Instant Classics: October

Here are the movies coming to and expiring from Netflix Watch Instantly in October. Since there aren’t many new titles this month, I also included some extra new movies from September that you may have overlooked.

New This Month

Scarface (1932) September 2
Mobster Tony Camonte (Paul Muni) seizes control of Chicago’s bootlegging racket in this classic crime drama, which also stars George Raft, Boris Karloff and Osgood Perkins (Anthony Perkins’ father). From director Howard Hawks and producer Howard Hughes, Scarface set the benchmark for future gangster films. Karen Morley portrays Camonte’s love interest and Ann Dvorak the gangster’s beloved sister.

Montana (1950) September 2
Australian Errol Flynn plays an Australian for the only time in his career in this tale of Morgan Lane, a sheepherder from Down Under who relocates to Montana. His arrival angers local cattlemen who believe he’s encroaching on their grazing land. Lane’s ace in the hole may be Maria Singleton (Alexis Smith), a rancher who is attracted to Lane despite her disapproval of him and her engagement to one of his most violent opponents (Douglas Kennedy).

On the Waterfront (1954) September 2
Winner of eight Oscars, director Elia Kazan’s classic morality tale stars Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy, a has-been boxer who experiences a crisis of conscience while working for mobbed-up union boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb). Terry turns a blind eye when Friendly’s thugs kill a fellow dockworker to keep him from testifying in a corruption case, but he has second thoughts when the victim’s sister (Eva Marie Saint) urges him to take a stand.

The Barefoot Contessa (1954) October 1
Movie director Harry Dawes (Humphrey Bogart), in a sequence of flashbacks, ponders the life of ravishing Tinseltown star Maria Vargas (Ava Gardner). A flamenco dancer at a two-bit cabaret when a trio of showbiz VIPs discovers her, Maria finds fame, fortune and love in the blink of an eye. It appears at first glance that Maria has it all, but her tempestuous nature and a devastating secret in her marriage to an Italian count give rise to tragedy.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) October 1
In this Blake Edwards-directed adaptation of Truman Capote’s novel, fortune hunter Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) finds herself captivated by aspiring writer Paul Varjak (George Peppard), who’s moved into her building on a wealthy woman’s (Patricia Neal) dime. As romance blooms between Paul and Holly, Doc Golightly (Buddy Ebsen) shows up on the scene, revealing Holly’s past. The film received Oscars for Best Song (“Moon River”) and Best Score.

The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming (1966) October 1
A Russian submarine runs aground near a small New England town, and it’s up to Lt. Rozanov (Alan Arkin) as the Russians’ second-in-command to covertly secure a towboat to avoid an international confrontation. When he hooks up with residents such as Walt Whittaker (Carl Reiner) and the police chief (Brian Keith), all hell breaks loose. This classic comedy earned three Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture.

Midnight Cowboy (1969) October 1
When hayseed hustler Joe Buck (Jon Voight) comes to Manhattan to earn cash as a freelance sex stud and work toward his dream of becoming a kept man, he meets seedy gimp Ratso Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman), and an improbable friendship blossoms. John Schlesinger’s 1969 cinema classic won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay, becoming the first X-rated film to win an Oscar in any category.

The Great Train Robbery (1978) October 1
Victorian rogue Edward Pierce (Sean Connery) crafts an ambitious plan to stage England’s first hold-up of a moving train. To get to the 25,000 pounds of gold bars on board — which are well-guarded by a complex key system — Pierce enlists a bedmate (Lesley Anne Down), a safecracker (Donald Sutherland) and a tough guy (Wayne Sleep). Director Michael Crichton adapted the script from his novel by the same name, which is based on actual events.

Interiors (1978) October 1
In Woody Allen’s first dramatic film, the disintegration of an upper class couple’s marriage forces their three grown daughters (Diane Keaton, Mary Beth Hurt and Kristin Griffith) to reveal their feelings about them and each other. But none are able to provide ample support to their devastated mother. The film received five Oscar nods, including Best Director, Best Actress (Geraldine Page) and Best Supporting Actress (Maureen Stapleton).

Zelig (1983) October 1
“Human chameleon” Leonard Zelig (Woody Allen) soars to celebrity with his unexplained ability to transform himself into anyone he meets. Zelig finds himself in the unlikeliest of places — from the intensity of the Yankees dugout to the frenzy of a Nazi rally. But his doctor, brainy psychiatrist Dr. Eudora Fletcher (Mia Farrow), insists that Zelig’s condition can only exist in his mind. Allen directs this newsreel-style mockumentary.

Expiring This Month

The Animal Kingdom (1932) October 6
When free-spirited publisher Tom Collier (Leslie Howard) — a devotee of art and literature — decides to marry socialite Cee Henry (Myrna Loy), he leaves his longtime lover, the like-minded Daisy Sage (Ann Harding), in the lurch … and along with her, any chance of happiness. Soon, his wife reveals herself to be conniving and deceitful, while his mistress displays all the qualities of a loving wife, leaving poor Tom in a quandary.

The New Adventures of Tarzan (1935) October 9
Everyone’s favorite loincloth-clad Man of the Apes, Tarzan (Herman Brix), heads to Central America for some true cliff-hanging adventures in this complete collection of 12 serialized episodes. Intent on rescuing an old friend, Tarzan travels to Guatemala and ends up fighting bad guys who are after a priceless idol, which also happens to contain top secret information. Ula Holt, Frank Baker and Ashton Dearholt also star.

The Verdict (1982) October 11
A washed-up, ambulance-chasing attorney (Paul Newman) gets a chance at redemption when his friend (Jack Warden) tosses him an open-and-shut medical malpractice case. But instead of accepting an easy cash settlement, he takes the powerful defendant to court. James Mason plays the opposing counsel, whom his legal adversary calls “The Prince of Darkness,” in this courtroom drama from director Sidney Lumet.

The Beguiled (1971) October 13
An injured Civil War soldier (Clint Eastwood) takes refuge in a fancy Southern girls’ school and quickly becomes the center of attention as the girls clamor for his affections, and the headmistress (Geraldine Page) freely practices her surgical skills on him. A far cry from typical Eastwood films, this moody, atmospheric drama is a tension-filled cult favorite from director Don Siegel (Dirty Harry, Escape from Alcatraz).

The Creature with the Blue Hand (1967) October 15
Committed to an asylum after the family gardener is murdered, aristocrat Dave Emerson (Klaus Kinski) — who insists he is innocent — escapes the institution and returns to the family castle, where he assumes the identity of his twin brother, Richard (also played by Kinski). The intrigue multiplies when more people are slain, attracting the interest of Scotland Yard snoop Inspektor Craig (Harald Leipnitz) in this scary psychological thriller.

Young Billy Young (1969) October 15
Robert Mitchum is Ben Kane, a lawman with a personal score to settle in this 1960s Western. When Kane meets Billy Young (Robert Walker Jr.), he recruits the gunslinger, an outlaw on the run with a vendetta of his own. Trouble rides into town with Kane’s nemesis, Boone (John Anderson), and his outlaw son, Jesse (David Carradine), who’s Young’s ex-partner in crime. Angie Dickinson stars as saloon dancer Lily Beloit.

King Lear (1971) October 15
In Peter Brook’s cinematic adaptation of William Shakespeare’s tale about a vain and aging king and the daughters who will be his undoing, Paul Scofield seems to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders as the weary and unraveling Lear. Shot in black-and-white, the film creates a grim, frigid world devoid of light and hope in which its inhabitants labor nonetheless. Irene Worth, Susan Engel and Anne-Lise Gabold play Lear’s daughters.

Stevie (1978) October 15
Glenda Jackson reprises her stage role in Hugh Whitemore’s play about acclaimed British poet Stevie Smith, who lives with her elderly aunt (Mona Washbourne) in their London home. Reclusive Stevie uses her writing as a way to cope with her emotional fragility. As she recalls her past, Stevie describes her failed relationship with boyfriend Freddy (Alec McCowen), the tribulations of living with her eccentric aunt and the pitfalls of fame.

Rosie: The Rosemary Clooney Story (1982) October 15
This made-for-TV film from director Jackie Cooper dramatizes the turbulent life and career of singer and television actress Rosemary Clooney (Sondra Locke), including her rise to national prominence with “Come on-a My House” and other radio hits. But as Clooney’s stardom waxes then wanes, her personal life with actor husband Jose Ferrer (Tony Orlando) disintegrates into depression and drug abuse, until pal Bing Crosby revives her career.

Montana Belle (1952) October 25
Brunette bombshell Jane Russell stars in this fictional “biography” as brazen Wild West outlaw Belle Starr, a sharp-shooting gal who charms a trio of men — including the handsome gang leader who rescues her from a lynching.

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