Great Movies Worthy of Respect...

I just got done watching a movie I really like, called The 24th Day, starring Scott Speedman and James Marsden, made in 2004. It was recommended to me, but I never heard of this movie. I felt the acting and storyline was incredible and deserves respect.

My question is - What are some movies that you feel are great but did not get recognized as such?

Breaker Morant, starring Edward Woodward, from 1980. A beautiful film, an incredible story, and absolutely gripping. I don’t recall it getting a lot of good reviews, but I could be wrong.

My all-time favorite is probably The Right Stuff. It got some great reviews (I think Siskel and Ebert both had it top-3 in their best-of-the-decade lists) and was nominated for Best Picture, but it never seemed to catch on as a “great movie”. Maybe it didn’t follow any formula closely enough; it’s not by-the-numbers, rah-rah heroic, but it’s not ironic and detached, either. It punctures the image of astronauts as mythic cold-warriors, but once they’re off their pedestals, that makes them more heroic and not less. There are a lot of people who know the title as a catch phrase, but not a lot who have seen it.

I saw Pleasantville again recently and was reminded how good it was. There are so many efforts to romanticize the past as a better, more innocent time. I think it took some guts to make a movie that argues in favor of corruption, in the sense that we want to learn new things and push ourselves to find new art, or passion, or growth. Yes, it’s scary, but there are things in the world that make it worth it to face our fears. The idea of doing that as a black-and-white sitcom world turning to color was brilliant, and the special effects were worthy of the idea. There’s a scene of a car driving through the trees, and it’s black-and-white except for the pink blossoms that are raining down and dancing in the car’s wake; it’s absolutely breathtaking. Really, the whole movie is amazing to look at.

Network was a great movie when it came out, and it has gotten better as the things it satirized have come true.

I grew up in the black and white world of Pleasantville and there were portions of that movie that moved me very deeply. The use of color to symbolize the changes that I have lived through are very fitting. We called it consciousness raising. It was like being deprogramed. Thank you for reminding me of this jewel of a film!

See my blog, Great but Forgotten.
Other movies here.

Two that come to mind are Ladyhawke & The 13th Warrior. They are so much better than most of the CGI laden crap that passes for entertainment these days.

Pillow Talk, starring Doris Day and Rock Hudson. Really, this should at least be a cult classic. I rarely see it on the classic movie channels anymore. It’s cute, funny, and pretty racy for its time. Of course, it’s got a silly premise, boy pretends to be someone else to get girl, but it’s enjoyable fluff. Day plays an independent career woman who’s happy enough with her life not to marry just anyone who comes along.

The Royal Tennenbaums: One of my favorite movies of all time. I think it outshines Rushmore, which seems to be the Wes Andersen favorite. This films really pays attention to detail, such as evoking a family stuck in the '70s through imagery and music. I like that it’s a comedy that has funny lines that aren’t really jokes. The characters take everything at face value, often to the point of absurdity. C’mon, how can you not laugh at Bill Murray saying deapan, “You’ve made a cuckold out of me.” The actors really shine – even Ben Stiller takes on a subdued performance that’s very touching at parts. Gene Hackman steals the movie, but everyone else does a fabulous job as well.

Hour Of The Gun is a very good telling of the Wyatt Earp story post OK Corral. Not as fun as Tombstone (thank you Val Kilmer!), but more realistic.

I will mention the movie I always mention in these threads: The Year My Voice Broke

AMC was showing Doris Day movies :confused: this summer in the midst of their westerns/gangsters/big explosion movies. They seem to go in cycles. You will see (far as movies go) week after week of modern-day crap and every so often they will drop in an old classic. (Maybe the ones NOT owned by Ted Turner?)… I vote for Pennies From Heaven with Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters. It was an enormous flop back when it was made because SM’s fans (who never saw the original british series on PBS) expected a wild and crazy comedy like The Jerk. People were totally stumped by Pennies From Heaven and found it depressing. That doesn’t mean it’s not good! Jeez.

It did indeed get a lot of good reviews (and even an Oscar nomination for screenplay, the very first for an Australian film, IIRC). If anything, the biggest drawback may be its incredible similarity to the superior (and better-known) Paths of Glory. Still, a very good film worth seeking out, and it’s fun to see all the familiar faces (Edward Woodward, Bryan Brown, Jack Thompson) before they became well known in the States.

And don’t forget it’s sequel Flirting.

I’m going to bring up Mountains of the Moon.

and The Navigator: A Mediaeval Odyssey

Both incredible adventure movies. The first one recounts the true story about the search for the source of the Nile river. The second is my absolute favorite time travel movie. Only slightly better than Time After Time. (another great movie)

I really like A Patch of Blue, a 1965 movie directed by Guy Green, with Sidney Poitier, Shelly Winters and Elizabeth Hartman. Some of my friends have said it’s too obvious and sentimental but this story of a black man befriending a young blind white girl with an abusive mother in early 1960s America is very touching. Shelly Winters (who got an Oscar for her supporting acress role) is great as the evil mother. And Elizabeth Hartman does a fine job for an unknown acting in her first movie.

It probably doesn’t count as not getting recognized, it was nominated for several Academy Awards (Best Actress, Best Support Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Music etc.), but nowadays there are probably many people that haven’t seen it.

The Ninth Configuration is terrific. Stacy Keach plays an Army officer who returns from Vietnam to run an experimental mental hospital for vets suffering from PTSD. Great stuff.

Enthusiastically seconded (thirded?). An amazing film.

My contribution is Ridley Scott’s first feature film, The Duelists. A tense and compelling story, vividly drawn characters, fine acting, and an overall production quality that is astounding considering the ultra-low budget. I’ve recently come to appreciate that an integral part of good film-making (as obvious as it would seem) is fine photography. And Ridley Scott brings more of this to his films than just about any other director I can think of.

I had no particular expectations going into that movie, but I came out knowing that it stunk. It’s just bad.

I’ll say The War Wagon. John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Keenan Wynn, Bruce Dern in a bit part. Action, suspense, comedy. Wayne was at the top of his game and he and Douglas really should have made more movies together, they had great chemistry (“Mine hit the ground first”. “Mine was taller”). Westerns just don’t get any better.

I guess some respect is still difficult to earn with some, but I think Pennies is brilliant and without question the best movie mentioned in this thread thus far.

A number of Samuel Fuller movies are quite good “Fixed Bayonets”, “Steel Helmets” “Pick up on South Street”, “Baron of Arizona” yet rarely seen on tv.

Sadly, Edward Woodward just died yesterday.

Johnny Belinda, the 1948 movie for which Jane Wyman won an Oscar.