June 28, 2006

Rewatching movies.

Slate asked several directors and critics to name the movies they've rewatched the most. Spike Lee names "Election." He's watched it more than 40 times. Excellent choice. I've rewatched that one a few times. Nowhere near 40 though. [CORRECTION: Slate's layout confused me. Spike Lee names "West Side Story," with zero commentary, and the next guy, Adam McKay, a director I'd never heard of, names "Election."]

Lots of other interesting choices -- along with some crushingly boring ones. I mean, even if your true answer is "Citizen Kane," please spare me. I wrote that before reading through the whole list and getting to Dana Stevens, who begins: "Leaving out the movies everyone's seen countless times (The Wizard of Oz, Citizen Kane, It's a Wonderful Life)...." I suspect most of the answers followed that rule without saying it.

I love this subject of what you want to rewatch. To watch something the first time is to respond to some mysterious mix of your own imagination and the various things you've heard. Maybe something about a poster or some feeling about a movie star pulls you in. Then you find out if it was what you thought it would be or if you're surprised in a good way. But rewatching a movie, you know basically what's there, and you're making a choice to relive what you know or you have a sense that there are places in there where new things can be found. It's a richer, deeper experience. Oh, that reminds me of what Andre says about marriage -- as opposed to an affair -- at the end of my most rewatched movie, "My Dinner With Andre."

ADDED: Neo NeoCon responds.


Todd said...

Actually, Lee names West Side Story as the movie he's rewatched most, and it's both a fine and interesting choice. It's Andrew McKay, the director of Anchorman, who names Election.

For me, it's probably either Kasdan's choice- Ghostbusters- or Beetlejuice. Both have a fast, constant level to their humor that makes rewatchings worthwhile.

MadisonMan said...

I love to re-watch Groundhog Day.

Ann Althouse said...

Todd: Thanks. What a crappy layout by Slate!

Goesh said...

I'll watch Broken Trail again

Jennifer said...

Well, whoever picked it, Election is a fantastic movie.

One of the movies I've seen the most times (by virtue of owning it amongst a limited collection) is another Reese Witherspoon classic - Freeway.

HD_Wanderer said...

I have a three year old... I've watched Monsters Inc. about 75 times. Still pretty good. I've also seen Beauty and the Beast about the same number of times, it's getting old.

joewxman said...

i'll leave out the disney movies i could recite verbatim thanks to 3 kids when they were young...but my favorites are.

Duck Soup
All About Eve
Song of Bernadette
Maltese Falcon
Rear Window
North By Northwest

MadisonMan said...

I'm surprised there aren't more old musicals on the list. I mean, I've watched Kiss me Kate several times, and it's always fun. Ditto Meet me in St. Louis, Singing in the Rain (both of which were mentioned) and Annie get your Gun.

I think The Sound of Music was the first movie I've seen more than once in the theater -- Mom took me twice. And who hasn't seen The Wizard of Oz more than once? I watched it every year when it was on TV back in the 60s.

Ron said...

Pulp Fiction for me!

Brooks to Kos: "Oh, I'm sorry did I break your concentration?"

Susan said...

My favorite movie to rewatch is “A Room with a View” I love Merchant Ivory period pieces and this one has it all. Lush scenery and beautiful Edwardian era costumes. Characters that seem like real people even though they’re from a hundred years ago. Romance. That beautiful opera music. Some of the best English actors working today. Sexual tension even though there’s really no sex. And yet there’s also full frontal male nudity – something there’s far too little of in movies. Yes, just transport me back there every time I’m feeling down.

Doug said...

Rear Window
The Godfather
The Godfather, Part II

pr9000 (paul) said...

north by northwest
the incredibles
clueless (i'm ashamed to admit it)
stalag 17
the big lebowski
jackie brown

Internet Ronin said...

I love Dana Stevens' choice, In the Realm of the Senses, and her comment on it's impact on her dating success (or lack thereof).

I've probably watched The Big Chill more often than any other movie, but not as a result of seeking it out.

Michael said...

For me, it's North by Northwest and The Princess Bride.

I've also seen Hudson Hawk 20+ times, but I've been told I shouldn't admit that.

al said...

Citizen Kane is the stock answer so that people will think you are sophisticated.

Ghostbusters is great. Probably seen it 50 times.

My own picks:

Blackhawk Down
Bring It On
The Great Outdoors
The Blues Brothers

Joe said...

My most rewatched by far is Casablanca. Just the perfect movie. Maybe second is Thunderheart. Also up there are Miller's Crossing, Godfathers I and II, and Caddyshack.

Joe said...

Oh, yeah, Pulp Fiction too.

Joe said...

And Patton.

SteveR said...

My list:

Animal House
Pulp Fiction
Shawshank Redemption

Abraham said...

Does the original Star Wars trilogy count as one or three?

SWBarns said...


Have you seen "My Breakfast with Blassie"?

It is Andy Kaufman having breakfast with "Classy" Fred Blassie, a pro wrestler in the 1950's and a manager through the 80's. It spoofs your beloved "My Dinner with Andre" so you would either love it or hate it.

Blassie and Kaufman discuss the nature of celebrity while being interrupted for their autographs. All while having sausage and eggs at Sambo’s (yep, that’s what they called Denny’s).

Internet Ronin said...


Sambos was a different restaurant chain that started in Santa Barbara, CA in the 1950's. (Denny's also started in the Los Angeles area in the 1950's.)

Buddy Larsen said...

Three or four different commenters have three or four different Coen Bro's favorites. Me, too, with I guess "The Big Lebowski" at the top of the re-watched list.

Blazes Boylan said...

Bottle Rocket
Big Lebowski
Boogie Nights

I suppose I am addicted to movies where a trio of protagonists are both mocked and loved with equal measure. I wonder what that says about my tastes.

Are there any other good movies in that mold I should be watching?

Freeman Hunt said...

Bottle Rocket

That's incredible. I didn't think anyone else would say that.

I watch about 3-6 movies a week, and I hate rewatching movies. The movies that I'll rewatch are not the movies that I would consider to be the best, but they're movies with lots of little details.

My most rewatched movies: Bottle Rocket, Total Recall, and some hilariously bad raw footage I have from a movie that was never released.

Henry said...

I think I saw the original Star Wars about 11 times in 6 weeks. I probably saw the first Indiana Jones movie about 6 or 8 times in the same fashion.

Beyond that teenage action-movie immersion experience, the movie I've rewatched most just for the fun of it has to be Breakfast at Tiffany's.

It's romantic and funny and excepting Mickey Roonie's crude turn as Mr. Yunioshi, all the secondary characters are perfectly played. Even the cat is good.

J2 said...

House of Games
A Question of Attribution
The Verdict
A Civil Action
Session 9
Spinal Tap

Al Maviva said...

Blade Runner
Breakfast at Tiffany's
The Big Lebowski
Pale Rider

mcg said...

Raising Arizona!

Steven Taylor said...

My decidedly non-intellectual selection:

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

I can watch that one ad infinitum.

I have certainly see the original Star Wars a large number of times--as a kid when it first came out it was something of a challenge as to how many times one can see it.

As a group with my wife's side of the family the most-watched flick is easily Planes, Trains and Automobiles--it has become something of a tradition.

Others that I have watched a large number of times, and would watch again:

The Princess Bride
It's a Wonderful Life
The Sound of Music

Like madisonman I used to watch the Wizard of Oz on an annual basis--but that was in those halcyon days of no cable and no VCRs.

There are a number of kids' movies (I ahve boys ages 9, 6, and 4) that I have seen numerous times. Of them, my favorite is The Incredibles

Sloanasaurus said...

I cant believe I read through 27 post with out reading:

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Blues Brothers
Animal House

Maybe I am dating myself.

And what about the ones always on TV:

Wedding Singer

Even if you don't like these movies its impossible not to have watched parts of them multiple times.

Who would ever watch Citizen kane multiple times? How boring.

Coco said...

"No...it has to Mars." (actually, from Ahhnold its "Mahhhhhs" - fantastic. Total Recall isn't a very good movie but its fantastically campy, and I can't say I've ever flipped the channel away once I've randomly encountered it on cable.

The movie I love to rewatch the most though is "Avalon" by Barry Levinson. Its a very good film with wonderful acting in all of the roles but what keeps drawing me back is its focus on the family and its bittersweet acknowledgment of how achieving the American dream can pick away at family cohesiveness. It also captures the wonder that many surely feel about the great patriarchs and matriarchs of their own families through the memories of their childhood. I might watch it tonight!

PatCA said...

Also love Bottle Rocket, Room with a View, Raising Arizona, The Princess Bride. West Side Story is painful with that '60s lingo! Election and Citizen Ruth, very good films by A. Payne, a nice Midwestern boy.

Two favorites that never fail to delight are Rushmore (Wes Anderson's first biggie after Bottle Rocket) and Heavenly Creatures, to me, much more mesmerizing and fabulist that Jackson's later films.

the pooka said...


Two future governors. And, it's on cable all the time. There ought to be a Predator channel.

Joe T said...

LA Confidential, followed closely by The Big Lebowski.

Joe said...

God yes, how did I forget Moonstruck. And Christmas Story is a real family tradition.
Once was enough for Citizen Kane. And oddly enough, though I love Scorsese's movies, I can only stand to watch them once. Violent, wrenching and scorching hot.

Cat said...

I am embarrassed to say it, but Valley Girl which I watched a million times as a teen and recently bought it again. It's my late night or home sick fav. It was Nicolas Cage's first movie as "Cage" and he had his original teeth (now he has chicklit teeth that changed his whole face) and was oh so cute. Awesome 80's soundtrack. I know every line. I'm pa-thet-ic.

Classics I watch over and over include Now Voyager and the Philadelphia Story. More recent, Kill Bill 1 and 2 and the Sixth Sense.

Cat said...

I forgot, Forest Gump.

Joe said...

When the kids were young, we watched the Muppets Take Manhattan. Every night. And a lot of the Muppet Movie, and Wizard of Oz.

bill said...

The profoundly philosophical Joe versus the Volcano.

xanthrope said...

After Hours

Something Wild

Peewees Big Adventure

The Princess Bride

The Big Lebowski

Benny and Joon

True Romance

Little Murders

If any amateur physiologists care to hazard a theory of any underlying connectedness I would be interested.

Truly said...

The Fugitive--I had it on VHS, and watched it until I literally broke the tape.

Babette's Feast
Dekalog #1

J2: Session 9???? I love horror pictures, but that one...deeply disturbing. Especially the very end.

VW: ughfh. I think that's what I said when I got up this morning.

jeff said...

I'm glad someone else finally mentioned "The Princess Bride" - I was beginning to wonder about the people around here.

Shrek also scores high replays as well as Chicken Run.

I'm not one for serious cinema - going to see Cars tomorrow night. However, Glory (Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington)and Apollo 13 also used to get played a lot when I was the only one in front of the TV.

Joel H. Seachrist said...

O Brother, Where Art Thou
The Big Lebowski
His Girl Friday

Alan said...


Palladian said...


Wait, no, nevermind.

It seems to be the hip, post-modern thing to put down Citizen Kane, but it's a beautiful movie, and quite exciting to rewatch.

Me? I've watched "The Shining" and "Barry Lyndon" many times each, both visually and intellectually rewarding films that yield new things every time. Most of Kubrick's work does well on multiple viewings.

Oh, and i've seen the 'Exorcist' about a hundred and sixty-seven times, and it keeps getting funnier, every single time I see it!

Elizabeth said...

Some Like it Hot
Blues Brothers
Meet Me in St. Louis
Bells are Ringing
Princess Mononoke

Brian said...

Interesting how often the old Hitchcock classics show up in these comments. I've recorded them off of Turner Classic Movies and have worn out the tapes of "Rear Window," "Vertigo," and "North By Northwest."

I would add "The Rope" to the list of rewatchables. Also, "Citizen Kane" truly is well worth multiple viewings, whether or not it sounds pretentious to say so.

mcg said...

Wow, The Big Lebowski sure does take a lot of votes. Of course as a Coen Bros fan I am not unhappy about that, but it didn't reel me in like Raising Arizona did in my college days. Maybe that's because those were my college days. :)

Ann Althouse said...

SWBarns said..."Have you seen "My Breakfast with Blassie"?"

Yes, I bought it on videotape back when "Man on the Moon" came out and everyone was talking about Andy Kaufman. I was predisposed to like it or I wouldn't have bought it. But I was very disappointed, not because it mocked my favorite movie, but because it wasn't very good. Andy just hated the movie and didn't have the knowledge of it to make an interesting spoof. It was quite amateurish and pointless.

PatCA mentions "Heavenly Creatures." That's a huge favorite chez Althouse. We've watched it many times.

Elizabeth mentions "Some Like It Hot." That's another big favorite around here.

stoqboy said...

The Breakfast Club - I watched originally on a date, more recently I've watched it with my kids.

L.A. Confidential
Maltese Falcon
Paris, Texas

PatCA said...

Palladian, lol.


Also love the restored version of The Searchers. A movie and a Wayne role way ahead of its time.

Maxine Weiss said...

The Way We Were
The Wizard Of Oz
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Morning Glory
Bride of Chuckie
The Sound Of Music
Moon Over Miami
The Hills Have Eyes

----Is there a pattern here?

Peace, Maxine

HaloJonesFan said...

Weekend At Bernie's.

Icepick said...

A few that haven't been mentioned:

The Hudsucker Proxy which is much better than The Big Lebowski. ("You know.... For kids!")

Run Lola, Run - I believe it was Lola Rennt in German. This movie was simply fantastic. I think everyone at UF must have seen this at least two or three times at the Hip. ("Der tasche...." "Der tasche...." "Der tasche...." "Der tasche...." "...Der TASCHE!") (If you haven't seen the movie there is no way that quote can make any sense.)

Conan the Barbarian shows Arnold at his best, before he took too many acting lessons. Plus, great over-the-top dialogue by John Milius.

The Endless Summer, The Endless Summer II, Step Inot Liquid and Riding Giants. What a great set of movies! The DVD commentary with the surfers on Riding Giants makes it two movies in one. Man, can that Greg Noll cuss....

(Famous surfers in five out of seven movies so far. I'm sensing a trend.)

To make it an even ten, three David Lean films I love to watch over and over again: The Bridge on the River Kwai, Doctor Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia.

Icepick said...

HaloJonesFan, you are a sick, twisted individual....

Christy said...

The Coen I've watched repeatedly is O' Brother Where Art Thou, maybe because I'm a girl and just don't get The Big L. I think O'Brother is just about the most perfect movie.

Some Like it Hot - which I'd seen repeatedly on TV, but not until I saw it big screen (actually the side of a house, but that isn't the point) that I finally "got" Marilyn Monroe. And the costumes! In one scene Monroe might as well have been naked and I'd never noticed on the small screen.

Blade Runner

And will you hold my youthful enthusiasm for Harold and Maude against me?

Michael, At last! There are 3 of us in the universe that love Hudson Hawk.

I gave my nephews a copy of The Princess Bride but cannot convince them it isn't a girlie movie.

Oh, and my secret feel good movie -
American Dreamer. You've probably never heard of it. Jo Beth Williams plays an unhappy housewife who wins a trip to Paris, gets knocked unconcious upon arrival and wakes up believing she is her favorite fictional character - a super spy. Pure chick fantasy, and it always makes me happy.

Pissed Off Hillbilly said...

Hollywood Knights
Used Cars
The Blues Brothers
Animal House
The Wolf Man

Sloanasaurus said...

I never understood why people like Citizen Kane. It's not a good movie. Your just supposed to like it because it has become trendy to say you like it. No one actually cares or likes the actual movie.

- It's like a Jackson Pollock painting. Look at a Pollock painting without all the background noise, and it is what it is - no better than a giant finger painting my my 4 year old. Add in all the cliche trendy stuff that surrounds the painting and all of a sudden its a masterpiece...

How ridiculous.

me said...

The Devil and Daniel Johnston (best movie of this year)

Old School

Any movie with Edward G. Robinson

Umberto D

Quackser Fortune has a cousin in the Bronx

corporate law drudge said...

Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Best in Show
Repo Man

ignacio said...

the last 16 minutes of "la passion beatrice" (directed by bertrand tavernier and starring a very young julie delpy) i've watched well over 100 times, the entire film somewhat less.

i don't want to be "entertained" in a showbiz kind of way, i want to be emotionally riven... defenses down, vulnerable to a mysterious ritual.

i can understand watching and rewatching "vertigo" in this sense.

"the conformist" by bertolucci or "bladerunner" also repay endless viewings, or for that matter "psycho."

in some ways "the silence of the lambs," even though it in many ways falls apart. it's still strong.

"blue velvet" by david lynch.

i don't want any more irony. i don't want to laugh. i laugh all day. or, well, often enough.

it also has to be a film that one can watch without sound or in slow motion.

Maxine Weiss said...

Wes Craven is a genius.


Gore Vidal's "Myra Breckenridge"--(1970)

Bob Guccione's "Caligula"

Stanley Kubrick -- "Clockwork Orange"

Also, Bernardo Bertolucci ---'Luna'..(1979)..that was the one featuring Jill Clayburgh as part of a mother/son incest duo.

Groovy good fun!

Peace, Maxine

SWBarns said...


I always thought that "My Dinner with Andre" was intentionally bad camp like "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" or the early John Waters movies. It certainly was laughably bad.

Of course I came at it from the other end I was a big 'Classy' Fred Blassie fan from his days with the World Wrestling Federation.

Ronin, the Sambo's in my area became a Denny's in the late 1970's.

RogerA said...

Treasure of the Sierra Madre
The African Queen
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Night of the Living Dead
The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Reel Fanatic said...

It's an odd choice, I admit, but I've probably seen Stephen Frears' "The Snapper," a charming little movie made for the BBC from the very funny Roddy Doyle book, more than any other movie ... It's just a great little working-class comedy

..bruce.. said...

Honestly compels me to name "Star Wars" (the original)--I was in college when it came out (1977), and my (former) wife and I saw it seven (7) times during its theatrical run (which, in pre-megaplex days, lasted nearly a year). Once it came out on VHS, we bought it, and our kids watched it heavily--I lost count of my own total watchings at around 20.

In the last 10 years, the two movies that I have deliberately rewatched the most (i.e., dug out the DVD and sat down) are "About A Boy" (one of the best movies in the last 10 years, IMHO), and "Scrooge" and "A Christmas Story" (dug out every Christmas). Creeping up there is "Cold Comfort Farm", but it hasn't been out on DVD all that long.

Palladian said...

"I never understood why people like Citizen Kane. It's not a good movie. Your just supposed to like it because it has become trendy to say you like it. No one actually cares or likes the actual movie."

Really? I don't like or care about "Citizen Kane"? Gee, I thought I did. Thanks for telling me the real truth about myself.

"It's like a Jackson Pollock painting. Look at a Pollock painting without all the background noise, and it is what it is - no better than a giant finger painting my my 4 year old. Add in all the cliche trendy stuff that surrounds the painting and all of a sudden its a masterpiece...""

You want cliché? Describe a Jackson Pollock painting as "no better than a giant finger painting my 4 year old [could do]" Really, how many times has that line been used to put down paintings? Get some new material. And get a new four year old, because if your current four year old is as good as Pollock was, they should be famous by now. Obviously someone's overstating their talent.

Alan said...

Icepick, I'm surprised you didn't include Big Wednesday. :)

LizrdGizrd said...

Christy & Michael have made my day! I thought I was the only one who rewatches Hudson Hawk.

The Pricess Bride
SW (the original trilogy)
The Incredibles
Blade Runner
Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Elizabeth said...

I finally "got" Marilyn Monroe

Yeah, she's "like Jello, on springs!" (I think it was Jack Lemmon's character who says that.)

This is a wonderful discussion; I'm making a list now of things to see and re-see. How did I leave off Blade Runner, and Fargo? And Ferris Bueller? I actually used the "anyone? anyone?" line in class the other day (it's summer, we're all hot and sleepy in class) and they're all so young, no one got it. At least I didn't follow up with Principle Rooney's famous "smooch" line.

Buddy Larsen said...

Strange, really funny little set called "The Gods Must Be Crazy" -- and it's Part II.

Palladian said...

Elizabeth, I quote movies in class all the time and no one ever gets it. It's specially embarrassing to quote a really quirky line that you assume the students will get and they all just stare at you.

Buddy Larsen said...

Ben Stein is cracking me up with a current TV ad (for cable movies), where he's cut back into "Ferris Bueller" (looking not too much older after the hair re-touch) taking roll, calling out--well, you know.

37383938393839383938383 said...

The Third Man.
Fight Club.

Jase said...

Spirited Away
Kill Bill

and Day After Tomorrow, cause they keep rerunning it on HBO and cause its laughably bad science and cause someday (a million years?) maybe it could come true, and so I'll be ready for it then.

peter hoh said...

This posting got me thinking that I should go ahead and buy "Andre" on DVD, but it's way expensive over at Amazon. $149. What gives?

Movies I enjoy watching again and again:

Seven Samurai
Groundhog Day
early Woody Allen
the first three Wallace and Grommit movies
Strangers in Good Company

Jennifer said...

Peter - it's rare and out of print. Amazon.com is a seriously efficient market.

Joe said...

Beth, my daughter is 22 and Ferris Bueller has been one of her favorite movies for years.
WV: prkbo

peter hoh said...

Yeah, I know that it's out of print. I just don't get why a dvd goes out of print. I mean, it's data and a package.

I know that Disney intentionally games the market by putting popular titles in its "vault" for a decade or so. Not a practice that I support, which is why I refuse to buy any Disney crap that's advertised as "going into the vault."

However, Disney has one gem of a short film -- Donald in Mathmagic Land -- that I wish they would stop screwing around with. I've been trying to buy it for years. Seems that Disney may have released it for a short time a year or two ago, but I missed it. Damn.

tcd said...

Speaking of Woody Allen, I've watched "Manhattan" about 5 times. Not so sure I like the movie so much as I like the cinematography of New York City.
Personal faves would have to be "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Vertigo". NYC and San Francisco, both cities to visit but maybe not live in.

Robert R. said...

This is a two part discussion.

The first is what do you really rewatch often. And for me that includes the usual suspects of The Seven Samurai, Casablanca, Citizen Kane, and Godfather I +II.

The more interesting question is probably what do you rewatch often that's not the usual film student answer. One of my most rewatched films is the original Nosferatu. It's not exactly scary, but I love the atmosphere. I'm surprised to say that the other is Tim Burton's Batman. It's certainly a flawed film, but it's a film I enjoy picking at. The references to Citizen Kane, the expressionistic aspects, the way it holds back from fulling embracing the lead, and the fact that while most people dismiss it as a over the top fantasy, the Joker's plots echo the Tylenol tampering case and the Tokyo subway Sarin gas attacks. There's a blend of reality and unreality there that I just find interesting.

Brian said...

Good to see someone mention "Rocky Horror." Great fun and highly rewatchable. Of course, for the rest of the day, I'll be thinking about Susan Sarandon's performance of "Toucha Toucha Toucha Touch Me."

PatCA said...

It is a good discussion--Netflix must be having an upsurge of traffic all of the sudden! I'm ordering Dinner/Andre, the Conformist (just saw Garden of the Finzi-Continis again), Fargo, Some Like it Hot (nobody's perfect!), and Looney Tunes Classics.

Thunderheart is also very good and currently on HBO all the time. Ignacio, you might like Diva by Beineix.

XWL said...

OK I will indulge myself in revealing my top 11 in no particular order

Star Wars: A New Hope Ep. IV (but really, still just Star Wars, and mostly when it first came out)

The Lavender Hill Mob (I can't believe they are remaking this film, most likely bad, bad, bad, given the lack of casting details, hopefully they saw the Ladykillers remake and realized, you can't touch Alec Guinness/Ealing comedies)

Dr. Strangelove, commentary is useless, a nearly perfect film.

Monty Python's Meaning of Liff (that's not a typo), uneven, but the good bits are very good, and even the bad bits have their charm.

Russ Meyer's SuperVixen (the best of the Vixen Trilogy) (It's a Chuck Jones cartoon with large breasted women, what could be better?)

Tampopo (Best Noodle Western / Sex Comedy / Middle Aged Romance Film EVAHHH!!!)

Absolute Beginners (Great music, Amazing tracking shot to start the film, not a great film, but so what)

Rashomon, wrote a final project for an English class on this film, so watching and rewatching was a self-imposed chore, still not sick of the film, despite that.

Team America: World Police, America F#@& Yeah!, enough said really.

Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast, finest fairy tale ever filmed by a surrealist icon, all films should begin with a title card that says, 'Once upon a time . . .' (haven't tried to find the Opera version)

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Not Almodovar's best, but definitely his most watchable film. He's a great director, and Carmen Maura is terrific in this picture.

And speaking od Donald in Mathemagic Land, I must have seen that dozens of times in Elementary School, that and The Red Balloon were the 'Rainy Day Reels' that would be played when it was too wet outside during recess.

(and yes, I'm old enough to have been in school back when they would have played those on film, favorite part is when they would rewind the film with the film in the projector, usually at double speed, so got to see everything backwards, trippy stuff that (at least to a 7 year old))

Jennifer said...

I just don't get why a dvd goes out of print. I mean, it's data and a package.

Demand dwindles.

k said...

Working Girl.

Can't get enough of that one.

And newer one: Napoleon Dynamite.

Classics: Doctor Zhivago and Gone with the Wind.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

In addition to many that have already been mentioned, I rewatch

--Wayne's World. [Who doesn't hear Bohemian Rhapsody and bang their heads just like that?]


--Finding Nemo [3 kids. The oldest is 4.]

Dawn said...

The Usual Suspects
How To Marry A Millionaire (for the costumes!)
Pale Rider
Napoleon Dynamite
The Fifth Element

And yes, Reese Witherspoon was fantastic in Freeway!

Internet Ronin said...

XWL said,

favorite part is when they would rewind the film with the film in the projector, usually at double speed, so got to see everything backwards, trippy stuff that...

I am, too. I remember watching On the Waterfront and The Bedford Incident in class. Watching the last rewind double-time relieved a lot of the tension in the room, as I remember.

Craig Ranapia said...

Knocking out the obvious, the two films I re-watch obsessively are Whit Stillman's Metropolitan & Martin Scorsese's massively under-rated Age of Innocence.

Cat said...

One more...

It's not a movie, but a BBC Mini-series of Pride and Predjudice starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. The performances are amazing and the movie versions can't touch it.

Maxine Weiss said...

Helter Skelter
Exorcist 2-The Heretic
Damien Omen 2
Hotel New Hampshire
Shampoo with Warren Beatty

---That pinball wizard movie 'Tommy'???

What's that one 70s film about the roller disco ????

Does anybody know the title of that weird 70s sci-fi/horror flick where some gal gets forcibly impregnated by a robot?

Peace, Maxine

quietnorth said...

The Princess Bride, hands down

"No more Rhyming, and I mean it!"
"Anybody want a peanut?"

Thats good stuff!

Jack said...

The Ninth Configuration by William Peter Blatty is my number one re-watched film. I lost count at around 17 times but I'm sure it is up to about 25 by now. (And it gets extra point on this thread for having a "Famous Lines from Famous Movies" sub-theme.)

I saw Silence of the Lambs 7 times in the theater but it had such an impact on my finances that I had to buy the book to tide me over until it came out on video. The book wasn't as good as the movie -- something I don't say very often. I can't watch it very often now because it gives my wife nightmares.

I also saw Alien 3, Batman and David Lynch's Dune multiple times in the theater. Preferably the show that gets out after midnight so you can drive home alone and go to sleep without breaking the mood.

Other multiple re-watches:

Seven Samurai
Brideshead Revisited (Do miniseries count?)
Babette's Feast
Breaker Morant
A Soldier's Story
Edward Scissorhands
L.A. Story
Lethal Weapon
The Seventh Seal

I've only seen Groundhog Day once, but doesn't that sort of count as multiple viewings just by the nature of the thing?

Ann Althouse said...

peter hoh said.."This posting got me thinking that I should go ahead and buy "Andre" on DVD, but it's way expensive over at Amazon. $149. What gives?"

The existing DVD is terrible quality. Hopefully, a new one will come out. Rent, don't buy.

Jack said...


Yes, Tommy.

Roller Boogie?

Demon Seed?

Also, try watching Tommy and The Matrix back to back. Unexpectedly parallel themes.

peter hoh said...

Thanks, Ann, for that word of advice. I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't a new issue in the offing. Usually, I have to buy the old, overpriced, bad version for the studio to release the new, improved, and cheaper version.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm delighted to hear it's become rare.

Mike P said...

The Wind and the Lion
Ballad of a Soldier
The Man in the Moon
Stealing Heaven
Fiddler on the Roof
Circle of Friends
The Sure Thing
Doc Hollywood

And with the grandkids:
Toy Story
Toy Story II
Monsters Inc
Wallace and Gromit and Were Rabbit

Mike P said...

The Wind and the Lion
Ballad of a Soldier
The Man in the Moon
Fiddler on the Roof
Circle of Friends
Stealing Heaven
The Sure Thing
Doc Hollywood

And with the grandkids:

Toy Story
Toy Story II
Monsters Inc
Wallace and Gromit WearRabbit

Hollywood Freaks said...

Royal Tenenbaums.

Surprised I haven't seen this listed more.

Icepick said...

Alan, oddly enough I've never SEEN Big Wednesday.

A few others I haven't seen mentioned yet, although I haven't gotten past Alan's comment.


A Fistful of Dollars

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Lonesome Dove
(if TV mini-series count)

The Producers (the original, not the new one)

And of course, Office Space.

Elizabeth said...

Palladian and Joe: given Joe's daughter as an example, I'm led to believe they KNOW exactly what we're referring to, but they like unnerving us with the blank stare.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for mentioning Tampopo!

Ignacio, I second Pat's recommendation of Diva. You'll have to go buy a good Satie collection afterward. I worked at a small theater in the early 80s and watched that movie about 20 times, from the lobby door.

Jay said...

For music and story and/or singing and dancing:
Blues Brothers
Last of the Mohicans(Michael Mann)
Royal Wedding
Singing in the Rain
Yankee Doodle Dandy

For human nature:
Blade Runner
North by Northwest
Rear Window
The Searchers
Treasure of Sierra Madre

Escapist flicks:
Sea Hawk
Star Wars 4,5,6
Terminator flicks

ignacio said...

elizabeth & patca: thanks for the recommendation of "diva" -- i have heard of it but never saw. i'll rent it.

but didn't beineix also direct "the moon in the gutter"? a failed experiment.

he might also have done "betty blue" which has a lot of female nudity and a heroine who as i remember is... what? "manic/depressive"? flat-out insane?

(i'm not looking these up in amazon to check so i might be wrong.)

Johnny Nucleo said...

I'm fascinated by the ones that keep popping up.

The correct answer is:

Stalag 17
The Godfather (I and II)
Office Space
The Empire Strikes Back
Groundhog Day
North By Northwest
Best In Show
There's Something About Mary
Blade Runner
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Outlaw Josey Wales
Jeremiah Johnson

These are all fine pictures. They are not necessarily my all time favorites, though a few are. But I've watched them many times.

Why? I'm not talking two or three times, I'm talking 10-plus. Why???

There are three theories.

Robert Towne's theory is that we like the characters. We already know the plot, so what other explanation is there? The characters are like our friends and we like to visit them from time to time. This theory is okay as far as it goes. It makes sense with a film like Stalag 17. But it doesn't explain something like Blade Runner, which has no likeable characters.

Quentin Tarantino's theory is that movies function like music. A movie is like an album and scenes are like songs. I like this theory better than Towne's. The movies we watch over and over are the ones we catch in the middle while flipping and then stay for a while, and then we might leave. Like listening to a couple of songs from an album. This theory is especially apt when it comes to comedies, action pictures, and "filmic" or "camera happy" pictures like Scorsese's, Hitchcock's, or the work of Paul Thomas Anderson.

The third theory was expressed by Frank Whaley in the film Swimming With Sharks. For him, movies are about memories. He describes how rewatching a movie instantly reminds him of where he was in his life when he first saw it. If anyone has a Star Wars picture or Grease or, God forbid, Footloose, on their list, there's probably some of that going on.

I think all three theories are in play when we watch movies over and over again.

Pogo said...

I'm a little surprised no one's mentioned "The Chocolate War", from the book by Robert Cormier. The soundtrack is great, with cuts by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush. Hauntingly beautiful in places.

And no votes for "The Graduate"? Huh?

johnstodderinexile said...

I mostly rewatch movies. There are a lot of well-known movies I've never seen, but I'll stop and watch part or all of:

Dr. Strangelove
Pulp Fiction
Groundhog Day
Ed Wood
A Night at the Opera
Some Like it Hot
The Odd Couple
Seven Days in May
Rear Window
A Place in the Sun
Red River
The Cowboys
The Sons of Katie Elder
Godfather and Godfather II
The In-Laws (original version)
Prizzi's Honor
What About Bob?
the first Lord of the Rings movie
North By Northwest
Duck Soup
LA Confidential
Dr. No
The Third Man
The Seven-Year Itch

and now I'll stop. There are quite a few. I don't need a desert island, I already act like I have one.

Brian said...

Pogo, "The Graduate" would be on my list, had I posted it. A movie I've watched nine or ten times.

LoafingOaf said...

I'm not surprised several have named The Big Lebowski. It's gotta be my most re-watched DVD! If I'm bored or depressed and don't know what to watch, that's one I can always plop in and never be sick of. Like most Coen movies, it gets funnier with more viewings. John Goodman is fantastic! I think it's so re-watchable because it's more about the characters than the plot.

Anyway, here's my list:

Big Lebowski
Dawn of the Dead - original (having a mall to yourself is a cool fantasy)
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Barry Lyndon
Jackie Brown (Tarantino writing for Samuel Jackson is movie gold)
The Spanish Prisoner (it's odd how re-watchable it is even after you know the plot twists)
Romper Stomper
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Die Hard
After Hours
Come & See (you can't watch this WW2 movie too often because it's too upsetting, but I've watched it many times over the years)

And...my fave movie of all-time: The Elephant Man

Blair said...

Bad Santa.....it's hilarious every time!

Finn Kristiansen said...

Always watch these when I accidentally stumble upon them on tv:

Ferris Beuller's Day Off, Groundhog Day, and any of the Meg Ryan romantic comedies (accept Kate and Leopold), especially "You've Got Mail".

These I have on dvd and deliberately re-watch them: "Once Upon A Time in the West", "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Mystic Pizza."

What I plan to re-watch (and have not yet, neither owning the dvd's nor seeing them rebroadcast on standard tv) is Magnolia for a third time, and Unbreakable for a second time.

john marzan said...

OMG, Freeway starring Reese and Keifer Sutherland. Yes. Little red riding hood. That's a classic!

bearbee said...

Lawrence of Arabia - it has it all - riveting story line, all around acting including the incredible Peter O'Toole, music, photography.

BBC TV series:
As Time Goes By - about 50 episodes or so and has been running continuously since mid '90's
All Creatures Great and Small - many episodes - saw at least half a dozen times

Derogatory comments re: Citizen Kane, I first saw it as an art movie rerun in a theatre. It is a knock-out on a full size movie screen.

Fred Astaire movies

Guillermo said...

Movies that I have re-watched over fifty times (and this short list doesn't include these: Casablanca, Rear Window, North by Northwest, and countless other "classics") include:

Ghost Dog
The Magnificient Seven
Grand Prix
Groundhog Day

to name but a few.

Oh, and I've probably seen My Dinner with Andre maybe twenty times (I have my own personal copy thanks to the magic and power of the VCR/DVR...