DVDs are one of the most convenient gifts you can give this Christmas, even in this age of digital access and market saturation. And the best part is that there are so many choices—far more than the latest Hollywood flick being pushed at Best Buy or Wal-Mart. But knowing you can get a DVD for that hard-to-please person and knowing which one to get are two different things.

Not to worry. We’re here to help. Here are some suggestions for everyone, with a more personal touch than whatever Amazon algorithm keeps trying to get you to buy Fifty Shades of Grey for your grandma.

The Cinephile

It’s not too late to take advantage of the Criterion Collection’s semi-annual half-price sale and pick up a classic or two for your film-loving friend. But because you can choose from literally hundreds of selections at Barnes & Noble, knowing your Secret Santa’s taste will help. Still not sure?

One great option is the Ernst Lubitsch comedy To Be or Not to Be, starring Jack Benny and Carole Lombard. It stands up to repeat viewing better than most comedies, and the lean but helpful essay by Geoffrey O’Brien included in the Criterion enriches viewers’ appreciation without condescending to them.

Or try the classic John Wayne/Montgomery Clift western Red River, which includes a “new” interview with Peter Bogdanovich. And you can’t help but enjoy how gorgeous and glorious Howard Hawks’s films often were.

The Foreign Film Buff

If you are shopping for someone who likes foreign-language films and you don’t know subtitles from intertitles, try Film Movement’s recent pair of Eric Rohmer classics: The Marquise of O and Full Moon in Paris. Both come with ...

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