Monday, December 19, 2005

1001 movies in my queue

If you are a faithful reader or one of my Netflix Friends, you know I have an unusual queue. Everything in my queue is in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, in chronological order according to North American release date. Trying to see all the movies in this book is a fun scavenger hunt, like completing a collection. And it has greatly expanded my appreciation for all sorts of films.

When I started using this list in May 2004, I had seen about 200 of the titles in the book. Now I've seen 651. About 300 of them came from Netflix. Of the 349 left to see, 248 are in my Netflix queue. Of those, 242 have been released and 10 are "release date unknown."

I bought the 2001 edition of the book in 2004, when a couple hundred of the titles weren't on DVD, so I occasionally have go back and re-check Netflix for the ones I've had to skip over, to see if they have since been released. I start from the beginning of the book and look for every skipped title on Netflix. I discovered several that (for some unknown reason) weren't in my queue, but Netflix has them. These, for example:

In the Year of the Pig
The Sorrow and the Pity
Dersu Uzala

There are nearly 100 films I still can't find anywhere on DVD or VHS. I have used the library, Nicheflix, Facets, Greencine, and Some are out there, but too expensive to buy. I'd appreciate any suggestions you have. I don't want to buy them, if I can avoid it. If I buy them, I want to spend about the same price as a rental. I would pay $5 to rent from a bricks and mortar store whatever is not on Netflix. I pay Nicheflix and Facets about that much, plus about $3 shipping and handling. So I guess I'm willing to spend $5-10 on eBay or Amazon, for the titles on this list which I haven't seen.

The above photo is a view of the book with my 101 sticky notes indicating movies I cannot find on DVD.


  1. Wow, I honestly thought that photo was of a sunset desert when I first glanced at it.

    Good news: by the time you get finished with the billion movies on your queue, there is a distinct possibility that some of the other movies previously unreleased to DVD and/or your library (though I'm surprised your library wouldn't have Jazz Singer or African Queen on VHS) will be available at that time. Patience, Becky. :)

    And if patience doesn't work, perhaps you can bug your library for an interlibrary loan. I think that libraries can get ahold of material from anywhere in the nation in a library system. I could be very wrong about this, but I know interlibrary loans are common. Perhaps SOMEWHERE in the US, these titles are available at a library.

  2. I regret I've seen all the titles from the book which are available at the Greensboro Public Library. I will see if the ones I need are available via the interlibrary loan option. Thanks!

  3. Some of these films (e.g., "Letter from an Unknown Woman," "Footlight Parade," "The Incredible Shrinking Man," "David Holzman's Diary") are available on VHS and can be ordered for rent by mail from Facets in Chicago or from Video Library in Philadelphia. Facets charges a monthly membership fee plus mailing costs; Video Library charges $6 per tape for a week plus mailing costs. Round-trip mailing costs for 4 VHS tapes is around $10. Both Facets and Video Library have user-friendly search engines for checking movie availability by title on their websites. I'm not sure whether or not you would consider these rental terms too expensive.

    A few of the films on your list are available by mail on DVD. For example, I currently have out "Johnny Guitar" from Nicheflix; "Signs and Wonders" is available on DVD from Greencine; "The Kid Brother" is on one of the recently-released Harold Lloyd collection discs available from Netflix; "The Magnificent Ambersons" and "Wanda" are supposedly available from Nicheflix on DVD; and "Jeux Interdits" (Forbidden Games) just became available from Netflix.

    I hope this is helpful. Good luck.

  4. Wow, you really checked out my list! Thank you for all the helpful info. I will definitely look into the sources you mention.