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General Urko

There's a novel called Changing Places in which a group of English lit professors play a game called Humiliation where they admit to a famous work they haven't read and then get points for everyone there who has read it. Late in the game, one professor, falling behind in the score, pulls out his trump card--Hamlet. He wins the game but when word of it gets out on campus he's denied tenure and let go.

Cool list. I've only even heard of a couple of them.


Thanks for the tag. I'll get on it right away. You win the prize for most obscure titles (though I'll try to come up with some). Like General Urko I haven't even heard of most of these films before, but that Romain Gary poster is amazing.


i'll try to make mine as embarrassing as possible, which shouldn't be too hard. thanks for the tag! oh, and the Downey film is indeed a porno. the premise alone is genius: a small-town Indiana gal pays for her yearly vacation to New York City by prostituting herself. i think it derails and she's murdered at the end. that's how Downey described it the other night. don't put out the box set without including this one!


Wow... just -- wow. I've never heard of any of these films before. What a delightful read! I too want to see all of these now. Thanks, Mr. Brain.

And are Benten releasing a box set of films by Robert Downey sr.? Sounds cool.


you left off Les Aventures de Rabbi Jacob.

Mike White

Too bad Superhappyfun.com went out of business. A lot of these used to be available there - MOVE, etc. A lot of these are on my "want" list as well, including SWEET SMELL OF SEX, BIRDS IN PERU, etc.



Urko -- David Lodge, yes, very funny book. I had forgotten about it -- thanks! I read it so many years ago.

Mike -- I've seen Rabbi Jacob -- back in the early days of HBO they used to show it quite often. I was amazed to see that in Paris right now there's a new musical theater piece based on it.

Mr. White -- You went out of business too early, methinks. Please track down all of the missing titles, THEN you can fold. ;-)


Tully -- thanks for the clarification about the Downey film. I will be sure to ask him about it!

Karsten -- Shh....

Peter Nellhaus

I surprised you didn't list Le Depart. For myself, I have seen Alex in Wonderland, Get to know Your Rabbit and Dusty and Sweets McGee. I missed some of the films you listed because I was still a tad too young to see them or, when I was in NYC, there was always something else to see. When it came to current films, I usually only saw them at critics screenings. I did see the preview for Birds in Peru during one of my rare visits to Denver's out of the way (for me) art theater. My interest in that film was mostly from reading Gary's novel, The Ski Bum.


I watched the first ten minutes of Dusty And Sweets McGee on Youtube earlier this year and meant to contact the dude who uploaded the clip where I could find the whole thing, or where he got his hands on it, etc. I was pretty blown away by what I saw; a sort of collage of early-70s seediness set to a soundtrack of songs you never really noticed until hearing them in this context ("The Locomotion," "Ride, Captain, Ride.")


I myself don't know enough about movies to know what I'm missing, but I have a friend, a VERY serious movie guy, who will admit, when prodded, to never having seen Casablanca.


My mother took me to a little theater in Colorado Springs called The Flick when I was very young and we saw Rabbi Jacob. We both recall having a great time and laughing non-stop. Last year when I found a DVD release of the film, I wondered what happened. As the kids say, "Fail!" So much for nostalgia.

There is a film I've tried to find for many years now called Minotaur about a singer, something like an evil Elvis, and all I remember was the poster art depicted a woman's body in a giant champagne glass. Anyone heard of this? It was at some down-and-out independent theater for awhile over a decade ago but I never travelled to the dark side of town to catch it. That image always stayed with me.



Thanks for participating! I see that somewhere in teh shuffle, one of the original rules got lost: a credit to my blog, and also to Out 1 & Lazy Eye Theatre for getting the ball rolling.

Could you add this to your intro - we could all use the traffic (well, Piper gets lots of visitors already, but it's the principle of the thing...)

That Fuzzy Bastard

Ah, that Zalman King, back in the days when he was a Promising Young Actor rather than a Promising Middle-Aged Pornographer! Anyone remember Harlan Ellison's 1970 rave about how Zalman King was going to be the next major star? Always wondered if the two of them shared pick-up tips.

@ Steve: I don't remember the title of that short film either, but I do remember that it screened on a double-bill in NYC with the short "Some Folks Call It A Sling Blade", the precursor to the Billy Bob Thorton feature. Hope that helps in tracking it down.

Dean Treadway

What a fun list! You made me think of so many more movies I wanna see on DVD!! You inspire me to make a whole new list! And I love you're writing style! I'm officially a fan!

Dean Treadway

PS: Five movies your list made me think of: THE WAR BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN (with Jack Lemmon and the animated drawings of James Thurber); BUSTER AND BILLIE (tragic 40s era romance, made in 1974 with Jan Michael Vincent); THAT'S THE WAY OF THE WORLD (1976 soul musical with Harvey Keitel and Earth Wind & Fire); STREETWISE (the Oscar-nominated documentary about Seattle street kids); and KIPPERBANG (a charming 80s movie about a British boys school, directed by Michael Apted of "7 UP" series fame).


If you're ever in Baltimore, the Charles Village location of Video Americain has (legitimate) VHS issues of at least two of these titles: Futz and Get to Know Your Rabbit. I found the former tedious and the latter interesting. I've also seen Dusty and Sweets McGee, which I love.

Mickey B

Nice list, though I think I'd rather avoid some of these movies. But as a Jean Seberg fan, I'd be curious to see Birds in Peru. Just for the record, Futz was based on a play by Rochelle Owens -- Joseph Stefano adapted it.


Alex in Wonderland will be on TCM on Dec 12, 2010 at 4:30am ET

Sam Chamberlain

Brand X will be showing at the New Museum in New York on April 9th 2011, followed by a panel discussion including Wynn Chamberlain. For more information see Brand X Event

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