Today: April 23, 2024

Unboxing Radiance’s Robert Altman Titles

Radiance Films, who burst onto the physical media scene earlier this year and have since impressed us massively with releases like Cosa Nostra, are still going from strength to strength in their first year on the boutique Blu-ray circuit. Two of their latest releases celebrate the great auteur Robert Altman – his 1974 period crime drama Thieves Like Us, and O.C. and Stiggs, his zany 80s teen comedy. These two films alone show the incredible versatility of the great filmmaker, and are truly hidden gems in his filmography – hidden no more, thanks to Radiance Films! These stunning new releases are utterly gorgeous, packed with fascinating special features and writings, and glorious transfers of the films. What a time to be a Blu-ray collector with all of these incredible labels doing such impeccable work.

THIEVES LIKE US

A group of criminals daringly escape from prison in depression-era Mississippi. They survive by robbing banks and hole up with a gas station attendant where injured Bowie (Keith Carradine, Nashville) falls in love with the attendant’s daughter Keechie (Shelley Duvall, 3 Women). Made within one of the great runs of back-to-back classics by any filmmaker, Robert Altman followed multi-award-winning classics like M*A*S*H and The Long Goodbye with Thieves Like Us, an adaptation of Edward Anderson’s pulp novel. Previously adapted by Nicholas Ray as They Live by Night, Altman’s film takes a more faithful approach to the source material, preserving the original tone and period of the novel, going back to historical and American myth themes that Altman mined so brilliantly in his earlier McCabe & Mrs. Miller. Critically praised, noted critic Pauline Kael described it as “the closest to flawless of Altman’s films – a masterpiece.”

BLU-RAY LIMITED EDITION SPECIAL FEATURES

  • High Definition digital transfer
  • Original uncompressed mono PCM audio
  • Audio commentary by director Robert Altman
  • Brand new interview with co-screenwriter Joan Tewkesbury who discusses the film and her working relationship with Altman (2023)
  • Brand new interview with star Keith Carradine (2023)
  • Geoff Andrew on Thieves Like Us – the critic discusses the film and its place within Altman’s work
  • Two classic radio plays featured in the film – The Shadow written by and starring Orson Welles and Speed Gibson of the International Secret Police starring Ed Gardner
  • Trailer
  • Promotional image gallery
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Reversible sleeve featuring designs based on original posters
  • Limited edition booklet featuring new writing by critic Pamela Hutchinson; archival writing by Robert Altman; and a piece looking at the script development from the novel by professor Alan Schroeder
  • Limited edition of 3000 copies, presented in full-height Scanavo packaging with removable OBI strip leaving packaging free of certificates and markings

O.C. AND STIGGS

O.C. and Stiggs are a pair of sharp teens who carry out a vendetta against middle-class neighbour Mr. Schwab as his insurance company has cancelled O.C’s grandfather’s retirement policy. From characters created by Ted Mann and Tod Carroll of the National Lampoon (the magazine that ushered in the biggest comedy of the era in Animal House), Robert Altman brought O.C. and Stiggs to the screen, a blazing satire of 1980s America. A precursor to delinquent characters like Wayne and Garth and Beavis and Butthead the film has been described as “cooler than Ferris. As savage as Heathers” (Hunter Stephenson). Beautifully shot with visual anarchy to match its acerbic screenplay, O.C. and Stiggs features a sensational cast including Jane Curtin (Third Rock From the Sun), Paul Dooley (Sixteen Candles), Jon Cryer (Hot Shots!), Dennis Hopper (Blue Velvet), Melvin Van Peebles (Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song) and others, presented on Blu-ray for the first time.

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • High-Definition digital transfer
  • Uncompressed mono PCM audio
  • A new documentary featurette on the making of the film by critic Hunter Stephenson featuring new interviews with the cast and crew (2023) – more details to be confirmed
  • New interview with camera operator Robert Reed Altman (2023)
  • Altman on O.C. and Stiggs archival featurette (2005, 8 mins)
  • Trailer
  • Gallery of rare imagery
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and new artwork by Time Tomorrow
  • Limited edition booklet featuring archival writings by Robert Altman about the film and his approaches to filmmaking
  • Limited edition of 3000 copies, presented in full-height Scanavo packaging with removable OBI strip leaving packaging free of certificates and markings
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