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

by Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
April 3, 2013 1:45 PM
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"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.

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  • Ellen | April 8, 2013 10:12 PMReply

    Very glad that these gems will be available for streaming, but I won't be subscribing to multiple services. I'd much rather have these films available through Netflix. Fortunately, I live in San Francisco, where we can occasionally see them in 35mm on the big screen at the Castro.

  • Paul | April 7, 2013 7:58 PMReply

    Typical. Only available in the U.S.

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