Smithereens [DVD] [1982]

Susan Seidelman's portrait of one would-be celebrity trying to break into New York's Downtown rock scene was one of the pioneering films of the independent film movement, and Blue Underground has given it a suitably strong presentation on DVD. Smithereens has been given a letterboxed transfer to disc in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.66:1, which is also enhanced for anamorphic play on 16 x 9 monitors. The image is often grainy (thanks largely to its 16mm origins), but the transfer accurately reflects how the film looked in theaters when it was first released, and the colors are potent and well saturated. The film's original audio mix is included in Dolby Digital Mono, and two new multi-channel mixes also appear on this release, in Dolby Digital Surround and Dolby Digital 5.1. No subtitles or multiple language options have been included. This edition includes a bonus documentary on the making of the movie, featuring interviews with stars Susan Berman and Richard Hell, as well as a commentary track from director Seidelman, the film's original trailer, and a gallery of stills and promotional artwork. Blue Underground is to be congratulated for giving an important and underappreciated film the quality DVD presentation it deserves.
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Special Features

  • Audio commentary with co-writer/director Susan Seidelman
  • Desperately Seeking Susan & Richard - interviews with stars Susan Berman and Richard Hell
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Poster and still gallery


Written, produced, directed, and edited by Susan Seidelman in true student film fashion, Smithereens is the story of Wren (Susan Berman), an independent spirit from New Jersey trying to self-promote herself into the New York punk scene. She meets Paul (Brad Rijn), who ran away from Montana and lives out of his van in a parking lot. Paul seems to offer genuine friendship, however, Wren is only interested in forming meaningless relationships in hopes of bolstering her nonexistent career. She has no musical talents or industry skills, yet she aggressively pursues a pathetic spot for herself in places like the Peppermint Lounge. She drops Paul for Eric (Richard Hell, who also performs on the musical score), who has a record deal, and they work out a plan to escape to California, which requires Wren to pose as a prostitute in order to scam money from a prospective john. Things don't work out, and Wren finds herself hitting one wall after another, eventually getting kicked out of her apartment. With no place to go, Wren seeks out everyone she knows in the city, only to find herself left alone. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Image coming soon
    Susan Berman - Wren
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    Richard Hell - Eric
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    Roger Jett - Billy
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    Nada Despotovich - Cecile
  • Image coming soon
    Kitty Summerall - Blonde

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