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Netflix Beware: Warner Archive Launches Instant Streaming Service -- Vintage, Obscure and B-Movies Galore

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood April 3, 2013 at 1:45PM

Film nerds rejoice! Innovative classic service Warner Archive, the Warner Bros. studio's top-notch repertory wing dedicated to restoring archival gems--via consumer demand-- and making little-seen titles available on DVD, has some exciting news: Warner Archive Instant. Like Netflix, the new service will let you stream films for a monthly fee (in this case, $10) but instead the flicks available are vintage, B-movie, obscure -- all the lost-and-refound greatness you've come to expect from Warner Archive.
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"Cat People"
"Cat People"

Film nerds rejoice! Innovative classic service Warner Archive, the Warner Bros. studio's top-notch repertory wing dedicated to restoring archival gems--via consumer demand-- and making little-seen titles available on DVD, has some exciting news: Warner Archive Instant. Like Netflix, the new service will let you stream films for a monthly fee (in this case, $10) but instead the flicks available are vintage, B-movie, obscure -- all the lost-and-refound greatness you've come to expect from Warner Archive.

Case in point: Currently available are 1959's "The Mummy," "Tarzan and the Mermaids," Yul Brynner-Max von Sydow sci-fi title "The Ultimate Warrior" and TV series like "77 Sunset Strip" and 1952's "Adventures of Superman."

Classics worthy of revisiting (and revisiting, and revisiting) are also ready to stream, like Elia Kazan's brilliant and acerbic "A Face in the Crowd," Jacques Tourneur's sexual psychosis horror staple "Cat People," Spencer Tracy-Robert Ryan noir "Bad Day at Black Rock," and William Wellman's socially conscious, Depression-era drama "Wild Boys of the Road." Warner Archive has long used consumer-interest to drive making long-tail classic titles available, and also offers digital imprint "Visit the Script."

Warner Home Entertainment, whose chief Kevin Tsujihara has ascended to the office of studio chief, also owns Rotten Tomatoes and Flixster. As DVD sales decline, content curation can push consumers toward titles. Why not use the Flixster mobile and Facebook consumer interface to push eyeballs toward user-generated movie recommendations as well as critics' choices?

Check out the new site and peruse more titles here.


This article is related to: News, Warner Bros. , News, Classics, Digital Future, Warner Archive


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.