What Are Your Favorite Obscure Movies?

 

At the bottom of a webpage, between the “Actresses Who Age Badly” and “Bizarre Creatures of the Sea,” was a clickable list I couldn’t resist — “9 Great Movies You’ve Never Seen”. It turns out I had seen two of the movies, both of which I liked; the original Das Boot (with subtitles), and Fearless.  The ones I hadn’t seen were:

  • Amazon Women on the Moon
  • Swimming With Sharks
  • The Wild Blue Yonder
  • May
  • Secretary
  • Hard Eight
  • Bob Le Flambeur

Have you seen these films? If so, opinions please! What other lost gems should I be watching?

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  1. BastiatJunior Member
    BastiatJunior
    @BastiatJunior

    Anna M.:
    The Canterville Ghost / 1996; Neve Campbell and Patrick Stewart – based on an Oscar Wilde short story about an American family that moves into an English castle complete with Elizabethan ghost; charming, silly, and a good family-oriented message about love and forgiveness

    Read the short story a few months ago and loved it.  Is the movie as good? 

    • #61
  2. Syzygy Inactive
    Syzygy
    @TzviKilov

    Oh, how could I forget Battle Royale, a Japanese, much more messed up, extremely gory take on The Hunger Games from 2000. But better than the Hunger Games. And scarier. And Japanese.

    The book is pretty good, too.

    • #62
  3. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Umbra Fractus: Not sure what counts as “obscure” but I’ll bring up Guy Ritchie’s Snatch, which is on my quite short “will watch repeatedly” list.

     I too am not certain that Snatch qualifies as obscure, but Ritchie’s earlier movie Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels definitely does, and it’s just as (if not more) fantastic.

    I’d also recommend Layer Cake, which is in a similar vein, though it’s from a different director.

    • #63
  4. snowboundghost Member
    snowboundghost
    @BenMeek

    “Cane Toads: An Unnatural History” is one of our favorite no-one’s-ever-heard-of-it-but-love-it-immediately films. It straddles the line between natural history and mockumentary like nothing I’ve ever seen.

    • #64
  5. 6foot2inhighheels Member
    6foot2inhighheels
    @6foot2inhighheels

    I loved Lost In America!

    • #65
  6. 6foot2inhighheels Member
    6foot2inhighheels
    @6foot2inhighheels

    Anna M.:
    Oh, and one more in honor of the Mackinac Island Meet Up this summer:
    Ice Bridge: Mackinac Island’s Hidden Season / 2008 – feature-length documentary about life on Mackinac Island during the off-season; shows the islanders commuting by snowmobile and bicycle across the Straits of Mackinac when the Straits ice over, also the spring and fall transitions on the island; gorgeous photography by a husband-and-wife team who specialize in nature documentaries; good family viewing
    Be grateful that the Meet Up is in June and not January…

    Indeed!   There are well over 40 people signed up for the Mackinac Meet Up on June 26-29.  We are going to have an awesome time!  Go to http://www.ricochetmeetup.com for more information and important links.

    • #66
  7. user_71324 Contributor
    user_71324
    @TroySenik

    I really enjoyed The Way, Way Back as well. And I earned a newfound respect for Steve Carell (whom I already loved) for taking — and excelling at — a role in which his character was absolutely irredeemable.

    Two others I’ll offer, both of which are relatively recent and probably don’t rise to the level of obscure:

    — Thank You For Smoking is one of my favorite films of the last decade (it’s worth the price of admission just for the explanation of why David Koechner’s character decided to join the national guard). The screenplay retains the imprint of Christopher Buckley, who wrote the book, and that’s a very good thing. Sly, hilarious, and biting.

    — The Edgewritten by the incomparable David Mamet, is a great survival story, with Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin both in fine form (you may hate his politics, but Baldwin has chops). It’s not — like any Mamet film — for sensitive audiences, but it’s fantastic.

     

    • #67
  8. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Next Stop Wonderland is a sweet, funny, poignant, and (most importantly and notably) believable romantic comedy. The montage of blind dates is almost perfect.

    The 1979 remake of The Lady Vanishes starring Elliott Gould and Cybill Shepherd is hilarious. I know that it is objectively terrible, but my goodness it is entertaining.

    • #68
  9. user_96427 Contributor
    user_96427
    @tommeyer

    Troy Senik, Ed.: — Thank You For Smoking is one of my favorite films of the last decade (it’s worth the price of admission just for the explanation of why David Koechner’s character decided to join the national guard). The screenplay retains the imprint of Christopher Buckley, who wrote the book, and that’s a very good thing. Sly, hilarious, and biting.

     Seconded.  Aaron Eckhart is Nick Naylor.

    • #69
  10. user_138106 Member
    user_138106
    @LidensCheng

    “>Tom Meyer: I’ll put votes in for two wildly different and under-appreciated movies: In Bruges, which is about two Irish hitmen who — after a botched job — are sent to hide out in the eponymous Belgian city. The older, wiser of them (Brendan Gleesen) takes the opportunity to enjoy the sites, while the younger, stupider one (Colin Farrell) becomes instantly bored of out his skull and promptly gets the two of them into yet more trouble. Very funny (if you like dark humor) with a surprisingly deep take on sin and redemption. Persuasion was the best Jane Austen movie of the 1990s and almost nobody saw it. The adaption is nearly perfect and Amanda Root’s performance as Anne is simply something to behold. Unusually for an Austen movie, the male performances are equally strong, especially Ciarán Hinds as Wentworth and Corin Redgrave as Sir Walter.”

    I second In Bruges.  It’s a great movie.  And you’re totally right, that Persuasion is one of the two best Jane Austen’s movies.   Also out those 9 movies above, I’ve only seen Bob le Flambeur.  It’s a very good gangster movie.

    • #70
  11. user_138106 Member
    user_138106
    @LidensCheng

    Double post

    • #71
  12. user_140544 Inactive
    user_140544
    @MattBlankenship

    Nathaniel Wright:
    AMAZON WOMEN ON THE MOON is hilarious, but you need a specific sense of humor. In that vein is THE KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE …

     
    My college roommate owned both of these on VHS, and one weekend he prevailed upon me to watch them back to back.  They are both disturbingly weird, and difficult to explain to the uninitiated.  I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard–especially at Amazon Women on the Moon.  “I’m not wearing any pants.  Film at eleven.”  Why is that funny?  I don’t know, but it is.

     

    • #72
  13. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Are y’all able to see my big list of suggestions on page two of these comments?

    It’s listed as “awaiting moderation” on my screen.

    • #73
  14. user_49770 Inactive
    user_49770
    @wilberforge

    Have viewed wayy too many films to list, try this one for odd.

    • #74
  15. user_71324 Contributor
    user_71324
    @TroySenik

    Misthiocracy:
    Are y’all able to see my big list of suggestions on page two of these comments?
    It’s listed as “awaiting moderation” on my screen.

     The way it was formatted triggered it as spam. It’s been cleared from the backend and should be posted now.

    • #75
  16. Pete EE Member
    Pete EE
    @PeteEE

    I don’t know if these count as obscure, but there are two must-see directors from Japan: Kurosawa and Miyazaki.

    John Lasseter of Pixar cites Miyazaki as his strongest influence. His movies have an overwhelming magical wonder (and Shinto spirituality that makes me a touch uneasy.) It is astounding that such a rich vision of the world exists that is so fresh and different from what we are used to. Favorites: My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service and (for teens and up) Spirited Away.

    Kurosawa is older (think 1950’s). For years, he was Japan’s undisputed best director. No-one else was even close. (Now Miyazaki is close.) Prominent titles include: The Seven Samurai (became the Magnificent Seven), Ran (taken from King Lear), and The Hidden Fortress (a Samurai movie that strongly influenced Star Wars. Watch for R2D2.)

    • #76
  17. Heisenberg Member
    Heisenberg
    @Heisenberg

    Good call on Buckaroo Banzai, which includes one of the greatest lines ever on film (“Laugh while you can, monkey boy!”).

    Underrated Steve Martin comedy: My Blue Heaven.

    Memento will turn your head inside out and merits a third and fourth viewing, including a must-see frame by frame moment.

    • #77
  18. 6foot2inhighheels Member
    6foot2inhighheels
    @6foot2inhighheels

    wilber forge:
    Have viewed wayy too many films to list, try this one for odd.

     Awesomely weird, love the ending.

    • #78
  19. user_71324 Contributor
    user_71324
    @TroySenik

    Heisenberg:
     
    Memento will turn your head inside out and merits a third and fourth viewing, including a must-see frame by frame moment.

    Absolutely awesome film. Waiting for the movie where Christopher Nolan convinces me he’s not magic. Hasn’t happened yet. 

    • #79
  20. Hodge Inactive
    Hodge
    @Hodge

    I ran across In Bruges on Netflix a few weeks ago and watched it because I remembered reading Ebert’s favorable review.  Didn’t get an hour into it.  I was profoundly annoyed by Farrell’s cartoonish character.  The other guy was a little too sensitive and humanist to be a professional killer.  Didn’t buy it.

    • #80
  21. user_7742 Inactive
    user_7742
    @BrianWatt

    Gosh, I didn’t think Das Boot was that obscure. Great film. My others include: The Last Wave by Peter Weir, dir.; Sometimes A Great Notion with Paul Newman, Henry Fonda and Lee Remick; Room At The Top with Laurence Harvey and Simone Signoret; The Rocking Horse Winner; I Know Where I’m Going dir. Powell & Pressburger with Wendy Hiller

    • #81
  22. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Troy Senik, Ed.:

    Misthiocracy: Are y’all able to see my big list of suggestions on page two of these comments? It’s listed as “awaiting moderation” on my screen.

    The way it was formatted triggered it as spam. It’s been cleared from the backend and should be posted now.

    Ricochet 2.0 judges my integrity?!

    That hurts.

    ;-)

    • #82
  23. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    Misthiocracy:
    I say “meh” to Eraserhead.
    If you want a good David Lynch movie, you go for either The Elephant Man or The Straight Story.
    If you’re really adventurous, you can try Lynch’s short-lived foray television sitcom, On The Air.

     Writing on my iPad with many browser crashes I kept my comments short.  Eraserhead is 2.5 hours of industrial noise and weird imagery.  I think I am glad I saw it.  The friend who dragged me to it fell asleep.  He was lucky.

    • #83
  24. user_49770 Inactive
    user_49770
    @wilberforge

    Another oldie is the The Passion of Joan, silent, 1928. A powerfull work.

    • #84
  25. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    How about Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970)

    This was a great intro to sci fi movies for me (I was living in Okinawa on a base and movies were 25 cents so we saw all of them).  The underlying story is the precursor to Terminator as they hand control of all weapons systems to a computer.

    Classic out of control AI movie.

    • #85
  26. user_49770 Inactive
    user_49770
    @wilberforge

    Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970) was a great film, Followed by War Games (1982).

    • #86
  27. 6foot2inhighheels Member
    6foot2inhighheels
    @6foot2inhighheels

    The King of Masks, Chinese, 1996.  It’s a story about a street performer in search of s son to inherit his secret art.

    • #87
  28. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    Movies that should be familiar to film buffs, but have dropped out of notice otherwise, in no particular order:

    Marathon Man,  a thriller

    The 39 Steps, an early Hitchcock

    How Green Was My Valley, hardscrabble Welsh coal miners (definitely put this one on your Netflix queue for fabulous hymn singing and family heartbreak guaranteed to bring tears)

    Babette’s Feast, a thoughtful and slow-moving study of the character of a Scandinavian village (Danish with subtitles)

    Persepolis, animated, about an Iranian girl at the dawn of the Islamic revolution (in Farsi, with subtitles)

    Sargeant York, a great meditation on the duty of a Christian to serve his country (watch along with young teen boys for a great conversation-starter; you may have to hogtie them to get them to sit still for a black and white movie with lots of dialog, but it is worth the effort — serve bacon and popcorn)

     

    • #88
  29. Big John Member
    Big John
    @AllanRutter

    Ditto Buckaroo, Amazon Women, and Way Way BackIn Bruges: nah.  Others:

    Populaire, a very recent French film that captures the Doris Day rom-com movie spirit much better than Here’s To Love with Ewan McGregor and Renee Zellweger.

    Micmacs, a very funny movie with many cast members from Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amelie.

    It’s Always Fair Weather, a MGM musical that’s a bit too cynical at heart but with exceptional dance numbers (tap dancing with trash can lids, roller skating)

    • #89
  30. user_222359 Inactive
    user_222359
    @KirstenWeiss

    The Uninvited, with Ray Milland. It’s a very spooky ghost story/mystery set on a windswept British coast, though Ray Milland can’t quite figure out if he’s got an English accent or an American one.

    • #90
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