I was in a video store last week and saw they were showing GETTING STRAIGHT. It’s an old Elliott Gould 60’s “college unrest/oh no, the hippies are coming” movie you never see on TV anymore. And that got me thinking, what are some of the other movies I remember fondly that seemed to have just disappeared into the mist? Probably many of them wouldn’t hold up, (I might even cringe at a few) but I’d still love to revisit them. And they can’t be worse than POLICE ACADEMY VI which always does seem to be showing.
So here are a few of my Forgotten Favorites. More tomorrow. You’re welcome to check in with yours.
SUMMER OF ’42 – One of the first real coming of age movies. Sweet, funny, and a young luscious Jennifer O’Neil. If you think war is hell, it's nothing compared to puberty.
BETWEEN THE LINES – A rich ensemble piece about a Free Press type newspaper sold to a big bad corporation (aren't they all?). Jeff Goldblum’s masterpiece. With sterling performances by John Heard, Lindsey Crouse, and the always incomparable Michael J. Pollard.
HEARTBREAK KID – Charles Grodin falls in love with Cybil Shepherd on his honeymoon. Elaine May directed an uncharacteristically subtle script by Neil Simon. Jewish men find this movie hilarious. Jewish women hate Jewish men for liking it.
DIARY OF A MAD HOUSEWIFE -- A hot, sexy Carrie Snodgrass and a hilarious turn by Richard Benjamin as the ultimate prig husband. You not only root for Carrie to cheat on him, you want her do it in front of him.
THOUSAND CLOWNS – A somewhat creaky adaptation of my favorite play, but the performances by Jason Robards, Barry Gordon, and Gene Saks and the screenplay by original playwright, Herb Gardner make this black & white movie worth seeking out.
HEAD OVER HEELS (a.k.a. CHILLY SCENES OF WINTER) – John Heard pining after Mary Beth Hurt in this sweet, quirky, 70’s tale. A favorite among stalkers everywhere.
THE 27th DAY – Okay, this was a cheesy Sci-Fi movie from 1957 starring Gene Barry that scared the shit out of me. Directed by William Asher who went on to helm other horror classics like HOW TO STUFF A WILD BIKINI.
RETURN OF THE SECAUCUS 7 -- The movie THE BIG CHILL ripped off and turned into a slick Hollywood hit. John Sayles debut film about a weekend reunion. Real and funny, but doesn’t have the feel-good Motown soundtrack.
SOLDIER IN THE RAIN – A young Steve McQueen as a peace time soldier with Jackie Gleason as his sergeant and mentor. From a William Goldman novel. How sweet it is.
MOVIE MOVIE – Larry Gelbart’s hilarious spoof of different movie genres. If you love witty dialogue that just doesn’t stop (he created TV’s MASH remember) this one’s for you.
DINER – Barry Levinson’s first and best movie. It’s so good I even forgive him for TOYS.
NIGHT SHIFT – Michael Keaton and Henry Winkler turn a city morgue into a brothel. Checkov would have written this if he had thought of it.
FOREIGN AFFAIR – A little known but beautifully crafted black comedy by Billy Wilder set in Berlin right after the war. Skip THE GOOD GERMAN and see this instead.
The rest of my list tomorrow...