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Where to find rare classic films


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Does anyone know where to find rare classic films? I have several in my Netflix queue that have been a "very long wait" for several months and some are not on Netflix at all.  Does anyone know how you can see them without buying the DVD (if a DVD even exists)? In particular, I'm interested in:

 

On the Beach (1959)

Mayerling (1968)

How to Steal A Million (1966)

My Cousin Rachel (1952) 

The Only Game in Town (1970)

Under Milk Wood (1972)

The Reluctant Debutante (1958)

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Does anyone know where to find rare classic films? I have several in my Netflix queue that have been a "very long wait" for several months and some are not on Netflix at all.  Does anyone know how you can see them without buying the DVD (if a DVD even exists)? In particular, I'm interested in:

 

On the Beach (1959)

Mayerling (1968)

How to Steal A Million (1966)

My Cousin Rachel (1952) 

The Only Game in Town (1970)

Under Milk Wood (1972)

The Reluctant Debutante (1958)

 

The channel MOVIES is showing My Cousin Rachel (it was just on last Saturday and since they repeat movies a lot I'm sure it will be on again,  check with website).

 

TCM has shown How to Steal a Millon and On the Beach.   

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Does anyone know where to find rare classic films? I have several in my Netflix queue that have been a "very long wait" for several months and some are not on Netflix at all.  Does anyone know how you can see them without buying the DVD (if a DVD even exists)? In particular, I'm interested in:

 

On the Beach (1959)

Mayerling (1968)

How to Steal A Million (1966)

My Cousin Rachel (1952) 

The Only Game in Town (1970)

Under Milk Wood (1972)

The Reluctant Debutante (1958)

I don't know where you live, but you you might start by checking your local public library. Most libraries carry DVDs and Blu-Ray movies now. Where I live, I'm lucky that our county library system has almost 35,000 DVDs between its 18 libraries and that includes many, many classics. All of which can be orderd for free and delivered to whatever branch the patron wants. That system is probably the best thing our county government ever did.

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  • 1 month later...

Honestly, I buy very few DVDs anymore.  I absolutely LOVE tcm and they show almost every classic movie that I love.  They also show oddball films, shorts and rarely seen films.  So, couple times a month, I use my DVR and record a bunch of films.  I have a database on my phone which tells me when I saw a film (don't like to watch films more than once per year).  Occasionally, I will buy a film that I know TCM will not run; but they are ALWAYS running a few films per week that I want to see.  I know I saw ON THE BEACH on TCM.... not a film I want to see too often (I think once very 20 years is good for that one.... it's good but depressing and scary).

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Netflix is the LAST place to go for classic movies.

 

1)  TCM

 

2)  Amazon

 

3)  eBay

 

4)  iOffer

 

5)   Loving the Classics

 

Thanks! Netflix has had a few in the past, but it seems like their supply of classic films is dwindling (I got one that had a huge crack down the center and was completely unplayable). For movies I've never seen, I'd rather rent it than buy it, until I know if I want to see it again. You can get good deals on Amazon, but some are ridiculously pricey, if you can find them on DVD at all.

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You Tube is still a good place to find some classics. The quality may not always be there, but it's better then never seeing a certain film. Last week I watched "Underworld" the 1927 gangster classic directed by Josef von Sternberg. The same week I saw the 1929 version [pre John Ford} of "The Informer" a British version and an well made piece of film making. The first 45 minutes are silent and then it becomes a talkie.  I remember watching the Alan Ladd version of "The Great Gatsby" last year and the 1940 "Swiss Family Robinson", that Disney has hidden away. So it's a good place to check out something you want to see....

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  • 2 weeks later...

Does anyone know where to find rare classic films? I have several in my Netflix queue that have been a "very long wait" for several months and some are not on Netflix at all.  Does anyone know how you can see them without buying the DVD (if a DVD even exists)? In particular, I'm interested in:

 

On the Beach (1959)

Mayerling (1968)

How to Steal A Million (1966)

My Cousin Rachel (1952) 

The Only Game in Town (1970)

Under Milk Wood (1972)

The Reluctant Debutante (1958)

 

 

"Mayerling" is on Criterion DVD that is $13 new and $6 used.

 

"On the Beach" just came out on video - $18 DVD, $25 Blu-ray from Kino.  It has a nice restored picture, English subtitles, but no extra.

 

"How to Steal A Million" - $14 DVD used.  DVD from Fox came out 10 years ago.

 

"My Cousin Rachel" - DVD has JUST gone out of print.  But the price hasn't gone up yet.  The $30 price tag is the original SRP.  The disc is made by a small company called Twilight Time.  All their discs are expensive (~$30), often have very few extras, and go out of print easily.  But they release discs that otherwise wouldn't be released by anyone else (list of their output).

 

"The Only Game in Town" has also been released by Twilight Time, but in Blu-ray only ($30).  It has a good-looking picture (screenshots here), but has no subtitles.  The dialog track is mono, but there is an isolated music soundtrack that is in STEREO, which some may find valuable, especially since this is a Maurice Jarre score.

 

"Under Milk Wood" was released on a special edition DVD about 10 years ago.  Here is a review on its video and sound qualities (not good) with an Amazon link to buy it (cheap used).

 

"The Reluctant Debutante" has been released on Warner Archive DVD, $18 new, $11 used.  Don't let the pretty cover fool you.  Warner Archive DVDs are synonymous with low-quality DVDs, with unrestored picture, no extras, and no subtitles.  Warner doesn't expect these to make money, so very little effort was made for them.  They are hardly advertised, not even on the TCM channel, where most of these films are shown.  You can rent these discs at Classicflix, which carries most of them.

 

If you buy a disc and don't like the movie, you can sell the disc later.  I do it all the time.  Sometimes you lose a little money when you sell, but think of it as a rental fee.

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While it is true that the Warner Archive discs do not have captions or extras (aside from the occasional trailer), I beg to differ about them being called low-quality. The Reluctant Debutante was indeed remastered and says so right on the cover. Most of their releases from 2011 onward have been remastered. And from all indications, the Archive line is a smashing success. If we are talking low-quality DVD releases, look no further than Fox's Cinema Archives line.

 

 

Thanks for the update.  I have seen mostly some of the earlier, crappier WA discs, so I'm glad they have improved and are doing better.  I also bought the fantastic-looking WA Blu-ray of the 1962 "Gypsy", but thought it was more an exception to the norm.  I've heard that occasionally they release pressed DVDs instead of burned DVD-Rs. "Smashing" may be a strong word, because we all know this is niche business.  Also, without TCM showcasing these films, these WA titles wouldn't have sold as well.  The best line of budget DVDs are from "Criterion Eclipse", which are always pressed DVDs with subtitles.  Criterion Eclipse always sells films as SETS, reducing per-film cost to about $10-12.  Warner Archive should consider doing the same.  Asking $20 per film for barebone disc which may or may not have restored picture may turn many people away.

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  • 3 weeks later...

"Mayerling" is on Criterion DVD that is $13 new and $6 used.

 

"On the Beach" just came out on video - $18 DVD, $25 Blu-ray from Kino.  It has a nice restored picture, English subtitles, but no extra.

 

"How to Steal A Million" - $14 DVD used.  DVD from Fox came out 10 years ago.

 

"My Cousin Rachel" - DVD has JUST gone out of print.  But the price hasn't gone up yet.  The $30 price tag is the original SRP.  The disc is made by a small company called Twilight Time.  All their discs are expensive (~$30), often have very few extras, and go out of print easily.  But they release discs that otherwise wouldn't be released by anyone else (list of their output).

 

"The Only Game in Town" has also been released by Twilight Time, but in Blu-ray only ($30).  It has a good-looking picture (screenshots here), but has no subtitles.  The dialog track is mono, but there is an isolated music soundtrack that is in STEREO, which some may find valuable, especially since this is a Maurice Jarre score.

 

"Under Milk Wood" was released on a special edition DVD about 10 years ago.  Here is a review on its video and sound qualities (not good) with an Amazon link to buy it (cheap used).

 

"The Reluctant Debutante" has been released on Warner Archive DVD, $18 new, $11 used.  Don't let the pretty cover fool you.  Warner Archive DVDs are synonymous with low-quality DVDs, with unrestored picture, no extras, and no subtitles.  Warner doesn't expect these to make money, so very little effort was made for them.  They are hardly advertised, not even on the TCM channel, where most of these films are shown.  You can rent these discs at Classicflix, which carries most of them.

 

If you buy a disc and don't like the movie, you can sell the disc later.  I do it all the time.  Sometimes you lose a little money when you sell, but think of it as a rental fee.

 

Thanks for the info! I watched My Cousin Rachel on youtube, but I'm still looking for the rest. I'll take a look!

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How to Steal A Million (1966) was first released on video in 1977 by the long-gone MAGNETIC VIDEO CORPORATION (Magnetic existed from 1977-81 and then metamorphosed into '20th Century Fox Video' and then soon after into 'CBS/Fox Video').  20th Century Fox bought up Magnetic in 1980 and in late 1981 just 'absorbed' the label so all 1982 video releases from Fox were '20th Century Fox Video' tapes.  I managed to round up two Mag. videos of 'How to Steal A Million' (I traded one and kept the other).  The picture quality is Grain City from these old Magnetics, but they are durable!  Mine still plays at 37 years old and the videocassette is like a brick.  Drop it on someone's head from a distance and you'd probably knock them out cold. 

 

Only Game In Town, The (1970) was released on video by Magnetic Video in 1979.  Until the Twilight Time Blu-Ray release from 2013 it had been OOP for almost 34 years.  I have 3 old-time Magnetic Video boxes for "The Only Game In Town", but only 1 tape.  I had another tape at one point and don't recall what I did with it.  Maybe I traded it to another video collector for something . . . ?  Either way, I've still got two spare Mag. boxes sitting around upstairs.

 

     ► I used to collect MAGNETIC VIDEO CORP. tapes with a vengeance.  I thought they were cool!  I still do so I keep them; I reckon I've got approx. 210 Mags overall, inc. multiples of a few titles (NASTY HABITS (1977), anyone?)  When Magnetic released 'BUS STOP' to video in 1977 they used a Cinemascope print and just cut the sides off.  I've watched the old Mag. tape twice and there's really no panning and scanning -- the sides are just chopped.  When the opening credits roll you only see the last names of the actors and crew on the left-hand side of the screen and only the first names of the actors and crew on the right side.  There is 1 good point, however, compared to watching it properly in W/S on TCM:  Because the tape is so grainy you don't notice the rear-projection much on scenes inside the bus whereas it's clear as a bell the r-p on the 'cleaned up' W/S version.  It really is interesting to see the difference, though, cos the movie was only 22 yrs old in 1977 and the print Mag. used was dark and grainy.

 

UNDER MILK WOOD (1972) was released circa 1986/87 on 'KEY VIDEO', a division of CBS/Fox Video.  It's in a blue-sided box with a little key on the front.  Can't recall the exact year of the video release, but it's one of those 2 years. 

 

     > How many of y'all remember those KEY VIDEO releases?  The boxes stuck out like a sore thumb in a video store!  Most all of them had blue sides, but a few had pink sides or red sides.

 

     I wouldn't be so nostalgic about the aging VHS tapes I rounded up years ago except for the fact they still work when I want to watch them; I put that 'BUS STOP' Mag. tape into the VCR less than a year ago and it played well.  

 

  (For the same reason I don't get nostalgic about 8-Track tapes because they didn't last long and were most unreliable.  Ugh!  Even cassette tapes were better and some of those were pretty junky).     

-----------------------------------

     Actor LAURENCE HARVEY's last two movies were released on Magnetic Video in 1979:

WELCOME TO ARROW BEACH (1974) w/Meg Foster, Joanna Pettet, Stuart Whitman, John Ireland

NIGHT WATCH (1973)  w/ Elizabeth Taylor, Billie Whitelaw, Bill Dean   

 

     FOR those seeking a nostalgia fix just go to EBAY and narrow your Search to 'Movies & DVD' and type 'Magnetic Video Corp' in the subject line and see what pops up.  'THE AFRICAN QUEEN' was first released on Magnetic, but I failed to round one up.     

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No I haven't.  I've never bought a DVD player or a DVD/VHS combo player.  If I want to watch a DVD or DVD-R I have to mosey on over to my folks' cabin.  They've got a big Tv set and more up-to-date equipment.  I just have 1 industrial VCR, but it will play tapes from anywhere in the world (NTSCs, PALs, SECAMs).  Part of the fun to me at this late date is keeping the old tapes working; I've got some of the cleanest 30+ year old videocassettes you'll ever see.  :)  

 

     Biggest challenge I've had with old VHS tapes:  Keeping dust and especially mould out of the tape shells.   

 

    Also:  'darkblue' > Did I read right on another post that you're Canadian?  If so, Canada produced my favorite video label of all time:  ASTRAL VIDEO.  The blue-rooster-in-a-blue-circle symbol rocks!  Those 1980s-era Astral clamshell-case releases are fun to own and I liked a great many of the titles they released.  I used to horde them.  There were some Astrals I wanted to get hold of that I never did (FIREBIRD 2015 A.D., for one), but I felt like I did pretty well overall.  I counted them several months ago and had 173 total.  I do have some multiples; I've 2 copies of the 1975 Canadian movie "The Mystery of the Million Dollar Hockey Puck" for instance.     

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Yes, I am Canadian, through and through.

 

I loved that 80's era of VHS tapes - so many titles (especially Canadian productions) have not made it to DVD.

 

I have a set-up whereby I can copy movies on DVD to DVD-R's for my home collection. The set-up came together purely accidentally, with a mix of components that include certain DVD players, HDD recorders, disc recorders and VCR's - all connected in a specific way. Even Macrovision on DVD's is rendered ineffective.

 

But I've heard that movies on VHS can be more difficult because of copy protection signals built in - it's kind of why I asked if you'd managed to do it.

 

Because of limited space - in addition to the many problems associated with aging video cassettes that you mentioned - I would not even start to collect tapes. I'm strictly a disc storer now, using 100 capacity wallets.

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"Mayerling" is on Criterion DVD that is $13 new and $6 used.

 

"The Reluctant Debutante" has been released on Warner Archive DVD, $18 new, $11 used.  Don't let the pretty cover fool you.  Warner Archive DVDs are synonymous with low-quality DVDs, with unrestored picture, no extras, and no subtitles.  Warner doesn't expect these to make money, so very little effort was made for them.  They are hardly advertised, not even on the TCM channel, where most of these films are shown.  You can rent these discs at Classicflix, which carries most of them.

 

 

That is the 1936 version of Mayerling that Criterion sells. To my knowledge, the 1968 version has remained unreleased. I would love to see it because I like the stars of the film: Omar Sharif, Catharine Deneuve, James Mason,  and Ava Gardner.

 

While it is true that the Warner Archive discs do not have captions or extras (aside from the occasional trailer), I beg to differ about them being called low-quality. The Reluctant Debutante was indeed remastered and says so right on the cover. Most of their releases from 2011 onward have been remastered. And from all indications, the Archive line is a smashing success. If we are talking low-quality DVD releases, look no further than Fox's Cinema Archives line.

 

I agree with you about the quality of Warner Archive's DVDs.  While there aren't any frills, usually just the movie and maybe the trailer, all the films I've gotten from them probably like 10 or so (Mostly all Errol Flynn ones, with a couple William Holden ones) have all been good quality.  While they aren't Blu-Ray or Criterion quality, the prints are clean, the sound is good.  I haven't had any issues with any of my purchases.  In fact, I was so happy to find out that Warner Archives existed, because there are so many films that I can get that are unavailable anywhere else.  They're always adding new films which is exciting. 

 

I haven't purchased any of the Fox releases, so I cannot comment on the quality of those.

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Does anyone know where to find rare classic films? I have several in my Netflix queue that have been a "very long wait" for several months and some are not on Netflix at all.  Does anyone know how you can see them without buying the DVD (if a DVD even exists)? In particular, I'm interested in:

 

On the Beach (1959)

Mayerling (1968)

How to Steal A Million (1966)

My Cousin Rachel (1952) 

The Only Game in Town (1970)

Under Milk Wood (1972)

The Reluctant Debutante (1958)

How to Steal a Million was just added to the Netflix Instant Queue last week.

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