June 24, 2020

Play It Again, Sam

Do you like movies? Is your idea of a great night at home a favorite flick and a bowl of popcorn? Considering our stay-at-home status for the past three months, I hope that has been part of it. Word is movie theaters will start to open next month, but I won't be one of the first in line. Streaming or even a well-played DVD is the safest choice for Betty and me.

Are there movies you can watch again and again? I have dozens, but here is my shortlist to get you thinking about some of your favorites. 


Casablanca. I am immediately transported to a time of mystery, romance, and elegance. I want to find a club with a piano and the last plane leaving soon. Humphrey and Ingrid are the perfect couple in the perfect movie. And, who doesn't love the French Captain, playing both sides against each other. This is one of those movies I love in its original black and white. Truthfully, I just watched this again last week and fell in love all over again. And, yes, I know the blog title's words are not spoken in the movie, but the phrase has come to represent the film.

French Kiss. Paris and love. A scoundrel with a heart of gold. A man, a woman, and a dream. No matter how many times I see this, I get misty when Kevin Kline sits next to Meg Ryan on the plane in the last scene.

Singing in the Rain. I'm still not sure how Donald O'Connor can pull off the dance moves he does, especially knowing he smoked four packs of cigarettes a day. Gene Kelly and Debby Reynolds are actually believable as a couple, even though there is a 20-year difference in their ages. Gene makes rain and getting wet the height of romance. 

Wizard of Oz. The transition from black and white to color when Dorothy arrives in Oz is still stunning after all these years of technological advances. The Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man are simply lovable. If you have been separated from your family over the past few months, the story must touch you. After all, don't we all want to go home again?

Mary Poppins  (the original). This brings back powerful memories of family nights when the kids were growing up. Singing all the songs, watching Dick Van Dyke do a chalk drawing and a bad English accent, or the proper English Dad getting so frustrated over his kids while loving them to death. This was the perfect family film at our house. The newer version is also a keeper, but I will need many more viewings to have it make this list.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. After seeing this, I grew a mustache and have never shaved it off. The first of the successful "buddy films" made Robert Redford a star. The shootout in Bolivia still brings chills, as does Katharine Ross, but for entirely different reasons.

The Quiet Man. I have been to the tiny Irish village of Kong where much of this movie was filmed. It is every bit as quaint and beautiful as it looks on film. Seeing it takes me back to a simpler (and definitely not PC)  time when "men were men and women were glad of it." I always refer to a hike as just a "good stretch of the legs." This is proof John Wayne could do much more than ride a horse.

Avatar. The story has been told many times before. The characters aren't very memorable. But, seeing this in 4K changed the way I will look at movies forever. The colors, the absolute breathtaking visuals, and the majesty of a magical world take me away. The picture leaps off a 2-dimensional screen like no other movie I have seen. The underlying narrative of the slaughter of native people for economic reasons seems very relevant today and every bit as disturbing.

Frozen. This must make my list because of the number of times I have seen it with the grandkids. Beautifully animated with a strong story. And, I am a lover of anything Olaf: several stuffed dolls, a face cloth, and an Olaf coffee cup. When the character sings about the joys of summer, I always join in.

Mamma Mia. My son-in-law rolls his eyes every time I mention this one. Sorry, I love the music and the scenery. I could live without Pierce Brosnan's singing, but sets are gorgeous, and everyone is so energetic. It doesn't hurt that Betty and I saw the stage show in London's West End 17 years ago. 


Those are 10 movies I can watch again and again. Now it is your turn. What movies are on your list, and why? Leave your comment, and maybe I'll just discover a flick I need to re-watch. Go ahead and give my choices a thumbs up or down. I can take it. 

Go ahead...Make my day.


48 comments:

  1. Not sure I can come up with 10 but here goes: Somewhere in Time with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour; The Way We Were - Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford; Born on the Fourth of July- Tom Cruise; The English Patient- Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche; Finding Forrester- Sean Connery and Rob Brown; Walk the Line- Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon; Groundhog Day= Bill Murray; Moulin Rouge- Nicole Kidman and my favorite holiday movie It's a Wonderful Life. There are a few other I enjoy like the Bodyguard with Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston and Shawshank Redemption with Tim Robbins and can anyone forget Green Mile??Looks like I got my 10! I've seen all of yours but Avatar and Quiet Man.

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    1. I notice that The Way We Were appears on several comments below yours. I will have to watch that one again. All I really remember about it is the song.

      Moulin Rouge...oh yes. The dance sequences inside the club are amazing.

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  2. For some reason, I've never been a huge fan of movies, and can't even recall the last time I was in a movie theater. (It has probably been decades, not years.) Occasionally, I'll borrow a movie from the library and, on really rare occasions, will like it enough to buy a copy to add to our meager collection of DVDs. I haven't watched a single movie during the pandemic but, then, I'm not a big fan of TV either.

    That being said, aside from a few special Hallmark Channel holiday movies, the most beloved in our collection are Grumpy Old Men and Grumpier Old Men. These comedies are multi-generational favorites in our family, and certain lines are often quoted by one and all. The combination of Jack Lemmon and Walter Mattheau is magical, the charm of Burgess Meredith is irresistible, and the icing on the cake arrives in the form of Ann-Margaret and Sophia Loren. These two movies are on my short list, have been for years, and probably will be for years to come.

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    1. Now that I am the appropriate age, I should re-watch these to see if i qualify for grumpiness.

      For holiday movies, Scrooged, with Bill Murray is a family favorite.

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  3. Fun list! I culled a few from it that I have not seen.. including some of the kids’ movies like Frozen and somehow I missed seeing Avatar. I am glad to hear SOMEONE ELSE likes “Mama Mia!!” Lol!! I also love the SECOND ONE just as much, may be more..there is a goosebump scene in the church during the baby’s Baptism..be sure to catch it,Bob, if you and Betty like the first one!! Some of my other favorites are “Somethings Gotta Give “ with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, Moon struck with Cher, I watch Top Gun every year. Ken is more into old flicks than me and even watches the old Twilight Zone series! A very good old movie that is hard to find but good: “Making of an American Quilt..” a chick flick though, very heartwarming.I never get tired of “Fried Green Tomatoes”. “The Help”or “Mollys’ Game” either. Thank goodness for the comfort of TV /Movies, and DVD’s right now!!!!!

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    1. You mentioned one that if my list was top 20 would have been on it: Something's Gotta Give. We enjoy Good as it Gets, also starring Jack Nicholson.

      Avatar...a must see on a good TV. The pictures looks 3D and takes you to a world of color and beauty that are unforgettable.

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  4. I grew up during the 70's, so there is a string of summer dancing/ soundtrack-movies on my list:
    1. Dirty Dancing (#1 forever!)
    2. Grease
    3. Saturday Night Fever
    4. Footloose
    5. Urban Cowboy
    6. Fame
    7. An Officer And A Gentleman
    Plus:
    8. Last Of The Mohicans (I die everytime Daniel Day Lewis tells Madeleine Stowe to 'Stay alive! Stay alive and I will find you!'
    9. Funny Girl
    10. The Way We Were

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    1. Yes, no mistaking when your movie tastes were formed! I have a hard time watching Saturday Night Fever anymore because of the treatment of women, but I still love the soundtrack. Likewise, the songs in Grease are so memorable.

      Remember when Dirty Dancing seemed to be shown constantly on various channels like TBS? Now, your list reminds me I haven't seen it in years. Maybe it is time to watch Baby strut down the steps again.

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  5. My husband could watch 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' every month and not get tired of it. I'm not big on watching movies I've seen before but I do have a couple of favorites I never pass up if they come on TV:

    -P.S. I Love You
    -New Year's Eve
    -A River Runs Through it - probably my all-time favorite movie
    -Dances with Wolves
    -Seven Years in Tibet
    -Tin Cup
    -The Legend of Bagger Vance
    -The Way We Were
    -Top Guy
    -Saturday Night Fever

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    1. River Runs Through it made my wife want to take up fly fishing! Maybe just to be with a young Brad Pitt.

      Tin Cup was funny...good choice, and filmed in southern Arizona!

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  6. Here are a few more:

    - Babe (the smartest pig...)
    - Yesterday (the world without the Beatles)
    - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
    - John Wick (too violent for some but very choreographed)
    - Field of Dreams
    - 12 Angry Men
    - Open Range
    - Anything with Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, Jimmy Stewart...

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    1. Yesterday was a fabulous concept and of course the music was perfect.

      Field of Dreams: on one of our RV trips we visited the Field of Dreams movie site in Iowa. You are allowed to circle the bases, and walk up to the corn. The big white house is still there. All that is missing is Shoeless Joe and Kevin Costner!

      At one point we went on a Cary Grant binge, probably seeing twenty of his flicks. He is not thought of as a comedian but some of his earlier movies were laugh-out-loud funny.

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  7. Here are my favorites:
    - Love Actually
    - P.S. I love you
    - Seven Brothers Seven Brides (yes, it is older than I am but still...)
    - The Godfather Trilogy
    - Brave
    - All Star Trek Movies (well my nick says it all, I am a Trekkie)
    - All Matrix Movies

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    1. Love Actually...Yes!

      Seven Brides for Seven Brothers..."Dorcas is missing!" The dance sequence when they raise the barn is incredible.

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  8. Paint Your Wagon, Pulp Fiction & Second Hand Lions. Every Christmas we watch White Christmas & It's a Wonderful Life. Lonesome Dove is my favorite western.

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    1. We can watch Second Hand Lions over and over. Michael Caine is so perfect in that film.

      Like you, White Christmas comes out every year in late December. For some reason so does Die Hard. I am told that is a Christmas movie because of the time it happens, but I don't buy that explanation.

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    2. Pulp fiction! Samuel L. Jackson is great

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    3. How about Get Shorty and the "Cadillac of mini vans?"

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  9. Dear Bob and Friends, favorite movie is the 1964 (or 65) version of War of the Worlds. Though i can only hope the producer/s didn't get fired...because in the movie, the old (KJB) preacher wasn't made out to look like an idiot. Oh not at all...such valor.

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    1. I don't think I have seen that version of WOTW. Will check it out.

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  10. HI Bob:

    So funny...some of our favorites are Casablanca and the Quiet Man, as well. We also like McClintock with John Wayne & Maureen O'hara, A Few Good Men, most anything with Denzel Washington, The Patriot, Shawshank Redemption, Defiance with Daniel Craig (my favorite), my husband likes all the James Bond movies, especially Daniel Craig's. We live in a cold climate and we enjoy watching movies all the time when it's so dark outside, but every Friday night is reserved for popcorn and movie. We have many favorites. Oh, I also like Moonstruck. And The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise. Great suggestions from everyone for us movie buffs!

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    1. If you like The Quiet Man we could be friends. The early James Bond movies are rather sexist, but the Daniel Craig are enjoyable because he is vulnerable as well as a super agent.

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  11. Love your list! I would add John Wayne's Hatari - I love the music by Henry Mancini - remember Baby Elephant Walk? I also enjoy seeing John Wayne in a different role - he's never on a horse in this one set in Africa. Makes me laugh too, with Red Buttons as a major character.

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    1. Hatari was well done and, yes, I could hum Baby Elephant Walk right now.

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  12. I love "Dave" and The American President" !

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    1. Oh, yes...two excellent choices. Kevin Kline in Dave is particularly memorable.

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  13. I know it’s more a Christmas thing – but every year we watch Love Actually a couple times.

    Anything with Robert Redford!!!

    We also love Mamma Mia!! Such a happy movie.

    The Graduate is always fun.

    Pretty much any Alfred Hitchcock movie – or John Wayne.

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    1. Yea...another vote for Mamma Mia. The second one was good, but the first one is a classic for me.

      Alfred Hitchcock...an absolute master at his craft. Plus, it is always fun to find him in one of his movies.

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  14. The only movies I can watch more than once are musicals -- like Grease, The Commitments, The Last Waltz. (Okay, maybe Mama Mia but I wouldn't admit it in public!)

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    1. Your Mamma Mia secret is safe with us. Add to that Oklahoma and Sound of Music and I am good to go.

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  15. Lot's of great movies here. My 4 top favorites include Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Wizard of Oz. But the top 2 that I watch over and over are Pretty Woman and an old PBS miniseries titled "A Town Like Alice." My favorite at Christmastime is "Miracle on 34th Street" - the original black & white one with Natalie Wood.

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    1. Miracle still grabs me emotionally, after all these years. I can believe in Santa Claus again.

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  16. Any John Wayne movie. Miracle on 34th Street, so many others

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    1. I don't think many folks realize John Wayne did so much more than cowboy movies and that silly walk of his. He could play almost any role and do so convincingly.

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  17. This is fun.
    P.S. I Love You (the soundtrack is in steady rotation around here)
    Eat, Pray, Love (especially the last third; can't get enough of Javier Bardem in that role)
    Mama Mia (we just talked about the music and the scenery this past week)
    Wind River (gut wrenching)
    pretty much anything with Jeff Bridges - The Fisher King & The Big Lebowski & Against All Odds
    The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - a lesson in engaging in life with limitations
    Something's Gotta Give

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    1. The Jeff Bridges movie where he played the washed up country singer, Crazy Heart, never gets old. He can sing, and so can Colin Farrell.

      A few mentions for P.S. I love You...not sure I have seen that movie. I will check it out.

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    2. Everyone needs to watch Wind River

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    3. I am not familiar with Wind River...I will take a look.

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    1. Oh yes, along with another Jimmy Stewart/Alfred Hitchcock classic: Rear Window.

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  19. Jacob's Ladder
    Shallow Grave
    The Godfather 1 ands 2
    The Shawshank Redemption
    Madam X
    Pocketful of Miracles
    Fiddler on the Roof
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    Dear Bridgette
    The Big Night

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    1. I must admit there are a few on this list I don't recognize. That gives me a project for this weekend: check out Anne's favorites.

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  20. Wow...I came in late for this. So many and I have such a bad memory. I will agree with Mama Mia. I really loved that one. Dr. Zhivago, Funny Girl, Shawshank Redemption, HUD, or any Paul Newman movie, West Side Story, (I loved Natalie Wood), The Godfather, and my new favorite (which I've watched numerous times) Bohemian Rhapsody. Thanks for this little 'challenge', Bob! b

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    1. Bohemian Rhapsody was so well done. Rami Malek absolutely nailed Freddie Mercury. You are the third of fourth person to mention Shawshank Redemption. I remember Tim Robbins' part but not much about the movie. It goes back onto my must-rewatch list.

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  21. Frozen II is better than the first, in my opinion. Saw it twice. Grandkids are a great excuse!

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    1. I enjoyed Frozen II as well. I just thought the songs in the first one were more memorable. At least it takes me longer to get them out of my head after seeing it.

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  22. My favorite six:

    1. When Harry Met Sally
    2. Room with a View
    3. Help!
    4. Terms of Endearment
    5. Love, Actually (got to see the pink house last year where Mark flips the cards outside the door!)
    6. Anything with Bill Murray in it

    I’m actually not much of a movie watcher - have a hard time sitting still that long - but can and will for the above.

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    1. "I'll have what she's having" is the best line in When Harry Met Sally. Lots of mentions of Love Actually, which kind of surprises me. But that movie made me a Bill Nighy fan.

      You had an additional comment that disappeared but I think you added The Descendants. Set in Hawaii, that makes sense for you.

      LiIke you, I find it hard to sit through a 2 hour movie. In a theater it is hard. At least at home I can pause for bathroom and snack breaks!

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