For those of us who can remember buying Spine #3 (Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes) or renting Spine #21 (David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers) when they were new, it can be hard to believe that The Criterion Collection, that venerable repository of classic cinema, is about to release its 1000th title, a kaiju-sized 15-film set of Japanese Godzilla pictures.

In the decades since the Criterion Collection debuted, the company has become the gold standard in home video, both in terms of the quality of their titles and the quality of their laserdiscs, DVDs, and Blu-rays — which are filled with extensive supplementary materials and wrapped in gorgeous box art. The list that follows celebrates the 50 best Criterion Collection covers (at least according to the staff of ScreenCrush).

If some of your favorites don’t make the cut, don’t be upset — at least through Spine #1000, there’s almost no wrong answer to the question of the best Criterion covers. Also, I promise to update this list when Criterion hits Spine #2000, which — and I’m calling this now — will be a handsome two-disc set of their era’s two most revered motion pictures: Space Jam and Space Jam 2. 

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