New Release: Broadcast News Criterion Blu-ray and DVD

The Criterion Collection released Blu-ray and DVD editions of Broadcast News, written and directed by James L. Brooks (How Do You Know), on Jan. 25, 2011, priced at $39.95 and $29.95, respectively.

In the 1970s, the name James L. Brooks (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Taxi, The Simpsons) was synonymous with intelligent television comedy. He transitioned to film in the 1980s, offering the dynamic one-two punch of Terms of Endearment in 1983 and then the comedy drama Broadcast News in 1987.

A caustic inside look the Washington news media, the film stars Holly Hunter (Raising Arizona) in her breakout role, as a feisty television producer torn between an ambitious yet dim anchorman (William Hurt, Body Heat) and her closest confidant, a cynical veteran reporter (Albert Brooks, Defending Your Life).

A box office hit, Broadcast News was nominated for seven Academy Award but didn’t bring home any. (The Last Emperor and Moonstruck picked up a bunch of Oscar statues that year.)

The film got a new restored high-definition digital transfer on Blu-ray and DVD, supervised by Brooks and editor Richard Marks, with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition.

The special features for both the Blu-ray and two-DVD set include the following:

  • new audio commentary featuring Brooks and Marks
  • new documentary on Brooks’s career in television and film, featuring actors Marilu Henner (Taxi) and Julie Kavner (Rhoda, The Simpsons) and several other of Brooks’s collaborators
  • deleted scenes and an alternate ending, with commentary by Brooks
  • new video interview with veteran CBS news producer Susan Zirinsky, one of the models for actress Holly Hunter’s character and an associate producer on the film
  • featurette with on-set footage and interviews with Brooks, Hunter, and actor Albert Brooks
  • original theatrical trailer
  • booklet featuring an essay by film critic Carrie Rickey


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.