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Janus Films
Type Private
Founded 1956
Founder(s) Bryant Haliday
Cyrus Harvey Jr.
Headquarters New York, New York, USA
Key people Saul J. Turell
William Becker
Industry Motion picture distribution
Revenue $6.1 million in 2007
Website http://www.janusfilms.com/

Janus Films is a film distribution company. It was one of the first distributors to bring what are now regarded as masterpieces of world cinema to the United States. In this regard, Janus can be credited with helping to introduce American audiences to the films of Michelangelo Antonioni, Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Akira Kurosawa, François Truffaut, Yasujirō Ozu and many other well-regarded directors. Janus has a close relationship with The Criterion Collection regarding the release of its films on DVD, and is still an active theatrical distributor.

The company's name and logo comes from the two-faced Roman god Janus.

Janus Films was founded in 1956 by Bryant Haliday and Cyrus Harvey Jr.. Haliday ran the 55th Street Playhouse in New York and used it as a primary location for exhibiting Janus-distributed films. He was also an actor, appearing in films such as Devil Doll, Curse of Simba and Tower of Evil. Haliday purchased the historic Brattle Theater, a Harvard Square landmark in Cambridge, Massachusetts. With Harvey, Haliday converted the Brattle into an art film moviehouse in the mid-1950s. In 1966, Haliday sold the Brattle, as well as Janus. Harvey continued to manage the Brattle into the 1970s.

Janus was later acquired by Saul J. Turell and William Becker. Their sons, Jonathan B. Turell and Peter Becker, who own The Criterion Collection, are at present involved in the business of Janus.

On October 24, 2006, in celebration of 50 years of Janus Films, the Criterion Collection released 50 of the films that Janus distributed in a large boxset containing 50 DVDs and a 200-page essay on the history of art house films The package is called Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films. A.O. Scott chose the set as his DVD pick when he co-hosted At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper. As part of its 44th Festival in 2006, the New York Film Festival presented a series called 50 Years of Janus Films, a tribute to the company.

In 2009, Janus Films released Revanche, its first first-run theatrical release in nearly 30 years.

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