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Crumb (The Criterion Collection) (1995)

Robert Crumb , Aline Crumb , Terry Zwigoff  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Crumb, Aline Crumb, Charles Crumb, Maxon Crumb
  • Directors: Terry Zwigoff
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Special Edition
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: August 10, 2010
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003N2CVPE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,547 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Crumb (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

New, restored high-definition digital transfer
2010 audio commentary with Zwigoff
2006 with Zwigoff and critic Roger Ebert
Outtakes and deleted scenes
Stills gallery
A booklet featuring an essay by critic Jonathan Rosenbaum

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Terry Zwigoff's landmark 1995 film is an intimate documentary portrait of underground artist Robert Crumb, whose unique drawing style and sexually and racially provocative subject matter have made him a household name in popular American art. Zwigoff candidly and colorfully delves into the details of Crumb’s incredible career, as well as his past, including his family of reclusive eccentrics, some of the most remarkable people you'll ever see on-screen. At once a profound biographical portrait, a riotous examination of a man's controversial art, and a devastating look at a troubled family, Crumb is a genuine American original.

Additional Features

Criterion embellishes director Terry Zwigoff's breakthrough documentary with only a handful of extra features, but they're substantial: two commentary tracks, the first a genial, reflective monologue by Zwigoff, the second a conversation between Zwigoff and movie critic Roger Ebert, one of the early champions of Crumb. Ebert's input, it has to be said, ranges from redundant to smarmy, but he does nudge Zwigoff in directions that take the director's already engaging anecdotes a step further. Over 50 minutes of additional footage prove every bit as compelling as what was included: Crumb and his first wife on their marriage, Crumb on his sex life and other people's fetishes, some troubling memories of Crumb's father, a clip of the Cheap Suit Serenaders playing, and more. Anyone who's been fascinated by Crumb's glimpse into the life and mind of a unique artist will savor these extras. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
144 of 154 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly Goddamn Delightful August 13, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
I have to believe that if you are off-put by Crumb's art (the headless women with monstrous thighs; the caricatures of blacks as wild jungle-dwellers), or find his frank admissions of "perverse" sexual attractions uncomfortable, or find yourself with a wardrobe full of San Francisco 49er memorabilia, then you will be put off by Crumb's character as well.
I'm not. He's fascinating.
Director Terry Zwigoff gets a lot of mileage out of Crumb's reactions to situations. Whether it's the confused and perplexed look he gets from watching the parade of shallow consumers he sees on the streets, or his half-sincere/half-uncomfortable bursts of laughter following bizarre tales from his youth, Crumb's expressive face says more than his mouth ever could. This, combined with his wonderfully laid-back voice (at once sarcastic and self-deprecating and tinged with regret) makes me wonder why it's taken so long for this man to get some camera time. Self-imposed exile, I suppose. He's definitely a star.
The opening sequence over the credits is the lone contrived moment in an otherwise truthful film. It begins by showing a series of porcelain sculptures modeled on Crumb's most recognizable characters, followed by a shadowy shot of Robert, sitting in a near-fetal position, listening to one of his many old time blues records. It is the only moment in the film that feels fake, and threatens to ruin the film's credibility right from the starting gate. Thankfully, director Zwigoff has a perfect game the rest of the way.
And there is only one moment that puts objectivity aside and allows for a bit of commentary on the part of the filmmakers. It concerns an interview with Deirdre English, a former editor of the magazine 'Mother Jones'.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We'll Take The Crumbs. May 30, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Robert Crumb is SO anti-social, that you almost want not to praise him or the film, as it would most likely elicit only contempt and disgust from him at your pathetic interests. But he's such a talented, not to mention twisted (I mean that as a compliment) artist, that you have to admire him. While his style, and his hysterical, irreverent characters, are not for everyone, his honesty pervades all his work. He's famous, but deplores the celebrity, phoniness, and notoriety that fame brings. While not exactly surly, he begrudgingly acknowledges that some people like his work, the work being created for basically his own amusement. That the work pays for his treasured relative anonymity and elusive privacy is a bitter irony. I love good documentaries, though there's not that many, and this is one of my favorites. It's just a very intrusive but irresistable visit into Crumbs little world, where his art and beloved records of the 1920's and 30's are his obsessions (along with sex), the materialistic, vulgar society that he's forced to co-exist with of little interest to him. You also get to meet his bizarre family who probably isn't really any more bizarre than many others. I especially get a kick out of his refusing to sign autographs in the movie, as I have a treasured copy of his "Zap" comix, which he inscribed to me. This is a must see film for anyone who's a fan of the creator of "Fritz The Cat", "Zap Comix", Janis Joplins "Cheap Thrills" famous album cover, etc... His "R. Crumbs Coffee Table Art Book " is a great accompaniment to this movie, his dialogue that accompanies his comics hysterical and sometimes too familiar. A great glimpse into a very interesting, unique talent. Some people work hard to appear "eccentric", but he's the real thing, though he still gives off a gentleness and likability. Admire the man, just leave him alone.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars . June 17, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Crumb is an awe-inspiring film when weighed against some of the more acclaimed "thought-provoking" films I've seen recently: it probes into SO much that is significant (the nature of art, the nature of madness, the nature of sexuality and sexual perversion, the nature of American society, the implications of American history of the last 50 years or so -- the list goes on); but, in part because it's a documentary, all of this rich material is just *there*--it isn't being shoved in your face and manipulated for effect in the fashion of more popular "thought-provoking" films. The film is honest and unflinching; it doesn't glorify Crumb, nor does it denigrate him--(we hear from great appreciators of his work as well as severe critics, and neither side is emphasized or made to seem more valid than the other)--it simply explores him, and his very bizarre family, for what he/they are, while subtley setting everything that we learn against the backdrop of American society as a whole during the last century.
In terms of being a documentary for those curious about Crumb and his work, it doesn't shortchange you in any way that I can see. We get to spend plenty of time with Crumb himself, of course; we also get to spend a good amount of time hearing from his wife, and ex-wife, his mother and two brothers, his friends and an associate or two, and, as I mentioned, several critics, each with their own take on Crumb's work. We also get to *see* a lot of Crumb's work by way of numerous well-edited, well-placed montages, as well as artwork by his brothers, who are themselves exceptionally talented. We learn a great deal about Crumb's youth, attitude, hang-ups, perversions, artistic status, and anxieties.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius!
That old saw about the line between genius and insanity being razor-thin has never been more clearly defined as in this documentary of the professional and personal life of Robert... Read more
Published 3 days ago by J. Don Le Couteur
4.0 out of 5 stars Crumb
What a strange family! But then really creative people do not walk a straight road. A must see!
Published 23 days ago by Joyce L. Buckley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great dvd, good price
Published 24 days ago by The Cosmic Ruler
5.0 out of 5 stars A
Excellent - the Crumb family is "a very out there" interesting family. One of the best documentaries I've seen.
Published 1 month ago by M. Conway
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked previous documentary better
The Crumbs are an interesting family. I liked previous documentary better. I can't remember its name.
Published 1 month ago by Annette Clements
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good dvd
Published 2 months ago by Keith A. Schilling
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcom to Crumbland.....for good and ill.
I remember my first viewing of this documentary when it was first released; it left me feeling quite moody and being a starving artist as only a part of it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by thatDonOguy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie for Crumb fans!!
Published 2 months ago by T. Yoksas
2.0 out of 5 stars I really don’t like Robert Crumb
I really don’t like Robert Crumb. I had to get this for a college class. I am biased in my review… sorry
Published 2 months ago by R. Ochoa
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb social and artistic documentary!
I bought the film on VHS back in the 1990's. I recently bought the special edition DVD and am very happy with it. The transfer was very nicely done. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Daniel Teoli Jr.
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