Instant Classics: June

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

New This Month

Born to Be Bad (1934) June 1
Letty (Loretta Young) is a young mother who has her son taken away from her after she’s determined an unfit mother. Malcolm Trevor (Cary Grant) and his wife Alice (Marion Burns) agree to take over guardianship of the boy, hoping to provide him with a stable home. Yearning to get her child back, Letty decides to seduce Malcolm — a task that proves more difficult than she had hoped.

The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend (1949) June 1
When a shot intended for her philandering boyfriend accidentally hits a judge in the behind, a tough-talking saloon singer (pinup girl Betty Grable) is forced to hide out in a new town, where she poses as the local schoolteacher. Cesar Romero (who later became famous as the gaping Joker on TV’s “Batman”) also stars in this Wild West musical comedy directed by Preston Sturges.

House of Strangers (1949) June 1
After his illegal practices land corrupt banker Gino Monetti (Edward G. Robinson) in jail, three of his sons — Joe (Luther Adler), Pietro (Paul Valentine) and Tony (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) — ruthlessly take over the business. When a fourth son, Max (Richard Conte), vows to remain loyal to his father, the family is torn apart. Robinson copped the Best Actor award at Cannes for his role in this gritty drama directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.

The Desert Fox (1951) June 1
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (convincingly portrayed by James Mason) was known for his exploits in the Afrika Korps. This classic film, directed by Henry Hathaway, chronicles Rommel’s life — including his military career, his contribution to supposed attempts on Adolf Hitler’s life and his lonely demise. Jessica Tandy co-stars as Rommel’s wife.

A Farewell to Arms (1957) June 1
Adapted from Ernest Hemingway’s World War I novel, this drama centers on American soldier Lt. Frederick Henry (Rock Hudson). While serving in the Italian Army, Henry has an affair with nurse Catherine Barkley (Jennifer Jones), and she becomes pregnant. The two lose touch, and Catherine is certain Henry’s moved on to greener pastures. But he manages to track her down in Switzerland and arrives at her hospital bedside to find her clinging to life.

The Long, Hot Summer (1958) June 1
Director Martin Ritt combines two William Faulkner stories into a smoldering drama starring Paul Newman as Ben Quick, a wandering handyman who arrives in Frenchman’s Bend, Miss., where menacing rumors about his past begin to circulate. Soon enough, the self-made town despot (Orson Welles) warms to the drifter and takes him under his wing, giving him a job at his store and setting him up with his daughter (Joanne Woodward).

Sons and Lovers (1960) June 1
Based on D.H. Lawrence’s novel, Sons and Lovers tells the story of Paul Morel (Dean Stockwell), a miner’s (Trevor Howard) son who’s determined to become an artist. Morel relies on the financial generosity of his girlfriends, but his devotion to his mother (Wendy Hiller) prevents him from returning their love. Sons and Lovers received several Oscar nominations — including Best Picture and Director — and won a Best Cinematography Oscar.

The Hustler (1961) June 1
Paul Newman scores as pool shark “Fast Eddie” Felson, who tours the country hustling games — even challenging reigning champion Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason) — in this brooding drama that explores the synergies between good and evil, love and desperation. The film won a pair of Oscars for its cinematography and art direction, while Newman and Gleason both earned Academy Award nominations for their performances. Piper Laurie co-stars.

A Hard Day’s Night (1964) June 1
The Beatles’ first movie — a groundbreaking comedy often considered director Richard Lester’s best film — chronicles a “typical” day in their lives, filled with frenzied fans, crazy relatives and a soundtrack of familiar songs. The film defined the Beatles’ impish appeal, and John, Paul, George and Ringo are surprisingly assured on-screen. Songs include “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “And I Love Her” and “I Should Have Known Better.”

The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967) June 1
Living in the small town of Rochefort, France, twin sisters Delphine and Solange Garnier (Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac) yearn for the romance of Paris. But when a charming pair of song-and-dance men (George Chakiris and Grover Dale) comes to town, the sisters get more than they ever dreamed. This effervescent film by acclaimed director Jacques Demy co-stars silver-screen legend Gene Kelly.

Expiring This Month

The Prince and the Showgirl (1957) June 6
While visiting London in 1911 to attend the crowning of King George V, a stuffy Carpathian nobleman (Laurence Olivier) surprisingly finds himself attracted to saucy American showgirl Elsie Marina (Marilyn Monroe) in this bright romantic comedy. But complications and political intrigue ensue as a plot to topple the Balkan throne comes to light. Sybil Thorndike shines as the off-her-trolley queen dowager.

Meet John Doe (1941) June 10
Sacked by her newspaper, spunky scribe Ann Mitchell (Barbara Stanwyck) hatches a hoax to keep her job. In her final column, she pens a missive from “John Doe,” a fictitious hobo planning to leap to his death from city hall. When the letter triggers a public flap, the paper — looking to boost readership — cons a suitable stooge (Gary Cooper) into posing as Doe. Little does he know the paper’s owner plans to use him as a ticket to the presidency.

La Bête Humaine (1938) June 21
This classic film directed by the legendary Jean Renoir and based on the novel by Emile Zola stars Roubaud as Fernand Ledoux, a train station worker who, enraged that his wife, Severine (Simone Simon), has cuckolded him, forces her to help kill him. Roubaud’s co-worker, Jacques Lantier (Jean Gabin), knows the truth, having witnessed the gruesome events unfold, but all he wants to do is protect Severine because he wants her for himself.

Rashomon (1950) June 21
Considered one of Japanese director Akira Kurosawa’s masterpieces, this Oscar-winning crime drama unfolds as four witnesses to a rape and murder report their versions of the attack, leaving the viewer to decide what really happened. But the chain of events depicted by the bandit (Toshiro Mifune), the rape victim (Machiko Kyo), the murdered man’s ghost (Masayuki Mori) and the woodcutter (Takashi Shimura) have more differences than similarities.

M. Hulot’s Holiday (1953) June 21
Jacques Tati followed his acclaimed directorial debut Jour de Fête with this gently satirical comedy that introduced Tati’s alter ego, Monsieur Hulot. When Hulot spends a holiday at a seaside resort, he accidentally (but good-naturedly) wreaks havoc wherever he goes. Falling all over himself to impress a beautiful girl, Hulot inadvertently crashes a funeral, topples a priceless vase and ignites fireworks with his pipe — all to hilarious effect.

Summertime (1955) June 21
Dreams of romance for American spinster Jane Hudson (Katharine Hepburn) become a bittersweet reality when she meets a handsome but married antiques dealer (Rossano Brazzi) while vacationing in Venice, Italy. David Lean directed this sensitive portrait of an independent woman who finds that, even in a beautiful European city, her sense of loneliness is unavoidable, and her initial disgust with the idea of an illicit love affair doesn’t last.

Jules and Jim (1962) June 21
Writers Jules (Oskar Werner) and Jim (Henri Serre) are close friends who fall in love with the same woman, the unpredictable Catherine (Jeanne Moreau), amid the turbulence of World War I Paris in one of director François Truffaut’s best-loved films, adapted from the novel by Henri-Pierre Roché. What results is a decades-long love triangle that both tests and strengthens the bond between the two men.

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) June 22
Judy Garland stars as Esther Smith, who just can’t ignore the boy next door (Tom Drake), in director Vincente Minnelli’s musical masterpiece about the trials and tribulations of a tight-knit family living in St. Louis on the eve of the 1904 World’s Fair. Memorable characters and charming songs, which include “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “The Trolley Song,” make this one of the greatest American musicals ever lensed.

Imitation of Life (1934) June 26
After taking in black housekeeper Delilah Johnson (Louise Beavers) and her light-skinned daughter (Fredi Washington), the white and widowed Bea Pullman (Claudette Colbert) makes a fortune in the pancake businesses, using Delilah’s recipe and likeness. But wealth has unexpected consequences for them all. John M. Stahl directs this black-and-white classic based on Fannie Hurst’s novel by the same name.

Cleopatra (1963) June 30
The winner of four Oscars, this epic saga of love, greed and betrayal stars Elizabeth Taylor as the passionate and ambitious Egyptian queen who’s determined to hold on to the throne and seduces the Roman emperor Julius Caesar (Rex Harrison). When Caesar is murdered, she redirects her attentions to his general, Marc Antony (Richard Burton), who vows to take power — but Caesar’s successor (Roddy McDowall) has other plans.

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