Blu-ray, DVD Release: The Comfort of Strangers

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Available now
Price: DVD $21.99, Blu-ray $27.99
Studio: Criterion

Adapting the acclaimed novel by Ian McEwan, playwright and screenwriter Harold Pinter lends his trademark unnerving dialogue and air of creeping menace to the 1990 drama The Comfort of Strangers, a study of power, control, and the frighteningly thin line between pleasure and pain.

Rupert Everett and Natasha Richardson are the prey, a beautiful British couple working on their relationship while on holiday in Venice; Christopher Walken (Romance & Cigarettes) and Helen Mirren (Woman in Gold) are the hunters who draw them into the sinister web of their opulent, old-world palazzo. What plays out is an unsettling, sadomasochistic seduction imbued with an atmosphere of sumptuous dread by the elegantly gliding tracking shots of cinematographer Dante Spinotti, lush score by Angelo Badalamenti (Blue Velvet), and carefully controlled direction of Paul Schrader (Cat People), who choreographs a mesmerizing pas de quatre of sustained erotic and emotional tension.

Criterion’s DVD and Blu-ray editions of the film contain the following:

* New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Dante Spinotti, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
* New interviews with Spinotti, director Paul Schrader, actor Christopher Walken, and editor Bill Pankow
* Interviews from 1981 and 2001 with novelist Ian McEwan and actor Natasha Richardson
* Trailers
* English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
* An essay by critic Maitland McDonagh

Buy or Rent The Comfort of Strangers

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.