Five Favorite Films with Joe Dante

The director of The Hole shares a handful of films that have impacted him.

Joe Dante's movies root themselves into your psyche and refuse to let go. Those little guys with eating restrictions (Gremlins), watching movies during a national crisis (Matinee), having creepy neighbors (The 'Burbs), and accidentally getting shrunk down and injected into someone (Innerspace) remain some of the most memorable of all time. It shouldn't come as any surprise that his latest film, The Hole, is pretty much for kids, just not the ones who are faint of heart.

Here are the great films that inspired this fantastic filmmaker. Watching them is kind of like going to film school for free. You can send Joe a thank you card.


Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958; 95% Tomatometer)

This mesmerizingly brilliant film noir was Orson Welles' last Hollywood movie. Dumped into second feature playdates, it's finally become more popular than Citizen Kane. It was recut and reshot by the studio but a longer preview version surfaced a few years ago and is preferable to the well-meaning but bogus "reconstruction" edit which seems to be the extant version. Both are available on the dvd box set.




The Ballad of Cable Hogue (Sam Peckinpah, 1970; 92% Tomatometer)

Sam Peckinpah followed The Wild Bunch with a deeply personal, lyrical western love story which was promptly buried by its distributor. Its failure to find an audience nearly caused the director to abandon westerns altogether, but over the years its reputation has grown and it stands as one of Peckinpah's finest.




The Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, 1935, 100% Tomatometer)

One of the premier examples of a sequel that bests the original. Director James Whale received carte blanche to make this quirky, stylish and mordantly funny follow up to what was probably the greatest horror film of its day. The amped-up creation scene is still one of the genre's most memorable.




The Black Book (Anthony Mann, 1949; N/A Tomatometer)

Originally issued as Reign of Terror, Anthony Mann's Classics-Illustrated-meets-film-noir treatment of the French revolution is one of the most striking low budget period pieces to come from Hollywood, abetted by graphic b/w imagery from the great d.p. John Alton and striking production design from the always reliable William Cameron Menzies. Plus it's witty moves like lightning.




Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968; 98% Tomatometer)

Sergio Leone cashed in his Dollars chips to make the Euro western to end them all. Thematically rich and generally regarded as the greatest spaghetti western of them all, brilliantly choreographed to Ennio Morricone's unforgettable music. Impressive set-pieces abound and, combined with iconic casting and eye-filling US locations, mark this as a dreamscape of an Old West about to be invaded by "progress".




The Hole is in theaters and concurrently available on home video now.

Comments

Dale Rontry

Dale Rontry

Dante looks a lot like a hot Anna Kendrick.

Oct 22 - 10:43 AM

Hugo Emanuel Melo

Hugo Emanuel Melo

I believe a visit to the Optometrist is due!!!!

Oct 23 - 03:21 AM

Ryan Venson

Ryan Venson

I'm not saying you have to find Anna Kendrick attractive, but........what?

Oct 24 - 07:21 PM

Sam Tebow

Sam Tebow

as Ray said I didnt know that some people are able to make $7575 in one month on the internet. did you look at this link http://bit.ly/X24LHP

Oct 28 - 10:09 AM

CFM

'schak Attack

Please stop smoking crack cocaine.

Oct 30 - 08:59 AM

Ryan Doyle

Ryan Doyle

damn joe, looking good.

Oct 22 - 11:00 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I'm a little surprised he didn't pick any of his beloved 50s matinee-type films like "Them" or "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". And the second "Once Upon a Time" pick in a row. I feel a little lonely preferring "Good Bad & the Ugly". Plus I got schooled. I gotta see "Cable Hogue" and "Black Book", and I don't think I've actually seen this "preview" cut he speaks of. Checking, and yes. That's the 108 minute version available on VHS. It was actually found in 1976. "Few years ago" indeed. Joe Dante is still the man. "Pirhana", "Howling", "Gremlins", plus he was good enough to give Dick Miller steady employment in the 80s.

Oct 22 - 11:37 AM

Dave J

Dave J

"Cable Hogue" is terrific and is metaphoric but I'm very intrigued about seeing "The Black Book" though! I'm going to keep my eye out for that one on TCM whose probably shown everything Anthony Mann has done at one time or another!

Oct 22 - 01:13 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

With you on Good, Bad and Ugly. It routinely floats in and out of my top 5.

Oct 24 - 03:37 AM

Dave J

Dave J

In my opinion without "The Good The Bad...." there wouldn't be a Warners produced "Once Upon A Time..." and it was also during that time that Warner Brothers started to chose the actors Leone didn't really want!

Oct 24 - 01:47 PM

Dave J

Dave J

"Cable Hogue" is terrific and is metaphoric but I'm very intrigued about seeing "The Black Book" though! I'm going to keep my eye out for that one on TCM whose probably shown everything Anthony Mann has done at one time or another!

Oct 22 - 01:13 PM

Sean Wade

Sean Wade

Nice to see ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST get some more love.

Oct 22 - 06:50 PM

vic40186

victor lopez

I love Bride of Frankenstein

Oct 22 - 07:29 PM

ap sirius

karl anderson

Its too bad Mr Dante lost his way... his tongue in cheek take on horror films, when it worked, was genius. But when it didnt work it stunk up the joint.

Oct 22 - 09:12 PM

Hugo Emanuel Melo

Hugo Emanuel Melo

I believe a visit to the Optometrist is due!!!!

Oct 23 - 03:21 AM

Captain Terror

Captain Terror

FYI-The Black Book can be found on Youtube. Haven't actually watched it yet, but it appears to be chock-full of the absurd lighting and camera placement that I love about noir and pre-50s horror. If you're into that sort of thing.

Oct 23 - 07:44 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

With you on Good, Bad and Ugly. It routinely floats in and out of my top 5.

Oct 24 - 03:37 AM

Dave J

Dave J

In my opinion without "The Good The Bad...." there wouldn't be a Warners produced "Once Upon A Time..." and it was also during that time that Warner Brothers started to chose the actors Leone didn't really want!

Oct 24 - 01:47 PM

Dave J

Dave J

In my opinion without "The Good The Bad...." there wouldn't be a Warners produced "Once Upon A Time..." and it was also during that time that Warner Brothers started to chose the actors Leone didn't really want!

Oct 24 - 01:47 PM

Ryan Venson

Ryan Venson

I'm not saying you have to find Anna Kendrick attractive, but........what?

Oct 24 - 07:21 PM

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