "Ball and Chain" by Big Brother and the Holding Company, "Paint it Black" by The Animals, "My Generation" by The Who, "Section 43" by Country Joe and the Fish, "Shake" and "I've Been Loving you too Long" by Otis Redding, "Wild Thing" by Jimi Hendrix, "Got a Feelin'" by the Mamas and the Papas, and "Raga Bhimpalasi" by Ravi Shankar.

Disc two contains the films, "Jimi Plays at Monterey" and "Shake! Otis at Monterey"

The Jimi Hendrix film contains performances of: "Can You See Me?", "Purple Haze", Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", Monterey", "Killing Floor", Foxy Lady", "Like a Rolling Stone", "Rock Me Baby", "Hey Joe", "The Wind Cries Mary" and "Wild Thing". At the end of the performance he sets his guitar on fire and smashes it.
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439 of 458 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential but not complete. Where's Janis? May 18, 2003
I begrudgingly give this DVD boxed set five stars because this is a fantastic, albeit incomplete, document of the most important rock event in history. Everyone who considers themselves to be a rock fan should own this set. Having said that, the filmmaker's idea of "complete" is questionable in terms of the long-awaited outtakes disc, especially when you consider that he devoted five, count 'em five, outtake songs to Tiny Tim, and only one (??!!!) to Janis Joplin, who was considered "the star" of the festival as stated by Mama Cass in her commentary included in the package. (Not to mention Big Brother guitarist James Gurley, who received equal praise at Monterey as did Janis.)
This sad state of affairs is beyond explanation. Why wasn't Big Brother and the Holding Company accorded their entire set instead of one token song, which is "Combination of the Two?" There is very little footage of the singer that exists at all, anywhere. Knowing that there is an entire set of her landmark performance stored somewhere in a vault is maddening.
The Grateful Dead are also missing in action. Sadly, the liner notes in the package proclaim them to be one of the outstanding acts of the festival. Even if there was scant little footage captured, it could have been included. I'd much rather watch them than suffer through five ditties of Tiny Tim in the green room. Despite the peace and love vibe, you can imagine yourself if you were there, slapping him upside the head for being an annoying idiot.
Laura Nyro, who supposedly bombed at Monterey, is given two outtake songs, but it's interesting to discover that she was quite captivating.
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118 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revelatory performances. January 7, 2007
The film restoration work looks and sounds magnificent. Eddie Kramer gets extra congratulations on the 5.1 audio mix. That said, the 3rd disc is mainly in stereo only.

Karen's review below is a bit harsh. If you actually listen to the main film's commentary, you will understand why more footage isn't available: Not every second of 3 days of performances were captured. Concert films did not exist as a genre at this time (see the annoyingly choppy 'Festival!' documenting Newport), so this was new territory and the point of the film was to make a document that gave an overall feel for the event and time. Pennebaker and his crew had to decide which songs to film, which seems to have been predetermined by Dylan's buddy Bob Neuwirth who was more familiar with the scene than the filmmaker. They would turn on a red light on stage to signal to start filming the next song. At some times, they didn't have a plan and the camera men would shoot at their discretion, so some performances may have been captured by only 1 camera and therefore considered not presentable. Also, film reels would end during performances and need to be changed (approx every 20 minutes), hence footage missing from two of Jimi's songs.

Regarding the lack of more outtake footage:

1. Your precious Janis and Big Brother's new manager Albert Grossman didn't allow them to be filmed the first day, but finally they were asked to play again the next day because of the crowd reaction and the desire to get something on film. The whole set could exist but I doubt it. Grossman and his need for control is probably to blame, and it's no coincidence that Woodstock's filmmakers were also refused to use her footage in the original release. She only appears now in the directors cut.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good look back
Grainy, but great footage of an event many years ago, that still resonates.
My favorite piece is seeing Canned Heat with the great Larry Taylor on bass doing "Rolling and... Read more
Published 15 days ago by John McAlpin
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It.
The Complete Monterey Pop Festival (The Criterion Collection) (1967) Extra footage of Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding. Love the whole dvd.
Published 1 month ago by John Larrabee
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply amazing!!!
Other then Tiny Tim's waste of footage,this Festival was a joy to watch. My girlfriend who is only 39 can really appreciate it as well. Read more
Published 2 months ago by D.Kramer
Published 2 months ago by CINZIA
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Woodstock but good
The filming of this movie is not very good quality. But there are some memorable scenes and there is music by some of the best hippie generation folk artists of the time. Read more
Published 3 months ago by T-Whit
5.0 out of 5 stars I was there!!!!
Excellnt rockumentary-brought back a flood of memories-seems like yesterday in some ways and in other ways, was that really me?
Published 3 months ago by Gerard B. Kenselaar
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock On Forever!
Let's face it, there's not much one can say when it come to 60's rock 'n' roll except "Wow!". Read more
Published 3 months ago by Paul Hosse
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall very good just missing a few bands
My husband was very pleased with this except that some of the things he knows we're there were not featured and he really wanted it all
Published 4 months ago by Kathryn Pruitt
5.0 out of 5 stars A great collection of a very special time and place
This is a visual record of those great groups of the '60's and what a special time it was for music and life.. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ron Kasper
5.0 out of 5 stars PS: one of the two blu-ray boxes was broken...
'The' historical document for every real rock lover, one year before Woodstock! A must-have box, just amazing, and the best technical quality you can find today
Published 4 months ago by marc mainguet SMC
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Topic From this Discussion
Region free?
Yes, I can confirm it, the BD version is locked to region A
Jul 19, 2011 by Arcadio F. Dominguez Guerra |  See all 4 posts
Well I'm waiting for the blu-ray release...
Your wait is over...come September.
Aug 19, 2009 by S. Kurtz |  See all 3 posts
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