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Down by Law [Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray] [1986]

Release Date:07/17/2012
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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (4 out of 4)

    Special Features

    • Audio Interview with Jarmusch from 2002
    • Interview with Director of Photography Robby Müller from 2002
    • Footage from the 1986 Cannes Film Festival, including a press conference with Jarmusch and actors John Lurie, featuring Commentary
    • Sixteen Outtakes
    • Music Video for Tom Waits' cover of Cole Porter's "It's All Right With Me," directed by Jarmusch
    • Q&A with Jarmusch in which he responds to fans' questions
    • Recordings of phone conversations between Jarmusch and Waits, Benigni, and Lurie
    • Production Polaroids and location stills
    • Trailer
    • Isolated Music Track
    • Optional French dub track, featuring Benigni
    • Plus: An essay by critic Luc Sante


    Down by Law
    Jim Jarmusch follows his groundbreaking Stranger Than Paradise with another rambling, character-driven film with a twisted sense of humor. Set in a seedy New Orleans summer, Down By Law details the meeting of three unlikely convicts and their just as unlikely escape. Zack (Tom Waits) is an out-of-work DJ who is accused of murder when a body is found in the trunk of a stolen car he was hired to drive across town. Jack (John Lurie) is a pimp set up for a fall by a competitor. These two sullen souls are locked in a cell with Roberto (Roberto Benigni), a cheerful Italian immigrant who happens to have killed a man. The chemistry between the members of this loosely bound "team" is fascinating: Zack and Jack are forever laughing at Roberto, yet they rely on his energy and good will to escape their dire situation. The three mismatched miscreants eventually bust out of jail and head into the Louisiana bayous. Tired and hungry, they separate to search for food: Waits goes one way, Lurie another, and the frightened Benigni decides to risk stepping into a ramshackle diner. Somehow or other, he winds up in the arms of gorgeous Italian girl Nicoletta Braschi -- and is even able to provide new clothes and escape routes for his astonished comrades! ~ John Voorhees, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Tom Waits
      Tom Waits - Zack
    • John Lurie
      John Lurie - Jack
    • Roberto Benigni
      Roberto Benigni - Roberto
    • Nicoletta Braschi
      Nicoletta Braschi - Nicoletta
    • Ellen Barkin
      Ellen Barkin - Laurette

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.