Love old or unusual movies but never know when they’re on? Here are several I recommend:
Julie (1956): I generally don’t recommend bad movies in this column, but sometimes I just can’t resist. There are times when only a bad movie will satisfy a particular, twisted movie-watching mood you find yourself in. For such times I recommend Julie, one of two hilariously bad “Damsel in Distress” movies made by the otherwise totally reliable Doris Day. After being widowed, Doris’s character marries Louis Jourdan, whose great looks and charm temporarily distract her from the fact that he’s maybe wound a bit too tightly. It soon turns out that he’s not merely psychopathically jealous, but oops, he strangled her first husband! (Don’t you hate it when that happens?) It all turns pretty campy as Doris, aided by nice guy Barry Sullivan, flees to San Francisco to escape this murderous maniac. This is a perfect movie to watch with an irreverent friend! (For the record, the other silly movie Doris made in this category was the equally hilarious Midnight Lace, with Rex Harrison and John Gavin.).
Turner Classic Movies, 11 a.m. Tuesday
Cube (1998): Sometimes a fun little existential puzzle mystery movie is just what you’re in the mood for. At least I’m often in that mood. If you are in that frame of mind, Cube is just what the doctor ordered. Six strangers find themselves in an impossible and deadly cube that has multiple deadly rooms. Their challenge: Figure out what talents each may have so that they can work together to escape. Don’t look for tons of reality of rationality in this mind-bender. But it’s taut, concise and intriguing!
Now streaming on Amazon Prime.
Dolemite is my Name (2019): Eddie Murphy makes a triumphant comeback in this sassy biopic. He’s playing the legendary Rudy Ray Moore. He’s a frustrated comic and singer in Los Angeles in the late 1960s when he develops a comic persona based on stories he’s heard on the street. The character, Dolemite, takes off in a kind of underground way. Then Moore gets the bright idea that what the world needs is a Dolemite movie! The affable movie is full of terrific performances from Murphy, Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, Tituss Burgess, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Luenell and many others. It’s a fun return to the tacky early 1970s.
Now streaming on Netflix.
Cake (2015): I’ve been a Jennifer Aniston fan for a long time. I really like this little movie she made about a woman grappling with both chronic pain and chronic exasperation with life. Even though I have not suffered like her character does, just like anyone I can relate to her eye-rolling reaction to the kind of chirpiness and wellness-speak so characteristic of support communities. Aniston’s chagrin and impatience was something I could really, really relate to in this very funny and sad film. It doesn’t hurt that the cast includes the likes of Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington, William H. Macy, Chris Messina, and one of my favorite convicts, Felicity Huffman.
Now streaming on HBO GO / HBO NOW.
Trivia Question 830: Which of this week’s films features cast members who are virtually all veterans of the Canadian television series Forever Knight?
Answer to Trivia Question 828: The ninth and final film Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy made together was Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner in 1967.
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