Instant Classics: April

Here are the movies coming to and expiring from Netflix Watch Instantly in April.

New This Month

Gone with the Wind (1939) Apr. 1
Director Victor Fleming’s 1939 epic adaption of Margaret Mitchell’s novel of the same name stars Vivien Leigh as self-absorbed, headstrong Scarlett O’Hara, a Southern Belle who meets her match in Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) just as the Civil War breaks out. Living on a large cotton plantation called Tara in rural Georgia in 1861, Scarlett sees her beloved home and life as she knows it go up in flames — but will her true love be lost too?

Made for Each Other (1939) Apr. 1
Charming singles Jane (Carole Lombard) and John (James Stewart) enthusiastically fall in love, get hitched and have a baby. But soon enough, harsh realities — including meddling in-laws, money problems and a family illness — intrude on the couple’s dream of living happily ever after. While the floundering lovebirds may be meant for each other, they’ll have to work together to weather life’s ups and downs.

Pinky (1949) Apr. 1
Elia Kazan’s anti-racist drama centers on a light-skinned black woman trying to fit into society. When her white boyfriend proposes, Patricia “Pinky” Johnson (Jeanne Crain) fears that he can’t handle an interracial marriage and leaves him. She returns to her Southern childhood home, where her grandma (Ethel Waters) cares for rich Miss Em (Ethel Barrymore). When Miss Em wills her estate to Pinky, the young woman must endure a painful legal battle.

All About Eve (1950) Apr. 1
Writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s sharp script anchors this story about New York City theater life, with Bette Davis playing an aging Broadway diva who employs a starstruck fan (Anne Baxter) as her assistant, only to learn the woman is a conniving upstart. The now-classic All About Eve won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director (Mankiewicz), Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (George Sanders).

Don’t Bother to Knock (1952) Apr. 1
After Lyn (Anne Bancroft) dumps him, Jed (Richard Widmark) sulks until he spots gorgeous Nell Forbes (Marilyn Monroe), who recently moved to New York City. But Jed soon realizes that Nell harbors a dark past when her mental instability becomes apparent. While she babysits the daughter (Donna Corcoran) of Ruth (Lurene Tuttle) and Peter (Jim Backus), Nell’s sad truth can’t be hidden — not even by her Uncle Eddie (Elisha Cook Jr.).

How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) Apr. 1
In this classic comedy, three New York models (Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall) set up an apartment with a mission: They plan to use their looks, charm and talent to catch and marry a trio of millionaires. The gold-digging dames’ outrageous man-hunting scheme does attract wealthy candidates, but, love and money don’t appear to coexist; all three women must choose between the extremes.

The Graduate (1967) Apr. 1
Dustin Hoffman (in his first major film role) turns in a landmark performance as a naïve college graduate who is seduced by a middle-aged neighbor (Anne Bancroft) but ends up falling in love with her beautiful, young daughter (Katharine Ross). Mike Nichols won a Best Director Oscar for this 1960s classic, which boasts an immortal score from Simon and Garfunkel that includes the iconic “Mrs. Robinson.”

Hello, Dolly! (1969) Apr. 1
Composer Jerry Herman’s Tony Award-winning Broadway musical was adapted for the big screen in an outsize production featuring Barbra Streisand as matchmaker Dolly Levi, a role originated on stage by a much-older Carol Channing. When wealthy merchant Horace Vandergelder (Walter Matthau) hires Dolly to find a mate for him, she decides to win him over for herself. Songs include “Before the Parade Passes By” and the glorious title tune.

Expiring This Month

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933) Apr. 3
Seasoned criminal Doctor Mabuse (Rudolf Klein Rogge) has been locked in an asylum for the past 10 years, straddling the line between life and death. One of his last projects involves a mysterious manifesto that sets in place a crime-filled future. Discovering that the creepy article’s text seems to predict disturbing events, detective Lohmann (Otto Wernicke) tries to put together the pieces of this mind-bending case.

That Hamilton Woman (1941) Apr. 3
Married actors Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh star in this story of a tragic love affair. When young Emma Hart (Leigh) marries much older Sir William Hamilton (Alan Mowbray), the British ambassador to the court of Naples, it’s an excellent match for her. But a few years later, she meets naval hero Lord Horatio Nelson (Olivier), and the two fall madly in love. That Hamilton Woman earned several Oscar nominations and won for Best Sound.

Breathless (1960) Apr. 3
After shooting a cop, young thief Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo) meets and shacks up with Patricia (Jean Seberg), an American who sells the International Herald Tribune on the streets of Paris. Hiding out in her hotel room, Michel tries to talk Patricia into going with him to Italy. But she doesn’t know that would include a foray into criminal life. Director Jean-Luc Godard shot to cinematic stardom with this benchmark film of the French new wave.

Gojira (1954) Apr. 6
A 400-foot dinosaur springs to life in the wake of heavy nuclear weapons testing over the Pacific Ocean, and before long, the fire-breathing Gojira (aka Godzilla) makes a beeline for an unsuspecting Tokyo. This classic 1950s film is the original Japanese version of Godzilla. Fans of the giant lizard will enjoy the bonus features, which include the original U.S. theatrical release Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1956), starring Raymond Burr.

1 Comment

  1. I’ve been looking forward to checking out All About Eve for a while now and there are some other good flicks on there I’ve seen before. Wonder how long it will take for Gone with the Wind to shoot to the top of the Netflix charts?

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