America Lost and Found: The BBS Story (Head / Easy Rider / Five Easy Pieces / Drive, He Said / The Last Picture Show / The King of Marvin Gardens / A Safe Place) (The Criterion Collection)[Blu-ray]
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The innovative films produced by this team between 1968 and 1972 are collected in this box set—works created within the studio system but lifted right out of the countercultural id, and that now range from the iconic (Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, The Last Picture Show) to the acclaimed (The King of Marvin Gardens) to the obscure (Head; Drive, He Said; A Safe Place).
Hey, hey, it’s the Monkees... being catapulted through one of American cinema’s most surreal '60s odysseys. In it, Mickey Dolenz, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork become trapped in a kaleidoscopic satire that’s movie homage, media send-up, concert movie, and antiwar cry all at once. Head escaped commercial success on its release but has since been reclaimed as one of the great cult objects of its era.
(85 minutes, color, monaural/surround, 1.78:1 aspect ratio)
Easy Rider (1969)
This is the definitive counterculture blockbuster. The former clean-cut teen star Dennis Hopper’s down-and-dirty directorial debut, Easy Rider heralded the arrival of a new voice in film, one planted firmly, angrily against the mainstream. After Easy Rider’s cross-country journey—with its radical, New Wave-style editing, outsider-rock soundtrack, revelatory performance by a young Jack Nicholson, and explosive ending—the American road trip would never be the same.
(96 minutes, color, surround, 1.85:1 aspect ratio)
Five Easy Pieces (1970)
Jack Nicholson plays the now iconic cad Bobby Dupea, a shiftless thirtysomething oil rigger and former piano prodigy immune to any sense of romantic or familial responsibility, who returns to his childhood home to see his ailing estranged father, his blue-collar girlfriend (Karen Black, like Nicholson nominated for an Oscar) in tow. Moving in its simplicity and gritty in its textures, Bob Rafelson’s Five Easy Pieces is a lasting example of early 1970s American alienation.
(98 minutes, color, monaural, 1.85:1 aspect ratio)
Drive, He Said (1970)
Based on the best-selling novel by Jeremy Larner, Drive, He Said is free-spirited and sobering by turns, a sketch of the exploits of a disaffected college basketball player and his increasingly radical roommate, a feverishly shot and edited snapshot of the early '70s (some of it was filmed during an actual campus protest). Jack Nicholson’s audacious comedy (starring Bruce Dern and Karen Black) is a startling howl direct from the zeitgeist.
(90 minutes, color, monaural, 1.85:1 aspect ratio)
A Safe Place (1971)
In this delicate, introspective drama, laced with fantasy elements, Tuesday Weld stars as a fragile young woman in New York unable to reconcile her ambiguous past with her unmoored present; Orson Welles as an enchanting Central Park magician and Jack Nicholson as a mysterious ex-lover round out the cast. A Safe Place was directed by independent cinema icon Henry Jaglom.
(92 minutes, color, monaural, 1.85:1 aspect ratio)
The Last Picture Show (1971)
The Last Picture Show is one of the key films of the American cinema renaissance of the '70s. Set during the early '50s in the loneliest Texas nowheresville to ever dust up a movie screen, this aching portrait of a dying West, adapted from Larry McMurtry’s novel, focuses on the daily shuffles of three futureless teens—enigmatic Sonny (Timothy Bottoms), (Jeff Bridges), and desperate-to-be-adored rich girl Jacy (Cybil Shepherd)—and the aging lost souls who bump up against them in the night like drifting tumbleweeds. This hushed depiction of crumbling American values remains the pivotal film in the career of the invaluable director and film historian Peter Bogdanovich.
(126 minutes, black and white, monaural, 1.85:1 aspect ratio)
The King of Marvin Gardens (1972)
For his electrifying follow-up to the smash success of Five Easy Pieces, Bob Rafelson dug even deeper into the crushed dreams of wayward America. Jack Nicholson and Bruce Dern play estranged siblings David and Jason, the former a depressive late-night radio talk show host, the latter an extroverted con man; when Jason drags his younger brother to a dreary Atlantic City and into a real-estate scam, events spiral into tragedy.
(104 minutes, color, monaural, 1.85:1 aspect ratio)
Top Customer Reviews
Head was a lost gem I first saw on the CBS Late Movie in the early 1970s. To understand it, it helps to have some background about the Monkees and the myths surrounding them, as well as their desire to be taken seriously as a 1960s rock group. I already owned the Rhino DVD version, which professed that the 1:33 to 1 aspect ratio was original intended version. Nothing could be further from the truth; here it is presented in its original 1:78 to 1 aspect ratio (16:9 in the parlance of our times). The extras are very informative as is the commentary by Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz. Finally, an honorable version of this wonderful cult film!
I have seen Easy Rider several times over the years; the last time I saw it was a DVD presentation and I found it to be somewhat dated. However, due to the excellent HD transfer I was less focused on the lingo of the day and more on Laszlo Kovac's excellent cinematography. It's amazing how great the film looks with a proper transfer and it gave me a greatly renewed interest. Again, the extras are top-notch and very informative. It's equally impressive how much "bang for the buck" BBS got from all their films.
Five Easy Pieces was another film I already owned on DVD but again, this version looks wonderful.Read more ›
The four leading actors are all at the top of their form. I have never seen Nicholson timid, unsure, or at a loss for words before. Dern is hopelessly reckless. Robinson is an innocent in an evil environment. Burstyn is perfect as the key to the whole story, which is one that I'll never forget. You'll think about this quiet little film long after the credits are over.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wish that ‘One Star’ did not mean ‘I hate it’. ‘Hate’ is the opposite of ‘Love’ and for both passion, negative or positive is necessary. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lars A. Selen
The streaming video stopped and restarted at least 50 times. It took over 2.5 hours to watch a 1.5 hour film. An unsatisfactory experience. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Conrad Sansbury
Ordered as a gift for my brother. Loves the movies. Package got here pretty fast.Published 6 months ago by Wills8114
Great movie; especially when it was made. The tape is as describedPublished 6 months ago by BetsyRoss
I've studied Easy Rider for almost 20 years. I've ridden the route more from the movie more than a few times, and documented it. Read morePublished 8 months ago by MrZip66
fantastic box;The Last Picture Show is utteringly amazing;Head is a good film;Five Easy Pieces a Must see for Nicholson fans;especially the café scenePublished 8 months ago by gummy
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