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Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone and Other Films by Norman Mailer (Criterion Collection) (1970)

Rip Torn , Norman Mailer , Norman Mailer  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone and Other Films by Norman Mailer (Criterion Collection) + Eclipse 36: Three Wicked Melodramas from Gainsborough Pictures: The Man in Grey, Madonna of the Seven Moons, The Wicked Lady (Criterion Collection) + Eclipse Series 34: Jean Gremillon During the Occupation (Remorques, Lumiere d'ete, Le ciel est a vous) (Criterion Collection)
Price for all three: $82.81

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Product Details

  • Actors: Rip Torn, Norman Mailer, Buzz Farber, Mickey Knox, Francis Xavier Pope
  • Directors: Norman Mailer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: August 28, 2012
  • Run Time: 270 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0083V2VVY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,728 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Norman Mailer is remembered for many things—his novels, his essays, his articles, his activism, his ego. One largely forgotten chapter of his life, however, is his late-sixties, headlong, kamikaze-style plunge into making experimental films. These rough-hewn, self-financed, largely improvised metafictions are works of madness and bravado, all starring Mailer himself and with technical assistance from cinema verité trailblazers D. A. Pennebaker and Richard Leacock. The fullest realization of his directorial efforts is the blustering, brawling Maidstone, a shocking sign of the political times in which Mailer plays a filmmaker and presidential candidate who may be the target of an assassination attempt. Along with Mailer’s other films of the period—Wild 90 and Beyond the Law—it shows an uncompromising artist in thrall to both himself and a new medium.

Two-DVD Box Set Includes:


Over a booze-fueled, increasingly hectic four-day shoot in the Hamptons, Norman Mailer and his cast and crew spontaneously unloaded onto film this lurid and loony chronicle of U.S. presidential candidate and filmmaker Norman T. Kingsley debating and attacking his hangers-on and enemies. This gonzo narrative, “an inkblot test of Mailer’s own subconscious” (Time), becomes something like a documentary on its own making when costar Rip Torn breaks the fourth wall in one of cinema’s most alarming on-screen outbursts.


  • 105 minutes
  • Color
  • Monaural
  • 1.33:1 aspect ratio

    Wild 90

    Norman Mailer’s first filmmaking effort stars the director and his two longtime creative collaborators Buzz Farber and Mickey Knox as a trio of gangsters holed up in a ramshackle New York apartment, drinking, braying, and fighting. Mailer once claimed he viewed making movies as “free psychoanalysis,” and this bristly, stripped-down experiment in improvisation shows a filmmaker baring himself for all to see.


  • 81 minutes
  • Black & White
  • Monaural
  • 1.33:1 aspect ratio

    Beyond the Law

    Norman Mailer’s belief that we’re all either police or criminals at heart was the impetus for his second film, which takes place over the course of one feverish night in a Manhattan police precinct and neighboring bar. The rough texture of the black-and-white stock and the intense depiction of the police lineup process lend the film a rugged, journalistic feel. In addition to Mailer, who casts himself as tough-guy Irish cop Francis Xavier Pope, Beyond the Law features Rip Torn and George Plimpton.


  • 84 minutes
  • Black & White
  • Monaural
  • 1.33:1 aspect ratio

  • Customer Reviews

    4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars A SOLIPSISTIC SERENADE September 2, 2012
    Verified Purchase
    Someone once said that "First is first, and second is nobody." Perhaps I can test the resiliency of that adage here on Amazon seeing as I am the first reviewer for MAIDSTONE AND OTHER FILMS BY NORMAN MAILER. And Lord Byron once said that he only went socializing to get a fresh appetite for being alone. Solitude sorts things out and hopefully witnesses a presumed winner in the ongoing tennis match between the two lobes of one's brain. Ideas were made to be batted back and forth until one lands or misses. The whole paradigm of sides and duality and Yin Yang finds its richest manifestation in the structure of one's own brain.

    Mailer always fascinated me. I enjoyed reading many of his books and always enjoyed his talk-show truculence. Actually, I was more interested in Mailer as a performer. Sometimes I think that he himself was much more interested in his own ongoing, ontological attitude towards himself, his own solipsistic view of things. I remember on one talk show, after Mailer came from the wings and took a seat, the host said he liked Mailer's purposeful, tough guy walk - and Mailer said as regards his walk that it was "probably phony." Anyway, I was always wishing his three early films would become available, if not legally, then on bootleg. But no film dealers ever found them in their search. So it is a great cause for celebration that the Eclipse Series from the Criterion Collection has brought them forth. The packaging of the two discs with the three films is artfully minimalist and very lovely. The film transfers are mostly excellent. In Michael Chaiken's slipcase notes he says that the first film, due to its rough audibility, is subtitled on the disc. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
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    1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Got this as a gift for my partner... May 31, 2013
    Verified Purchase
    He's very excited about this little collection of Mailer's works and we appreciate Criterion's dedication to the preservation of marginalized, hard-to-find, and/or significant works in moving image.
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