In the age of digital downloads and locking all your goodies up in the cloud, there are still those of us who defy the times and will happily spend (too much) money on blu-rays. As a card-carrying member of #TeamPhysicalMedia, iTunes can pry my out of print Criterion edition of Peeping Tom out of my cold dead hands.
Sure, technology changes (writes the person with a working BetaMAX player) but movie lovers and collectors will continue to grow their personal libraries that are bound to include more than a few rare items.
For a lot of film lovers, the jewels in the collection are Criterion editions, themselves never guaranteed to be in print forever.
Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who snapped up The Third Man when you had the chance, an OOP Criterion that now sells for $239. Same goes for the similarly-priced edition of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Le Corbeau. The going rate of Last Year At Marienbad is $311 and Pierrot le fou is routinely priced at $126.
But none of them come close to Tokyo Olympiad which retails for a whopping $679.
And that’s just the Criterion Collection – there’s plenty of “regular” movies that for the longest time, just couldn’t legally be found anywhere to stream or to buy without breaking the bank.
The late Anthony Minghella’s romance Truly, Madly, Deeply with Alan Rickman was so hard to come by for on long, there’s a DVD import listed at $1016.62 on Amazon. A friend has been searching for Condorman on DVD for less than $100 for years. Before it was re-issued, I scoured used bins for a copy of Rat Race that was cheaper than the single $99 VHS option available online.
Nothing truly beats eventually finding that rare film on your list after what feels like a never-ending search, especially when you managed to snag it from an unsuspecting seller…It’s not really your fault the rental store going out of business didn’t know the copy of Mona Lisa in your hands is listed for $286 new on Amazon, right? (Sorry, Queen Video).
We’ve all browsed the used stores to see “Rare! Out of print!” signs on a title and think smugly, “I have that on my shelf at home”…even if it sits unwatched and covered in dust.
What do you consider the crown jewel of your personal movie collection? Is it the out of print copy of Monty Python’s Life Of Brian or the rare Christopher Lambert chess thriller Night Moves?