When we review historical costume movies of TV shows or post pictures or news about them, we frequently get asked, “Where can I watch that?” So here’s a rundown of some useful options to figure it out:
1. The Internet!
Sites like JustWatch.com and ReelGood.com search most (if not all) of the major streaming options like Amazon, Netflix, iTunes, and more to tell you if a movie or TV show is available to stream online. They usually include digital rentals and purchases, as well as disc (i.e., DVD and Blu-Ray) purchase/rental options and cable TV. But you can also type “where can I stream NameofMovie” in ye olde Google or equivalent search engine and find options. This should be your first port of call.
2. DVD and Blu-Ray
We get it, we like the ease of streaming too. But don’t forget that you can still buy or rent a DVD or Blu-Ray discs from video stores, Netflix, Amazon, Target, and other sellers — and you can even buy them used on eBay or at garage sales!
Pro Tip: Want to watch things that have only been released in other countries? You can usually purchase a non-region-specific DVD/Blu-Ray player (you may need to ask a techie friend to help you pick and/or set it up).
3. The Movie Theater
Back in the olden days, we had to walk uphill, barefoot, in the snow to the movie theater. IN PERSON. Crazy times, I know! You can still check your local theater listings, and watch movies in the theater.
Wondering when something will be released in your area? Check IMDB for the “Release Date,” and (unless you live in New York City and/or Los Angeles) look for “USA” dates that don’t say “limited.” Or check for your specific country, ‘natch.
You might also get in the habit of checking your local movie theater listings a few times a month. Often, theaters will tell you which movies they have lined up in the near future.
4. Live/DVR-ed TV
We realize that now we’re getting just insane, but did you know that local and cable TV stations still show movies and TV shows, live? Yes, you too can set your alarm for 8pm on Sunday night to watch Masterpiece on PBS, just like your grandparents did (and my mother still does). You can even buy a TiVo or other DVR (digital video recorder), and program it to record movies and TV shows for you, which you can then watch at your leisure.
That device might even have a fancy “search” or “wish list” feature that you can use to hunt down specific titles and record them automatically whenever they show up on whatever channel the movie/TV show plays. Amazing!
5. Pay-Per-View and On-Demand
If you have cable, you probably still have pay-per-view or video on-demand. This is an option to essentially stream a movie or TV show via your cable company, for free or for a small charge. Check the menu options on your cable display, or call your cable company for more help.
Bonus Round: YouTube
Sometimes, older movies get uploaded to YouTube. We may have linked to specific movies on YouTube in our reviews. And, oops, that movie might get taken down later. Nothing we can do about that, it’s called copyright, folks!
Another good source article! Which raises a point: wouldn’t it be nice if the producers added credits to films that were easier to read on a smaller screen?
Check IMDB.com! I practically live there :)
You should absolutely try your public library. My suburban library system has 10k+ titles available and will try to get any titles they don’t own through nationwide interlibrary loan FOR FREE. Tons of complete tv series available as well.
I second the public library system! It’s a fantastic resource for this (and so many other things – support your local public library!)
It’s also possible to get a guest library card at many colleges/universities (though some have a policy of not lending “audiovisual materials” to guest patrons). They tend to have a ton of historical films and miniseries, because film, history and literature professors all use them in courses.