Going, Going…More Heads-Ups on Disappearing DVDs

Some things are set in stone; DVDs are set on tissue paper.

What we are alluding to is the fact that DVDs come and go. They are here one minute and, like Keyser Soze—whoosh!—they are gone.

Discontinued, out-of-print, license expired.

It’s a daily occurrence.

Of course, Movies Unlimited has made it our goal to find out what is no longer available, then stock up on the title. We’ve become the go-to source for new out-of-print titles for decades.

The goal of this column is to inform customers about the latest DVD titles that are being taken out of circulation and offer folks one last opportunity to make them part of their collection. If history is any indication, this could be your last chance to get these films.

So here’s a list of some of the titles that collector’s love that are fading quickly into the sunset.

Get ‘em before they fade to black, perhaps for good. 

The Mechanic/Assassination/Messenger of Death: Charles Bronson was an action master, and his macho heroics are amply displayed in this triple-barreled action pack. In The Mechanic (1972), Chuck is a hit man teaching young hired killer-wannabe Jan-Michael Vincent the ropes. Assassination (1987) finds Bronson as a presidential bodyguard forced into action to protect the imperiled First Lady (played by real-life wife Jill Ireland). Then comes Bronson in Messenger of Death (1988), in which he’s a reporter looking into a brutal murder of a family who were part of an extreme religious cult.

Modesty Blaise (1966): If you’re looking to camp out, you can’t get any campier than Joseph Losey’s psychedelic spy thriller entry, based on a British comic strip. Monica Vitti is the leading lady, a beautiful secret agent out to stop diamond thief Dirk Bogarde. Terence Stamp plays her ally in stopping crime and protecting England from Bogarde and his devious plans.

The Sandpiper (1965): Elizabeth Taylor is the free-spirited artist based in Big Sur, California, who sends her problematic son to a parochial school where reverend Richard Burton can mentor him.  When the married Burton has an affair with Taylor, he confesses his indiscretions to wife Eva Marie Saint, which causes some stunning reaction. Vincente Minnelli directs; the Oscar-winning song “The Shadow of Your Smile” is featured.    

Susan Slade (1961): Popular melodrama boasts Connie Stevens as the lead character, a teenager who gets impregnated by a mountain climber, then is pursued by two suitors: wealthy Troy Donohue and novelist Bert Convy.

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962): Pairing real-time rivals Bette Davis and Joan Crawford as battling siblings proved to be a good call for involved in this gothic horror/camp classic. Bette is the former child star, jealous of the success that actress sister Joan knew before her crippling accident. Davis’s already-sadistic abuse of the invalid Crawford ramps up after her deluded attempt at a comeback falls apart. Robert Aldrich directs this creepy, atmospheric film.