Everybody has a film they personally believe is an overlooked classic. Dave is mine.
A film often goes on a strange journey before it becomes known as a classic. Many of the films we now recognise as classics were not greeted with huge enthusiasm at the time of their release. It's a Wonderful Life is a prime example. The Frank Capra film was not a box office success and received mixed reviews on release. It was only when it was shown on various US television channels as a Christmas tradition in the 1970s and 80s that it grew in critical and popular stature. Now, it is regularly included in lists of the best films of all time.
I have seen this happen a few times in my lifetime. A film panned on release that slowly grows in people's hearts until it becomes a classic.
The most obvious example is The Shawshank Redemption, which found its audience on DVD and is now firmly ensconced at the top of the Internet Movie Database's top 250 films of all time.
Another example is Groundhog Day. It did well at the box office and received great reviews, but has only grown in stature since its release. Princess Bride is another film with modest box office takings that has become a much-loved classic.
These slow burners tend to be quiet, understated little films that don't shout for attention and so can sometimes be missed in the multiplex throng. They were discovered by new audiences at the video store. A film becomes a classic, it seems, when it lingers in the popular consciousness for long enough and defies the ageing process. It becomes a film we just can't quit.
But, sometimes this doesn't happen. Sometimes a great film is lost at the multiplex and never gets a second chance. It instead become an overlooked classic - deeply loved by a small group of people. These films are deeply personal.
So, what film do I feel is an overlooked classic?
It is a small film from 1993 called Dave. This choice doesn't make me look particularly smart or cool, but there is just something about Dave that I find touching.
It is small, funny and human. It feels like a Capra movie made in 1993. It has cute characters and a lovely story arc. The script is perfectly crafted. It is not sensational or earth shattering, it's just Dave. A cute little movie that always makes me feel good.
Don't you love the way movies can make you feel good? Movies have helped me out when I feel sad for as long as I can remember. They've never failed me yet. Well, not the good ones.
So, what are your overlooked classics? What films do you feel have had a rough deal and deserve more love? Is there a film you think should get more respect, but no-one remembers?
Let me know below.
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