Blu-Ray Review: Raising Cain

Today, John Lithgow is probably best known for his work on the small screen. Whilst he’s currently gracing our screens in his Emmy-nominated role as Winston Churchill in The Crown, Lithgow also delivered eye-catching performances in 3rd Rock from the Sun and Dexter. He still pops-up in films now and again, but his more prominent roles came decades ago in Blow Out, The World According to Garp and Harry and the Hendersons. He’s worked with Brian De Palma on several occasions, and in Raising Cain he takes on multiple roles; delivering a bewildering performance.

Jenny (Lolita Davidovich) is becoming increasingly concerned about her husband, eminent child psychologist Dr Carter Nix (Lithgow), who has become obsessed with studying their young daughter. Unbeknownst to Jenny, Carter suffers from multiple personality disorder. She’s having an affair with Jack Dante (Steven Bauer), the widower of one of her patients. When children start to go missing, all the clues point to Jack, but something doesn’t feel quite right.

Raising Cain is all about Lithgow. He fully commits to the part, taking on the role of multiple characters whilst hardly batting an eyelid between changes. This limited-edition Arrow package includes both the theatrical and Director’s Cut. The latter is more linear, but what it reduces in confusion it lacks in mystery. Whilst it’s impossible to say what De Palma’s intent was with Raising Cain, and how intentional or unintentional some of the more hammy moments are, it’s a film which showcases Lithgow in all his malevolent glory.

Limited Edition Contents:

  • Limited Edition [3000 copies] containing two versions of the film on Blu-ray and the theatrical version on DVD
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing on both versions
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nathanael Marsh
  • Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anne Billson

Discs 1&2 – Theatrical Version (DVD & Blu-Ray)

  • High Definition digital transfer of the theatrical version
  • Hickory Dickory Doc, a brand-new interview with actor John Lithgow
  • The Man in My Life, an interview with actor Steven Bauer
  • Have You Talked to the Others?, an interview with editor Paul Hirsch
  • Three Faces of Henry, an interview with actor Gregg Henry
  • The Cat’s in the Bag, an interview with actor Tom Bower
  • A Little Too Late for That, an interview with actor Mel Harris
  • Raising Pino, a brand-new interview with composer Pino Donaggio
  • Father’s Day, a brand-new video essay about the multiple versions of Raising Cain by Chris Dumas, author of Un-American Psycho: Brian De Palma and the Political Invisible
  • Theatrical Trailer

Disc 3 – Director’s Cut (Blu-Ray Exclusive)

  • Raising Cain: The Director’s Cut, a De Palma-endorsed recreation of the film by Peet Belder Gelderblom, re-ordered as originally planned
  • Changing Cain: Brian De Palma’s Cult Classic Restored, an introduction by Gelderblom to the Director’s Cut
  • Raising Cain Re-Cut, a video essay by Gelderblom on the origins and differences of the Director’s Cut

Raising Cain is released today on Dual Format Blu-ray and DVD by Arrow Video.

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