Bergman’s “Sawdust and Tinsel,” Barbara Stanwyck in “Forty Guns,” and “A Dry White Season” Apartheid Drama on Criterion’s December Slate

The Criterion Collection’s December slate kicks off December 11 with  Euzhan Palcy’s (Hollywood’s first black female director) 1989 film A Dry White Season (DVD: $29.95, Blu-ray: $39.95), based on the courageous apartheid chronicle by André Brink that follows a white Johannesburg schoolteacher (Donald Sutherland) who remains blissfully incurious about the lives of his black countrymen until a wave of brutal repression comes crashing down on his gardener (Winston Ntshona). Also arriving on December 11 is filmmaker Samuel Fuller’s unconventional 1957 western Forty Guns (DVD: $29.95, Blu-ray: $39.95), featuring silver screen legend Barbara Stanwyck as a rancher who commands a posse of cowboys and falls for a U.S. marshal (Barry Sullivan). Coming December 18 is a new 4K restoration of Julien Duvivier’s long-unavailable 1946 black-and-white thriller Panique (DVD: $29.95, Blu-ray: $39.95), based on a novel by Georges Simenon that centers on eccentric, antisocial Monsieur Hire (Michel Simon), who feels drawn to a pretty young newcomer in town (Viviane Romance) and is framed for murder. Also slated for December 18 is the standalone Blu-ray 2K digital restoration of Ingmar Bergman’s piercing 1953 psychological drama Sawdust and Tinsel (Blu-ray: $39.95), an early breakthrough for the legendary Swedish filmmaker centering on a  battle of the sexes between a turn-of-the-20th-century circus owner (Åke Grönberg) and his younger mistress (Harriet Andersson).