Akira Kurosawa's powerful story of corruption and murder in the boardrooms of Japanese commerce gets a long overdue release on North American DVD with is top-shelf release from The Criterion Collection. Warui Yatsu Hodo Yoku Nemuru
(aka The Bad Sleep Well
) has been given a widescreen transfer to disc, letterboxed on standard monitors at the aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and enhanced for 16 x 9 playback on widescreen equipment. Telecine supervisor Lee Kline has done an especially fine job with this title, capturing the deep-focus details and sharp contrasts of Yuzuru Aizawa
's camerawork with commendable accuracy. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono; the dialogue is in Japanese, with optional English subtitles that are clear and easy to read. As a bonus, this edition includes the film's original theatrical trailer as well as a 33-minute episode from the series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create
which focuses on the making of The Bad Sleep Well
and features insightful interviews with members of the cast and crew. Finally, the accompanying booklet features perceptive essays on the movie from filmmaker Michael Almereyda
and author Chuck Stephens. Criterion's DVD releases are widely regarded as the gold standard of home video, and this simple but carefully executed disc is a fine example of their determination to do right by every film they release, and it's an impressive achievement.