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(Josef von Sternberg, 1931)
Release date: 18 December 2023
Limited Edition Blu-ray (World premiere)

In the middle of his classic series of collaborations with Marlene Dietrich, Josef von Sternberg substituted the iconic German star with Phillips Holmes (The Criminal Code) and Sylvia Sidney (You and Me) to make An American Tragedy, a shocking tale of crime and punishment.

Clyde (Holmes), a poor garment worker with a past he wishes to forget, has a shot at the good life when he meets heiress Sondra (Frances Dee). But when his clandestine girlfriend Roberta (Sidney) announces she is pregnant, Clyde considers drastic actions in order to preserve his dream of affluence.

Based on the novel by Theodore Dreiser (which would later be adapted as A Place in the Sun, starring Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor), and inspired by a notorious real-life murder case, An American Tragedy is a searing indictment of the American dream.

  • 2019 restoration from a 4K scan

  • Original mono audio

  • Audio commentary with film historian Josh Nelson (2023)

  • Josef von Sternberg Oral History (1958, 27 mins): rare archival audio recording of the celebrated filmmaker in conversation with George Pratt

  • Lee Garmes Oral History (1958, 89 mins): rare archival audio recording of the cinematographer in conversation with Pratt

  • An American Picture (2023, 29 mins): extensive discussion of An American Tragedy by the writer and film programmer Tony Rayns

  • Nurture & Nature (2023, 8 mins): video essay by film historian Tag Gallagher

  • Image gallery: promotional and publicity materials

  • New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

  • Limited edition exclusive 40-page booklet with a new essay by Imogen Sara Smith, Jeff Billington on Sergei Eisenstein’s proposed Hollywood adaptation of An American Tragedy, extracts from Josef von Sternberg’s memoir Fun in a Chinese Laundry, an archival article on Theodore Dreiser’s response to the film, and film credits

  • World premiere on Blu-ray

  • Limited edition of 3,000 copies for the UK

BBFC cert: PG
EAN: 5060697923728