Sunday, January 23, 2011


For Part five of my series of lists of underrated films, I’ve decided to include a new feature. Now, if a film has a * symbol next to it, that means that the selected choice is an exceptional stand-out. Rarely will I assign this symbol, but I feel that certain films deserve the special mention.

Sherlock Jr. (Buster Keaton, 1924)
The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Theodore Dreyer, 1928) *
Sullivan’s Travels (Preston Sturges, 1941)
The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges, 1941)
Lifeboat (Alfred Hitchcock, 1944)
Dead of Night (Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden, and Robert Hamer, 1945)
Germany Year Zero (Roberto Rossellini, 1948)
Kind Hearts and Coronets (Robert Hamer, 1949)
Night and Fog (Alain Renais, 1955)
The Killing (Stanley Kubrick, 1956)
Hiroshima mon amour (Alain Renais, 1959)
Knife in the Water (Roman Polanski, 1962)
Hud (Martin Ritt, 1963) *
Play It Again, Sam (Herbert Ross, 1972)
The Sugarland Express (Steven Spielberg, 1974)
The Mirror (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1975) *
C'était un rendez-vous (Claude Lelouch, 1976)
The Quiet Earth (Geoff Murphy, 1985)
Caravaggio (Derek Jarman, 1986)
Jean de Florette/Manon of the Spring (Claude Berri, 1986)
Another Woman (Woody Allen, 1988)
Surviving Desire (Hal Hartley, 1991)
Joyride (Jim Gillespie, 1995)
All Things Fair (Bo Widerberg, 1995)
Big Night (Campbell Scott, Stanley Tucci, 1996)
The Daytrippers (Greg Mottola, 1996)
Thursday (Skip Woods, 1999)
Twin Falls Idaho (Michael Polish, 1999)
Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)
Waking the Dead (Keith Gordon, 2000)
Solaris (Steven Soderbergh, 2002)
Candy (Neil Armfield, 2006)
The Edge of Heaven (Fatih Akin, 2007)
Enter the Void (Gaspar Noe, 2009)


  1. How on earth can you call some of those films underrated?

  2. What exactly do you disagree with?

  3. The first fourteen titles are all highly regarded films (although LIFEBOAT is probably one of the less admired Hitchcock's)so why do you think they are under-rated? Just interested in your criteria.

    I continue to count your blog among my favourites. Keep up the good work.

  4. My criteria varies. Oftentimes, I’ll include an acclaimed film, such as the top contenders for the Best Picture this year, The Social Network and Black Swan. I feel their inclusion is necessary because the films are noteworthy. I agree, sometimes I am lenient on familiar films and include them in lists that otherwise would not warrant their addition. But I feel that in this day and age, when so many of our classics are lost in the shuffle, and so many “film lovers” are out of touch with the past, that even something as well regarded as The Passion of Joan of Arc, or Sullivan’s Travels, or Hud deserves special mention. Just as a sort of reminder that “Hey, these movies were great back then, and they’re still great today, and don’t you forget it”. Sadly, there are so many out there who have never heard of some of these titles, even if they are popular or highly regarded. I’m only trying to do my part in spreading the word about *some* of these films.

  5. Fair enough - makes sense.