Coming soon to a DVD player near me

Movie poster for Rififi

It seems to be a trend to post a list of movies one hasn’t seen but plans to watch.

My Netflix queue is currently around 450 items long. Some of these are compilations of TV shows and recordings of concerts, but even without them it’s too long a list to burden you with here.

But I can share a chunk of it. Here are the next 10 movies I’m scheduled to receive. The summaries are from the Netflix website.

  1. Du rififi chez les hommes AKA Rififi (1955) Four men plan a technically perfect crime, but the human element intervenes. "Jules Dassin won the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival for this French noir caper (with English subtitles) in which jewel thieves pull off an elaborate store heist. Recently released from prison, Tony le Stephanois (Jean Servais) gathers criminals Jo, Mario and Cesar for one last heist. But when Tony refuses to give part of the loot to rival gangster Pierre, Pierre retaliates by kidnapping Jo’s son."
  2. I soliti ignoti (Big Deal on Madonna Street) (1958). "Director Mario Monicelli delivers this deft satire of the classic caper film Rififi, introducing a bungling group of amateurs — including an ex-jockey (Carlo Pisacane), a former boxer (Vittorio Gassman) and an out-of-work photographer (Marcello Mastroianni). The crew plans a seemingly simple heist with a retired burglar (Totó), who serves as a consultant. But this Italian job is doomed from the start."
  3. Bob Le Flambeur (Bob the Gambler) (1956). "In Jean-Pierre Melville‘s intelligent drama, Bob (Roger Duchesne) is a compulsive gambler with a deep well of compassion. He’s a father figure to street kids Paulo (Daniel Cauchy) and Anne (Isabelle Corey), and he cares for them as if they were his own. When he runs out of money, the three hatch a plan to rob a Deauville casino. Can they pull off the ultimate heist, or has Bob run out of luck?"
  4. The Good Thief (2003). " In this remake of Jean-Pierre Melville’s classic Bob le Flambeur, Nick Nolte stars as Bob Montagnet, a middle-aged gambler caught up in the seedy underworld of Nice, France. When a last-ditch effort to free himself from his self-destructive lifestyle falls through, Montagnet faces his toughest hand yet. Ralph Fiennes and Tcheky Karyo also star in this stylish neo-noir crime thriller."
  5. Damage (1992). " Honorable government official Stephen Fleming (Jeremy Irons) strays when he meets a beautiful woman (Juliette Binoche) at a cocktail party. Even finding out that she’s engaged to his son (Rupert Graves) doesn’t dampen Fleming’s passion, and a dangerous affair ignites, resulting in more than one broken heart — including that of Fleming’s loyal wife, Ingrid (Miranda Richardson). Based on Josephine Hart’s novel."
  6. The Getaway (1972). "Master thief Carter ‘Doc’ McCoy (Steve McQueen) and his wife, Carol (Ali MacGraw), escape with the loot from a botched robbery. Thanks to a sinister succession of double-crosses, they soon find themselves running from the law, from a vengeful cohort and from a crime boss’s deadly hit squad, all while trying to pull off the ultimate robbery."
  7. Inherit the Wind (1960). "Spencer Tracy (in one of his best roles) as lawyer Henry Drummond and Frederic March as Matthew Harrison Brady square off as opposing attorneys in this blistering courtroom drama about the famed 1930s "Scopes Monkey Trial," where a Tennessee teacher was taken to task for teaching Darwinism in the schoolroom. Song-and-dance man Gene Kelly co-stars as newspaper reporter H.L. Mencken."
  8. The King of Marvin Gardens (1972). "Uptight deejay David Staebler (Jack Nicholson) travels to Atlantic City, N.J., to learn more about an outlandish, get-rich-quick scheme cooked up by his manic brother, Jason (Bruce Dern). Despite David’s suspicions, he plays along — but when the plan’s flaws become evident, neither Jason nor his beauty-queen girlfriend (Ellen Burstyn) heed David’s protestations. Director Bob Rafelson‘s evocative drama costars Scatman Crothers."
  9. Primal Fear (1996). "When a blood-spattered altar boy (Ed Norton) is found running from a murder scene, his conviction seems certain. But when arrogant defense attorney Martin Vail (Richard Gere) steps in, the issue of the boy’s possible guilt may be less important than winning the case. Based on the novel by William Diehl, this twisty thriller delivers a perfect police procedural with characters that are deeper than they appear."
  10. Hurlyburly (1998). " Ambition, sex, money and drugs are part of an average couple of days for 1980s Hollywood players Eddie (Sean Penn) and Mickie (Kevin Spacey) — who maintain that things wouldn’t be so bad if they could only figure out the meaning of it all. Anthony Drazan directs this stark and witty adaptation of David Rabe’s popular play with an all-star cast, including Gary Shandling, Chazz Palmintari, Robin Wright Penn, Anna Paquin and Meg Ryan."



5 replies on “Coming soon to a DVD player near me”

  1. Rififi is probably my favourite ever film – the heist scene is amazingly gripping, despite there being no dialogue or music for the whole duration. A real gem.

    Bob Le Flambeur is a great film too – if you enjoy it check out Melville’s later work, like Le Cercle rouge and Le Samouraï.

  2. I’ve never heard of Hurlyburly, but that cast is far out.

    Primal Fear is great, Norton is terrific in everything but has never topped his first (or what i think most of us first saw him in). It does some things many 90’s films do better than almost any 90’s film. (To say that as cryptically as possible.)

  3. Jay: I thought I had a wide knowledge of the heist movie genre, but when the New York Times included a brief primer recently I realized how little I knew. I’m very excited to see Rififi, even though I’ll have to wait until Sunday to find the time. I’m sure it will be worth the wait.

    Anthony: I don’t remember where I heard about Hurlyburly, nor do I know why I’ve heard so little about it. But the cast looks outstanding — so much so that I’m worried the movie can’t possibly fulfill expectations.

    Amy: I’m actually a little afraid of Damage, and not sure why. But it has been on my list for a while and I’ve pushed it off a number of times. I think it’s time for me to face it. I look forward to hearing what you think of it.

    Andrea: I’m afraid it sounds like bragging when I talk about the items in my queue. That’s far from the case; I’m embarrassed to be consumed by movies this way. And knowing that I add two for every one I see, I have faced the reality that I will never see them all. I’ve decided I can live with this knowledge.

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