When I logged into Netflix today I noticed a box at the top of my Queue that had never been there before. It was a list of movies that had been, in some cases, on my Saved Titles list for years that they will never have for rental. Here’s mine. Want to show us yours?
The following movies have been removed from your Queue:
We no longer offer these movies for rental. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope you find many other movies to enjoy at Netflix.
Looking for Mr. Goodbar
The Last Mistress
In Search of a Midnight Kiss
The Bullet Vanishes
Adrift in Tokyo
The Bride Wore Black
Middle of Nowhere
Beyond the Hills
Disco and Atomic War
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm
Cavalcade got pulled from mine as well, and a couple of others that slip my mind. Which is annoying, because I was using it as a kind of “I need to track this down even if it’s never on Netflix” list, but now I can use Letterboxd for that, so, eh.
What often happens is that the DVD wears out and is impossible to replace, since it’s not being made any more.
We’re returning to the pre-TV days, where movies – even classics – just vanished. James Agee had to write an article in 1941 to tell people about the silent comedians – just over a decade after sound came in. Most younger people had never seen Buster Keaton in his prime.
My list of never-to-be-seen movies includes:
[li]The Escapist[/li][li]The Offence[/li][li]The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector[/ul] [/li]
I don’t remember adding these to my queue, so I guess I’ll be alright (although the Phil Spector one sounds interesting – I’ve been on a Wall of Sound kick lately, so I might miss not seeing that one).
I’ve got 118 movies in my queue, and 24 titles in the “Saved” section (either a very long wait or release date unknown).
I lost Calvacade as well. If you find it available somewhere in the world, let me know.
Quatermas and the Pit sat on my wanted list for a very long time, but I wound up buying it recently on a Region 2 DVD along with some other stuff to go with my new region-free player; I just had to see those fascist Martian grasshoppers taking mind-control over London again.
It’s kind of sad that a movie that won the 1932/33 Academy Award for Best Picture can’t be seen – I saw it perhaps five or six years ago, but I’m almost certain that it was obtained through the Denver library and equally almost certain that it was on VHS.
(Ranked among Best Picture winners, *Cavalcade *wasn’t all that great – but it should be able to be seen, nonetheless.)
There’s no reason Netflix couldn’t just buy copies from Amazon and rent them out.
It’s possible that they’ve made some kind of deal with the rights owner of the movie where they agree not to do so, but I’m having trouble coming up with a good reason why such a deal would be made.
I think this is a business decision on the part of Netflix. They want their DVD business to die so they can focus on streaming, so they’re just not replacing movies as they fall out of circulation.
It does appear that the DVD/early Netflix era was a golden age for movie availability. Nearly any movie ever made was on DVD because the production cost was cheap enough, and Netflix rented just about all of them. Now we’re descending into a morass of individual streaming fiefdoms that each want to reserve rights and require a separate subscription for each. Sad.