Fear And Desire Restoration Coming, Could It Follow Paths Of Glory Or The Killing In The Criterion Collection?

With Stanley Kubrick’s return to the Criterion Collection just a month away, with the upcoming release of Paths Of Glory, the legendary filmmaker’s first film may finally be seeing the light of day.

For decades, Kubrick and his estate had kept the film, Fear And Desire, under strict lock and key, not being too open to showing the film to the public, but according to The Wall Street Journal, that may be changing.

The outlet is reporting that Caroline Frick Page, the curator of motion pictures for the George Eastman House, hosted a special screening of the film, where she happened to discuss new details surrounding a possible restoration of the film, which will culminate in its home video debut.

Now that sounds awesome, but what makes this great, is that Page said the restoration would take place between the Eastman House and ‘another company.’   That could mean any company running today, but personally, I hope, and would have to think, that that would mean possibly the Criterion Collection.   No one does restorations like the Collection, and honestly, with Paths Of Glory coming up, they would have to be more than in the mood to toss in another film from the auteur, let alone his very first film, something the Collection absolutely adores.

Just a hunch, but fingers are definitely cross, in the hopes of bringing this one into the collection.

Source: WSJ


  • If the Criterion Collection is going to release “Fear and Desire” it should be released as a supplement to either “The Killing” or “Killer’s Kiss”. Even die-hard Kubrick fans will admit that it is the equivalent of a student film.

  • Being the Kubrick completist that I am, I paid a small fortune to acquire a DVD copy of this film years ago. In short, it was not the wisest of investments. I’m with you Ray (and Stanley).

  • I will repost my words from the Amazon Criterion discussion board last summer:

    Your post: July 29, 2010 1:21 PM PDT
    Tom Rouse says:
    How about:

    The Early Films of Stanley Kubrick

    I’m very happy to see an upcoming release for Paths Of Glory on Criterion and will be first in line to buy it, but I would give (almost) anything to see Fear And Desire. It may not have been among Kubrick’s masterworks, but for film scholars it would be a treasure to study. (Like finding a manuscript of that second violin concerto Brahms thought he destroyed because it wasn’t worthy of his best work.) According to an entry in Wikipedia, a commercially available copy of Fear And Desire belongs to the George Eastman House.

    Day of The Fight and The Flying Padre were broadcast on TCM a few years ago. The Seafarers is available on DVD and so also is Killer’s Kiss. Any (preferably all) of these could be included.

    If Criterion would package these, especially Fear And Desire, along with the usual great commentaries and critiques, (include some early Look photos maybe?) it would make a very nice special box set, one that every SK scholar/lover would buy and be a real contribution to film studies.


    Update January 2, 2011:

    I’m very pleased to read that a restoration and release may be in the works. I hope it’s true. Fear And Desire will have limited entertainment value, but it is the missing link in the filmography of one of the most important filmmakers ever. Film scholars and Kubrick readers will finally get to study the film. It will add to our understanding of how Kubrick matured as an artist.

    BTW, I bought the BD of Paths of Glory and am very pleased with it. I hope Criterion will do all of SK’s films. Barry Lyndon should be next.

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