Try giving these movies on DVD second chances, even if you didn't particularly enjoy them the first time around. There are always films that for some reason miss getting the play and recognition they deserve. Each one brings something special to the screen. I believe that one such film is Barefoot in the Park. Although it is lightweight, it is also fun, sophisticated and witty. Charles Boyer's comedic talent shines through in the film and shows that he is still at the top of his game. The film The Bad Seed is so chilling, it can be called a psychoanalyst's dream or worst nightmare.
Here are just a few films that deserve that second look:
Atlantic City (1981) Color. Burt Lancaster and Susan Sarandon star in this dark, noirish film set in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It shows the sad and seamy side of Atlantic City and the sad and seamy side of a minor gangster (Burt Lancaster) who has lost his touch. He lives in the past and tells tall tales about his glory days. When he meets a young, naïve girl (Susan Sarandon) learning to be a croupier, he continues to spin yarns but manages to become her hero when her ex-husband and drugs arrive on the scene. Atlantic City was written by John Guar and directed by French director Louis Malle. The tone and color of the film is dark and intense. Sarandon was nominated for an Oscar. Rated R.
Barefoot in the Park (1967) Color. Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Charles Boyer and Mildred Natwick are wonderful in this bright Neil Simon comedy, and New York City has never looked better. Newlyweds Robert Redford and Jane Fonda are an odd couple in love. He is an uptight up-and-coming attorney, she is a free-spirited young woman who advocates going barefoot in Central Park. Trouble starts when she rents a one-bedroom apartment with no bathtub and a broken skylight in a building with no elevator. There is more trouble when Fonda sets up a blind date for her staid mother (Mildred Natwick) with an unorthodox neighbor who loves exotic food and has to get to his apartment by going through the newlyweds apartment and climbing over the roof of the building. Barefoot in the Park is a 40-year-old classic movie that is great for fun and looking back. Rated G.
Creator (1985) Color. Peter O'Toole and Mariel Hemingway are in this romantic sci-fi film. If a movie can be called delicious, Creator is one that deserves the title. A quirky bike-riding university professor and scientist (Peter O'Toole) hopes to clone his dead wife. He hijacks a student away from another professor, he steals school equipment for his own use and he needs a young woman to host his dead wife's cells. How better to look for a volunteer than to post notices as if you are having a garage sale? This film is such a joy. Young Mariel Hemingway is beautiful and O'Toole is wistful, forlorn and wise as he sets about the business of cloning his beloved wife while teaching his students. Rated R.
Garbo Talks (1984) Color. Anne Bancroft, Ron Silver, Carrie Fisher and Catherine Hicks star in this now hard-to-find film. It is a poignant comedy about death, dying and last wishes. When Ron Silver's vivacious and unconventional mom (Anne Bancroft) learns that she is dying, her one wish is to meet Greta Garbo. Bancroft wears this role well and she looks like she enjoys it. She drives her married son to distraction with her antics. When she sees the cost of a pack of frozen vegetables she wants to buy, she steals them because the price is unfair; her son has to bail her out of jail. When construction workers yell out catcalls to an attractive young woman passing by, mom rides the lift to the top of a building to chastise them. Harvey Fierstein has a small part as a helpful stranger. A very young Catherine Hicks (television's 7th Heaven) is Silver's unhappy wife.
One of the things that make this film so unique are the people who appear as themselves in very ordinary situations. Adolph Green, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., George Plimpton and Cy Coleman all have cameos. Near the end of the film Bancroft gets her wish when Greta Garbo herself visits her in the hospital. Directed by Sidney Lumet. Rated PG-13 Collectors, if you can find this one, buy it.
The Bad Seed (1956) Black and White. Starring Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack, Henry Jones and Eileen Heckart. If you have not seen or heard of this film, it is one that will shock your senses. This is probably the first film that has shown a truly evil child. In The Bad Seed, we see a gifted child actress at work. Young Patty McCormack is very believable as the beautiful child who believes that the end result justifies the means. I seldom watch this film because I still find it unnerving after all of these years.
The audience watches as the child's adoptive mother begin to think that there is something wrong with her daughter and she fears the worse. This film makes you rethink the old adage about the apple not falling far from the tree. It leaves you wondering which is stronger: environment or heredity. The Bad Seed is not a film for children. There is a sinister feel that lurks just below the surface.
Film enthusiasts enjoy the box office top 10, but they also enjoy the movie gems that did not receive that much-deserved second look.
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