Mrs. Blather and I caught the beginning of the 1983 movie, Local Hero, the other night and couldn’t resist watching it yet one more time. I saw it in a near empty theater during it’s original release and have seen it more times than I can possibly count in the 26 years hence. And it still worked for me.
Dang, I love this movie. I love the story. The script. The characters. The performances. Mark Knopfler’s heart-achingly sweet score. (here’s a clip of him performing the theme live). And every lovely, understated frame.
It’s so wonderful I can’t even manage to be bothered by it’s subtle (by today’s screechy-preachy Hollywood standards) anti-oil, anti-military subtext.
This got me thinking about other movies I seem to never tire of watching. There are a handful I’ve seen, literally, scores of times and will still stop for every time I encounter them on a channel surf. Here are few. They’re an eclectic group:
Young Frankenstein — Mel Brooks should have found a way to force Gene Wilder to collaborate with him in every film. With Wilder, Brooks is brilliant (see also: Blazing Saddles). Without him, Brooks is ham-handed, cornball, and groan-inducing (see Spaceballs and Robin Hood: Men in Tights . . . on second thought, don’t.).
The Outlaw Josey Wales — Clint Eastwood directed himself in this western that manages to be faithful, fresh and funny all at the same time. I’ve always loved this bit of dialogue between Josey Wales (Eastwood) and Lone Watie (Chief Dan George):
Josey Wales: You don’t want to ride with me. When I get to likin’ someone, they ain’t around long.
Lone Watie: I’ve noticed that when you get to dislikin‘ someone they ain’t around for long neither.
His “words of iron” speech at the end, which results in Wales “cutting covenant” with the Comanche chief is one of the great movie speeches of all time.
Independence Day — Sure, this re-invention of War of the Worlds is campy, flag-wavy and jingoistic. What’s your point? Back in 1996, Billl Pullman’s ex-fighter pilot President was the perfect respite from draft-evading Bill Clinton’s soft, squishy first term.
While You Were Sleeping — A chick flick? Ummm, I prefer to think of it as a “romantic comedy.” Bill Pullman, again? Yep. Great script. Quirky characters. Count me in. This is one movie my wife and daughters adore and that I am always happy to join them in watching. And at the end of it, I always think, “I wish I’d written that.” Who did write it? A guy named Frederic LeBow who’s only other film credit seems to be as an actor in a film titled Chopper Chicks in Zombie Town.
So how about you, faithful readers who never leave a comment here? What movies have you watched 30 times and never tire of? I’d love to hear from you.