25 Little known gems that I can't recommend highly enough.

We all have them. Movies, TV shows, & short films that touched us (some uncomfortably) & we never forgot them. When they are things that weren't popular, it makes you love them more. Like it took you to discover them. This is my list & I hope you will give them a look. Thanks.
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Saving Grace (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A young pope who feels he has lost touch with the people accidentally locks himself out of the Vatican and believes it is part of God's plan for him. (112 mins.)
Director: Robert M. Young
“ Don't let the pope storyline scare you. This is a very human man who goes on a quest to reclaim his faith & identity. It is moving, funny, dramatic, & ultimately inspiring. Hard to find but well worth the search. ” - gumbussy
 
2.
Steven Banks: Home Entertainment Center (1989 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.4/10 X  
In this brilliant one-man show, the mild-mannered, thirty-something Steven Banks arrives home after a long day at his dead-end corporate job... (60 mins.)
Director: Tom McLoughlin
“ A made for "Showtime" hour long special, this live show by Steven Banks is amazing. Great story. Funny jokes. Most especially, Mr Banks, who is not only hilarious, but can play about every musical instrument around. You will have to search the internet for this one cause it isn't available on DVD. ” - gumbussy
 
3.
Savannah Smiles (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The young daughter of a politician runs away due to lack of attention. She hides in the car of two not... (105 mins.)
Director: Pierre De Moro
“ Great for kids & parents alike. A sweet storyline with easily one of the greatest child performances caught on film by Ms. Bridgette Anderson. She makes me tear up everytime. ” - gumbussy
 
4.
The Joe Schmo Show (2003 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Faux reality TV show where most of the contestants are actors, and the reactions of the real person surrounded 24/7 by carefully engineered crazy. (60 mins.)
“ A reality experiment, this "Spike TV" show was vastly underrated. (It was probably hurt by the decision to try to do again which was not as successful.) The concept is simple...put one innocent person in a "reality show" like scenerio with a bunch of actors playing typical reality show characters. It wins because of the perfect casting of Matt Gould as the "patsy". Look for an unknown Kristen Wiig as "The Quack". ” - gumbussy
 
5.
Hopscotch (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Grounded with a desk job by incompetent superiors, a clever CIA agent retires and writes a tell all memoir that will embarrass his bosses, prompting him to go on the run and elude them. (106 mins.)
Director: Ronald Neame
“ Walter Matthau is perfect as a old school CIA operative who doesn't like being told to retire. He instead uses his years of undercover knowledge, (and his former employer's dirty laundry), to avoid capture while writing a tell-all book. A comedy for grownups. ” - gumbussy
 
6.
The Flyboys (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Two boys from a small town find their courage tested when they accidentally stow away aboard an airplane owned by the mob. (118 mins.)
“ I Had no idea what this movie was when I stumbled upon it. I was drawn in by the story of two kids making a friendship, but was taken by surprise when the movie became quite exciting. Fine for kids & their parents. Take a chance. ” - gumbussy
 
7.
Inside Moves (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
After a failed suicide attempt leaves him partially crippled, Roary begins spending a lot of time at a neighborhood bar full of interesting misfits... (113 mins.)
Director: Richard Donner
“ Wow. I know this movie was killed by the opening scene of a failed suicide. It is shocking. But stick with this story. The acting is awesome & the story is inspiring. ” - gumbussy
 
8.
Chocolate (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
An autistic girl with powerful martial art skills looks to settle her ailing mother's debts by seeking out the ruthless gangs that owe her family money. (110 mins.)
Director: Prachya Pinkaew
“ I thought this movie was going to be insulting with it's "autistic" hero storyline. I was wrong. Put simply...I think this is the best martial arts film I have ever seen. Give it a tumble, please. ” - gumbussy
 
9.
Clownhouse (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Just before Halloween, three young brothers alone in a big house are menaced by three escaped mental patients who have murdered some traveling circus clowns and taken their identities. (81 mins.)
Director: Victor Salva
“ I hate clowns. Pretty damn simple. I was this movie's perfect audience. The thing is though, you don't need to be freaked out by clowns to get creeped out by this film. It's well filmed & acted (including a young Sam Rockwell). Some behind the scenes things happened that hurt this film's release so it isn't well known. It should be. ” - gumbussy
 
10.
The Hammer (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Jerry Ferro's 40th birthday has brought his life into sharp relief and it's not a pretty picture. A once-promising amateur boxer... (88 mins.)
“ One of the more shocking movie-going experiences. I'm not a huge Carolla fan but he won me over. BIG TIME. This is a true "sleeper" film that you HAVE to watch! Great comedy with a better message. ” - gumbussy
 
11.
The Seventh Sign (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
In Haiti, the sea and the life-form die; in the Middle East, a town is frozen. These are signs of the Apocalypse and the Vatican is investigating... (97 mins.)
Director: Carl Schultz
“ Please overlook Ms. Demi Moore being the star of this movie & give it a try. She actually is quite outstanding as a woman who comes to believe that her & her unborn baby is all that stands between the apocolypse occurring. Another movie that draws tears everytime I watch it. ” - gumbussy
 
12.
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A filmmaker decides to memorialize a murdered friend when his friend's ex-girlfriend announces she is expecting his son. (95 mins.)
Director: Kurt Kuenne
“ Oh my goodness. This movie should be watched by everyone. It is why sometimes documentaries are our greatest films. What begins as a director's gift to his murdered best friend's unborn child turns into something much more sinister, painful, & beautiful. This is one of those movies that you sit & stare at the credits when the movie ends. And that is because you are so moved, you will feel frozen. ” - gumbussy
 
13.
Fatal Vision (1984 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A retiree spends nine years relentlessly seeking to prove that his son-in-law, a former Green Beret Army doctor, murdered his pregnant wife and two children. (181 mins.)
Director: David Greene
“ Based on a true story, this made for tv miniseries is the perfect crime drama. It lays out the facts & leaves it to you to make your own conclusion. Outstanding work by Gary Cole. Hard to find but you will be pleased. ” - gumbussy
 
14.
Fandango (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Five college buddies from the University of Texas circa 1971 embark on a final road trip odyssey across the Mexican border before facing up to uncertain futures, in Vietnam and otherwise. (91 mins.)
Director: Kevin Reynolds
“ Simply one of Kevin Cosner's best films & acting performances. The ultimate roadtrip before having to report to Vietnam. Running out of gas. Running out on your wedding. Skydiving. All this happens with humor & heart. I truly can't express how much I love this movie. ” - gumbussy
 
15.
Burn Notice (2007 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A spy recently disavowed by the U.S. government uses his special ops training to help others in trouble. (44 mins.)
“ Great show that keeps getting better with each season. Funny, exciting, & involving. One of the best shows on television. ” - gumbussy
 
16.
Mary and Max (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A tale of friendship between two unlikely pen pals: Mary, a lonely, eight-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max, a forty-four-year old, severely obese man living in New York. (92 mins.)
Director: Adam Elliot
“ What a quirky little movie. Based on a true story of an Austrailian little girl who became a lifelong penpal with a New York man who suffered from Asperge Syndrome & obesity. Told in stop motion claymation, the film is neat to watch & the voice work of Philip Seymour Hoffman is superb. Not really for kids but great for adults. ” - gumbussy
 
17.
Ziggy's Gift (1982 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Ziggy gets a job to be a street Santa on Christmas Eve from a crooked boss, but the magic of the season allows the lovable loser to do more good than anyone expects. (24 mins.)
“ Am I the only person who remembers this wonderful holiday special? Told like a Chaplin silent movie, Ziggy searches for means of giving back one Christmas while fighting off commercialization & a thief set on stealing his cheer. A wonderful message & a sweet show. I wish I could find it somewhere!!! ” - gumbussy
 
18.
The Tournament (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Every seven years in an unsuspecting town, The Tournament takes place. A battle royale between 30 of the world's deadliest assassins... (95 mins.)
Director: Scott Mann
“ Another movie I knew nothing about when I started it but grew to love it. I love movies about assassins anyway, so when I saw it was about a competition where the world's best fight one another, I was all in. What I didn't expect was crisp writing, fantastic action, & a witty sense of humor. Great popcorn movie. ” - gumbussy
 
19.
Groucho (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The life story of Groucho Marx.
Director: John Bowab
“ I always loved the Marx brothers. When this live stage production about Groucho came on HBO back in the 80's, I almost didn't watch because it starred Gabe Kaplan. Boy am I glad I watched anyway. Mr. Kaplan is perfect. The story of his & his brother's lives are funny & touching. No longer available on any media...someone please let me know if they have this & how I can get it! ” - gumbussy
 
20.
The Descent (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators. (99 mins.)
Director: Neil Marshall
“ One of the scariest movies I've ever scene. If the monsters don't get you, the sense of claustrophobia will. Turn the lights out and don't look behind you. ” - gumbussy
 
21.
Rustlers' Rhapsody (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
While the audience watches a black and white horse opera, a narrator's voice wonders what such a movie would be like today... (88 mins.)
Director: Hugh Wilson
“ Andy Griffith playing a seemingly gay cattle baron. Need I add anything more? Great parody of old time westerns & a real scream. ” - gumbussy
 
22.
Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (2008 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
An aspiring supervillain must balance his career and his pursuit of a beautiful do-gooder. (42 mins.)
“ Honestly...Can you think of a cooler partnership than Joss Whedon & Neil Patrick Harris? A made-for-the-internet miniseries, it has comedy, romance, & some of the nicest music you'll ever hear. I watch this about every couple of months & love recruiting new watchers. Please give it a try. ” - gumbussy
 
23.
Secret Admirer (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
An anonymous love letter left in Michael's locker on the last day of school wreaks havoc on his life, and the lives of everyone who come in contact with it. (90 mins.)
Director: David Greenwalt
“ Complicated comedy of errors. Funny & romantic. A teen comedy where the parents have as much of a role as their kids. A great movie that I highly recommend. Oh...Did i mention that Kelly Preston is nude in it? ” - gumbussy
 
24.
Return to Me (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A man who falls in love with the woman who received his wife's heart must decide which woman it is who holds his heart. (115 mins.)
Director: Bonnie Hunt
“ A movie that didn't get it's due. A true romantic comedy. If you haven't watched it, please do so. If you have, watch it again. It actually gets better with repeated watchings. ” - gumbussy
 
25.
Just Like Dad (1995 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Charlie is constantly bullied at school and decides to invite a weightlifter to pose as his father at the father/son picnic. The lie spirals out of control and Charlie ends up the target of a kidnapping due to the weightlifter's troubled past. (101 mins.)
Director: Blair Treu
“ I do believe this was a made for Disney channel movie. Wallace Shawn is nerd dad whose son decides to ask a more macho man to fill in for a "father-son" competition. This movie is sweet & humorous with a silly but satisfying ending. Check your local listings. ” - gumbussy