Since we can all be a little pretentious about the films we have seen, here is a list of films you can really turn your nose up to other film buffs about. “Oh, you haven’t seen this? Are you serious? Wow. I thought you loved movies.” These are all remarkable films without getting the attention they deserve. Films that have not been released as a Criterion, but should be.
Since they are pretty obscure, your humble narrator will let you know if you can stream or purchase the film online. You will be able to watch these films, no matter how shitty the quality. After all, it’s not about the quality, it’s about letting other people know you are better than them.
1. I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang – 1932
One of the few perfect films ever made. Period. This film needs to be seen by everyone. The gravity of this film is unlike any other you will see. It is depressing and encouraging at the same time. Life is only worth living when you “hang it on the limb” and give everything you have to live how you want to. Fuck authority and the system. The ending is haunting and so goddamn depressing.
This film is the most viewed on this list, but it couldn’t be left off for those feeling too good about life. Buy this film. However, you can stream it on Amazon Prime.
2. Father of a Soldier – 1965
A fucking masterpiece! The story is simple, but extremely effective. Set during World War II, this old man gets a letter from his son that he was shot and is recovering in a hospital. This badass leaves his grapes and risks everything to find his son.
One of the best stories about a father’s dedication to saving their children. Well, besides the Taken movies. It’s powerful and very well done in every aspect. Sergo Zakariadze has that magic twinkle in his eye. Flawless film. Check this shit out on Amazon Prime.
3. Wake in Fright – 1971
This ineffable little beauty is setup like the song Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin. Just a sweet melody drawing us in to the mind-melting climax. This fella teaching in Tiboonda, a place as dry as a dead dingo’s donger, struggles to get to Sydney and is swallowed up by evil in the Yabba.
If you have been fortunate enough to see this film, it will stick with you. The gambling, the drinking, the kangaroo battle, and the scene with no franger for the back freckle are just a few you can’t forget. This film leads us along like a nightmare, until your body convulses to wake you up. It would be tough to eat brekkie after such a day. A fair suck of the sav! You can rent this film on Amazon Prime.
4. On Borrowed Time – 1939
Lionel Barrymore is perfect as a grumpy old cuss as he downloads his bad behaviors onto his orphaned grandson. This film has some great moments and makes you feel several emotions. You will be grinning one moment and swallowing away a knot in your throat minutes later.
For 1939, this film is pretty dark and really drives home the inevitability of death. It’s a fun film to watch with lots of imagination. You can rent on Amazon Prime or purchase the DVD.
5. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – 1945
This movie is a fucking gem. The title is poetic and captures the essence of the story. The polarity between this little girl’s parents makes this film relatable to everyone. We all know the grueling battle between being realistic or holding on to our dreams.
James Dunn will break your heart with how he treats everyone. You will want to be a better person after watching this. It’s a wonderful film directed by one of the greatest directors of all-time. You can purchase this film or stream it on Amazon Prime.
6. The Wind – 1928
Whoa! This film was executed flawlessly. With everything in constant motion, Victor Sjostrom used eight fucking aircraft propellers on location to create the effects of the Wind. There are rumors the crew shot this in 120 degree temperatures.
The visual storytelling is world class. The white horse scenes are so powerfully evocative. Titanic ripped off the ending of this film. There is a great way to watch this film on Vimeo with Helictite playing a live soundtrack to the film. It’s fucking awesome. Check it out. Tell your friends.
7. The Moromete Family – 1987
Yowza! From the very beginning, you can tell this film is going to be impactful. This 2.5 hour Romanian drama is a fucking masterpiece. Who the fuck is Stere Gulea? Where did he come from? Granted, I will give most of the credit to the writing of the novel, since the story is what is most poignant.
This film takes a broad stroke at showcasing the hardships and important things in life. After 2.5 hours, it manages to capture it all. It doesn’t matter where you come from in this world, you can take something away from this film. The Moromete Family is something that needs to be seen. Bottom line. Clear your schedule. Bathe in it. It can be streamed.
8. Hunger – 1966
Everything about this film feels authentic. The world needs more actors like Per Oscarsson. He does a stunning job in this well-crafted film. The guy is just the right amount of ugly. He’s so fucking creepy in Hunger, but it works.
By the end of the film, he looks like Kane from Poltergeist 2. “Let me in!” Not a film for everyone. It’s a fucking slow burn, but still gorgeous. This one is difficult to find, but there are ways.
9. Three Secrets – 1950
One of the darkest and most intriguing stories to come out of the 1950’s. The film is a combination of Ace In The Hole and A Letter To Three Wives. “Three women who secretly gave their new-born sons up for adoption, wonder if the 5-year old survivor of a plane crash, named in the local newspapers, is their long-abandoned son.” Boom! What a fucking story.
Patricia Neal is one of the greatest that ever lived. All performances are great in this. There are only 347 ratings on IMDb.com for this film. However, you can buy it on Blu-ray for a few shekels. It’s worth it.
10. I Remember Mama – 1948
You will want to give your mom a big hug after watching this film. The performance by Irene Dunne is masterful. The scene where Mama does whatever it takes to not break a promise to her child will make you appreciate all of the things your mother did for you.
This film was nominated for 5 Oscars, but you won’t find too many people that have seen it. George Stevens was hitting his stride with this one. It’s perfection. You can watch it on Amazon Prime.