Merchant Ivory

Merchant Ivory Productions has an impressive slate of about 50 films to their credit. Of that group, Janus had about half of them in their stable for over a decade. They signed a 10-year license with MIP in 1999 with a few short extensions and the last of the films (Howards End) ended the contractual agreement in early 2014.

Howards End was the only title to make it to Blu-ray during this initial contract. It actually came about due to a consumer vote!

From Amazon in April 2009

Together with the Criterion Collection, we’re offering customers the unique opportunity to select an upcoming Blu-ray release from the Criterion Collection. From now until May 25th, select from Au Revoir Les Enfants, Down By Law, Howards End, Kwaidan, and Picnic at Hanging Rock. The winning title will be released later in 2009.

Throughout 2003 to 2005, Janus worked in house with Criterion to put out the Merchant Ivory Collection on DVD. Never explicitly branded as Criterion titles nor carrying the requisite spine numbers, the collection still has many hallmarks of a  Criterion release: commentaries, early films, documentaries, and interviews. 18 separate DVDs with 26 total titles were released during this period.

All of these titles went Out of Print earlier this decade due to an unfortunate breach of contract suit between the Merchant Ivory bond holders and Janus/Criterion. The action was finally dismissed with prejudice in 2012 with both parties instructed to pay their own legal fees. These titles are now part of the Cohen Media Group and will be coming to blu-ray via them. It is worth noting that the 2015 release of A Room with a View came through a different relationship with Westchester Films.


Bombay Talkie Heat and Dust Howards End Original Hullabaloo In Custody Jane Austen in Manhattan Maurice Quartet Roseland Savages Shakespeare Wallah The Ballad of the Sad Cafe The Bostonians The Courtesans of Bombay The Deceivers The Europeans The Householder The Perfect Murder