The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films on laserdisc, began with a mission to pull the treasures of world cinema out of the film vaults and put them into the hands of collectors. The films published under the Criterion banner each represent cinema at its finest. During the twelve years that we have been making laserdiscs, we've seen a lot of things change, but one thing has remained constant: our commitment to publishing the defining moments of cinema in the world's best laserdisc editions.

The most significant change we've seen is that laserdiscs have gotten better, and we are proud to know that over the years, Criterion has helped to set those standards. For each disc, we track down the best available film elements in the world, use state-of-the-art telecine equipment and a select few colorists capable of meeting our rigorous standards, and take time during the film-to-video digital transfer to create the most pristine possible image and sound. Whenever possible, we work with directors and cinematographers to assure that the look of our laserdiscs does justice to their intentions. Above all, we never crop, scan, or squeeze the image on our discs. Each film in the collection is presented uncut, in its original aspect ratio, making the home viewing experience as close as possible to the original theatrical presentation.

The other big change is that "Special Editions" have become the most exciting aspect of owning a laser player. In 1984, when we started putting supplementary material on our discs--using still-frame capacity to reproduce scripts, storyboards, and photographs, adding trailers, deleted scenes, inventing film-to-storyboard comparisons and screen specific audio commentaries--some thought we were crazy. Today, laserdisc has become the only format to play a vital role in preserving our collective film heritage.

Longtime Criterion collectors, to whom we owe our thanks, have come to trust the Criterion banner as a symbol of the highest technical quality, groundbreaking supplements, and only the very best in film. We continue to receive letters from customers who are glad to have taken chances on movies they didn't know just because we had given it our seal of approval. Our first priority is never to disappoint that trust.

Newcomers to Criterion may be amazed that a collection of films this prestigious and eclectic can be gathered under one banner. To be honest, so are we. This collection is a collaboration of filmmakers, studios, and Criterion crews over more than a decade, all committed to one thing: putting movie first. We hope you enjoy it.

Criterion Collection film catalog:
by title | by director | by genre | by country | by year | director approved