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Hump Day Have Your Say: Out of Print Films: Barfly


Last weekend, I sat down and watched a great film, The Manchurian Candidate.  You can check out my review tomorrow.  While watching the bonus features it was mentioned that the film had not been readily available for twenty-four years due to Sinatra purchasing the rights to the film.  The film was only shown a handful of times on television prior to its re-release in 1988.  The fact that the film was not available for such a long time reminded me of another film that I have wanted to purchase for a long time that is not currently available.



Barfly (1987) Starring Mickey Rourke is adaptation of a handful of Charles Bukowski short stories.  If you are familiar with Bukowski you know most of his work is semi-autobiographical in nature involving his drunken debauchery and people on the wrong side of the tracks.  I have fond memories of watching this film on a VHS rental from our local small town video store.  Does anyone remember those?    This film was well received by critics and has turned into a bit of a cult classic.  I know it’s hard to believe that Mickey Rourke was once a quality actor.  But there was a time period of about ten years in the 1980’s where he was at the top of his game and starred in a string of critically acclaimed movies.  He was in films such as  Body Heat, Diner,  The Pope of Greenwich Village and Angel Heart.   Yes he has had a few good performances since then (The Wrestler, Sin City, Iron Man 3).  However, he has become almost become a caricature of himself.  It’s a shame that this performance in his prime is not readily available.



Barfly has been out of print since 2002.  It is also not available on Netflix, or for streaming other than via YouTube (till it gets pulled), at least not anywhere in the United States that I could discover.  Out of print copies of the film are selling for $54 on Amazon.  While you could save some cash and get a used copy on VHS for $5.50 that would require having a working VCR, something I have not had for at least ten years.  With copies of the film selling for such high prices there is surely a demand for the film.  Other than hoping that the film is broadcast on television watching it on YouTube or attempting to find a copy at your local library you are pretty much out of luck.


“For All My Friends”

A bit of research using the old google machine could not provide me with an adequate answer as to why this film is not currently available nor when it might be.  Perhaps this film will get The Criterion Collection treatment at some point.  It would be awesome for this film to get cleaned up and remastered, so fans of cinema could get a chance to watch the film in all its glory.

Just in case you have not seen the film here is link to Barfly on YouTube well at least until it gets pulled.




Have you seen the film Barfly?  Is there an out of print film that you would like to see get a new printing?


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Fogs' Movie Reviews February 27, 2013, 4:21 pm

    I have NOT seen Barfly. I have heard good things though. I should check it out one of these days.

    As to out of print films? I dont know… I havent had any Ive tried to find that I havent. Maybe Im just too busy with the films IN print!

    • Adam February 28, 2013, 8:25 am

      Come on Fogs I know you have been writing to Disney to get them to release Song of The South. Set Uncle Remus Free!

  • Morgan R. Lewis February 27, 2013, 7:45 pm

    I’ve seen the occasional out-of-print DVD go for astronomical prices, so I understand your gripe. Hell, I had a problem tracking down a CD once; Blue Oyster Cult’s Imaginos, before they finally reprinted it, was often going for $85. The thing to do is keep hitting eBay; sometimes one will slip through for less. (I got the album for $25; still steep, but doable.)

    I’ve never seen Barfly. I’ll try to remember it. After all, if I stumble across it at a pawn shop, that’s not just a new movie to watch, but a quick profit. :D

    • Adam February 28, 2013, 8:28 am

      All right another thrift store guy ;-)

      You should check out Barfly it is pretty awesome.

      I assume you are already keeping your eyes peeled for that Little Mermaid VHS with the phallus on the cover. I hear those are worth some $.

      • Morgan R. Lewis February 28, 2013, 9:46 am

        I hadn’t heard of the Little Mermaid “banned” VHS cover until now. Looking it up, it looks like the novelty has worn off for people. :)

        DVDs of Drop Dead Fred and Exit to Eden are others I know of that have a high eBay value. Six Pack used to until it got reprinted last year.

  • Sir Phobos February 27, 2013, 7:54 pm

    Sounds like something I’d dig. I think I’d go for the Australian blu-ray release, which is around the same price of the DVD.

    One of my most prized possessions in my collection is a literally impossible to find DVD of Kim Jee-woon’s The Foul King. It’s a Korean wrestling movie, and it’s hilarious and awesome. There are other copies of the movie out there, but they’re all dubbed in Chinese, which I don’t understand. But mine has the original language. I haven’t seen a single copy of that anywhere else. I have a few other out of print DVDs that make me proud as well.

    • Adam February 28, 2013, 8:30 am

      So would that Australian blu-ray play on my player or do i need some sort of region free device? Why do they even have region specific categories? Do they censor/cut the films differently?

      I have never heard of the The Foul King, going to have to keep an eye out for that.

      • Sir Phobos February 28, 2013, 2:57 pm

        The Australian one for Barfly, at least according to Amazon, should play in American blu-ray players.

        Yea, some movies have different cuts depending on the DVD/blu-ray region. Especially when you’re dealing with more obscure stuff like older martial arts movies, it comes in handy to have a region free player so you can get the uncut version with the original language track and good subs, etc. I just picked up a region free blu-ray player like a week ago for around $230. If you want, I could send you my region free DVD player that I was going to put up on Craigslist since I got the blu-ray player. It only upscales to 720p, which is not bad at all, but just so you’re aware, it doesn’t go all the way up to 1080p.

        Good luck looking out for The Foul King. There’s a Thai DVD that has the original Korean language, but no English subtitles.

        • Adam March 3, 2013, 9:15 am

          Thanks for the generous offer, but honestly I don’t know if I watch enough region free films to make it worth your while to ship that to me.

  • Mark Walker February 28, 2013, 1:43 am

    Love me some Mickey Rourke and he’s absolutely brilliant in this film. It’s been years since I’ve seen this but I really liked it. Would love to see it get rereleased. Excellent post here man.

    • Adam February 28, 2013, 8:31 am

      Mark, somehow I knew you would be down with 1980’s Mickey Rourke. I had almost forgotten about the winning streak he was on for about ten years. It’s a shame that his life/career went off the rails for so long.

  • Griff February 28, 2013, 11:06 am

    The Rocky Horror Picture Show was out of print for years and finally saw wide release several years ago. I remember I had a bootleg copy on VHS and I thought I was the man!

    • Adam March 1, 2013, 8:03 am

      I thought you were the man last night when you got on base with your gimpy hip lol

  • Adam March 1, 2013, 11:20 am

    You know what I think is out of print … The original cut of the Star Wars films…. Damn you to hell George Lucas!!!

  • ckckred March 1, 2013, 2:42 pm

    I’ve been trying to find copies of Persona and La Dolce Vita, but the only prices I can find waver over $50. I hope the Criterion Collection does a restoration of them.

    I’ll also have to second the original cuts of the Star Wars films. I still have the old VHS tapes but unfortunately gave up my VHS player.

    • Adam March 3, 2013, 9:14 am

      ckckred, I am in the same boat with no VHS player, Sadly, I sold my VHS copy of the Star Wars trilogy on Ebay a few years ago not realizing that Lucas would abandon logic and reason.

  • georginaguthrie March 2, 2013, 11:03 am

    Great post! I have seen this film, it’s a good one and definitely worth a viewing. I didn’t realise it was out of print, what a shame! I’m actually reading Bukowski’s novel Hollywood right now, which is about his experiences working on this film. Hopefully they’ll re-release the movie!

    • Adam March 3, 2013, 9:12 am

      Hey thanks for stopping by Georgina :-) I have not read that Bukowski novel, how is it? Was he a palling around with Mickey Rourke during shooting?

  • Georgina March 4, 2013, 12:27 am

    You’re welcome :)
    It’s good so far – classic Bukowski, I’ve only just started but I’ll let you know how it goes..I’m certain there will be lots of drinking with Rourke!

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