Love old or unusual movies but never know when they’re on? Here are several I recommend:
Experiment in Terror (1962): The year after he made Breakfast at Tiffany’s, director Blake Edwards served up this chilly police procedural about a young bank employee (Lee Remick) being terrorized into committing a bank robbery. Glenn Ford plays the square and capable FBI man assigned to help her, and Stefanie Powers is charming as her little sister. Ross Martin is chilly as the asthmatic bad guy. There’s some terrific use of San Francisco locations as well. But the reason to watch the film is for Remick. She’s so quietly charismatic, with such a crystal-clear presence, that you can’t take your eyes off of her. Later the same year she made a second film with Edwards, Days of Wine and Roses, for which she received her only Oscar nomination.
Turner Classic Movies, 8 p.m. Monday
When We Were Kings (1996): I never recommend boxing movies, but here is the rare exception. This is a fascinating look at the legendary 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. It examines the fight’s cultural importance and gives a lot of context that helps the viewer understand why the matchup was so epic. The setting of the fight (Zaire) is exotic and fascinating, as are the personalities of the two matchless fighters. The movie won the Oscar for feature documentary.
Now streaming on HBO GO / HBO NOW.
Volver (2006): This confection from Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar stars Penelope Cruz as a young mother struggling to make ends meet in Madrid. On one eventful weekend, she discovers her daughter has killed her drunken lout of a husband, and finds the ghost of her dead mother (Carmen Maura from Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) stowing away in the trunk of her car. Almodovar’s film is deceptively simple but has powerful currents running through it. If you’re not yet under the spell of this amazing filmmaker, Volver is a good place to start!
Now streaming on The Criterion Channel.
Minority Report (2002): Nope, it’s not that often that I recommend Tom Cruise movies. However, this is a Steven Spielberg movie that just happens to star Tom Cruise. It’s actually a very slick, intelligent and exciting science fiction story about a future that is theoretically freed from murders through the use of a trio of telepaths who can accurately predict murders before they happen. This “fail-safe” system manages, of course, to fail, ensnaring our hero Tom in the process. Once again Spielberg shows how to really film an action sequence (if only more directors studied him). There’s a fantastic performance from Samantha Morton as one of the “Precogs.” Enjoy this smart, great-looking movie.
Now streaming on Amazon Prime.
Trivia Question #802: Which of this week’s directors has won an Oscar for screenwriting?
Answer to Trivia Question #800: Two performers have won acting Oscars in films directed by Damien Chazelle: J.K. Simmons (for Whiplash) and Emma Stone (La La Land).
Ray Ivey is a writer and movie fan in Hollywood, California. He would love to hear from you at email@example.com.