Popular movies that aren't available to stream anywhere
20th Century Fox

Popular movies that aren't available to stream anywhere

It’s a great time to be a fan of classic movies. These days, you can catch almost every notable film streaming somewhere online, and movies pop up here and there every month. However, we don’t live in a world where every film is available at the click of a button. Some popular, well-liked movies aren’t on any of the major streaming services. These are a handful of popular films that either aren’t available to stream or are only on more obscure services.

 
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“Cocoon” (1985)

“Cocoon” (1985)
20th Century Fox

“Cocoon” is Ron Howard’s film about old folks who are rejuvenated thanks to some aliens. Don Ameche won an Oscar for it. However, it’s probably best remembered for the fact that Wilford Brimley was only 49 when he started shooting the film, which is a fact the internet loves to point out, especially in comparison to, say, Brad Pitt in “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood.”

 
2 of 20

“Rebecca” (1940)

“Rebecca” (1940)
Selznick International

While Alfred Hitchcock didn’t win Best Director for “Rebecca,” – and he ended up never winning that particular Oscar – this is the only one of Hitchcock’s films to win Best Picture. The adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s novel isn’t lost like some Best Picture winners, but right now you can’t stream it, though you can stream a Netflix adaptation of the novel nobody seemed to like.

 
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“Sleuth” (1972)

“Sleuth” (1972)
20th Century Fox

“Sleuth” is basically a two-hander, but what a two-hander it is. The film focuses on Michael Caine and Laurence Olivier playing a game of cat-and-mouse as they match intellects, and both actors got Oscars nominations. It’s also the final film directed by Joseph Mankiewicz, brother of “Citizen Kane” screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, aka “Mank.”

 
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“Dawn of the Dead” (1978)

“Dawn of the Dead” (1978)
United Film Distribution Company

Famously, “Night of the Living Dead” has long been easy to see. Due to an error, the film entered the public domain way earlier than it would have otherwise, making it much easier – and cheaper – to screen or air on television. As such, it almost feels fitting that George A. Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead” is currently not streamable, even if many think it’s arguably his best film.

 
5 of 20

“Cannonball Run” (1981)

“Cannonball Run” (1981)
20th Century Fox, Warner Bros.

“Cannonball Run” is not necessarily a high-brow movie. It’s directed by former stuntman Hal Needham and focuses on Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise in a cross-country race. Terry Bradshaw is in the cast. That being said, it’s a pretty entertaining romp, and managed to spawn a couple of sequels. If you like breezy films, or like Reynolds, it’s worth a watch. Just not on a streaming service right now, apparently.

 
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“Silkwood” (1983)

“Silkwood” (1983)
20th Century Fox

“Silkwood” is a biopic starring Meryl Streep, so you know it has some things going for it. Streep is her usual excellent self and got an Oscar nomination. So did her co-star Cher. It’s a serious film about a woman who died under mysterious circumstances, so maybe it just adds to the mystique that you can’t stream it currently.

 
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“Prizzi’s Honor” (1985)

“Prizzi’s Honor” (1985)
20th Century Fox

You can’t necessarily accuse John Huston of nepotism for casting his daughter Anjelica in “Prizzi’s Honor.” Well, you can, but he can counter by saying that she won Best Supporting Actress for the movie, which certainly justifies her casting. Plus, she’s Anjelica Huston. She’s great. So is Jack Nicholson, who also stars in the film.

 
8 of 20

“Wild at Heart” (1990)

“Wild at Heart” (1990)
The Samuel Goldwyn Company

A David Lynch film starring Nicolas Cage? That’s the makings of a bonkers film on paper, and there are definitely some out there aspects to “Wild at Heart.” Having said that, Lynch and Cage are both talented individuals who just so happen to occasionally delve into the bizarre, so they can manage to be strange but critically acclaimed at the first time.

 
9 of 20

“Il Postino” (1994)

“Il Postino” (1994)
Miramax

“Il Postino” was first released in the United States as “The Postman,” but don’t confuse it with Kevin Costner’s film “The Postman.” We don’t know if that one is streamable, but even if it is we don’t care. “Il Postino” starred and was co-written by Massimo Troisi, who died from a heart attack the day after principal photography ended. Despite being a foreign language film, “Il Postino” got a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars, though it did not win.

 
10 of 20

“Dogma” (1999)

“Dogma” (1999)
Lions Gate

Kevin Smith movies aren’t for everybody, but they are for some people. He has a devoted fan base that can border on the cultish. These fans want to be able to see any Smith movie whenever they get a chance. Unfortunately for them, Smith’s “Dogma” is currently not streaming. We assume Smith’s most-fervent fans probably have the film on DVD, though.

 
11 of 20

“All That Jazz” (1979)

“All That Jazz” (1979)
Columbia

Bob Fosse’s career as a director and choreographer is truly impressive, but he certainly stepped on some toes along the way. A biopic of a figure like Fosse makes sense, but what’s wild about “All That Jazz” is that Fosse himself directed it and co-wrote it. Even wilder is the fact Fosse pulls few punches when it comes to his worst behavior. It’s a fascinating watch, and it would be great if it could be streamed right about now.

 
12 of 20

“Spice World” (1997)

“Spice World” (1997)
Columbia

Yes, a Spice Girls comedy is maybe not anybody's idea of vaunted cinema. That being said, it’s better than you might expect. It’s a silly movie, and the five girls of spice aren’t maybe the best actors, but it’s silly in the way you hope from a movie like “Spice World.” Plus, if you like their music, there’s plenty of that in the film.

 
13 of 20

“Better Off Dead” (1985)

“Better Off Dead” (1985)
Warner Bros.

“Better Off Dead” wasn’t a huge hit when it debuted, but it has since developed a cult following. A lot of people consider it one of their favorite teen comedies from the ‘80s. The fact John Cusack is the star definitely helps. “Better Off Dead” is also a fairly surreal comedy, which helps the movie stand out as well.

 
14 of 20

“Angels in the Outfield” (1994)

“Angels in the Outfield” (1994)
Disney

“Angels in the Outfield” is very much a genial family film. It’s about angels helping a baseball team win because a kid prayed for them to so that he can have his dad in his life. However, the cast for this film is quite impressive. We’ve got the likes of Christopher Lloyd, Danny Glover, and as the star a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

 
15 of 20

“Wall Street” (1987)

“Wall Street” (1987)
20th Century Fox

Maybe in a way, it’s better that “Wall Street” can’t be streamed. After all, in the ‘80s a lot of people seemed to get the wrong message from Oliver Stone’s film. They saw Gordon Gekko say that greed, for the lack of a better word, is good, and took it at face value. Oops.

 
16 of 20

“The Flamingo Kid” (1984)

“The Flamingo Kid” (1984)
20th Century Fox

“The Flamingo Kid” is a piece of film history, which you might not expect. It was the first film that received a PG-13 rating, though it was the fifth to be released. On top of that, Marisa Tomei made her movie debut in a small role in the Matt Dillon film about a summer resort. That’s a bit of history in a way as well.

 
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“The Heartbreak Kid” (1972)

“The Heartbreak Kid” (1972)
20th Century Fox

From one kid to another, we go to Elaine May’s arguable crowning achievement as a director. “The Heartbreak Kid” is also the rare film to give Charles Grodin a starring role and let him get the most out of his on-screen persona. Most people focus on the flop of “Ishtar” when it comes to May, and cinephiles may shout out “Mikey and Nicky” first, but in terms of appealing to a wide swath of film fans, there’s “The Heartbreak Kid.”

 
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“The Abyss” (1989)

“The Abyss” (1989)
20th Century Fox

James Cameron has made some of the biggest action films ever. He’s the man behind “Titanic” and “Avatar,” two films that have been the highest-grossing movie ever (not adjusting for inflation). “The Abyss” maybe falls through the cracks, but it was a hit as well, and it’s also impressive in terms of special effects for the era. Plus, it was one of Cameron’s first chances to indulge in his affinity for the deep sea.

 
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“Harry and Tonto” (1974)

“Harry and Tonto” (1974)
20th Century Fox

Famously, or maybe infamously, Art Carney won Best Actor for 1974 by beating out Albert Finney, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson, and Al Pacino. Yes, really. He did that for the film “Harry and Tonto,” which is about an old man traveling around with a cat. If for no reason other than that, it would be nice to be able to easily see “Harry and Tonto.”

 
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“Silent Movie” (1976)

“Silent Movie” (1976)
20th Century Fox

A lot of silent movies, even iconic ones, have been lost to time. That’s just the nature of old film and preservation. “Silent Movie” is not actually from the silent film era. It’s actually a Mel Brooks comedy from the ‘70s. Maybe they just want to pay tribute to those lost silent films by not making “Silent Movie” available to stream. Or maybe just nobody wants to pay for the rights to stream it right now.

Chris Morgan is a sports and pop culture writer and the author of the books The Comic Galaxy of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and The Ash Heap of History. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisXMorgan.

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