Some people I know only watch a movie once. Once they know how it ends they have no interest in seeing it again. Other people like to watch movies over and over. I fit in the latter category. If there’s a movie I like I can watch it over and over and over. Sometimes I get new things from it. Sometimes I just enjoy the ride. This list just touches the very tip of the iceberg for me and is also heavily weighted towards classics from the 30s and 40s, with only a handful of more “recent” movies and little or nothing from the last few years, ‘cause I have to wait and see what sticks. There are more esoteric movies that I like, but this is a list of movies that I like to watch over and over and can pretty much do so from any point in the picture. So, here’s some movies I’ve seen multiple times:
Casablanca – my favorite movie, bar none. What more can I say, except, I’m shocked. Shocked.
Film Noir: I don’t have the time or space to put them all in here, but almost all classic film noirs would be on this list.
Double Indemnity – The ultimate film noir imho. Covers all the bases.
—Walter Neff: How could I have known that murder could sometimes smell like honeysuckle?
—Walter Neff: Suddenly it came over me that everything would go wrong. It sounds crazy, Keyes, but it’s true, so help me. I couldn’t hear my own footsteps. It was the walk of a dead man.
Big Heat, The
Big Sleep, The
Blue Dahlia, The
Born to Kill – One of my favorites and has one of my favorite movie quotes of all time. It’s not said by either of the main characters, but by Walter Slezak, a sleazy private eye:
—Delivery Boy: My, that coffee smells good. Ain’t it funny how coffee never tastes as good as it smells.
—Arnett (Slezak): As you grow older, you’ll discover that life is very much like coffee: the aroma is always better than the actuality. May that be your thought for the day.
D.O.A. (original) – The ultimate high-concept flick…for my money
Dark Corner, The – Bradford Galt: There goes my last lead. I feel all dead inside. I’m backed up in a dark corner, and I don’t know who’s hitting me.
Detour – Al Roberts: That’s life. Whichever way you turn, Fate sticks out a foot to trip you.
Fear in the Night
His Kind of Woman
In a Lonely Place – Tied for my second fave movie in any genre (with Ghost World, yes, I love Ghost World):
—Dixon Steele: I was born when she kissed me. I died when she left me. I lived a few weeks while she loved me.
Kiss Me, Deadly – Much better than the book
Lady from Shanghai, The – Mirrors, what else can I say but mirrors?
Maltese Falcon, The – The schtuff dreams are made of.
Murder, My Sweet
Narrow Margin, The
Out of the Past
Postman Always Rings Twice, The (original)
Somewhere in the Night
To Have and Have Not (which may or may not technically be noir)
Touch of Evil
Where the Sidewalk Ends
Woman in the Window, The
Thrillers and Neo Noir
Clockwork Orange, A
Devil in a Blue Dress
Final Analysis – Doesn’t get a great rating on IMDB, but I like it.
Kill Me Again
Last Seduction, The
Pacific Heights – Creepy.
Red Rock West
Sudden Impact – My favorite Dirty Harry movie.
Vertigo (and most Hitchcock movies)
Quirky (for lack of a better term)
And Now My Love (Toute Une Vie) – Though I’ve heard horrible things about the DVD version, which I have, but can’t bring myself to watch,
Art School Confidential
Crimes and Misdemeanors
Ghost World – I can’t get enough of this movie.
Lilies of the Field
Sideways – Can’t get enough of this one either.
Soldier in the Rain – Based on the book by the late, great William Goldman.
Godfather Movies – All 3, the third one’s not as bad as it seems initially and if someone besides Sofia Coppola had played that part it would “read” much better.
Christmas Story, A
Miracle on 34th Street
Shop Around the Corner
(since I’m posting on Christmas Day, more holiday movies then)
Where Does This Fit?
Born Losers (John Floyd) – The movie that introduced Billy Jack, before he got too preachy. This one’s just a biker movie. How Billy got his start. When I was younger, I loved going to all the biker movies. That’s how I got introduced to Jack Nicholson before his breakout role in Easy Rider
Awful Truth, The
Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer, The
Bringing Up Baby
His Girl Friday – Classic and hilarious
Libeled Lady – This and Love Crazy below, both with William Powell and Myrna Loy are terrific.
Monkey Business (Marx Brothers)
My Favorite Wife
My Man Godfrey
Philadelphia Story, The
Thin Man series
To Be or Not to Be (original) – Proves you can laugh at Nazis, even at the time they were in power.
—Colonel Ehrhardt: They named a brandy after Napoleon, they made a herring out of Bismarck, and the Fuhrer is going to end up as a piece of cheese!
Monte Walsh (both versions)
Shootist, The – I put The Shootist out of alphabetical order because I see it as a pair with Monte Walsh, both about people who’ve outlived their time, a theme I like to explore in my own writing.
Shane – If I had to show one western to a Martian to show them what the genre is it would be this.
Science Fiction/Horror – Not a big science fiction or horror guy these days. Liked them more as a kid.
Haunting, The (original)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (original)
A Hard Day’s Night
Help! – Help me if you can I’m feeling down…
Let It Be
Can’t Buy Me Love – Even though it’s named after a Beatles song, which is played at the end, it’s got nothing to do with the Beatles, but it’s still fun.
In-Laws, The (original)
My Cousin Vinnie – One of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen and no matter how many times I watch it I always laugh
Reuben Reuben – A treasure!
Ramones: It’s Alive – Okay, maybe it’s not a musical per se, but it is music and ya gotta love The Ramones: “One, two, three, four…”
Singin’ in the Rain
Wizard of Oz, The
What about you? What movies do you like to watch over and over again?
And now for the usual BSP:
I'm thrilled by the great reviews that Broken Windows has been receiving. Here’s a small sampling:
Betty Webb, Mystery Scene Magazine: "Broken Windows is extraordinary."
Criminal Element: "Although it’s set in 1994, it’s eerie how timely this story is. There’s an undeniable feeling of unease that threads through the narrative, which virtually oozes with the grit, glitz, and attitude of L.A. in the ‘90s. I’m an ecstatic new fan of Duke’s."
"Duke and company practically beg for their own TV show."
John Dwaine McKenna, Mysterious Book Report: "This electrifying novel will jolt your sensibilities, stir your conscience and give every reader plenty of ammunition for the next mixed group where the I [immigration] -word is spoken!"
I’m also honored and thrilled – more than I can say – that my story Windward appears in The Best American Mystery Stories of 2018, edited by Louise Penny and Otto Penzler. I wrote a blog on that on SleuthSayers if you want to check it out: https://www.sleuthsayers.org/2018/10/the-impossible-dream.html .
I’m doubly thrilled to say that Windward won the Macavity Award at Bouchercon a few weeks ago. Wow! And thank you to everyone who voted for it.