Favorite obscure(ish) movies


a better poet than swordsman
May 17, 2019
A thread to recommend films that you love and that others here may not be aware of. My recommendations:

High Barbaree, dir. Jack Conway, 1947, with Van Johnson and June Allyson. Growing up, Van Johnson's character has an eccentric uncle who claims to have once found an unknown island in the Pacific. When his bomber is downed during WWII, he stumbles across the same island... Beautiful, strangely magic-realist fantasy.

Hold Back the Dawn, dir. Mitchell Leisen, 1941, with Charles Boyer, Olivia de Havilland, and Paulette Goddard. European con-man in Mexico during WWII tries to seduce American schoolmarm as his ticket into the US. Gorgeous melodrama, much of it shot on location, prefiguring, to my mind, some of the look of Rossellini and the ItalIan Neo-realists.

Interlude, dir. Douglas Sirk, 1957, with June Allyson (her again!) and Rossano Brazzi. Many of you may know Sirk's great melodramas of the 1950s, such as All that Heaven Allows, Imitation of Life, and Written on the Wind. Made during the same period, this one is for some reason much less known than the others. Intense innocent-American/worldy European romance in post-war Munich, shot on location, with a strong theme deriving from "Jane Eyre." Since the male protagonist is a music conductor, this is also Sirk's film that is most steeped in music (Brahms, Schumann, and Mozart, especially), and also perhaps his most musical in construction.

Three Crowns of the Sailor, dir. Raul Ruiz, 1982, starring probably no one you've heard of. Peruvian director working in France (and in French) to adapt what is basically a magic-realist retelling of Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner." The cover of the DVD I own also says "Orson Welles meets Hans Christian Andersen and Edgar Allen Poe," which is a pretty fair description too. One of my favorite movies ever.of

EDIT: edited for typos.
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Al Jackson

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2018
One of my favorites is Andy Warhol's Bad.....Warhol's name is on it because it was made using this film studios in NY and that's all.
This is a ding bat nutzoid movie, mainly because it looks , with the sound off, like a TV sit com.
An all woman hit squad is run out of Carroll Baker's boarding house/ electrolysis parlor … doing jobs like trashing diner bath rooms (for some reason) … punishing a mechanic for poor car work, attacking the dog of a guy who walks it just because an unpleasant women does not look the way he looks!
All this is totally dead pan and bug f**king crazy , I mean this is not nutty like Lynch's Eraser Head, it has a more ordinary setting, it is more nutty than a five dollar fruit cake.


Well-Known Member
Jan 14, 2017
Staffordshire, UK
Song of the Sea (2014)
Ben, a young Irish boy, and his little sister Saoirse, a girl who can turn into a seal, go on an adventure to free the fairies and save the spirit world.

A beautiful-in-every-way animation.

빈집 [3-Iron] (2004)
A transient young man breaks into empty homes to partake of the vacationing residents' lives for a few days.

Poetic, surreal, sometimes nasty and at times, very funny.

The Iron Giant (1999)
A young boy befriends a giant robot from outer space that a paranoid government agent wants to destroy.

The closest English-language cinema has got to what I love about Hayao Miyazaki films.

Leave No Trace (2018)
A father and his thirteen year-old daughter are living an ideal existence in a vast urban park in Portland, Oregon, when a small mistake derails their lives forever.

This film broke my heart, and I couldn't figure out quite why.

Shooting Dogs (2005)
A Catholic Priest and an English teacher get stranded in a school in Kigali during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Horrible, powerful, touching.

Four Lions (2010)
Four incompetent British terrorists set out to train for and commit an act of terror.

Surprisingly poignant and very funny.

From Beijing with Love (1994)
An incompetent 007-wannabe is sent to locate a stolen dinosaur skull.

The funniest Bond spoof.

Blancanieves (2012)
A twist on the Snow White fairy tale that is set in 1920s Seville and centered on a female bullfighter.

Beautifully filmed, and silent if I remember rightly.

Timecrimes (2007)
A man accidentally gets into a time machine and travels back in time nearly an hour.

(synopses from IMDB)


Active Member
May 6, 2019
One obscure movie I particularly like is Naked Prey starring Cornell Wild.

Another pair is Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Silent Running.

Robert Zwilling

Well-Known Member
Jun 12, 2018
The Loved One 1965 Funeral industry satire/comedy set in California with Jonathan Winters and Robert Morse.
The Fabulous World of Jules Verne 1958 Title says it all, combines live actors with detailed backgrounds and animations done in illustration styles of the 1890s.
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Alex The G and T

Thar! That Blows.
Jan 25, 2012
Extremely Northern California
Greaser's Palace

Hard to describe. You just have to see it,

It's insanely funny. (Emphasis on insane.)

Doctor Sidney Freeman (M*A*S*H) is Jesus Christ, in the Old West.

Bizarrity ensues. "If you feel you're healed."