Netflix Instant: Classic Films, 6th Ed.
Netflix is constantly changing its lineup of classic movies available to stream, so here are five more great classic films you can watch instantly!
For more old movies, check out my other five Netflix Instant classic movie lists: 1st Edition, 2nd Edition, 3rd Edition, 4th Edition, 5th Edition and 7th Edition. To make it a little easier, I’ve also compiled a list of the classic movies that are still available to stream from my earlier lists below the new picks.
For more on classic films, follow me on Twitter, tumblr, Instagram at BlondeAtTheFilm, pinterest, and Facebook.
1. Move Over, Darling (1963)
Bigamy has never appeared as delightful as it does in this sunny comedic romp starring Doris Day, James Garner, and Polly Bergen. Day and Garner are married with two kids, but Day goes missing after a plane crash. Garner searches and waits for five years, but he finally gives up hope and asks to have Day officially proclaimed dead so he can move on with his life and marry his new love, Bergen.
But Day unexpectedly arrives home on the same day as her official death notice and Garner’s wedding. Her unexpected return is a rather huge complication, but things only get more comically chaotic when Garner learns that Day wasn’t alone on her island all those years–a handsome man was marooned there, too. Looks like they both took some (understandable) liberties with their wedding vows…But now what do they do?
It’s a fun 1960s comedy with crazy coincidences and reality-stretching situations, though it has some poignant moments, too. Here’s the trailer, and you can buy this movie here.
Fun fact: Move Over, Darling was a remake of My Favorite Wife (1940), which starred Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, and Gail Patrick. Another version called Something’s Got To Give was started in 1962 starring Marilyn Monroe and Dean Martin, but unfortunately Monroe passed away before it was finished, and the movie was abandoned.
2. Sunset Boulevard (1950)
This is an undisputed classic, a must-see that was nominated for eleven Oscars and contains that iconic line: “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” Sunset Boulevard is not a cheerful film, but a brilliant film noir narrated by a dead character in an extended flashback.
William Holden is a struggling screenwriter who meets Norma Desmond, played to creepy perfection by Gloria Swanson. Norma was a star of the silent screen, but now she is just an aging has-been who relives her glory days in her dark mansion, and remains convinced that a comeback is just around the corner. Holden gets drawn into her confused world, and things just get weirder and sadder and stranger. It’s an especially fascinating film because the movie dips into real Hollywood lore in its quest for authenticity. For instance, Swanson provided her own personal photographs to be used in Norma’s house, and real people and movies make appearances within the film. Here’s the trailer, and you can buy this movie here.
Fun fact: Louis B. Mayer, head of MGM, was so disgusted by the film’s dark view of Hollywood that after watching it at a special preview he reportedly shouted at director Billy Wilder: “You have disgraced the industry that made and fed you! You should be tarred and feathered and run out of Hollywood!”
3. The Quiet Man (1952)
John Ford directed this gutsy, gorgeous love letter to Ireland starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. Wayne is a boxer who leaves America and comes back to his ancestral village in Ireland to reclaim his family farm and start a new life. He falls for feisty Mary Kate (O’Hara), but problems with her cruel brother complicate their romance.
Although sometimes the movie feels like a romance novel brought to life, there’s a lot more to it. The film isn’t just about the romance between the stars; instead, the entire village is important and you get to know many other wonderful characters. It’s an idealized portrait of a community, but it’s lovely. Plus, the movie was beautifully shot on location in Ireland, and it feels as though you are there. Here’s the trailer, and you can buy this movie here.
Fun fact: O’Hara and Wayne had amazing onscreen chemistry and made five movies together. Also, Maureen O’Hara’s two brothers appear in this film as Hugh Forbes and Father Paul.
4. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
This movie is not a light romantic comedy where Audrey Hepburn just strolls around New York in beautiful clothes. It’s got a dark side, which the iconic images of Hepburn in that black dress with her cigarette holder tend to belie.
This film was based on Truman Capote’s novella and follows Holly Golightly (Hepburn), a “party girl” and master of reinvention whose happy place is Tiffany’s. Holly’s life is a whirlwind of parties, men, and eccentricity. She befriends Paul (George Peppard), a struggling writer who lives downstairs. She doesn’t let many people get close to her, but she makes an exception for Paul.
I won’t spoil anything, but life is not always champagne and visits to Tiffany’s. Once you watch this movie, you’ll be surprised and a little unnerved when you see teenage girls and college kids proudly displaying their Breakfast at Tiffany’s swag. Here’s the trailer, and you can buy this film here.
Fun fact: Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe to play Holly, but she was advised that playing a “party girl;” (i.e., prostitute) might damage her image, so she opted to make The Misfits (1961), instead.
5. Jane Eyre (1944)
This is one of many movie versions of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel. It’s not as ridiculous as some of them, and retains some of the Gothic elements of the book, including mist-strewn moors that were actually clever sets on Hollywood soundstages. Joan Fontaine is the “poor, plain and little” Jane, and Orson Welles is the enormous, brooding Rochester. When Jane arrives to care for Rochester’s ward, played by Margaret O’Brien, she finds herself in a strange house with a strange master and very strange nighttime happenings…
As usual in film or TV versions, the whole Rivers family section is eliminated, and the ending is boosted just a bit, but overall, this movie is one of the better adaptations. Here’s the trailer, and you can buy it here.
Fun fact: A young Elizabeth Taylor plays Jane’s childhood friend Helen. And Fontaine’s sister, Olivia de Havilland, would play author Charlotte Brontë in Devotion (1946) just two years later.
6. Bonus Movie: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, or The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967)
This is genius French filmmaker Jacques Demy’s homage to classic Hollywood musicals. It even features Gene Kelly and West Side Story‘s George Chakiris!
The film takes place over one weekend in Rochefort when a fair comes to town. Twins, played by real-life sisters Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac, search for love and maybe even a life outside of Rochefort. And their mother (Danielle Darrieux), who runs the town’s central cafe, has her own complicated romance to figure out.
Gene Kelly plays an American visiting the city, and of course he falls for one of the sisters. The plot is full of characters and love affairs, but you watch this film for the dancing and the visual splendor. The movie is an utter delight: vibrant, stunning, and joyful, with plenty of dancing in the streets! If you like musicals, give this one a try. Here’s the trailer, and you can buy this movie here.
I hope one of these films strikes your streaming fancy, and check out my other picks in my six other Netflix Instant lists. Enjoy, and thanks for reading! For more on classic films, follow me on Twitter, tumblr, Instagram at BlondeAtTheFilm, pinterest, and Facebook.
Now for previous lists:
Films still streaming from the 1st Edition:
Films still streaming from the 2nd Edition:
Films still streaming from the 3rd Edition:
Films still streaming from the 4th Edition:
Films still streaming from the 5th Edition:
For more on classic films, follow me on Twitter, tumblr, Instagram at BlondeAtTheFilm, pinterest, and Facebook. Happy watching!
Categories: Comedy, Drama, Film Noir, Musical, Mystery, Romance, Western
Thanks for this list. Haven’t cut cable yet due to my love of TCM, but we also have a Roku and Netflix streaming. I find my kids are less apt to watch a classic movie with me if its on TCM but if it’s through Netflix, they are more willing to watch.
Good! Hope this list is helpful! Enjoy watching some old movies with your kids!
Thanks…I wish Netflix was more user friendly and had it broken down by Classic Movies category
Love Sunset Boulevard, too. Just got back from seeing it at the Durham Carolina Theater – paired with All About Eve. Big, appreciative crowd.
It’s so fun to see these movies on the big screen! What a great double feature!