10 Movies I Wish More Listologists Would See

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I'm hoping this list gets cloned a lot. :-) I decided to include five old movies and five new ones in my version, and I generally (but not exclusively) tried to go with lesser-seen movies (although obviously some of you have seen some of these). This was easier to do with the newer movies than the older ones, and in the end I couldn't resist putting Singin' in the Rain on there, which probably most folks have seen, but just in case you haven't, there it is. Obviously if you clone the list you can follow whatever breakdowns between old and new, popular and unseen, etc. that you prefer, but I'd humbly request that you stick to 10 movies.

And of course, I'd love to hear your thoughts/reviews of any of the movies above as you see them.

UPDATED: Now with links to the various lists where I comment on these movies.

I don't spose you could tell us why you think we should see those films?

'Cause I like 'em, I like my fellow Listologists, I think y'all would enjoy 'em, and at least some of these movies aren't as widely viewed as they deserve. This is obviously not true for the older movies among those that watch older movies, but lots of folks (including myself, up until relatively recently) don't watch many older movies, and I think these are good ones to start with.

Your list actually includes 11 films :)

BTW, I've seen 8 of the 11. A very good list, though I can't bring myself to watch Nobody's Fool.

Wow, 8, impressive! Thanks for the 11 catch. It killed me to do it, but I had to drop Singin' in the Rain, since it is so wildly popular.

Oh yeah, why can't you bring yourself to watch Nobody's Fool?

Cloned as you requested. Of the 10 (11) you listed, I've seen 8, and now I'm curious about the other 3. Off to Netflix I go...

Damn, you and Ash both clocking in with the 8s! Perhaps these movies aren't as little-seen as I thought. I mean, I knew they weren't obscure, but still, I'm impressed. Hope you like the remaining 2 (or 3, if you're still going by the version of the list that had 11)!


I have seen all ten of these. I saw Raise the Red Lantern a couple of weeks ago and I kept meaning to stop by and tell you how wonderful I thought it was...a remarkable movie that well deserves the championing you give it.

Hey Jim, so nice to see you here again! I figured if you happened by you'd pitch the perfect game on this list, especially after knocking so many out on your stump the movie fool list. I'm always happy to hear praise for any Zhang Yimou movie, but I believe Lantern remains my favorite, so I love that you think so highly of it. Hey, I recently did a swap with LBangs where he loaned me a couple CDs and I loaned him Hero, Zhang's martial arts epic (sadly still unreleased by Miramax here in the US). Any interest in a similar swap? E-mail me if so. Only caveat would be that I wouldn't want to wait for you to catch up on your damn list before giving me the review. :-) I'd love to hear how family life it treating you, while you're at it.

Sorry Jim never read this offer until today.

I will send you an email when I get home tonight. Let me know what you would be looking for... Unlike our friend from Oklahoma...I could actually burn you a few CD's...

Cool, I'd like to hear whatever you'd like to send me that you think is good. We can hammer out details when you e-mail. I have a burner too, so as long as we're shipping stuff we could go nuts. Too bad I can't copy DVDs. :-)

I've only seen one. Embarassing :) I won't promise to watch the rest soon though since I seem to rarely want to spend a couple of hours on the sofa lately, but they'll definitely go on the mental list of things I ought to check out sometime.

Good enough for me. :-)

I've seen half, and I'm certainly interested in the others. I think I shall clone this list sometime or another. Good call!

P.S. "Zero Effect" might belong on a list of 10 Movies I Wish More People Would See, but I wouldn't put it on a list of 10 Movies I Wish More Listologists Would See. :-)

I'll be keeping an eye on your Damn lists for the other half, and thanks for cloning! I can't believe it took me this long to come up with this particular list idea.

Hey, I'm not sure I get your Zero Effect comment. Does it fall into the "guilty pleasure" category for you or something? I'm sure I'm missing an obvious gag; forgive me.

I was just playing off the fact that, when I first saw "Zero Effect", I thought it was an unknown hidden gem, but I'm astounded by how many Listologists have seen it and enjoyed this supposedly unknown film as well. I thought we'd commented on this elsewhere. Sorry if my joke was too obscure.

Ah yes, duh, I was right - I should have remembered/gotten that. I even considered in making this list that I'd already trumpted many of these titles in reviews or discussions, but wanted to give them an extra plug anyway. Ah well, sorry for being slow on the uptake!

Where else is Zero Effect talked about?

I think all AJ is saying is that Zero Effect already has a bit of a following here because it's been talked up in the past (so me putting it on this list is a bit redundant). But while Listology has a pretty high "see it" ratio, the ratio is probably lower in other communities.

I've two to go!

I have been very close to watching Panic, but my wife doesn't seem to have much interest in it, so it has been vetoed out of several rental store trips. I'll probably have to give in and Netflix it soon.

Great idea for a list!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Trust me, Panic is good. It's well worth the watch.

Oh my God, you have to watch Panic. Without question, it's William Macy's best performance, and that's really saying a lot. Terrific, terrific film, and it's on my top 100.

Allow me to join the chorus - Panic is terrific. Not that this will necessarily help you convince your wife, but my wife really liked it as well. I can't at the moment think of a movie whose quality is so incredibly inversely proportional to its popularity. To think that it almost couldn't find a distributor stuns me.

Oh yeah, what's the other one you're missing?

I stumbled on more selling points for Panic: it was written and directed by Henry Bromell, who also wrote for Northern Exposure, Homicide and Chicago Hope.

I really think you'll like Panic, lbangs. It kinda reminded me of a Hal Hartley film (or at least, the one I've seen) in parts. The dialogue is very frank, the tone is pretty low-key, the subtle sense of humor is similar.

So what was the cutoff between "old" and "new" movies?

For the purposes of this list, the five newest movies are the "new" ones and the other five are the "old" ones. In general though it's a hard line to draw. If forced to pick a strict dividing year between old and new, I think I could make a good case for 1977.

I've seen only one of the titles on your list, Nobody's Fool, in the theatre in 1994, and I liked it :).

I've added The Lady Eve, Out of Sight, Panic, and Zero Effect to my queue. The others were already on there.

Raise the Red Lantern is not on DVD yet, so it's going on the wait list.

It's such a cryin' shame that only the middle of Zhang Yimou's career is available on DVD in the U.S. If you want the early stuff or the recent stuff, you're SOL.

I'm looking forward to hearing what you think of these movies! Assuming you're still running it, I'll still be subscribed to your blog when you finally get through items 497 through 500 in your queue. :-)

Great list! I didn't know Panic but will be sure to check it out soon. Too bad they don't have a Thin Man DVD set. I'd buy that for a dollar!

Thanks! I hope Panic doesn't disappoint. I've recommended it to quite a few folks around here, and it's generally been very well received. Dissenting opinions welcome, of course, so let me know what you think either way.

Great list Jim! The ones here I've seen, I completly agree with. Nobody's Fool and Out of Sight especially are two nineties films that get overlooked too often. And as for The Thin Man: an all-time great. I think I'm going to steal this idea for a list--whoops, I mean I'll be inspired by it!

Johnny Waco

Johnny! Welcome back man! How's life been treating you? It makes me happy you've singled those three out, as they are probably in the top five of the movies I've listed here. It would be so hard to rank these though; I love them all.

I can't decide which of the movies from your clone I should try. I haven't yet seen Music Box, Flesh and Bone, Gas Food Lodging, The Thing Called Love, Cookie's Fortune or Tumbleweeds. I'm leaning towards Music Box, I think.

Which ones haven't you seen yet from my list?

Thanks Jim. Life's been pretty good, I suppose, except this dissertation thing is kicking my butt! Anyway, I haven't seen The Lady Eve or Raise the Red Lantern. I've always heard that Lantern is good, but I've just never ended up renting it. As for The Lady Eve, I don't think I know anything about it.

Strangely, I didn't think I'd seen Panic at first, but then I remembered that you got me to watch it a few years ago, and the more I thought about it, the more I remembered loving it. Of course, I like William H. Macy and Donald Sutherland in almost anything. I don't know why I didn't remember it at first; I think it may be the title, which doesn't really conjure up any images in my mind.

If you do get a chance to see The Music Box I think you'll like it. You might want see what I wrote about it on the Courtroom Drama list I put up a day or two ago.

Johnny Waco

I didn't know where to make this post. I had promised it to you, and here you have!

Cool, thanks!

I know someone who will be paralyzed with delight that the Thin Man Collection is out on DVD; they refer to the movies as "the six Thin Men movies with only one thin man *shrug* don't let that distract you." If I've heard better snappy dialogue or a better snappy delivery or better snappy chemistry I'm unable to recall it. (I've seen Thin Men 1, 2 and 5... maybe 6.)

I was shocked to find that two of the thin men movies have no "memorable quotes" listed at IMDB. I tell myself that it is because they'd have to include all of Nick and Nora Charles's lines. Here are just two of my favourite exchanges from the first two movies:

Nora Charles: You know, that sounds like an interesting case. Why don't you take it?
Nick Charles: I haven't the time. I'm much too busy seeing that you don't lose any of the money I married you for.
Club Manager: Have you ever been thrown out of a place, Mr. Charles?
Nick Charles: Let's see. How many was it up to yesterday, Mrs. Charles?
Nora Charles: Well uh, how many places were you in, Mr. Charles?

There is also a wonderful scene with a hilarious wrestler and an even more hilarious Myrna Loy (Nora Charles.) I wish I could remember which movie it was in but I can't. You'll just have to buy the entire collection.

Make sure to thank us.


Nick Charles: I'm a hero. I was shot 2 times in the Tribune.
Nora Charles: I read where you were shot 5 times in the tabloids.
Nick Charles: It's not true. He didn't come anywhere near my tabloids.

I think I've only seen Thin Man 1 and 2, and thought 2 represented a significant but not catastrophic dropoff. I really should get off my duff and watch the whole lot.

Thank you!

Hey, personally I could put these 10 movies into 4 categories.

1. The ones I have seen (which isn't very much): The Grand Illusion (good, but Renoir doesn't seem to be my beer) and Stagecoach (great).
2. Those I have unwatched on tape or in the national library: The Lady Eve and The Thin Man on tape, and Raise the Red Lantern and Sherlock Jr. wait in the national library.
3. Those I regularly miss on TV: Nobody's Fool and Out of Sight.
4. Those I have never heard of: Zero Effect and Panic.

Oh, and is Sherlock Jr. better than The General or The Cameraman?

I hope you get a chance to see some of these, especially now that I'm watching your viewing log.

I think Nobody's Fool and Out of Sight deserve commercial-free treatment, if you can resist the temptation to watch them on TV.

I've helped start the tiniest little cults of appreciation for Zero Effect and Panic around here. I think for the most part folks who have checked those two out have been very happy.

Sherlock Jr. is probably my favorite Buster Keaton, but of course it's a close race.

Thanks for the post! I had forgotten about this list.