Instant Classics: September

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

New This Month

Heidi (1937) September 1
When 8-year-old Heidi (Shirley Temple) is orphaned, her mean Aunt Dete (Mady Christians) takes her to the mountains to live with her even meaner grandfather, Adolph (Jean Hersholt). Heidi’s eternal charm soon warms her grandfather’s heart, and the two become great friends. But when Aunt Dete returns and steals Heidi, Adolph sets out on a quest to find the girl and bring her home in this sweet classic from Hollywood’s golden age.

A Yank in the R.A.F. (1941) September 1
American pilot Tyrone Power delivers a bomber to Britain during World War II. When he runs into old flame Betty Grable, he decides to stay in England, joins the Royal Air Force and is soon competing with a fellow pilot for Grable’s affection. But as the Nazis threaten Britain, the two heroes team up to pull off a daring evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk.

I Was A Male War Bride (1949) September 1
Captain Henri Rochard (Cary Grant) is a French officer who’s paired up on assignment with an American female lieutenant, Catherine Gates (Ann Sheridan). After a while, the two fall in love and decide to wed. All is blissful until Rochard tries to accompany his wife back to the States and finds that the U.S. Army isn’t as lenient as he previously thought. Now, Rochard must impersonate a woman in order to join his new bride.

People Will Talk (1951) September 1
Dr. Praetorius (Cary Grant) is a well-liked medical professor at a dull Midwestern college who impresses those around him with his unorthodox ways of teaching. Not as impressed is Praetorius’s archrival (Hume Cronyn), a conservative doctor who does everything within his power to bring Praetorius down. Out of the blue, Praetorius meets and falls in love with an unattached pregnant woman (Jeanne Crain), spiraling him into uncharted territory.

The Fugitive Kind (1959) September 1
Marlon Brando stars as guitar-playing drifter Val Xavier, who shuffles into a small Southern town after abandoning a life of petty crime. He soon takes up with two disparate ladies: brassy bad girl Carol Cutrere (Joanne Woodward) and the volatile Lady Torrance (Anna Magnani) — his boss’s wife. Maureen Stapleton and Victor Jory provide solid support in this smoldering melodrama based on Tennessee Williams’s play “Orpheus Descending.”

The Miracle Worker (1962) September 1
A bout with scarlet fever has rendered Helen Keller (Patty Duke) blind, deaf and mute. When her parents can no longer cope with the feral girl’s tantrums, they call in inexperienced but innovative teacher Annie Sullivan (Anne Bancroft). Though Helen perceives sign language as a finger game, Annie’s unflagging tutelage ultimately awakens in her charge the concept of words. Bancroft (Best Actress) and Duke (Supporting Actress) won Oscars for their work.

The Cat O’Nine Tails (1971) September 1
Blind retired detective Franco Arno (Karl Malden) overhears a strange conversation by two men outside a pharmaceutical company. When a series of killings occurs connected to the company’s top secret research, Franco joins forces with a reporter (James Franciscus) to catch a killer with an extra chromosome. Catherine Spaak also appears in this traditional mystery from typically flamboyant horror director Dario Argento.

Dirty Harry (1971) September 1
When a madman dubbed the “Scorpio Killer” terrorizes San Francisco, hard-boiled cop Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) — famous for his take-no-prisoners approach to law enforcement — is tasked with hunting down the psychopath. Harry eventually collars Scorpio in the process of rescuing a kidnap victim, only to see him walk on technicalities. Now, the maverick detective is determined to nail the maniac himself.

Earthquake (1974) September 1
Academy Award winners Charlton Heston and George Kennedy star in this 1974 box office blockbuster. When a massive earthquake hits Los Angeles, construction engineer Stewart Graff (Heston) must try to rescue his father-in-law boss, Sam Royce (Lorne Greene), who’s trapped in his own building. Meanwhile, tough cop Lew Slade (Kennedy) and motorcycle daredevil Miles Quade (Richard Roundtree) are fighting for their lives.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) September 1
Director Tobe Hooper’s horror classic is a gruesome reminder that a movie need not be complicated to scare the daylights out of viewers. Sally (Marilyn Burns), her wheelchair-bound brother (Paul A. Partain) and their friends travel to a vandalized graveyard to see if their grandfather’s remains are intact. En route, they come upon chainsaw-wielding maniac Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen), and it’s a fight to the bloody death between good and evil.

Expiring This Month

King of Hearts (1967) September 2
During World War I, Pvt. Charles Plumpick (Alan Bates) is sent on a mission to the French town of Marville to defuse a German bomb. But Plumpick discovers he’s not alone in Marville and is soon befriended by the “inmates” of the local sanitarium, who were left behind when the town was evacuated. Thanks to his handiness, the residents, in all their quirkiness, deem Plumpick the “King of Hearts.” With that honor, can he go back to the war?

The Conversation (1974) September 16
Francis Ford Coppola follows The Godfather with this intimate film about an audio surveillance expert (Gene Hackman) who faces a moral quandary when he suspects that a couple whose conversation he’s been hired to surreptitiously record will be murdered. The San Francisco-set film features a tremendous supporting cast, including John Cazale and Teri Garr, and was nominated for three Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Screenplay.

Elpidio Valdés (1980) September 17
Acclaimed Cuban director Juan Padrón sends communist cartoon hero Elpidio Valdés — Cuba’s most popular animated character — on a series of adventures to help members of the disenfranchised working class stand up to the world’s most tyrannical capitalists. Every time this pint-sized protagonist takes down another greedy businessman for the sake of the downtrodden, you’ll find yourself rooting for the little guy.

The Sting (1973) September 25
After rookie grifter Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) tracks down veteran flim-flam man Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman) in 1930s Chicago, the duo plans to fleece a homicidal racketeer (Robert Shaw) through a phony racetrack scam involving a string of double and triple crosses. The Sting picked up seven Academy Awards, including Oscars for Best Picture, Best Directing (George Roy Hill) and Best Original Screenplay (David S. Ward).

Roxie Hart (1942) September 30
Ambition trumps murder in this satire based on the play “Chicago.” Ginger Rogers stars as feisty Roxie Hart, who’s so thirsty for notoriety she doesn’t care that she’s accused of a heinous crime. Tabloid reporters fall at her feet for every bit of seamy gossip, which Roxie happily supplies to remain in the limelight. Even her lawyer (Adolphe Menjou) sees her case as a shortcut to fame, but things turn grim when it seems Roxie may be convicted.

Yellow Sky (1948) September 30
When a gang of outlaws led by James “Stretch” Dawson (Gregory Peck) rolls into an abandoned frontier town, the only residents they find are an old man (James Barton) and his granddaughter (Anne Baxter), who inform them there’s gold in them thar hills. Problems arise when a maverick gang member (Richard Widmark) plots to kill the innocent townsfolk so he can claim the loot for himself, prompting Stretch to come to the rescue.

Halls of Montezuma (1950) September 30
Assigned to the Pacific, Marine lieutenant Anderson (Richard Widmark) and his men must thwart a Japanese rocket-launching facility in this World War II epic. Ex-schoolteacher Anderson uses the right touch in handling veterans Pidgeon Lane (Jack Palance) and Doc (Karl Malden) and raw recruit Coffman (Robert Wagner), but the soldiers are outnumbered. In order for their mission to succeed, Anderson must lead a band of men into enemy territory.

Dragnet (1954) September 30
Hard-boiled Sgt. Joe Friday (Jack Webb) and his partner, Officer Frank Smith (Ben Alexander), are on the trail of a mob hit man in this film noir-style police drama based on the popular 1950s TV show. When a two-bit hood is gunned down, Friday and Smith work the case with undercover policewoman Grace Downey (Ann Robinson), surveilling a mob hangout and interrogating suspects until they piece together the evidence needed to charge the guilty.

The Detective (1968) September 30
Tough detective Joe Leland (Frank Sinatra) gets the call to investigate the murder of Teddy Leikman, the homosexual son of a department store mogul. Leland scores a confession from Teddy’s roommate, and the case is open-and-shut … or is it? Later, Leland uncovers other evidence implicating a corrupt New York City political machine. Lee Remick, Jack Klugman and Lloyd Bochner co-star. Gordon Douglas directs.

Quintet (1979) September 30
Essex (Paul Newman) struggles to survive in a bleak, frozen city of the future. Director Robert Altman’s existential film pulls no punches in presenting a withering vision of a postapocalyptic world in which inhabitants of the city play a puzzling cat-and-mouse game called Quintet, with death awaiting the player who makes a misstep. Bibi Andersson, Fernando Rey, Vittorio Gassman and Nina Van Pallandt co-star in this chilling sci-fi thriller.

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1 Comment

  1. I really like that you’ve done this, it’s so helpful!

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