Criterion puts on a Charade

Three new titles are coming in spring from Criterion, the mystery Charade, the Japanese Story of Floating Weeds and the 1977 Robert Altman film Three Women.

In “Charade”, Reggie Lambert returns from Paris from a ski trip in the French Alps to find her house ransacked and her husband dead. His funeral is attended by some curious thugs including James Coburn and George Kennedy, each of whom makes sure that the dead man is indeed dead. Peter offers his assistance to Reggie, as does CIA man Bartholomew, who informs her that her husband was not the man she thought he was.

The disc features commentary by director Stanley Donen and screenwriter Peter Stone, selected filmography, a trailer and Peter Stone career highlights.

An aging actor returns to a small town in “Floating Weeds” with his troupe and reunites with his former lover and illegitimate son, a scenario that enrages his current mistress and results in heartbreak for all.

The two disc set contains commentary by Japanese-film historian Donald Richie, a second audio commentary by film critic Roger Ebert and “Stories of Floating Weeds,” an essay by Donald Richie about the differences in Ozu’s two versions of the film.

“Three Women” takes place in a dusty, under-populated California resort town, Pinky Rose, a naive and impressionable Southern waif begins her life as a nursing home attendant. There, Pinky finds her role model in fellow nurse “Thoroughly Modern” Millie Lammoreaux, a misguided would-be sophisticate and hopeless devotee of Cosmopolitan and Woman’s Day magazines. When Millie accepts Pinky into her home at the Purple Sage singles’ complex, Pinky’s hero-worship evolves into something far stranger and more sinister than either could have anticipated.

The presentation includes audio commentary by director Robert Altman, a still gallery and an original theatrical trailer.

“Charade” arrives on April 6th, while the other titles arrive on April 20th. All will have a suggested retail price of $39.95.

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