Adam Piggott

Gentleman adventurer

My top 10 re-watchable movies.

It’s been a sick, sick, sick weekend for me; headache, fever and a chill, (that’s cause I’m feeling ill.) No flu symptoms but whatever I’ve got my body sure doesn’t like it. I’m recording the latest episode of The Greasy Pole podcast later today with The Great One but that won’t go up for a week or so and I don’t think that I’m going to have the energy for two podcasts today, so this will have to be a non podcast week.

I spent yesterday flat on the couch, huddled under some blankets, watching films. And it got me thinking about films that I can easily watch time and time again.

These films are like the sweater that I’m wearing now: old, well known, fits me like a glove; in other words, comfortable. These are films that I can settle in and enjoy myself. I know what I’m getting and it’s a nice and relaxing time. I still laugh at the humor, no matter how many times I’ve watched it before. I still enjoy the story and the characters. But more than anything else, I know what’s going to happen so I’m not going to be unpleasantly surprised. Kind of like old girlfriends too, when you think about it.

These are not necessarily my favorite films of all time, nor the best that I have ever seen. That’s not the point of this list. These are films which I will never skip a single scene. So without further ado and in no particular order, my top 10 re-watchable films.

The Hunt for Red October.

This film has so much going for it but the best thing in my opinion is the fact that it’s an 80s film, (technically 1990 but it’s the 80s), that doesn’t look like a pile of bubblegum shit. I just love the look and feel of this film which is why I can watch it over and over again. And of course it has Alec Baldwin as Jack Ryan who was far superior to Harrison Ford.

The Princess Bride.

Another 80s film that looks great but that’s not the primary reason that this one is high on my re-watching list. This film is just a bucket load of cool from top to bottom. The grandfather reading to the boy while he’s sick is apt as I feel the same way when I watch this film again.

Moneyball.

The Yanks have done so many great baseball movies, (which is interesting as there is not a single cricket film that even comes close), but for me this is one that I love returning to.

The Big Short.

Another film based on a Michael Lewis book. He’s a lucky writer indeed to have had two of his books turned into such outstanding and re-watchable films. I just love Steve Carell and his mob in this film.

The Insider.

Not only can I watch this film again and again, its length ensures that it is a supremely fine choice for when you’re sick on the couch all day. You get two third’s through the movie and then it really kicks into gear. The music leading up to the courtroom scene in the Deep South gets me every time.

Groundhog Day.

Obviously a fitting choice for this list in of itself but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worthy. To be honest, anything that has Bill Murray in it that wasn’t directed by Wes Anderson is re-watchable, but this one is at the top of a strong list.

The Great Beauty.

I have written about this film before but I can’t seem to find the review. Anyway, the visuals and costumes are awesome, the style is superb, the characters are devastating, and the soundtrack is outstanding.

Conan the Barbarian.

“Excuse me, but have you seen two giant snakes?”

The good, the bad and the ugly.

Every time I watch this film I get something new from it that I hadn’t noticed before.

Heat.

If The Hunt for Red October is a great looking 80s film then this Michael Mann bit of brilliance is one of the best ever looking 90s films. Mann is at the top of his game and thus all of the actors are as well, the story is riveting no matter how many times you watch it, and it has in my opinion the best shoot-out of all time.

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16 Comments

  1. Robert Sykes

    I agree on The Hunt for Red October, great film, and great choice for Ryan. I’ve seen it many times. But I am otherwise surprised. You must be quite young. (I’m 75.) In no particular order, I would have listed The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, (the Bogie versions), Sleepless in Seattle (I have a Meg Ryan thing.), A Christmas Carol (Sims only), Alien (only the first), Saving Private Ryan, some 50’s sci fi like The Thing (original only), Jurassic Park, From Here to Eternity, The Godfather (especially part I), Goodbye Mr. Chips.

    The only other film on your list that I endorse is Conan the Barbarian, and mostly because of Schwarzenegger and its historical accuracy.

    • I’ve seen all the films that you’ve mentioned but none of them are watchable over and over again for me. As for Conan being historically accurate, I think you mean that it was accurate to Robert E. Howard’s fiction.

  2. Maria

    A favourite of mine is To Chase a Crooked Shadow, a cat and mouse film set in a seaside villa in Spain.

  3. purge187

    “The Shining,” “The Warriors,” the original “Maniac,” “Re-Animator,” and just about anything by George A. Romero.

  4. Phil B

    The shoot out in Heat outside the bank is realistic because an ex-SAS man (Andy McNab – not his real name) advised and choreographed it.

    Definitely one of the better picks.

  5. Allen

    “Where Eagles Dare” and “Kelly’s Heroes” for some Clint Eastwood that aren’t westerns. BTW the bank shootout depicted in “Heat” really happened. I’m not sure if it was life imitating art or visa versa. Two guys went into a bank in 1996 or 97 armed to the teeth in LA and the firefight with the LAPD was huge.

    If I remember right the guy in armor, minus the flamethrower, depicted in Lethal Weapon also happened. I think the LAPD had to shoot him about 50 times to stop him. Every trip I see something as am I driving through and wondering what the f**k is that? LA can be a very weird place at times.

    • I considered both of those Eastwood films but I’m still going to say no on Kelly’s Heroes as I find that I skip through parts of it, at least by being happy to get up and get a beer and leave it running. “Where Eagles Dare” is however on consideration definitely worthy of making the list.

  6. I have a hard time watching a movie over again when there so many good ones I haven’t seen. Two movies I can rewatch over and over are Back to the Future and Terminator 2.

  7. Jerry E.

    Adam,

    Even though Kevin Spacey has turned out to be a pervert, The Usual Suspects is an absolute whodunit classic that can be enjoyed repeatedly.

    • Yeah, I thought about Usual Suspects. L.A. Confidential is another similar film that could be up there.

  8. Dave

    I’d have included Kelly’s Heroes, Blue Thunder (original, not TV series), and The Warriors.

  9. Klaus

    Robert was too quick for me…but The Godfather (Part One) would be there for me. When one looks in Wikipedia or YouTube, there are a BUNCH of gossipy, interesting details about the film (how Paramount almost screwed it up, that the actors thought it would be a flop).

    At second place though is Rocky IV. You don’t take it too seriously but just as entertainment, I reckon it’s great. It ws also the most profitable of the series.

  10. Mike Randall

    The Bridge on the River Kwai

  11. Mr Black

    A bridge too far.

  12. Hi Adam,

    “Rewatchable” is a unique category. The film must have a strong story, interesting little details and classic scenes that you want to quote the dialogue from. Heat and Insider set a very high bar.

    I would add Man on Fire, The Dancer Upstairs, The Game, Sideways, Iron Man (1) and Taken (1), Any Given Saturday,…

  13. Conan the Barbarian is definitely on my list. As a bonus it has the best soundtrack ever.

    The 13th Warrior is probably my top rewatchable movie…or Mel Gibson’s Payback; hard to say. Fight Club is right behind them.

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