What are 10 films you love (and think are great) that are rarely mentioned in favorites lists, discussions, etc.? Here are 10 from me:
Big Night (1996)
Fists in the Pocket (1965)
The Plumber (1979)
The Aura (2005)
Choose Me (1984)
Blind Shaft (2003)
Chameleon Street (1989)
The Eel (1997)
Les Cousins (1959)
We All Loved Each Other So Much (1974) [Italian favorite]
Il sorpasso [aka The Easy Life] (1962) [Not on DVD except as bootleg but worth it!]
Circle of Deceit (2004) [Best of the journalist in war zone movies]
Wild Cat (1921) [Early Lubitsch]
Moontide (1942) [Jean Gabin in Hollywood with Ida Lupino]
The Night of the Following Day (1968) [Brando B movie]
Humanity and Paper Balloons (1937) [Japanese film – streaming on Hulu Plus]
Loulou (1980) [Pialat]
Man’s Castle (1932) [Rare Borzage film. Available as bootleg]
A Moment of Innocence (1996) [Great Iranian film]
You and Me – 1938 (Fritz Lang)
Border Incident – 1949 (Anthony Mann)
Park Row – 1952 (Sam Fuller)
Sleuth – 1972 (Joseph L. Mankiewicz)
Phantasm – 1979 (Don Coscorelli)
The Frisco Kid – 1979 (Robert Aldrich)
The Chosen – 1981 (Jeremy Kagan)
Mephisto – 1981 (István Szabó)
Il Postino – 1994 (Michael Radford)
Timecrimes – 2007 (Nacho Vigalondo)
Phantasm!! That’s a good one for this type of list.
The Way of the Gun (better then the Usual suspects)
Bleeder (Refns lost masterpiece and love ode to cinema)
The Indian runner(Penns best achievement in the movie world)
A swedish love story
Fucking Amal (moodysson greatest film)
Dead Man shoes (Meadows greatest work)
Killer of sheep
Naked (leigh’s greatest film)
Jackie Brown(Tarantino greatest work)
Together (another Moodysson masterwork)
Light Sleeper (1992, Paul Schrader, and a good majority of his work)The Jericho Mile (1979, Michael Mann)Teorema (1968, Pier Paolo Pasolini)The End of Violence (1997, Wim Wenders)La bete humaine (1938, Jean Renoir, certainly not totally obscure but it’s hardly ever discussed amid any conversations on film that I come across)Oriental Elegy (1996, Aleksandr Sokurov)You Only Live Once (1937, Fritz Lang)Ritual in Transfigured Time (1946, Maya Deren)Leaves From Satan’s Book (1921, Carl Theodor Dreyer)Beware of a Holy Whore (1971, Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
Save the Green Planet!
The Hole (1998)
Peking Opera Blues
Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain
The Blue Kite
Certainly not all that obscure, but ten films which I think deserve much more attention and acclaim than they’re given:
Dressed to Kill
Play Misty for Me
The Fly (1958)
Fire Walk With Me
Vivre Sa Vie
Obscure or despised?
Either way, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me is a great choice.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith by Hitchcock
Miracle at Morgan’s Creek by Sturges- I love this movie and I feel like half of it comes from its earnest representation of a really potentially tragic story.
The Great Mouse Detective- A dark, engrossing, fun (to the point that some of its more adult stuff made it past Disney tells you how little the company cared at that point) animated adaptation of Sherlock Holmes that unfortunately is maligned in the ‘dark ages’ of Disney animation
Black Christmas- For a while it was one of my favorite horror films
Wild Zero- This was recommended by Edgar Wright who stated it as an influence to Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. How it is not one of the biggest Midnight movies going is a mystery to me.
Bug- Killer Joe’s failure made me further re-appreciate this Letts-Friedkin collaboration
Babe: Pig in the City- I will never forgot being surrounded by kids and parents who were left so cold over this film in its incredible weirdness.
Ballad of a Soldier- Red Army coming of age war film and brief encounter love story? Love it. Love all of it.
The Friends of Eddie Coyle
Candyman- The best horror film of the 90s and one of the smarter scripts for the genre that co-opts the Clive Barker story in the best sense.
A King in New York
The Amazing Mr. X
Blood and Black Lace
The Gang’s All Here
Born to Kill
Equinox (1992 – Alan Rudolph)
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
Prophecy (Frankenheimer)Day of the Dead
A Man There Was
Lair of the White Worm
Meet the Hollowheads
Dr. Caligari (1989)
A Smell of Honey, a Swallow of Brine
Lair of the White Worm
Nice. Let’s get real cult.
The Beast Within
Days & Nights In The Forest
The Chess Players
Born in Flames
I’m Not Scared
Bridge to Terabithia
The Weather Man
History and Memory
Spectres of the Spectrum
1. The Sundowners (Fred Zinnemann, 1960 … Academy Award noms. for Best Picture, Actress, Sup Actress, Director, more)
Sweet, unassuming little movie, beautifully filmed, about sheep herders in Australia. This was a very “big” film in its day, and it is virtually now forgotten. Deborah Kerr and Peter Ustinov are great in it, and Robert Mitchum is quite affecting in an off-beat moment of inspired casting. Great little movie.
2. Julia (Fred Zinnemann, 1977 … Academy Award noms for Best Picture, Actress, more … won for Sup Actor, Sup Actress and Screenplay)
Released in the same year as Annie Hall and Star Wars. Being in-between two iconic films like those is not a nice place to be, and this film’s oxygen was used up fast. This is a fine, fine film, and deserves a lot more attention than it gets. Vanessa Redgrave is touching; Jane Fonda and Jason Robards are revelations.
3. The Swimmer (Frank Perry, 1968)
This is one of the best films of the entire decade of the 60s, and you might find one of ten people nowadays who have even ever heard of it (not unlike John Boorman’s Point Blank and Richard Lester’s Petulia). Very etherial, very off-beat, and, once seen, it delivers an amazing wallop. Burt Lancaster is in top form.
4. Some Came Running (Vincente Minnelli, 1958)
This film, along with Elia Kazan’s America, America, is the greatest American film that virtually no American knows or recognizes as such. Both titles consistently make several international lists of “best films” – yet on the American lists they’re displaced by things like Forest Gump and The Sixth Sense.
5. Lacombe, Lucien (Louis Malle, 1974)
This title usually gets overshadowed and pushed way down in the Malle contingent, and that is unfair. Along with Le Feu Follet, this is one of Malle’s most amazing works examining the very nature of dull evil and deserves a renaissance screening with the even more devastating Au Revoir, Les Enfants.
6. The Forty-First (Grigori Chukrai, 1956 … Palme D’Or nom.’d)
This is one of the best of that glorious period of technicolor Soviet filmmaking, and it looks amazing. The visions are intoxicating, and the story is compelling. I try to watch this once every 3-4 years just to get the treat.
7. Passport to Pimlico (Henry Cornelius, 1949 … Academy Award nom Screenplay)
One of the lesser known Ealing comedies that is just as delightful as any of the better known titles. You smile and laugh from beginning to end.
8. The Blood on Satan’s Claw (Piers Haggard, 1970)
For horror fans, this creepy little independent English entry still delivers pretty well. Very atmospheric, and erotic in a way that is discomforting.
9. The Savage is Loose (George C. Scott, 1974)
This is not a good film, but it is nevertheless a fascinating film. It is about a small family – father, mother, young son – who get shipwrecked and the son eventually grows into sexual maturity and challenges the father for the mother’s wiles. Just as films like Ravenous, The Legend of Nigger Charlie, Days of Sin and Nights of Nymphomania, and, the amazing From Hell It Came!, make you ask in your out-loud voice, “How did they ever get this made?!? … WHY did they ever get this made?!?, you can afterwards begin to study them for virtues at first unseen. These aren’t just bad movies – they’re amazingly bad movies.
10. The Pied Piper (Jacques Demy, 1971)
The French New Wave’s idea of a children’s movie, replete with rats, the black plague, rotting corpses and the burning at the stake of a Jewish heretic. They took us out of the first grade to see this and one wimpy kid fainted. I have loved it since. It’s a wild ride.
I could list a few more, but I’ll start with these. I really think everybody should seek them out.
Many great choices listed already.
1895 – 1969
The Wedding March (1928) Erich Von Stroheim
The Childhood of Maxim Gorky (1938) Mark Donskoy
Aniki Bobo (1942) Manoel de Oliveira
At Land (1944) Maya Deren
Daisy Kenyon (1947) Otto Preminger
Fear (1954) Roberto Rossellini
Princess Yang Kwei-Fei (1957) Kenji Mizoguchi
The Tarnished Angels (1957) Douglas Sirk
Night and Fog in Japan (1960) Nagisa Oshima
Lions Love (1969) Agnes Varda
1970 – 2012
The Spider’s Stratagem (1970) Bernardo Bertolucci
Taking Off (1971) Milos Forman
Mikey and Nicky (1976) Elaine May
A Grin Without a Cat (1977) Chris Marker
Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982) Robert Altman
Exposed (1983) James Toback
The Last of England (1988) Derek Jarman
The Long Day Closes (1992) Terence Davies
The Oak (1992) Lucien Pintilie
The Father of My Children (2009) Mia Hansen-Love
The Ice Storm- Lee
Europa Europa- Holland
Searching for Bobby Fischer- Zaillian
Last Exit to Brooklyn- Edel
The Company- Altman
Sex and Lucia- Medem
The Wind and the Lion- Milius
Defending Your Life- Brooks
Dark City- Proyas (Ya know The Matrix and Inception before The Matrix and Inception were made)
The Road Home- Zhang Yimou
La Bete Humaine (Renoir)
La Ceremonie (Chabrol)
Man From Laramie (A. Mann)
The Eel (Immamura)
Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler (Lang)
Bonjour Tristese (Preminger)
Charley Varrick (Siegel)
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (Peckinpah)
Cela s’appelle l’aurore / Buñuel
Kaos / Taviani bros
Night of Counting the Years / Abdelsalem
My Friend Ivan Lapshin / German
The Puppetmaster /Hou Hsaio Hsien
Juste avant la Nuit / Chabrol
Legend of the Holy Drinker / Olmi
Forbidden Paradise / Lubitsch
Noroit / Rivette
Heart of Glass / Herzog
The Buñuel is sadly neglected, perhaps because it seems short of the Surrealist touches but, like Diary of A Chambermaid or Tristana, it has great psychological power. Night of Counting the Years is an Egyptian film about the excavation of tombs which had some reputation in its day-I think it benefited from the Tutankhamen
exhibition-it’s exceptionally beautiful and poignant. I saw the Lubitsch about thirty years ago at the National Film Theatre ; it now seems to have disappeared entirely.
Polaris wrote: “Born in Flames”
I remember Born in Flames was one of the films you were championing in the top 20 game, and it’s been on my to-do list ever since. It’s on Netflix, but I just keep putting it off
More people need to see that goddamned movie.
The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (1955)
I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
Intruder in the Dust (1949)
It Should Happen to You (1954)
The Nun’s Story (1959)
Les parents terribles (1948)
There’s Always Tomorrow (1956)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)
In the Midst of Life (1963)
The Frontier (1991)
In This House of Brede (1975)
The Most Beautiful Wife (1970)
Trial of the Road (1971)
Catch As Catch Can (1968)
The Lacemaker (1977)
Home from the Sea (1972)
The 25th Hour (1967)
How in hell do you guys find these films? I feel as though I am constantly watching the obvious “critically acclaimed” films.
Million Dollar Legs
Bay Of Angels
Miracle In Milan
H.M. Pulham Esq.
Outcast Of The Islands
A High Wind In Jamaica
- Amator (Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1979)
- Clash by Night (Fritz Lang, 1952)
- Crime and Punishment (Josef von Sternberg, 1935)
- Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (John Huston, 1957)
- La Mort en ce Jardin (Luis Buñuel, 1956)
- Ministry of Fear (Fritz Lang, 1944)
- The Night of the Iguana (John Huston, 1964)
- La Nuit du Carrefour (Jean Renoir, 1932)
- Le Silence de la Mer (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1949)
- The Young One (Luis Buñuel, 1960)
Bone (1972, Larry Cohen)Cannibal Holocaust (1980, Ruggero Deodato)Dark Star (1974, John Carpenter)Eureka (1983, Nicolas Roeg)Forbidden Zone (1982, Richard Elfman)Fritz the Cat (1972, Ralph Bakshi)I Melt with You (2011, Mark Pellington)The Telephone Book (1971, Nelson Lyon)Storytelling (2001, Todd Solondz)The Weather Man (2005, Gore Verbinski)
Ecstasy (1933, Gustav Machaty)The Demon (1979, Yoshitaro Nomura)Bound (1996, Wachowski Brothers)All About Lily Chou-Chou (2006, Shunji Iwai)I Shot Andy Warhol (1996, Mary Harron)Death and the Maiden (1994, Roman Polanski)The Free Will (2006, Matthias Glasner)The Boost (1988, Harold Becker)Long Day’s Journey into Night (1962, Sidney Lumet)Under the Volcano (1984, John Huston)
I had to put on another ten because I never see anything usually about these ones.