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

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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.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • 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 (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004NWPY7U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,448 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
The shift in tone is upsetting but that is the idea.
M. Oleson
Great story of a "square" finding his true inner rebel and manning-up for the first time in his life.
We also get an interview with the writer E. Max Frye ("Band of Brothers")included as well.
Wayne Klein

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Brown on June 25, 2011
Verified Purchase
As usual, The Criterion Collection provides a bevy of wonderful films alongside easily the greatest assortment of supplementary materials. But what can be debated are the choices of the films chosen.

SOMETHING WILD is by no means a top AFI pick or all-time blockbuster hit or any of the traditional benchmarks of a notable film - except for one. Directed by Jonathan Demme, SOMETHING WILD came at a time when Demme began to take the wonderful tools he had learned studying Hitchcock and working with Roger Corman to more mainstream audiences. After making the highly under-appreciated MELVIN & HOWARD, Demme finally grabbed some national attention with his Talking Heads' documentary STOP MAKING SENSE, and then came SOMETHING WILD.

Don't lie to yourself. Loving this movie because Melanie Griffith is topless with handcuffs in the first ten minutes isn't wrong. It's part of the film's undeniable charm. You never know where this film is going to go from one moment to the next. And it includes a handful of wonderful cameos which further film's feeling of a gem that is being rediscovered.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stanley Crowe TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 26, 2014
It's hard to believe that this movie is almost thirty years old. It provided Ray Liotta's with his first real substantive part, and although Melanie Griffith and Jeff Daniels had had a bit more experience, it was relatively early in their careers too. It's an engrossing movie -- it keeps you off balance at first, since we don't know enough to make sense of the different kinds of "wild" behavior on the part of Daniels's and Griffith's characters. Daniels (Charlie) seems to be a married, suburban husband who has just made VP in a financial firm, and Griffith (Audrey/Lulu) seems to be a quintessential free spirit, and she takes Charlie for a ride that he seems not totally unwilling to be taken on, and presents him as her husband to her mother (who isn't fooled, and we soon find out why) and to her high-school reunion classmates. The reunion, by the way, provides Jack Gilpin and Sue Tissue with a neat cameo, as one of Charlie's co-workers and his pregnant wife. But we learn at the reunion that Charlie isn't married -- his wife took the kids and ran off with a dentist nine months earlier, so that puts a new perspective on wildness and puts Audrey's wild behavior in a new context, the effect of which is to make us more sympathetic to Charlie and Audrey -- or rather it enables the audience to somewhat settle their feelings about these characters and to see their behavior up to that point in more clearly comic terms than had appeared at the time. But then a different kind of wildness enters the scene in the person of Ray (Ray Liotta), Audrey's violent ex-con husband. He wants Audrey back, but she isn't up for THAT degree of wildness. But he carts her off after beating up Charlie, at which point the worm turns -- Charlie is determined to get her back.Read more ›
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Jonathan Demme is a unique talent. The director moved seamlessly from comedy to dark drama and action within the same movie years before Tarrantino did the same thing in his films. "Something Wild" remains one Demme's finest films.

Criterion does a terrific job of bringing "Something Wild" to us in a high def transfer for Blu-ray.

A brief summary of the plot (those who have seen the movie can skip it--Jeff Daniels plays Charles Driggs an uptight businessman who meets Lulu (Melanie Griffith)in a diner and is immediately taken with her to the point where he chucks his day and ends up on the road involved with her. It becomes clear when Ray (Ray Liotta)a dangerous and demented criminal appears that Lulu isn't everything she appears to be and Charles may be in trouble.

Jeff Daniels does a terrific turn as Charlie a man who had everything and lost it all suddenly rediscovering the excitement of life when he meets the impulsive Lulu (or Audrey as he later discovers). Griffith likewise does a great job as Lulu finding the heart of this "free spirit" who really is very injured. Once Ray Liotta appears he steals the rest of the movie in his turn as Ray.

Criterion does a terrific job of bringing the movie to Blu-ray with a nearly flawless looking transfer that looks positively stunning. This new transfer was created form a newly struck interpositive transfers created from the original negative of the film and supervised by DP Tak Fujimoto and approved by Demme. There's a nice layer of fine grain present to just remind us that this IS a film. The image hasn't been overprocessed so there's a nice level of detail present throughout. Colors pop and skin tones are accurate to the original intention of the direcotor.

The film appears in its 1.
Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Oleson TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 14, 2011
If you've ever wondered what Don Johnson and Antonio Banderas ever saw in the now plastic surgery experiment known as Melanie Griffith, check out this nice film by Jonathan Demme. I remember seeing the film in theaters but recalled there was something off-putting about it. Like many films it is advertised as something it's not. This is not a comedy...at least in the traditional sense. It starts out with a very, very hot Lulu (Griffith) picking up straight laced Charlie (Jeff Daniels) in a New York café. She lures him into her pimped up car and off they go, headed to Pennsylvania. This is really crazy stuff for Charlie who just got a promotion at a brokerage house. It isn't like him. He says he has a family. Still, he like the rest of us red blooded American boys can't resist Lulu. Griffith dazzles in her dark wig and short skirts. Charlie initially gets what he was promised and we pretty much get to see it all (yeah!). This is the part where Don and Antonio knew what they were doing. Once in Pennsylvania, Lulu changes her appearance and her name (her given name of Audrey) and visits her mom, presenting Charlie as her new hubby. Then they go to Audrey's high school reunion. Here's where the tone changes dramatically. She meets her ex - well they never made it official since he was in prison for the last 5 years - played in a cool, menacing style by Ray Liotta in his first movie. He is very scary and still has feelings for Audrey. She not so much. The film becomes a terroristic thriller from here on, culminating in a mean, realistic battle at Charlie's house on Long Island. Most critics liked this film, most audiences did not. The shift in tone is upsetting but that is the idea. At the same time there is a period in the second act where the film stalls.Read more ›
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Something Wild (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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