Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Netflix News: Streaming Region 2 Movies

I recently posted that I'd learned Douglas Sirk's SLEEP, MY LOVE (1948), which is not available on DVD in the United States, was available to watch online via Netflix streaming.

I discovered today that there is a veritable treasure trove of films which are out on Region 2 DVD which can now been seen via Netflix's "Watch Instantly" feature. Titles I've watched via Region 2 DVD which can now be seen online include MILLIONS LIKE US (1943), CAPTAIN BOYCOTT (1947), CAUGHT (1949), and ADAM AND EVELYNE (1949). These are all excellent movies which are worth taking the trouble to watch online, especially CAUGHT, which stars James Mason, Robert Ryan, and Barbara Bel Geddes.

Other British titles I've found available via Netflix's Watch Instantly service include SIDEWALKS OF LONDON, aka ST. MARTIN'S LANE W.C. 2 (1938) with Vivien Leigh, Charles Laughton, and Rex Harrison; BOMBSIGHT STOLEN, aka COTTAGE TO LET (1941), with Alastair Sim and John Mills; BLITHE SPIRIT (1945) with Rex Harrison and Constance Cummings (HAUNTED HONEYMOON); THE MAGIC BOW (1946) with Stewart Granger and Phyllis Calvert; HUNGRY HILL (1947) with Margaret Lockwood and Jean Simmons; DULCIMER STREET, aka LONDON BELONGS TO ME (1948) with Richard Attenborough and Alastair Sim; GOOD-TIME GIRL (1948) with Jean Kent; BLANCHE FURY (1948) with Stewart Granger and Valerie Hobson; HIGHLY DANGEROUS (1950) with Margaret Lockwood and Dane Clark; and TROUBLE IN THE GLEN (1954) with Margaret Lockwood and Orson Welles. I'm especially excited about HUNGRY HILL as I've been on the lookout for that title.

The Paramount film BOTANY BAY (1953), with Alan Ladd, James Mason, and Patricia Medina, has also turned up in the Netflix streaming inventory. There's all sorts of other interesting stuff available only online, like FLAME OF THE ISLANDS (1956) with Yvonne DeCarlo and Zachary Scott, JENNIFER (1953) with Ida Lupino and Howard Duff, and some of Joel McCrea's not-on-DVD Westerns like THE LONE HAND (1953) and CATTLE DRIVE (1951).

I was especially happy to learn SEPTEMBER AFFAIR (1950) with Joseph Cotten and Joan Fontaine is available on Netflix, as well as Fontaine's DARLING, HOW COULD YOU! (1951) which I just ordered from an out-of-print dealer; THE BIGAMIST (1953), starring Fontaine, Ida Lupino, and Edmond O'Brien; and FLIGHT TO TANGIER (1953) with Fontaine and Jack Palance.

DEAR WIFE (1949), the sequel to DEAR RUTH (1947), is available, although DEAR RUTH doesn't appear to be. Holden's Paramount film SUBMARINE COMMAND (1951) is another that's available to stream.

I appear to have just scratched the surface of what Netflix has been adding to their streaming inventory. The "Watch Instantly" titles will certainly bear watching...and I'm going to need to find a more comfortable way to watch movies streaming than sitting at my computer desk!


Blogger Ed South said...

I'm sure I'm telling you things you already know but you can get a wire to run your laptop through your TV, or there is a little box that allows you to watch the streaming content on your tv. We use the Wii, which is super convenient. If you don't have a Wii, I'm sure the kids wouldn't mine one under the tree next Saturday morning!

4:06 AM  
Blogger Browniesmoke said...


Have you upgraded to HDTV yet? (This was our "empty nest" splurge - our "youngest" tv was 18-20 years old!) If so, I highly recommend Apple TV. We've enjoyed it for streaming netflix as well as being able to watch youtube videos, etc. on the tv.

We feel so modern!

Of course, if we could upgrade our local ISP's internet, it would help.....


4:21 AM  
Blogger Moira Finnie said...

Oh, Laura! Thank you so much for alerting me to this treasure trove. I now have way too many films to see!
I hope that we will have a chance to view as many as possible, especially since I have noticed that films tend to come and go now on Netflix. I love the British movies, but will be looking for more of the obscure American movies and the French, German and Italian films as well.

Thanks again, and I hope you and your family have a joyous Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

7:35 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks for the tips, Ed and Jill!

I knew it was possible to stream on TV but didn't have much idea of the options. We don't have HDTV, a Wii, or an Xbox (which my daughter mentioned can stream Netflix, but looks like there's an additional monthly fee for that on top of the Netflix fee); my daughter's the only one with a laptop, and it's not at home much of the time. :) Doesn't look at a quick glance like there's any extra fee for streaming on a Wii which is a plus with that option. Like you say, I'm sure the kids wouldn't mind if we got one of those down the road. (grin)

We'll check out options...at this point probably seeing if my "tech support" can wire the computer to the TV would be the most cost effective.

I'm happy I could spread this good news, Moira! I'd love to know what else you find available.

Best wishes and Merry Christmas to all of you!!!

11:35 AM  
Blogger Missy said...

I used to connect my laptop to my TV to Watch Instantly, but the computer would go to sleep if you forgot to change its settings, the volume was an issue and my cable was too short to reach the computer easily for control. I now primarily stream through Wii. Much easier and a good image. However, I understand that if I upgrade my TV to HDTV, the Wii's image quality is not as good as streaming through a PlayStation 3, which is HD.

Odd that they would charge extra for xBox, but not Wii or Playstation 3. A friend just recently got an cast off Wii that needed $80 in repairs, but that was cheaper than buying new. And don't forget you can watch on your iPod Touch. ;-)


12:24 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

The information is all very welcome, Missy! Something new for me to educate myself about. :)


12:35 PM  
Blogger Jazmin's said...

According to netflix website:z'The Xbox 360 lets members instantly watch movies & TV episodes streamed from Netflix on the TV. This is available to Netflix members who are also Xbox LIVE Gold members for no additional Netflix fee.

If you have this, or a Wii or PS3, its super easy to watch streaming.

Thanks for the heads up. I've been investigating since your last post and have also found:
My Six Loves w/Debbie Reynolds
Let's Dance w/Fred Astaire
The Pleasure of His Company w/F.Astaire
Thunder in the Sun w/Susan Hayward
The Proud and the Profane w/Deborah Kerr

Frenchie w/Shelley Winters
Foreign Intrigue w/Robert Mitchum
Miranda w/Glynis Jones and sequel
and many more!

I've already watched and enjoyed: Young and Dangerous w/ Mark Damon, and Adam and Evelyne.

Most looking forward to watching? No Man of Her Own with Barbara Stanwyck!!!

10:14 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Jazmin, thanks much for such an informative post. I haven't seen MY SIX LOVES since I was growing up. :) I loved MIRANDA (1948) when I saw it earlier this year and would love to see the sequel. I just headed to Netflix and added these to my instant queue thanks to you. Discovered NO MAN OF HER OWN earlier today and added it too!

I wish there were a more organized way to search for these kinds of titles on Netflix than searching actors. They don't seem to have recommendations quite as pinpointed as Amazon's, for example, and they tend to recommend lots of well-known classics I haven't watched on Netflix because I own them. (Plus the recommendations reflect the tastes of all six of us in the family, which are all over the map.) Does anyone have suggestions on a more pinpointed way to search Netflix for more obscure titles, for instance, British movies only of the '40s? Perhaps there's a trick that I'm missing -- my children typically use Netflix more than I do. (Which reminds me, I've got a disc of SISSI: FATEFUL YEARS OF THE EMPRESS I need to watch...)

Best wishes,

10:30 PM  
Blogger J.C. Loophole said...

We love our Netflix on our Wii- but I have to say that I really love the convenience of Netflix on my iTouch. When I was sick a while back, it was nice to be able to watch while in bed. And with available wi-fi, I can watch in the school parking lot while waiting to pick up kids, at the mall while my wife is picking out things for me to lug around, etc.

This week was my turn as "Parent" doorman/security for our early morning scripture class at church for our High Schoolers. Once they are in class at 6:30 am they aren't out until 7:20 or so. So in the mornings, I've been using the available Wi-Fi watching the new Disney documentaries that are available for "watch now." Just finished watching "Walt and El Groupo" this morning. It was great! Having lived in Brazil for a couple of years, it was wonderful being taken back there for a while. The film was extremely well done. Starting the Sherman Brothers Doc tomorrow.

I think the reliability of Netflix is one of my favorite parts of the service, and the variety as well. I like that I can stop and then come back to the film, even days later, and pick up right where I left off. That and the fact that for a good while now, they have had Starz and a lot of films for streaming that aren't available on DVD.

As far as searching, I know where you are coming from- although I search actors as well, I've also searched via genres- once you get into a main genre heading there are other sub-genres to choose from. The real key is to rate the items you watch (or in some cases click you don't recommend at all) so that the "recommend" algorithem can really narrow down the types of items to recommend. I've been with them for years and have tried hard to rate as much as I can, and it has paid off several times with recommendations for me.

7:34 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks so much for all the feedback, J.C.! I hope there is more wireless out there soon for iTouch. Our school and church, for example, don't have wi-fi, so my internet access on my iTouch is limited to home or places like B&N. I usually take work along to do in the car when I have to wait for the kids. It's neat that you can move between devices and Netflix remembers where you left off watching something!

(Side note, Disneyland has free wi-fi in range of their hotels, but they don't have it in the parks, and it would sure be nice to have for the many park apps which are out there.)

Love the idea you watched the iTouch when sick in bed -- that's a handy use I hadn't thought of. :)

My daughter and I have been doing more research and we decided to take the plunge and ordered a Roku this morning for the family for Christmas. It seemed like a relatively affordable option to try out this new world of streaming (grin). If we find we like it and use it, we can always look at other options for a different TV later, such as a Wii, which seems to be a very popular choice.

I appreciate the feedback on Netflix searching/recommendations as well, J.C.!

Best wishes,

11:00 AM  
Blogger Michele B. said...

This is great - now if only Netflix would get hold of I Married a Witch - only available in Region 2 and not in the Netflix catalog. Not to mention Testament of Youth! Wouldn't it be nice if Netflix would let its users recommend movies for it to acquire.

3:45 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Those are wonderful suggestions, Michele! I definitely think Netflix should take subscriber requests. :) It will be really interesting to see what other British/Region 2 titles turn up available to stream.

Remind me, weren't you considering the possibility of an all-region player? Did you end up getting one?


9:17 AM  

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