Watching Vintage Films on Disney Plus


Hello and welcome to another edition of the Vintage Media Millennial Blog. I wrote a post last year which gained some momentum, and so I’ve decided to do a follow up. I previously discussed vintage movies on Paramount Plus…So now I turn to Disney’s streaming service.

Since Disney’s 2019 purchase of the Twentieth Century Fox assets followed by the launch of Disney+ the same year, I have been fascinated by the possibilities. The amount of content Disney now has at it’s disposal is enormous, and it leaves plenty of room for nuggets of history from the vault.

Over three years on from launch, things aren’t as plentiful as I would like but there is some promise…at least here in the UK. The service started off focusing on predominantly family friendly content, before launching the Star hub a year later. The more mature content, of mostly a newer age, began to build up nicely; Then came a steady decline.

The selection of content has lessened over the last few months, as hundreds of titles were removed from the UK service. Some of the removals included such vintage movies as Cleopatra (1963), Von Ryan’s Express (1965), The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and An Affair To Remember (1957). The reason for the removal of content is unknown, but it is said to relate to cost and/or popularity. Considering that three out of four of these titles were shown on terrestrial television over the festive period, at least one of these assumptions is incorrect.

The selection of titles left, as I write this, to stream on the service is initially impressive. On the positive: All but one of the Walt Disney animated movies are there, as are a number of the live action movies from the same period. I’ve watched the likes of Treasure Island (1950, The Shaggy Dog (1959), That Darn Cat (1965) and The Parent Trap (1961) on the service and appreciate their inclusion. A great amount of the classic shorts, plus most in Walt’s nature series, are also included. On the negative: There are still quite a number of Disney films missing, which I hope they address at some point. The missing Hayley Mills films, In Search of the Castaways (1962) and Summer Magic (1963), would be a good start.

Outside of the Disney brand, a few select gems include The Sound Of Music (1965), Miracle on 34th Street (1947), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), The French Connection (1971) and The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). I’ve seen most of these titles and they are an asset to the service. However, I hope they continue to build on this by bringing the previously removed titles back, and adding a few more besides. There are plenty of films in the Fox vault, particularly the films of Marilyn Monroe, which would provide some extra sparkle.

If I was to recommend one vintage film on Disney+ to you, it would be Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman. The four academy award winning film, written by William Goldman, was not at all what I was expecting. Given its accolades, I (for some reason) assumed this was a spaghetti western in the style of Clint Eastwood. What I discovered was actually a well presented buddy film with drama, humour, a catchy song and a couple of nicely realised action sequences. It’s also the basis for many a parody, which I now understand!

What vintage films are you streaming on Disney+?

Thanks for reading this edition of Vintage Media Millennial. If you have any questions or comments to make about this blog, email or tweet OldTimeReview.

Jamie Dyer

Jamie Dyer is an experienced writer, broadcaster, musician and social media marketer. He enjoys Old Time Radio, vintage TV, collecting vinyl and supporting the New York Knicks.

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