The Oscar Quest: Criminally Underseen Films

I had some trouble coming up with this one. Because someone like me is the worst one to judge what is or isn’t underseen. I drop titles all the time and other people are like, “What the fuck is that?” And I’m like, “What are you talking about? You haven’t heard of Necessary Roughness?” (Note: I fucking love that movie.) My standpoint is skewed. This is my life. For someone who barely watches movies, they might not know some of this stuff. So I wasn’t sure what really counts as underseen.

However, I can be reasonably sure that the ones I chose are very much underseen. For the majority of people, I can pick any film on the list I’m about to present to you, and know, almost for certain, that you haven’t seen it. And it’s either because it’s hard to find, is forgotten, or is just plain undervalued by history. And that’s not to say you haven’t seen any or all of the films on the list I’m about to provide, it’s just that these films need to be seen more.

So the way this is gonna work is — the first list will be of 50 films that I am almost certain nobody (meaning, the vast majority of people) has seen. And the second list will be of 25 films that I can’t quite gauge how underseen they are, but even so, I consider them underseen and think they need to be seen more regardless of how well-known they are.

We’re gonna go in chronological order. I’m also not gonna write any thoughts on them. Many of them appeared on my Favorite Films I Discovered list (link at the bottom), and I’ve talked about them a bunch in the articles. By now, either you’re gonna see them, or you really don’t give a shit.

  1. Bad Girl (1931)
  2. The Guardsman (1931)
  3. Skippy (1931)
  4. The Affairs of Cellini (1934)
  5. Dodsworth (1936)
  6. Stage Door (1937)
  7. Our Town (1940)
  8. Blossoms in the Dust (1941)
  9. Penny Serenade (1941)
  10. The Human Comedy (1943)
  11. The More the Merrier (1943)
  12. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)
  13. To Each His Own (1946)
  14. Johnny Belinda (1948)
  15. The Search (1948)
  16. Sitting Pretty (1948)
  17. The Hasty Heart (1949)
  18. The Member of the Wedding (1952)
  19. Moulin Rouge (1952)
  20. Lili (1953)
  21. The Moon is Blue (1953)
  22. The Country Girl (1954)
  23. Baby Doll (1956)
  24. The Rainmaker (1956)
  25. The Last Angry Man (1959)
  26. The Sundowners (1960)
  27. David and Lisa (1962)
  28. The L-Shaped Room (1962)
  29. America, America (1963)
  30. Love with the Proper Stranger (1963)
  31. The Best Man (1964)
  32. The Collector (1965)
  33. Inside Daisy Clover (1965)
  34. A Patch of Blue (1965)
  35. A Thousand Clowns (1965)
  36. Last Summer (1969)
  37. The Sterile Cuckoo (1969)
  38. The Great White Hope (1970)
  39. Lovers and Other Strangers (1970)
  40. Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
  41. Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? (1971)
  42. The Ruling Class (1972)
  43. Claudine (1974)
  44. Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977)
  45. An Unmarried Woman (1978)
  46. Breaking Away (1979)
  47. Inside Moves (1980)
  48. The Stunt Man (1980)
  49. Only When I Laugh (1981)
  50. Hope and Glory (1987)

Don’t focus so much on “I’ve seen that.” Focus on the idea that more people need to see these films.

Here’s the list of films that, while a bit more well-known than the others, still need to be seen by more people:

  1. Heaven Can Wait (1943)
  2. Leave Her to Heaven (1945)
  3. The Fallen Idol (1948)
  4. I Remember Mama (1948)
  5. The Snake Pit (1948)
  6. Decision Before Dawn (1951)
  7. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
  8. The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)
  9. The Bad Seed (1956)
  10. The Three Faces of Eve (1957)
  11. Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
  12. This Sporting Life (1963)
  13. Darling (1965)
  14. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)
  15. Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)
  16. Sleuth (1972)
  17. Paper Moon (1973)
  18. The Man in the Glass Booth (1975)
  19. The Great Santini (1979)
  20. Arthur (1981)
  21. My Favorite Year (1982)
  22. A Soldier’s Story (1984)
  23. Runaway Train (1985)
  24. Chaplin (1992)
  25. Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

Also check out: The Oscar Quest: Favorite Films I Discovered

The Oscar Quest: Worst Films I Had to Endure

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