Friday, March 5, 2010

Movies I'm Watching: The Best Movies I've Never Seen

I recently came across a reference to Leonard Maltin's 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen (Harper Studio, 2010). The title is designed to be provocative, to make you say to yourself "I bet I've seen a lot of them." And that's what I said to myself. I see a lot of movies, including fairly obscure ones, and I watch a lot of older films.

I looked the book up on Amazon and found myself humbled by the table of contents: I had seen only one of the 151 films on the list. Oh dear. I did a little searching, and found two similar books. One was Richard Crouse's The 100 Best Movies You've Never Seen (ECW Press, 2003). I have seen six of the films recommended in that book--somewhat better. The other was The 100 Best Films to Rent You've Never Heard Of (St. Martin's Griffin, 1997). I have seen 13 of the 100 recommended there--even better. Still, I have to admit that I'm surprised there are so many purportedly worthwhile films in these three books that I have yet to see--and there is very little overlap on the lists.

I feel a project coming on.

What sort of project? First, I clearly need to see some of these selections. Second, recommending obscure favorites is a game that anyone can play. I could recommend a few of my own. This is beginning to feel like a dual-layer project....

No film is on all three lists. Eight films are on two of the lists: Beyond the Valley of the DollsBubba Ho-TepThe Devil's BackboneDelicatessenHedwig and the Angry InchKind Hearts and CoronetsPeeping Tom, and Two-Family House. As I have seen two of these (Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and Kind Hearts and Coronets, I think I know where to begin.

For a list of some of my personal favorites that few people seem to know, see my following post on the subject of movies.

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