Time For Some “C” Cinema!
My countdown of favorite movies “A-Z” continues with another great letter, which is full of comedy, drama, horror and John Travolta!
REMEMBER: This is not a top ten, just ten movies, so if your favorite pops in at #8, that doesn’t mean the next 7 are better!
I’m really torn on this list, as I didn’t include “Crimes & Misdemeanors” OR “Charley Varrick” with Walter Matthau – but I wanted to make the list eclectic so I moved around many genres…
Let’s get started with movies starting with the letter “C” – one that may not be well known, but it is beloved!
10 – Chuck & Buck
This is one of those quirky classics that, when you mention it to someone, they embrace you as if you’re part of a secret club!
Here’s the plot: an offbeat, naive “man-child” stalks his childhood best friend win Hollywood in order to rekindle a long ago friendship.
“Chuck & Buck” was directed by Miguel Arteta, and was written by Mike White, who also stars as Buck.
Check out the trailer:
Chris Weitz stars as Chuck, a successful Hollywood Producer hounded by an unwanted childhood friend. Aside from acting, Weitz is an acclaimed Writer/Director – he directed another great film “About A Boy.”
His brother Paul Weitz, currently the Executive Producer of “Mozart In The Jungle”, almost steals the film in a hilarious supporting role…this movie is offbeat, a bit dark at times, and a real treat…a great movie to begin our list, and one of my favorite “forgotten cult classic” – here are some more:
Next up is one of my top 5 favorite films – a masterpiece of horror and suspense!
9 – Carrie
Director Brian DePalma took Stephen King’s debut novel about a girl with special powers and turned it into the ultimate “teen angst” movie. Sissy Spacek is terrific as Carrie, a shy girl who doesn’t wish anyone harm, until they make a very bad decision at the prom.
John Travolta and Nancy Allen also star in the film, which is one of the best horror films ever made – read more trivia here about Carrie’s “Star Wars” connection!
Back to forgotten films – have you heard about the town that was paid $25-million to quit smoking – by a tobacco company?
8 – Cold Turkey
This 1970 film was a flop, but it’s an inspired black comedy starring Dick Van Dyke and Bob Newhart.
Here is the trailer, with a very young Paul Dooley as an Anchorman:
“Cold Turkey” was directed by Norman Lear, who wen ton to make the classic TV comedy “All In The Family!”
Next up, Francis Ford Coppola won Best Picture in 1974 for “The Godfather Part II” – but he was competing against himself!
7 – The Conversation
Coppola made this “quiet masterpiece” in 1974 as well – and Gene Hackman is terrific as an audio specialist who works on a job that includes murder! Check out the trailer:
This movie is terrific, if you haven’t seen it, there is a nicely remastered blu-ray you can find.
Speaking of offbeat films worth finding on blu-ray:
6 – Countess Perverse
Looking for a classic tale of a woman who is hunted – by a naked woman with a bow and arrow?
European Director Jess Franco made more than a hundred films – all were outrageous, erotic and fascinating – “Countess Perverse” is one of his best, starring his wife Lina Romay – and you can find special blu-ray editions with alternate takes as well!
Read more about it, and check out the trailer here:
From naked hunting to classic musicals, this “C” list has them all!
In 1991, Director Alan Parker made a classic, modern day musical from Ireland!
5 – The Commitments
One of the great modern musicals – the story of the rise and fall of a Dublin Soul band, The Commitments. The film chronicles the creation of the band, put together by Jimmy Rabbitte, an unemployed wheeler/dealer with a vision: he wants to create “The Worlds Hardest Working Band”!
here is the trailer:
Yes,one band member is Glen Hansard, who went on to star in the great musical “Once”, and he won the Oscar for best original song “Falling Slowly!”
And here is one piece of amazing trivia, thanks to the great website IMDB:
“The kid on the skateboard who appears outside Robert Arkins’ (Jimmy’s) window during the first third of the movie when the band are recruiting members is the (now grown up) boy from the covers of U2’s “Boy” (1980) and “War” (1983) albums. At the time The Commitments (1991) was filmed, he owned a skate shop in Dublin and was a champion skateboarder!”
Read more about this film, and see the classic music video for “Mustang Sally” here:
Now, let’s go back to a time when “blaxploitation cinema” was tearing up movie screens, thanks to one very tall kick ass lady!
4 – Cleopatra Jones
Tamara Dobson stars as a US Drug Agent who takes on the mob to destroy an opium field.
Check out the trailer:
Dobson also starred in a sequel – these films showed empowered women of color kicking ass – if you want to see more of it, check out my story here:
Next up is one of the most commanding movie performances ever:
3 – Cast Away
Tom Hanks is alone on screen for over an hour – a man who survives a plane crash and end up on a deserted island…here is the trailer:
I love this film, and Hanks is brilliant.
Director Robert Zemeckis shot the first half of the film with a “normal” Tom Hanks, then stopped production for a year so Hanks could lose fifty pounds – and when you see the weight loss in the film, it is stunning…the film is also iconic for the character of “Wilson”:
“Wilson” was, of course, the soccer ball that also washed ashore from the wreckage, and became the only “person” Hanks had to talk to during the entire middle of the film.
I love this movie for the flawless filmmaking and a mesmerizing performance by Hanks. Subtle and powerful.
Now, if you DON’T want subtle in your entertainment right now, well I’ve got you covered as well:
2 – Crimes Of Passion
Get ready to have your eyeballs sucked out of your head!
This 1984 erotic thriller was directed by Ken Russell – and Anthony Perkins and Kathleen Turner chew up the scenery with a deliciousness that is eye-popping…
Here is the plot: A mysterious woman, who is a fashion designer by day, is also a prostitute by night, and of course, she’s accused of murder! Who can help her? Why wacko Priest Perkins of course!
Check out the trailer:
According to film critic Roger Ebert, the picture “required massive cuts in the movie before it could qualify for an R rating” in the USA with studio distributor New World Pictures reluctant to release the film stateside with an X rating – because Director Russell lets it all hang out – and it wildly entertaining!
But don’t worry, there is an uncut version on blu-ray now – this is a pulpy must see!
Finally, I leave you with one of my all-time favorite films – as inky black as any black comedy can be:
1 – Catch – 22
It’s one of the most revered novels of modern times – a darkly black comedy about the horrors of war. Check out the trailer:
If you don’t know, the “catch” is this: if you are mentally ill, you cannot fly a war plane – BUT if you know you are mentally ill, then you MUST be sane, therefore you must fly!
As they say in the film:
“That’s some catch, that catch-22!”
Alan Arkin plays Yossarian, a WW2 pilot desperate to get out of the war – he heads an all-star cast, including Charles Grodin, Jon Voight, Art Garfunkel, Bob Newhart, Richard Benjamin, Paula Prentiss and Orson Welles!
Click here to find out more about this neglected masterpiece, including the DVD that includes a fascinating conversation between Mike Nichols and Steven Soderbergh!
There you have it – a list of “C” movies worth finding – and if you want to see my “A” list, here’s an example of a classic one:
You can see my list of ten “A” movies here:
If you want to see some classic “B” movies, try this one:
Here are more of my favorite “B” movies as well:
Let me know what I left off – I know there are many!
Categories: 70's Cinema, 70's Music, Academy Awards, Action Films, Art, Awards, Blaxploitation!, Books / Media, British Cinema, Classic Rock, Comedy Movies, Cult Movies, Exploitation films, Film Fight Club, Film Noir, Golden Globes, Great Films, Grindhouse, Hollywood, Horror films, Independent Cinema, Los Angeles, Memoirs, Movies, New York, Obscure Movies, Revenge Movies, Sexploitation Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Uncategorized