1,001 Movies – Week 17

“Better Off Dead” to “A Big Hand for a Little Lady”


Better Off Dead (1985) – One of the funniest films ever made; it can be watch over and over again and you can never get tired of it.  A great story of the triumph of the underdog, with an ending that doesn’t make you want to throw up! (SC)

Betty Blue (1986) – Disturbing, sexually provocative, violent, dirty, often uncomfortable tale of temptation, obsession, possession and schizophrenia. The opening five minutes feature some of the most ambitious, in yer face sex scenes ever filmed (complete with hilarious voice-over: “I think I’d known her about a week!”). Over-long, it’s true, but you will never fall in love with a screen icon as easily as you will with Béatrice Dalle in this. French Title: 37°2 Le Matin(KT)

Big (1988) – Magical Penny Marshall film. The dancing keyboard scene between Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia is a classic moment in cinema history.  A charming movie that made Hanks a household name. (GS)

Big Fish (2003) – A young man attempts to find out more about his dying father, trying to piece together the truth from his myriad of tall tales. Tim Burton brings another fable lovingly to life. (GS)

A Big Hand for a Little Lady (1966) – Everyone has a movie or two that whenever you run across it on TV you stop what you’re doing and  watch it. This is one of mine. The basic plot sounds simple – a gambling husband (Henry Fonda) gets into a big-time poker game and risks everything his family has. During the game he’s suffers a heart-attack and his wife (Joanne Woodward), who doesn’t play cards, is forced to take over his hand and play in his stead. A great cast of character actors round out the fun and then, of course, there’s that jaw-dropping finale. (GS)

 Originally published in Raspberry World – Volume 2, Issue 1 (June/July 2007) 


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