Tuesday, February 05, 2013

My Ten Favorite Quirky Forgotten Movies

1980-Gloria, directed by John Cassavetes, starring Gene Rowlands-A mobster's widow protects a orphaned boy. Love this one.

1994 Shallow Graves-directed by Danny Boyle, Kerry Fox, Christopher Eccleston, Ian McGregor, three roommates need a fourth and don't bargain for what they get.

1977-Three Woman-directed by Robert Altman. Sissy Spacek, Shelly Duval, Janice Rule-Three women exchange personas as they forge a family.

1981-Cutter's Way-directed by Ivan Passer-great novel and movie. Jeff Bridges and John Heard. Bridges witnesses a murder and goes after the killer.

1996-Hard Eight, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, A newly minted gambler runs afoul of a femme fatale

1996 Day Trippers-directed by Greg Mottola -A family takes a road trip into the city when a rogue love letter falls into a wife's hands.

2009 Cairo Time. directed by Ruba Madda Patricial Clarkson plays a woman alone in Cairo who has a whirlwind romance.

2003 The Station Agent, directed by Thomas McCarthy-Patricia Clarkson, Peter Dinklage, Bobby Cannevale-Three lonely people connect in the desert.

2007 Lars and the Real Girl-Directed by Craug Gillespie. Ryan Gosling. A young man cannot be dissuaded from his love for a blowup doll.

1974-CockFighter-directed by Monte Hellman-Warren Oates, Harry Dean Stanton-a man years to be the world's greatest cock fighter.


Thomas Pluck said...

I loved Gloria as a kid. It was a formative story for me.
Shallow Grave, Cutter's Way, Hard Eight, are all crime classics. Cockfighter, well, it's Willeford. He was his own genre.

The Station Agent was filmed not far from where I live, and I've visited the station, and had a hot dog at the food truck that Bobby took over for the film. If you come to NJ I'll show you how to get there.

Anonymous said...

Nice list, though I must admit I could not get into the Cairo movie. Perhaps I was just not in a receptive mood at the time. I do like Gloria and Cutter's Way (aka Cutter and Bone) and Shallow Grave and Station Agent.

I'd add:

Near Dark (1987) Kathryn Bigelow directed this classic vampire movie.

One False Move (1992) Bill Paxton was in both of these. Billy Bob Thornton co-wrote this one and co-starred.

The Last Seduction (1994) Linda Fiorentino was hot.

Not really forgotton but one of my favorites:

Memento (2000) Guy Pearce was perfect in Christopher Nolan's best film.

Hearts of the West (1975) Jeff Bridges, Andy Griffith, early movie making, great stuff.

Blood Simple (1984) The first Coen Brothers movie, with Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya and the great M. Emmet Walsh.

one more:

The Last of Sheila (1973) Mystery set on a yacht, written by Stephen Sondheim & Anthony Perkins, with James Coburn, Dyan Cannon & Richard Benjamin, among others.

Jeff M.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Patti, I haven't seen any of these films and I have often wondered what happened to John Cassavetes.

pattinase (abbott) said...

You got a date, Tom.
All of those would be on an expanded list, Jeff.
He died very young of lung cancer. So sad.

Charles Gramlich said...

hum, have not seen any of these. Sounds like I could be in for some treats.

John said...

I am one of the few people who is not a fan of SHALLOW GRAVE. I've seen almost all the others and enjoyed them.

I'm glad there are some lighthearted movies listed here. THE DAYTRIPPERS is a favorite of mine, too. I think LARS AND THE REAL GIRL is brilliant. (It's not a blow-up doll, BTW.) Has a lot to say about having compassion for the mentally ill which is fairly nonexistent in this country.

Another quirky movie that I am sure is forgotten by now is AFTER HOURS (1985) with Griffin Dunne as a guy who goes out to meet a woman and gets mixed up in one absurd event after another. Very funny, never nasty, with a fantastic cast that includes Tommy Chong, Will Patton (in a rare comic role), Teri Garr, Catherine O'Hara, and the sexy Linda Fiorentino as a crazed sculptor.

Prashant - John Cassavetes died of cancer in 1989. He was 59.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Love AFTER HOURS. I doubt many remember Scorcese did that one early on. Will Patton used to play some lighter roles once.
He is my favorite audiobook reader. Hey, I miss my audiobooks out here.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Thanks, Patti and John. I had completely forgotten about Cassavetes. I remember him only in THE DIRTY DOZEN. I thought he was three of the best actors in that film along with Sutherland and Savalas.

George said...

I love GLORIA. John Cassavetes is very underrated.

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

Some really great choices there Patti but I have yet to catch up with CAIRO and LARS AND THE REAL GIRL so I'll have to reserve judgement there.

Olivia V. Ambrogio said...

Is Station Agent forgotten? What a shame!

I'd add:
Quick Change (1990) - Bill Murray, Geena Davis, and Randy Quaid pull off a perfect robbery in NYC and then can't get to the airport.
Judas Kiss (1998) - Clever noir with Carla Gugino, Emma Thompson, and Alan Rickman.
Snow Cake (2006) - Canadian indie film starring Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman as an autistic woman and the man who gets to know her following a trauma that brings them together.

Anonymous said...

John, we loved After Hours too - saw it when it first came out Scorsese always gets interesting people in his movies and of course you can't go wrong with Linda Fiorentino. I still remember the first scene between her and Peter Berg in The Last Seduction. "You're not too bright. I like that in a guy."

I like also like The Daytrippers.

Jeff M.

Anonymous said...

I love After Hours too. It's a pity Dunne has spent most of his time behind the camera. He was so great in American Werewolf in London. I love Cassavetes, Shallow Grave, Cutter's Way, too. And yeah on The Last Seduction.

Surely Blood Simple has not been forgotten -- not like their wonderfully underrated screwball comedy The Hudsucker Proxy. I'd stake my Pulitzer on it!

Anonymous said...

We loved seeing The Station Agent at the cinema.

Ed Lynskey

Anonymous said...

The Last Seduction, one more time:

Bridget Gregory: Who's a girl gotta suck around here to get a drink?


Jack: The undead surround me. Have you ever talked to a corpse? It's boring!

Jeff M.

Ron Scheer said...

My list would be way different, in fact you picked a few I wouldn't see again if you paid me. But hey, doesn't mean we can't be friends.

Yvette said...

Good list, Patti. I must remember to line up GLORIA - been meaning to see this for ages and for whatever reason have just not gotten around to it.

I loved CAIRO TIME - talked about it on my blog last year. Simply a wonderful and very much overlooked movie.

I did see THE STATION AGENT a while back and didn't get it. Must remember to watch it again one of these days and maybe I'll get it on the second try. :)

Cap'n Bob said...

I've only seen one of them, and was lukewarm about it. Would you consider Harold and Maude quirky?

Deb said...

WATER is a little-known (and less-remembered) movie from the early 1980s starring Michael Caine as the British ambassador to a small Carribean island, Cascara. When a company digging for oil on the island finds spring water instead, the plot takes off. With Brenda Vacarro, Valerie Perrine, Dick Shawn, Billy Connelly, Fred Gwynne, and Leonard (Reginald Perrin) Rossiter. The highlight of the movie features a George Harrison/Eric Clapton concert! Quirky doesn't even begin to describe this movie.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Harold and Maude is almost too quirky.
have never seen Water or Snow Cake. Will look for them.

Anonymous said...

Late Addition-LOCAL HERO.

Anonymous said...

I am with Patti. Not only haven't I seen Snow Cake or Water but I can't even remember having heard of them.

Jeff M.

Loren Eaton said...

Man, I loved Lars and the Real Girl, but I struggle when describing it to people. "It's about this guy! And he falls in love with a sex toy! And it's really sweet and endearing and ... Hey, where are you going?"

pattinase (abbott) said...

And yet, Loren, I know no one who saw it and didn't love it.

Anders E said...

I happened to catch two PEANUTS movies on TV recently. Both A BOY NAMED CHARLIE BROWN (1969) and SNOOPY, COME HOME (1972) were quite wonderful. Sometimes they were like Woody Allen (back when he was good) for the kiddies.


NIGHT OF THE COMET (1984) - two valley girls are two of the very few survivors of a mass death caused by a passing comet. Very witty, very low budget. I think this counts as a cult item nowadays.

FOXES (1980) - gritty teen drama starring Cherie Currie (yes, the vocalist from The Runaways) and Jodie Foster. Not much plot, but plenty of mood and character.

Btw, I'm not much of a fan of Cassavetes the director but GLORIA is indeed superb. As an actor he is incredibly creepy in ROSEMARY'S BABY.

Trent said...

Those who love After Hours might be interested in checking out the novel Downtown by Ed McBain. I reviewed the book and commented on some of the similarities here: http://violentworldofparker.com/?p=4008