Criterion has announced that they're about to lose the rights to 23 excellent titles from StudioCanal at the end of March. "The titles are going to Lionsgate, and we don't know when they may be rereleased. As ever, we will continue to try to relicense the films so that they can rejoin the collection sometime in the future." The titles are: Alphaville, Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy, Le corbeau, Coup de torchon, Diary of a Country Priest, The Fallen Idol, Forbidden Games, Gervaise, Grand Illusion, Le jour se leve, Last Holiday, Mayerling, The Orphic Trilogy, Peeping Tom, Pierrot le fou, Port of Shadows, Quai des Orfevres, The Small Back Room, The Tales of Hoffmann, Trafic, Le trou, Variety Lights, and The White Sheik.
Until they're out of stock, each of these films will be an additional $5 off. So, for a title like Jean Luc Godard's Alphaville, that's $13.96 -- not too shabby at all for a Criterion release of a classic. My top pick would be Last Holiday. Henry Cass' black comedy stars Alec Guinness (the Obi-Wan Kenobi) as a man learning he only has a few months to live. He withdraws all of his money, and heads to a resort to live up his final moments, only to be showered with the most biting luck -- job offers and cash he'll never be able to use.
Don't be discouraged by back-ordered films, Criterion is getting more and states: "We should be back in stock by the middle of next week, and we'll honor all orders placed through the end of March." So, get shopping!