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Warner Archive Instant (a new Roku streaming channel) Begins Closed Beta

Originally posted on Arthouse Cowboy. Full article reproduced here.

"Monty Cristo" here.

I dropped cable years ago, and now I finally have something like what I've wanted for a long time: a monthly subscription "instant channel" roughly equivalent to Turner Classic Movies.

Launching in closed Beta, Warner Archive Instant is a new Roku streaming channel that features a rotating selection of SD and HD content from the Warner Brothers back catalogue.

I've tried to get more info out of WB to no avail. They're clammed up tight for the moment.

Titles range from the super-obscure and cult to genre classics to amazing movies from some of the cinema's great directors. A limited quantity of TV show episodes are in the beta too, and knowing the loads of shows released by Warner Archive on DVD, there's an absurd wealth of content there on top of the thousands of movies they have.

The titles included in the Beta are not final, but, I'd assume, at least representative of the minimum quantity of titles available for the service when it launches at what will hopefully be a sub-$10 monthly fee or the equivalent.

Warner Archive oversees over 5000 titles, including ones previously released on DVD that went out of print. The new Instant channel adds ones that I'd consider major Warner back-catalogue stuff (The Music Man, for example).

I'm thrilled this is finally a reality. Warner Archive has done an extraordinary job of breaking down the wall between a studio/content provider and their audience over the last few years, better than any other studio of their relative scale. Where others have been tepid about MoD DVD at all, preferring to sell to middleman retailers wholesale, or only just gearing up, Warner has really gone for it, and they're listening to customer feedback. I'm sure that's the case with this new iteration of the Archive Collection.

I don't have any non-public details...but there's a library of 157 feature films, 2 made-for-TV movies, and episodes from 7 TV shows in the current public-facing listing. I've listed everything further down, including calling out which titles are in HD.

I transcribed all of this manually, so if reposting, please link back rather than simply copy/pasting everything. I hate that I have to say that, but welcome to the world of blogging.

When Warner Archive Instant is opened up to the public, you can bet I'll let you know.


Before we get to the full list, here are a pile of highlights (among loads of great titles) with brief commentary:

A Face in the Crowd [HD]
America, America
Elia Kazan is one of the great filmmakers, and these two are criminally under-seen and under-appreciated. Face in the Crowd features a career-best performance form Andy Griffith.

The Alphabet Murders
Worth watching for the novelty of Tony Randall as Hercule Poirot, but fun and entertaining on top of that.

Auntie Mame [HD]
Both of these adaptations of the musical theatre classic were impossible to find for some time before Archive started pressing DVDs. I never felt like owning them, but occasionally wanted to be able to watch them. Mame is Lucille Ball's final film performance.

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms [HD]
A nuclear blast awakens a giant dinosaur that wreaks all sorts of havoc in this movie that features creature effects by Ray Harryhausen and which is based on a short story by Ray Bradbury. If you even just kinda like monster movies and have never seen this, make it a top priority. Godzilla would come out in Japan the following year, and they...share some DNA. This movie's success drove Godzilla into actually getting made. I can't believe I can finally watch this monster movie classic in HD, when previous DVD releases have all been pretty much lousy in the picture department.

The Beast With Five Fingers
One among many great, sinister Peter Lorre performances is on display in this movie where a famous pianist dies...and his hand returns for revenge. This movie has never been on DVD, and only recently because available for SD streaming on Amazon. I'd buy it if Archive did a Blu-ray. I'd help them find people to interview for the extras.

Blow-Up [HD]
Michaelangelo Antonioni's classic from the 60's available in HD for the first time. Brian De Palma remade this as the equally masterful Blow-Out in the 80's. If you've never watched an Antonioi movie, this is an exceptional place to start.

Dames [HD]
Footlight Parade [HD]
These represent 2/5ths of one of my favorite Warner DVD releases, the Busby Berkeley Collection, and in HD no less.

If you've never been blessed to see this "The Fat Boys" classic, it's a nice reminder of enjoyable trash from the 80's (and I mean that in the sweetest way possible).

Doc Savage: Man of Bronze
Legendary producer George Pal's last produced film find pulp hero Doc Savage and his five Amazing Adventurers team up to solve the disappearance of Doc's dad. It was supposed to be a franchise starter, and it's crying shame that it wasn't. This has always been a favorite blind recommendation to friends loading up on DVDs in a sale. It's fun and kid-friendly, too.

Finian's Rainbow [HD]
The Music Man [HD]
I'm more stunned that The Music Man is in here in HD due its broader popularity, but Finian's Rainbow, on top of some other musicals, make this pretty great just for the musical category of stuff thus far.

Freaks [HD]
Tod Browing's freakshow horror classic that stars actual sideshow performers...and in HD.

Freebie and the Bean
This movie is tremendously racist, hilarious, fun, and a perfect artifact of 70's American cinema. "The Bean" refers to co-lead Alan Arkin...who plays a Mexican-American. I've said this about a couple of others, but make this one of the first five you watch. Edgar Wright re-discovered this movie for so many during one of his Wright Stuff movie marathons in L.A. Bless you, you brilliant English bastard.

The Divorcee [HD]
A Free Soul [HD]
Night Nurse [HD]
Red Headed Woman [HD]
Four excellent pre-Production Code, pre-Ratings System movies, one of which features Clark Gable as a nasty dude. Saucy, salacious stuff previously available in SD on the Forbidden Hollywood collections.

Soylent Green [HD]
Hope that no one ruins Soylent Green for you before you find out what Soylent Green actually is in the movie.

Storm Warning
Ronald Reagan fights the Klan. 

Tarzan And The Amazons
Tarzan And The Huntress
Tarzan And The Leopard Woman
Tarzan And The Mermaids
Tarzan Triumphs
Tarzan's Desert Mystery
Six Johnny Weismuller classic Tarzan pictures, all in one place.

Time After Time
HG Wells (Malcolm McDowell) chases Jack the Ripper into the future year of...1979!

The Valley of Gwangi [HD]
A cowboy goes after glory and gold, trying to capture a Tyrannosaurus Rex so he can sell it to a Mexican circus. Another Harryhausen-powered stop motion creature movie.

Now for the current complete listing:


TV Shows (Multiple Episodes each)

77 Sunset Strip: Years 2-6
Adventures of Superman (Eps 1-13)
Hawaiian Eye: Years 1-4
Cheyenne (Season 1)
Gilligan's Island (Eps 1-13)
Jericho (Season 1)
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (Eps 1-29)

Made-for-TV Movies

Cosa Nostra: An Arch Enemy of the FBI
Planet Earth


Features (157, with over 70 in HD)

36 Hours [HD]
The Ace of Hearts
Across the Pacific [HD]
Action in the North Atlantic
Adventures of Don Juan
Advise and Consent
The Alphabet Murders
The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse [HD]
America, America [HD]
The Americanization of Emily [HD]
Armored Car Robbery [HD]
Auntie Mame [HD]
Baby Doll [HD]
Baby Face [HD]
Back to Bataan [HD]
Bad Day at Black Rock
The Bad Seed (1956) [HD]
Battle Cry
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms [HD]
The Beast With Five Fingers
Bells Are Ringing
Best Foot Forward
The Best House in London
The Big Cube
The Big Stampede
Billy Rose's Jumbo [HD]
Black Legion [HD]
The Black Scorpion [HD]
Blonde Crazy
Blow-Up [HD]
Born Reckless
The Bride Came C.O.D.
Brother Orchid [HD]
The Cameraman
Cat People [HD]
Chamber of Horrors
The Charge at Feather River
The Charge of the Light Brigade [HD]
Clash by Night
The Clock
Colt .45
The Courtship of Eddie's Father
The Curse Of Frankenstein [HD]
Dames [HD]
The Damned Don't Cry [HD]
Dark Passage [HD]
Day for Night [HD]
Death in Venice [HD]
Deception [HD]
Decoy [HD]
Desperate Journey [HD]
The Devil Doll
The Devil's Brother [HD]
Die Laughing
The Divorcee [HD]
Doberman Gang
Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze
Doctor X
A Face in the Crowd [HD]
A Fan's Notes
The Fearless Vampire Killers [HD]
Fighting Frontier
Finian's Rainbow [HD]
Flying Leathernecks
Footlight Parade [HD]
Freaks [HD]
A Free Soul [HD]
Freebie and the Bean
George Washington Slept Here
The Great Lie [HD]
Gun Crazy [HD]
Gun Law Justice
The Hill [HD]
Horror Of Dracula [HD]
Hot Rods to Hell [HD]
In This Our Life [HD]
The Invisible Boy
Isle of the Dead
It's a Great Feeling
Lady Killer [HD]
Love in the Afternoon
The Loved One [HD]
Lust for Life [HD]
Mad Love
Madame Bovary
The Man From Monterey
Mark of the Vampire [HD]
Marked Woman [HD]
The Mask Of Fu Manchu [HD]
The Mayor of Hell [HD]
Merrill's Marauders [HD]
Mexican Spitfire
Midnight Mary [HD]
Moon Zero Two
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941) [HD]
Mr. Skeffington [HD]
The Mummy (1959) [HD]
The Music Man [HD]
Night Nurse [HD]
Norman, Is That You?
Objective, Burma
One on One
Our Dancing Daughters
The Pirate
Planet Earth
The Prince And The Showgirl
Private Parts (1972) [HD]
The Purchase Price [HD]
Queen Of Outer Space
Red Headed Woman [HD]
Ride Him, Cowboy
The Ritz [HD]
Run of the Arrow
San Quentin [HD]
Satellite in the Sky
The Scarlet Letter
The Sheltering Sky [HD]
Somewhere in Sonora
Soylent Green [HD]
Stage Fright [HD]
The Star [HD]
Storm Warning
Tarzan And The Amazons
Tarzan And The Huntress
Tarzan And The Leopard Woman
Tarzan And The Mermaids
Tarzan Triumphs
Tarzan's Desert Mystery
Taste the Blood of Dracula [HD]
The Telegraph Trail
The Temptress
Texas Lawmen
They Live by Night
Time After Time
To Kill a Man [HD]
Torch Song [HD]
The Ultimate Warrior [HD]
Until The End Of The World [HD]
The Valley of Gwangi [HD]
Violence [HD]
Wagon Master [HD]
West Point
Where the Boys Are
Where the Spies Are
Wild Boys Of The Road [HD]
World Without End
Zero Hour [HD]


Moisés Chiullan / "Monty Cristo"
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