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Made in U.S.A. (The Criterion Collection)

6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

With its giddily complex noir plot and widescreen, color-drenched images, Made in U.S.A was a final burst of exuberance from Jean-Luc Godard’s early-sixties barrage of delirious movie-movies. Yet this chaotic crime thriller and acidly funny critique of consumerism—featuring Anna Karina as the most brightly dressed private investigator in film history, rummaging through an intricate plot for a former lover who might have been assassinated—also points toward the more political cinema that would come to define Godard. Featuring characters with names such as Richard Nixon, Robert McNamara, David Goodis, and Doris Mizoguchi, and appearances by a slapstick Jean-Pierre Léaud and a sweetly singing Marianne Faithfull, this piece of pop art is like a Looney Tunes rendition of The Big Sleep gone New Wave.


• New, restored high-definition digital transfer

• Interviews with stars Anna Karina and Lászlo Szábó

• A video piece on the personal and the political in Made in U.S.A and 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her, featuring Godard biographers Richard Brody and Colin MacCabe

• A visual essay cataloguing the multiple references in the film

• Original and re-release theatrical trailers

• New and improved English subtitle translation

• PLUS: A new essay by film critic J. Hoberman

Stills from Made in U.S.A. (Click for larger image)

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Anna Karina, László Szabó, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Marianne Faithfull, Yves Afonso
  • Directors: Jean-Luc Godard
  • Writers: Jean-Luc Godard, Donald E. Westlake
  • Producers: Clément Steyaert, Georges de Beauregard
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: July 21, 2009
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001TIQT6Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,602 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Made in U.S.A. (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Just a consumer on June 12, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I knowingly took a chance when I bought this DVD based only on a couple of New York Times reviews and a basic familiarity with several of Godard's other films. I was intrigued by the fact that even to this day "Made in USA" has rarely been shown theatrically in the United States. Criterion characterizes the film as a "piece of pop art [that is] like a Looney Tunes rendition of "The Big Sleep" gone New Wave", and that description intrigued me. But I didn't realize just how essential it was for the film to have a scholarly commentary track. If ever there were a film that requires an audio commentary track, this is it.

There _is_ a DVD extra -- the "visual essay"/concordance -- that helps explain a lot, but since it is a separate from the film, the details are covered out of the context and flow of the film. Unless you are fluent in French and familiar in detail with much of the politics, current events, pop culture, and high culture of the decades leading up to the mid-60s, you'll find "Made in USA" a barrage of references that keep you from seeing the forest for the trees.

All the details from the concordance, and more, belong in a commentary track, so that the viewer can take them in as he or she is watching the film. To really do it right, Criterion should have included both an audio commentary and concordance-based captioning with customized screen placement so that the viewer has half a chance of keeping up with the mixture of foreground and background details that are scattered throughout the film.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By 4-Legged Defender on February 18, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This isn`t one of Goddard`s most appreciated or understood films (ditto with '2 Or 3 Things I Know About Her' from the same time period), yet it`s fascinating to watch him deconstruct an Art form he almost single-handedly created. It`s an absurdist, surreal, darkly comic, brightly colored film noir-come-pseudo-spy story that`s chaotic and complex, and will leave you repeatedly shaking your head as you attempt to keep up with its inspired lunacy. It`s awash in bold, vibrant colors, most of the time red, white and blue to underscore the skewering of rampant American consumerism, and most characters have famous American names to further confound comprehension. But watching it the second time (in truth, I didn`t get it the first go-around), I found it to be acidicly funny Pop Art. The Bar scene with almost nonsensical chatter among its inhabitants while Marianne Faithful sits in a corner singing 'As Tears Go By' was hysterical to me. This was the last time Anna Karina worked w/ Goddard (their marriage broke up quite a bit before this film), and it appears at times throughout the film that he was putting her through paces just to screw with her and see how she`d react. This is not a casual film to watch, you need to give it your undivided attention, like most of his films, maybe more so. It`s not a movie that comes to you, you must go to it, if you get my drift. It`s also not the first film to watch if you`re not familiar w/ his work, you`ll hate it if this is so. You may not like it anyway, but it`s worth a go if you like Goddard, 60`s New Wave, and Pop Art Surrealism. And Criterion gives us many additional features to help us navigate our way within the delerious barrage of Goddard`s assorted visions.
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Format: DVD
In 1966, Jean-Luc Godard was asked by producer Georges de Beureagard if he can create a film quickly. The answer was yes and that the can film two at the same time: "Made in U.S.A." starring Anna Karina and Laszlo Szabo and "2 or 3 Things I Know About Her" starring Marina Vlady. It's important to note that "Made in U.S.A." is the final full-length film he created with his ex-wife and muse Anna Karina and the first film of singer Marianne Faithfull (a popular singer in the '60s and also the steady girlfriend of Rolling Stones vocalist Mick Jagger at the time). While "2 or 3 Things I Know About Her" stars the woman that rejected him for marriage. So, needless to say, these two films are rather significant.

"Made in U.S.A." is the final goodbye between Karina and Godard and "2 or 3 Things I Know About Her" is a film that shows him angered by the rejection. And also two films that mark the end of the cycle of Jean-Luc Godard who has become more of a political person and wanted to use his films to deal with internal conflict that he felt about cinema and politics.


"Made in U.S.A." is known for it's vibrant colors. As a detective, Anna Karina's character is known for wearing vibrant colored dresses and the film definitely does a great job showcasing those colors, especially closeups of Anna Karina's blue eyes. This remastered version of the film looks absolutely beautiful and I can only imagine how this would look on Blu-ray (if it ever receives a BD release). It's vibrant and colorful film!

"Made in U.S.A.
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Made in U.S.A. (The Criterion Collection)
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