The Best ’70s Crime Films You’ve Never Seen

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. This week, we head back nearly half a century for some great crime films of the 1970s!)

Some may try to argue otherwise, but most reasonable film lovers with taste will agree that the best decade for movies was the 1970s. There are obviously fantastic feature films from every year since 1906 – the year the very first feature was produced – but pound for pound, the ’70s remain unbeatable across nearly every genre.

While the decade produced fantastic comedies, horror films, dramas, and more, its record when it comes to the gritty, shifty, and violent world of crooks, thieves, and killers is unmatched. The Godfather (1972), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), The Hot Rock (1972), Shaft (1971), Get Carter (1971), Freebie and the Bean (1974)… this entire page could be filled with titles of terrific crime-focused movies from the 70s. But those are all ones you’re already aware of – which brings us to this list of the best ’70s crime films you’ve never seen.

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The Best Revenge Movies You’ve Never Seen

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. This week, we look six dishes best served cold…that’s right, we’re talking the best revenge movies you’ve never seen!)

Revenge movies never go out of style. Even now, in a year where films are only just starting to trickle back into theaters, revenge stands front and center. From Spiral to Wrath of Man, theaters in 2021 are already slathering the silver screen with vengeance-fueled entertainment. Nature is healing.

When it comes right down to it, revenge is a theme that’s present in an enormous percentage of the movies we watch and love. It’s very often the motivation behind action films (Death Wish, 1974; John Wick, 2014), westerns (Once Upon a Time in the West, 1968; The Revenant, 2015), and even horror movies (The Last House on the Left, 1972; Friday the 13th, 1980), but its icy tendrils don’t stop there. Think comedies (9 to 5, 1980), sci-fi epics (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, 1982), prestige dramas (In the Bedroom, 2001), and so many more.

Of course, you not only recognize all of those mentioned but are probably already a fan, so let’s get to the point of this column and recommend some far lesser known films that fit the bill. Keep reading for a look at six of the best revenge movies you’ve probably never seen.

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The Best Hal Holbrook Movies You’ve Never Seen

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. This week, we look at some lesser-known gems from a recently passed star.)

It’s been a while since the great Hal Holbrook graced the big screen. He showed up on television here and there, and he starred in a handful of indies over the past few years, but it was Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (2012) that last saw the graceful, gravelly voiced actor reach millions with his charm and eloquence. Holbrook passed recently at the age of ninety-five and leaves behind a filmography filled with memorable turns in fantastic movies.

Some of his best-known films/performances include All the President’s Men (1976), The Fog (1980), Creepshow (1982), The Firm (1993), and Into the Wild (2007), but while they’re being rightfully celebrated there are plenty more to enjoy despite their far lower profile. They’re not all easily accessible and are instead criminally unavailable, but sometimes good and great things require effort. Or a YouTube search… anyway, keep reading for a look at six underseen films worth watching starring the late, great Hal Holbrook.

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The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen About Witches

The Wretched Box Office

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. This week, we’re getting our witch on.)

One of the many odd notes that will be attached to this period in American history is one concerning an unprecedented box-office streak. With traditional movie theaters closed for business and studios pushing back their summer releases, a small indie film managed to dominate the box office. The Wretched (2019) is a riff on Fright Night (1985) which itself was inspired by Rear Window (1954), but this time it’s a witch who moves in next door intent on causing all kinds of murderous mayhem.

The movie’s okay – it’s worth it for the practical effects alone – but its success shows in part the eternal appeal of witchy shenanigans for moviegoers. They’ve remained of interest across the past century with popular titles from Haxan (1922), The Wizard of Oz (1939), and Black Sunday (1960) to Hocus Pocus (1993), The Blair Witch Project (1999), and The Witch (2015).

As is evident by the column’s title, though, I’m far more interested in the less popular films that are still every bit worthy of your attention. One example, the fantastically under-appreciated Beautiful Creatures (2013), would have made the cut here had I not already included it on a list of YA adaptations you haven’t seen, but happily I have six more picks equally worthy of inclusion. So keep reading for a look at the best movies you’ve never seen about witches.

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The Best Brian Dennehy Movies You’ve Never Seen

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. This week we look back on the career of a late, great acting talent!)

We lose people everyday, but while most of us will be lucky to live on in other people’s memories, actors have a chance at immortality through their films. We lost another one of the greats recently with the passing of Brian Dennehy, but we still have his movies. He worked pretty steadily from 1977 on with a mix of supporting roles and leads, playing big teddy bears and even bigger tough guys, and he was rarely less than memorable.

His best and best-remembered are a mix of films from the 80s and 90s with the likes of First Blood (1982), Cocoon (1985), F/X (1986), Best Seller (1987), Gladiator (1992), and Tommy Boy (1995), while three of my personal favorites include Colin Higgins’ Foul Play (1978), Lawrence Kasdan’s Silverado (1985), and Alan Pacula’s Presumed Innocent (1990). With more than sixty features and over a hundred television appearances, Dennehy has been in plenty of pictures you’ve enjoyed and even more good to great ones you’ve probably never seen. So let’s take a look at six of the latter!

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The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen About Magicians

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. This week we go point your attention over there while we discuss movies about magicians over here!)

Movies about magicians come in all shapes and varieties. To be clear, I’m speaking of films about the performers, those who do magic tricks and illusions, as opposed to the wizards you find in fantasy films and late-80s Fred Savage movies. They range from documentaries (Make Believe, 2010) to comedies (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, 2013) to biopics (Death Defying Acts, 2007) to Swedish genre-benders (The Magician, 1958) to BDSM noirs (Lord of Illusions, 1995) to the best movie about a magician you’ll ever find (The Prestige, 2006).

/Film’s own Peter Sciretta previously compiled a list of the best films about magic and magicians which includes a few of the titles mentioned above, but readers of this column know the goal here is to recommend ones that are far less celebrated. To that end, keep reading for a look at six great and/or entertaining movies about magicians that you probably haven’t seen.

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best invisible man movies

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. This week we go looking for little-seen movies featuring invisibility!)

This week’s big new release is a fresh take on a classic – a Universal Monsters classic to be precise – but while Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man finds its own identity by playing around with the formula, plenty of other films have followed similar paths to entirely different destinations. What started with James Whales’ 1933 classic grew to include direct sequels and plenty of films that found inspiration in the H.G. Wells adaptation.

The plot point of people turning invisible has been through numerous iterations, from Kurt Russell’s college shenanigans for Disney in Now You See Him, Now You Don’t (1972) to Paul Verhoeven’s decidedly R-rated horrors in Hollow Man (2000) to even raunchier fare like The Erotic Adventures of the Invisible Man (2003). But you know all of those, so how about we take a look at some entertaining examples you’ve most likely missed over the years?

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The Best South Korean Films You’ve Never Seen

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. This week we celebrate Bong Joon Ho’s big win at the Academy Awards with his masterpiece ‘Parasite’ by looking back at some lesser known gems from South Korea.)

History was made recently when a non-English language film won Best Picture at the Oscars for the very first time. Parasite absolutely deserves the honor, but even better, the win is moving people toward seeking out other South Korean films too.

Danielle Ryan already put together a fantastic primer featuring some of South Korea’s best known and beloved modern classics, and every one of them are worth finding and watching immediately. I’d add to that list a few more popular gems including Memories of Murder (2003), The Chaser (2008), The Good the Bad the Weird (2008), The Housemaid (2010), The Villainess (2017), and Extreme Job (2019), and I’ll also toss in a few lower profile titles I’ve previously highlighted with this very column including The Foul King (2000), Sex Is Zero (2002), Save the Green Planet (2003), 3-Iron (2004), The President’s Last Bang (2005), Breathless (2008), Private Eye (2009), Confession of Murder (2012), The Thieves (2012), Hwayi: A Monster Boy (2013), Confidential Assignment (2017), A Taxi Driver (2017), and – look, I’ve recommended a lot of Korean films through this column.

And I’m about to suggest six more across varied genres, so please keep reading for a look at six of the best South Korean films you probably haven’t seen yet!

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The Best World War I Movies You’ve Never Seen

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. This week we go back in time with some movies set during the war to end all wars.)

World War I doesn’t get as much love in theaters as its younger brother World War II, and while there’s no good reason for that I assume it’s simply because WWII offers a greater variety of locales and military hardware to explore. There have been some acclaimed ones over the years, though, from All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) to Paths of Glory (1957) and from A Very Long Engagement (2004) to Mata Hari (1985). Fine, one of those wasn’t quite as acclaimed as the others, but I’m just making sure you’re paying attention.

While the death toll ranges depending on your Google source — seriously, I found numbers from nine to twenty-five million — there’s a reason it was called “the war to end war.” Sure, that was a bit presumptuous, but the point remains that it was an epic conflict involving tens of millions of lives. You’d think we’d have more stories up on the big screen, but in lieu of quantity we at least have quality starting with Sam Mendes’ beautiful and brilliantly structured 1917 which is currently in limited release and absolutely worth your time. While you wait for that one to expand into your area, though, might I recommend a few older titles? I might, and I will if you keep reading.

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The Best Biopics You’ve Never Seen

Borg McEnroe

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. This week we check out some under-seen movies about real people like you and me, but you know, better known for doing stuff.)

The end of the year is often considered to be prestige season when it comes to movies as studios roll out their classiest films in the hope of winning awards and accolades. The topics run the gamut, but a major presence every year are the biopics — as in pictures about biological humans, presumably — and this year is no different. Richard Jewell, Harriet, Seberg, and Ford v Ferrari are just a few of the biopics opening in the last two months of 2019, and some of them are even well worth the praise they’ve been receiving. (Hint: it’s the one with the fast cars.)

Not all biopics have been as lucky, though, as a crowded field over the years has seen plenty of great ones fade into memory. That’s right, I’m still furious that so many of you slept on the masterpiece that is Borg vs McEnroe (2017). Lucky for you I’m here to point you towards a few of those lesser seen gems. So keep reading for a look at six of the best biopics you’ve probably never seen!

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