Although Netflix continues to amaze me with their selection, I wonder sometimes why some classic movies don’t seem to be available. My “Saved DVD” queue currently contains 35 titles, many of whom have been on the list for several years. For instance, Satyajit Ray’s great Apu Trilogy — “Pather Panchali” (1955), “Aparajito” (1956), and “The World of Apu” (1959) remain unavailable. Additional unavailable titles in my queue include “Tropic of Cancer” (1970), Ernst Lubitsch’s “That Uncertain Feeling” (1941), and “Greaser’s Palace” (1972).
Surprisingly, other films in my queue have not even made it to DVD, including Preston Sturges’ “The Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend,” Bernardo Bertolucci’s “Luna” (1979), and “Ask Any Girl” (1959), which stars Shirley MacLaine and is categorized by Netflix as a classic comedy. “Dumbo” (1941) is available on DVD; I can get it at the public library but not on Netflix. I realize that Netflix must pay licensing fees, but as a classic movie fan, I feel sad that many Netflix titles remain unavailable.
I noticed that titles usually appear on DVD after the movies broadcast on the Turner Classic Movies network. That happened with the wonderful “I Love You Again” (1940), starring William Powell and Myrna Loy, and with Michael Powell’s “Age of Consent” (1969), starring James Mason and a luminous Helen Mirren.