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Three Colors: Blue, White, Red (Criterion Collection)

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Frequently Bought Together

Three Colors: Blue, White, Red (Criterion Collection) + Double Life of Veronique (Criterion Collection) + The Krzysztof Kieslowski Collection (A Short Film About Love/Blind Chance/Camera Buff/No End/The Scar/A Short Film About Killing)
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Editorial Reviews

This boldly cinematic trio of stories about love and loss from Krzysztof Kieślowski (The Double Life of Véronique) was a defining event of the art-house boom of the 1990s. The films were named for the colors of the French flag and stand for the tenets of the French Revolution—liberty, equality, and fraternity—but this hardly begins to explain their enigmatic beauty and rich humanity. Set in Paris, Warsaw, and Geneva, and ranging from tragedy to comedy, Blue, White, and Red (Kieślowski’s final film) examine with artistic clarity a group of ambiguously interconnected people experiencing profound personal disruptions. Marked by intoxicating cinematography and stirring performances by such actors as Juliette Binoche (Summer Hours), Julie Delpy (Before Sunset), Irène Jacob (The Double Life of Véronique), and Jean-Louis Trintignant (Z), Kieślowski’s Three Colors is a benchmark of contemporary cinema.

Blue In the devastating first film of the Three Colors trilogy, Juliette Binoche gives a tour de force performance as Julie, a woman reeling from the tragic deaths of her husband and young daughter. But Blue is more than just a blistering study of grief; it’s also a tale of liberation, as Julie learns truths about her late composer husband’s life and attempts to free herself of the past. Shot in icily gorgeous tones by Sławomir Idziak (The Double Life of Véronique) and set to an extraordinary operatic score by Zbigniew Preisner (The Secret Garden), Blue is an overwhelming sensory experience.

1993

98 minutes

Color

2.0 surround

In French with English subtitles

1.85:1 aspect ratio

White The most playful but also the grittiest of Kieślowski’s Three Colors films follows the adventures of Karol Karol (The Pianist’s Zbigniew Zamachowski), a Polish immigrant living in France. The hapless hairdresser opts to leave Paris for his native Warsaw after his wife (Julie Delpy) sues him for divorce (her reason: he was never able to perform in bed) and then frames him for arson after setting her own salon ablaze. White, which goes on to chronicle Karol Karol’s elaborate revenge plot, manages to be both a ticklish dark comedy about the economic inequalities of Eastern and Western Europe and a sublime reverie about twisted love. 1993

91 minutes

Color

2.0 surround

In French and Polish with English subtitles

1.85:1 aspect ratio

Red Krzysztof Kieślowski closes his Three Colors trilogy in grand fashion with an incandescent meditation on fate and chance, starring Irène Jacob as a sweet-souled yet somber runway model in Geneva whose life intersects with that of a bitter retired judge, played by Jean Louis Trintignant. Their blossoming friendship forces each to open up in surprising emotional ways. Meanwhile, just down the street, a seemingly unrelated story of jealousy and betrayal unfolds. Red is an intimate look at forged connections and a splendid final statement from a remarkable filmmaker at the height of his powers.

1994

99 minutes

Color

2.0 surround

In French with English subtitles

1.85:1 aspect ratio


Special Features

New high-definition digital restorations, with DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray editions

Three cinema lessons with director Krzysztof Kieślowski

New interviews with composer Zbigniew Preisner; writer Krzysztof Piesiewicz; and actors Julie Delpy, Zbigniew Zamachowski, and Irène Jacob

Selected-scene commentary for Blue with actress Juliette Binoche

Three new video essays, by film writers Annette Insdorf, Tony Rayns, and Dennis Lim

Kieślowski’s student short The Tram (1966) and his fellow student’s short from the same year The Face, which features Kieślowski in a solo performance

Two short documentaries by Kieślowski: Seven Women of Different Ages (1978) and Talking Heads (1980)

Krzysztof Kieślowski: I’m So-So . . . (1995), a feature-length documentary in which the filmmaker discusses his life and work

Two multi-interview programs, Reflections on “Blue” and Kieślowski: The Early Years, with film critic Geoff Andrew, Binoche, filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, cinematographer Sławomir Idziak, Insdorf, Jacob, and editor Jacques Witta

Interviews with producer Marin Karmitz and Witta

Behind-the-scenes programs for White and Red, and Kieślowski Cannes 1994, a short documentary on Red’s world premiere

Original theatrical trailers

New and improved English subtitle translations

PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by critics Colin MacCabe, Nick James, Stuart Klawans, and Georgina Evans, an excerpt from Kieślowski on Kieślowski, and reprinted interviews with cinematographers Sławomir Idziak, Edward Klosinski, and Piotr Sobocinski


Product Details

  • Actors: Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy, Irene Jacob, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Zbigniew Zamachowski
  • Directors: Krzysztof Kieslowski
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French, Polish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: November 15, 2011
  • Run Time: 288 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005HK13O0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,048 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

130 of 134 people found the following review helpful By keviny01 on March 16, 2003
Format: DVD
The late great Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski cleverly "adapted" the three French ideals -- liberty, equality, fraternity -- into three thought-provoking modern-day dramas about people who cope with personal losses and tragedies. In BLUE, the first of the trilogy, a widow tries to set herself free (and gain liberty) from her emotional baggages. The second film, WHITE, is about a jilted man's outrageous plot to get even (thus, equality) with his ex-wife. The last film, RED, which is also Kieslowski's final film before he died in 1996, is about a lonely old man who is embittered by the memories of his youth and finds accidental companionship (fraternity) with a young model. All three films are understated in their tone, economical in their dialogs, elliptical in their editing and plotting (there are some mind-boggling flashbacks and flash forwards in WHITE), and haunting in their atmosphere.
The references to the three French ideals are actually quite tenuous, and in fact more and more so as the trilogy progresses. BLUE is the only one that deals with the ideal of "freedom" (albeit emotional freedom) in a concrete way, inviting us to ponder its meanings and its attainability. WHITE treats the concept of "equality" in a rather subversive and satiric way, and it clearly wants us to rethink its meanings rather than accepting it at face value. And RED has to do with "fraternity" only circumstantially, and has more to do with the issue of destiny, and how our past is linked to our present. The three films are set not just in France, but also in Poland and Switzerland, and WHITE has primarily Polish dialogs. Hence, a sort of universality is intended.
The three films are also linked in various ways. All three films involve an unfaithful lover who dies, in one way or another.
Read more ›
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79 of 81 people found the following review helpful By keviny01 on September 23, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
*** 11/26/11: ADDED REVIEW OF CRITERION BLU-RAY EDITION ***

The late great Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski cleverly "adapted" the three French ideals -- liberty, equality, fraternity -- into three thought-provoking modern-day dramas about people who cope with personal losses and tragedies. In BLUE, the first of the trilogy, a widow tries to set herself free (and gain liberty) from her emotional baggages. The second film, WHITE, is about a jilted man's outrageous plot to get even (thus, equality) with his ex-wife. The last film, RED, which is also Kieslowski's final film before he died in 1996, is about a lonely old man who is embittered by the memories of his youth and finds accidental companionship (fraternity) with a young model. All three films are understated in their tone, economical in their dialogs, elliptical in their editing and plotting (there are some mind-boggling flashbacks and flash forwards in WHITE), and haunting in their atmosphere.

The films regard the three French ideals quite indirectly, and in fact more and more so as the trilogy progresses. BLUE is the only one that deals with the ideal of "freedom" (albeit emotional freedom) in a concrete way, inviting us to ponder its meanings and its attainability. WHITE treats the concept of "equality" in a rather subversive and satiric manner, and it clearly wants us to rethink its meanings rather than accepting it at face value. And RED has to do with "fraternity" only circumstantially, and has more to do with the subject of destiny, and how our past is linked to our present. The three films are set not just in France, but also in Poland and Switzerland, and WHITE has primarily Polish dialogs. Hence, a sort of universality is intended.

The three films are also linked in various ways.
Read more ›
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
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102 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Ed N on January 13, 2003
Format: DVD
The Three Colors Trilogy comprises 3 superb films (Bleu/Blanc/Rouge) by the late, great director Krzysztof Kieslowski. The films use the symbolism expressed by the colors of the French flag for their themes (liberty, equality, fraternity). The Three Colors is Kieslowski's crowning achievement, and Rouge, his final film, is probably his masterpiece. That's saying something, because some of his previous films (Decalogue, The Double Life of Veronique) are among the greatest films of the last 20 years! I saw Bleu (with Juliette Binoche) a long time ago and was very impressed. It's a sad but beautful movie, about a composer's widow and how she copes with life after his death. Blanc (with Julie Delpy) is about life for a man after he is unceremoniously dumped by his wife; it's the lightest and most comedic of the three films. Rouge (with Irene Jacob) is my favorite and explores the melancholy (and platonic) relationship that develops between a young lady and an older man. Jacob is quite simply a goddess, and if you can tear your eyes away from her long enough to pay attention to the movie, you'll find this is a thematically rich film with solid, subtle performances (Kieslowski was nominated for a Best Director Oscar for Rouge in 1995). I am lucky enough to own a DVD of Rouge which has a ton of extras (making of, deleted scenes, soundtrack samples, trailers, film-making lesson by the director, Cannes festival interviews, extended interviews with editor, director, and *sigh* Irene Jacob). I believe the upcoming Miramax DVDs retain these features (with subtitles), which are in French. More Americans should experience these films. They are so well-made and lovingly crafted that they put to shame all the multi-million dollar, shallow, explosion-fests routinely shovelled out by Hollywood nowadays.Read more ›
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Three Colors: Blue, White, Red (Criterion Collection)
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