Not only has Death Watch never previously been available on DVD, but this fascinating, moving, and disturbingly prescient SF film has never been distributed in North America at its proper length - something that I'm assured by Shout! Factory will be remedied with this release. Distributors of the film apparently felt, when it was first released in 1980, that a twist that Tavernier introduces into the narrative wouldn't be accepted by the audience, and/or (according to the director) would be seen as too dark a commentary on the cynicism of television producers and their overriding lust for ratings. I won't spoil that twist by letting people know what it is, but for North American admirers of the film as it previously was released here (on VHS, Laserdisc, and on film, clocking in at 117 minutes, as opposed to the correct 128), be advised: you have never seen the film as the director intended it, unless you've bought the hard-to-find French Region 2 DVD (or caught up with it in another country - I first chanced upon the full film on VHS in Japan, where it was released un-chopped). In fairness, not all the material that was omitted from the film previously is completely essential (discussions about the virtues of ostrich leather for footwear and a cameo by Bernard Wicki were both cut without doing too much damage), but the ending of the "director's cut," as this can properly be described, is far more forceful and "political" (in a broad sense) than any previous North American release, and will make the film seem quite new even to people who admired it previously. There are a dozen other reasons to admire this film - the cast is fantastic, especially the leads, Keitel and Schneider; it's a very important film in Harvey Keitel's career; co-screenwriter David Rayfiel is at his best; Antoine (Pierrot Le Fou) Duhamel's soundtrack is terrific (and also the source of an amusing anecdote, which you can find on IMDB); and its arguably the greatest English-speaking role of Max von Sydow's. As for its prescience - never mind its prediction of Reality TV or the idea that computers will replace live teachers - read up on Toronto filmmaker Rob Spence, who, like Roddy, is having a camera surgically implanted in the place of an eye... Haven't actually seen this DVD yet, but I'm very very excited that it's happening. Good move, Shout! Factory!