Friday, February 19, 2010

Ones That Got Away, Part 2

Here’s some more highlights from the lamentable list of movies I can’t find copies of, taking us up to recent times. If I could re-watch them, I'd write 'em up!

The Red House (1947): Farmer Edgar G. Robinson has two rules for his foster daughter: Don't go into the woods, and ignore the screams coming from the red house! One of the most nightmarishly Freudian noirs, from the director of 3:10 to Yuma.

Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954): Mistreated prisoners run riot, until a sympathetic new warden and a smart prisoner reach an agreement for new reforms. Can they sell the plan to those on both sides of the bars that are calling for blood? Director Don Siegel at his best.

The Little Fugitive (1953): Early independent film about a little Brooklyn kid who is tricked into thinking he’s killed his older brother, so he runs away to live at Coney Island. This is a real favorite—I was shocked to see that it’s not longer available.

Shame (1968): Ingmar Bergman’s most underrated film concerns two apolitical Swedish musicians who ignore the near-future civil war raging all around them, until it’s too late to take a stand.

Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970): Elio Petri’s masterpiece won an Oscar, but it’s never been available on vhs or dvd here. A conflicted police chief wants to be caught for killing his mistress, but nodoby dares arrest him.

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974): Before The Deer Hunter and Heaven’s Gate, Michael Cimino made this leaner modern-day heist-western with Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges.

Tampopo (1985): A zany Japanese tribute to Italian “spaghetti westerns”. The result is a modern-day “ramen Western” in which a resourceful drifter protects a noodle shop.

Hands on a Hard Body (1998): Small-town Texas documentary about oddballs competing to see who can keep their hands on a truck the longest. It turns out that one of them has a secret weapon: he’s seen a little movie called Highlander.

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