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Something Wild (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

85 customer reviews

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(May 10, 2011)
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The Criterion Collection
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Editorial Reviews

A straitlaced businessman meets a quirky, free-spirited woman at a downtown New York greasy spoon. Her offer of a ride back to his office results in a lunchtime motel rendezvous—just the beginning of a capricious interstate road trip that brings the two face-to-face with their hidden selves. Featuring a killer soundtrack and electric performances from Jeff Daniels (Terms of Endearment, The Squid and the Whale), Melanie Griffith (Body Double, Working Girl), and Ray Liotta (Field of Dreams, Goodfellas), Something Wild, directed by oddball American auteur Jonathan Demme (Stop Making Sense, The Silence of the Lambs), is both a kinky comic thriller and a radiantly off-kilter love story.

Special Features

New, restored digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Tak Fujimoto and approved by director Jonathan Demme, with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition

New video interviews with Demme and writer E. Max Frye

Original theatrical trailer

PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic David Thompson

Product Details

  • Actors: Jeff Daniels, Melanie Griffith, Ray Liotta, George 'Red' Schwartz, Leib Lensky
  • Directors: Jonathan Demme
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: May 10, 2011
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004NWPY7U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,301 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Robert Naugle on May 2, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I thought Demme walked on water after seeing this movie (and its follow-ups, Married to the Mob and Silence of the Lambs). I love the layers of texture to this movie--there's always some set decoration I never noticed before, and the performances he wrings out of his stable of actors is great. This movie defined "alternative" when it was released, and deftly pulled off the seemingly impossible feat of starting out screwball comedy and turning violent halfway thru without losing its voice. All three leads have never done better than they did here (okay, maybe Liotta in Goodfellas). So why is SW subjected to the basement of video VHS? This movie made tons of critics top 10 lists for the Eighties (sadly not much of a challenge, but still...) and yet can't even get a DVD date to prom. Wild...
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By BTRBFLO on January 18, 2002
Format: DVD
I first saw this movie in the theaters, and I remember sitting spellbound, utterly enthralled by the adept manner in which Jonathan Demme blends comedy, romance, drama, and suspense in a single film. For years, I would catch it whenever I could on cable -- or, if I were hanging with a "virgin" friend who had never before seen the film, I'd scrounge up a rental copy (pan-n-scan, of course) at the local video store. All told, I've seen it about a dozen times, twice as many times as I have seen any other movie -- but only once in the widescreen format in which it was originally composed.
When people ask me what my favorite movie is, I tell them without hesitation, "Something Wild." Inevitably, a look of comprehension is absent from their face. I briefly explain the plot, describe Melanie Griffith in the black wig, Jeff Daniels as the nebbishy accountant, and Ray Liotta as the Lulu's sinister ex-con (IMHO, career-best performances for all three), and faces begin to light up. Most people have caught at least a part of this film on Comedy Central and recognize it (if only slightly) from those heavily edited screenings, which is a shame because this movie needs to be seen in its unexpurgated form in order to really gain an appreciation of its genius.
So you can imagine my delight when I opened a birthday gift from my girlfriend and found inside a copy of "Something Wild" on DVD. If I were capable of squealing, I would have. You see, I was under the impression that this was one of those "lost titles" that would never be released on DVD. Yet there it was, in my hands, a true cinematic masterpiece, one of the best films of the 80s, my favorite movie. Sigh. What a great birthday present!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 31, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I realize it might be a little late, but to the student from Santa Clara, to proclaim "Something Wild" as a deeply religious movie would not be too far off the mark. Director Jonathan Demme uses an abundance of crosses and portraits of the Virgin Mary in many scenes (at "Mom and Dad's Restaurant"; "Peaches"'s house; Lulu's apartment) and many scenes from the film mirror the Good Samaritan parable of the Bible: the hitchhikers Charlie and Lulu pick up; the little black girl who asks Charlie if he needs help outside the gospel church; the naive teen who pays for Ray's dinner after Charlie and Lulu leave him stranded at the restaurant; the gas-station attendant ("Attempt to be cool!"); the man at the motel who offers Charlie Pepto-Bismol to conquer his hangover ("It's better to be a live dog than a dead lion."); and ultimately Charlie and Lulu, who each gives the other something they've been longing to have. Lulu gives Charlie a rebellion which had only previously been "channeled into the mainstream" and thusly ends his repression; and Charlie gives Lulu a sense of comfort and love after years of one-night stands in motel rooms. I'm sure you could even make something out of the religious radio program Ray is listening to as he is embarking for an all-night search for revenge. Of course I have seen this film many times and one of its many strengths is its watchability. Why this film isn't cited in more film-buff circles is beyond me, but let me go on record saying that this is a great movie. It is precisely these deep subtexts which make me want to pop it in the VCR for the millionth time. Well, that and the soundtrack. I love this movie simply because it's so damn quirky!Read more ›
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Format: DVD
An interesting choice for the Criterion label, I have hoped desperately that Jonathan Demme's 1986 madcap road picture "Something Wild" would get a deserving upgrade from its rather drab earlier DVD presentation. I actually went to a theater and saw this film twice and it is easily one of my favorite Demme pictures. With his eclectic resume, Demme will perhaps always be known best for "The Silence of the Lambs" but his legacy has several terrific screwball comedies (Married to the Mob) and understated masterpieces (Melvin and Howard) prior to him being anointed an Academy Award winner. "Something Wild" fits comfortably into the screwball comedy category--but what makes it so unorthodox and refreshing is that it has both heart and edge. A lot has changed since 1986. Back then, Jeff Daniels was still a leading man as opposed to a character actor. Melanie Griffith was sexy, surprising, and a blossoming talent. And a relatively unknown Ray Liotta was trying to break into a big screen career after years on television. These three leads turned in unexpectedly strong performances and ALL were nominated for Golden Globe awards.

Styled after silent screen star Louise Brooks, Griffith vibrantly portrays Lulu (at least, that's the name she calls herself). Wild, aggressive, and sexually uninhibited, Lulu crosses paths with Daniels' uptight businessman. Challenged by the rebellious free spirit, Daniels' mild mannered existence is all but hijacked by adventure as the unlikely duo take to the road. A culture clash and wacky hilarity ensue--but then the picture softens as a real persona emerges from beneath the Lulu alter ego.
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Something Wild (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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