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An Actual Holy Grail (or, This Is Your Future, Schmucks)

I just found out that the original Heartbreak Kid from 1972 is available on Youtube.


It looks like the feed has only been up for about two weeks, so it's probably going to get removed before too long.  Even so, this is an important day for me.

I've been trying to watch The Heartbreak Kid for almost ten years now.  And I haven't been able to find it.

The Netflix center(s) nearest to me don't have the physical disc and it's not available to stream, so there's no luck there.  Redbox doesn't carry it.  All the Blockbusters are closed and we don't have any Family Videos around.  I've checked all the libraries that I can, and they don't have it, either.

And last time I checked, the only copies available on Amazon.com were upwards of $90.  I don't know that I can justify that, especially with a baby on the way.

But if I want to watch the crappy Ben Stiller remake, I'm good to go.  You know, the one that not even the Internet is willing to give more than a 3/5?

The Heartbreak Kid is supposedly considered a classic.  It's on the AFI's list of 100 Greatest American Comedies and received numerous nominations in its heyday.  And yet even the Wikipedia entry is painfully scant on detail.

As of today, it has only around 2,000 ratings on IMDb, which would mean it meets my arbitrary criteria for the Hipster Holy Grail.

How is it possible that a movie that is supposedly so hilarious, important, poignant, influential, and relevant to American film and culture (to the point that it deserves a big-budget remake) end up buried as little more than a footnote?  How can it fade so far into obscurity that it's virtually impossible to find unless you're either willing to spend more than the cost of a new Blu-Ray player OR commit copyright infringement?

(Rhetorical question.  I know the reason why; namely that streaming technology is killing physical media and the people who own the copyrights to classic movies are a bunch of dummies who seem to think that locking them away on limited-release editions and/or hiding them behind a bunch of nonsensical / non-functional requirements is somehow going to make people like me pay more money.  But again, I refer you to the Youtube link above, so suck on that, 20th Century Fox.)

Anyway.  It's a mixed blessing.  Tonight I finally get to watch The Heartbreak Kid, but tomorrow?  Who knows.  It seems the future will be paved with a vast load of film casualties.