Movies With A “C”! Classic “C”inema! From “Catch-22” To “Cast Away!” My Ten Favorites!

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 GREAT movies, so if your favorite pops in at #8, that doesn’t mean the next 7 are better!

Let’s get started with a “C” movie that may not be well known, but it is a beloved cult gem, from acclaimed Writer Mike White!

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 in 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 his long-forgotten childhood friend. Aside from acting, Weitz is also 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

In 1976, 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.

Here is the trailer:

John Travolta and Nancy Allen also star in the film, which is one of the best horror films ever made – a true cinematic masterpiece. I love this film so much I wrote an entire article about the legendary “Carrie” / “Star Wars” casting connection – click to see more!

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 – Charley Varrick!

This 1973 crime thriller stars Walter Matthau as a bank robber who only steals from small rural banks…so no one will really care…that is until he robs a bank that’s a front for a LOT of mob money!

Check out the trailer:

Andrew Robinson co-stars: he was the psychopathic sniper in “Dirty Harry”. Both films were directed by the legendary Don Siegel – and did you realize that Walter Matthau, one of cinema’s greatest comic Actors, was once an action star?

Yes, he had a string of great action dramas…click here to see them all!

Next up, a musical set during one of the most divisive times in Ireland.

In 1991, Director Alan Parker made a classic, modern day musical that captured life in depressed 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.

Next up, a comedy that has some subtle warmth as well:

2 – Cedar Rapids

Ed Helms stars as nebbish Insurance Agent Tim Lippe, who has no idea what he’s in for when he’s sent to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to represent his company at an annual insurance convention.

Check out the trailer:

Look at this great cast! Anne Heche, John C. Reilly and Isiah Whitlock Jr. star as the convention veterans who take Helms under their wing…and of course, Reilly steals the movie as the abrasive Dean Ziegler, who tosses off lines like this:

“Lemke may have been a class-A deviant, but what the fuck does that have to do with selling insurance?”

It’s a terrific comedy with heart as well – see more great lines from the film and more trivia here as well:

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:

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Categories: 70's Cinema, Action Films, Art, Books / Media, British Cinema, Comedy Movies, Cult Movies, Film Fight Club, Film Noir, Great Films, Hollywood, Independent Cinema, Movies, Music, Obscure Movies, Obscure Music, Politics, Pop Culture, Revenge Movies, Talent/Celebrities

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13 replies

  1. Charley Varrick is so underrated, a film with the perfect cast of actors. Joe Don Baker, as Molly, was never better. Andrew Robinson could play an edgy out of control nutcase, as well as anyone. Sheree North the seen it all, been around the block a few times, photographer. She’s one of my old man’s favourites. I could keep going on and on about this great cast. I love The Commitments too. I’ve got great memories of watching it in the cinema back in the day, and playing the soundtrack to death.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Corny, maybe, but what about Casablanca? 🙂


  3. An interesting selection for ‘C’, John.
    The Conversation is a fantastic film, and gets better every time I watch it.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Carrie still terrifies me,especially the final shot

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You’ve got some great picks here John. I haven’t seen Chuck & Buck so I’m going to have to hunt that down. Another wonderful movie that would be near the top of my list is Charade with Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve not seen Chuck & Buck but I have to admit… I’ve never even heard of it! I need to get out more by watching more films 😂
    Loved Carrie. Glad you picked the classic, not the revamp. Cedar Rapids I thought would be awful but actually wasn’t that bad. Some great picks, John. Off to add some things to my ‘to watch’ list! Wouldn’t mind watching Cast Away again either, it’s been a while.
    Hope you’re having yourself a decent weekend!
    Caz x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I loved the movie of Carrie, it is better than the book. One of the best of his books made into a film. The only better one is The Shining.

    Liked by 2 people

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