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?