Danny Peary's CULT MOVIES

by mifunesamurai | created - 25 Apr 2011 | updated - 10 months ago | Public

From Danny Peary's 1982 insightful book - CULT MOVIES. You can watch movies or trailers here - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVKpeyxdq9f357Y3yIt4UKnS1-2lI_iH1

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1. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)

Not Rated | 95 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra, Helena Rojo, Del Negro

Votes: 43,520

To see Aguirre for the first time is to discover a genuine masterpiece - Danny Peary.

2. All About Eve (1950)

Not Rated | 138 min | Drama

98 Metascore

An ingenue insinuates herself into the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm

Votes: 99,416 | Gross: $0.01M

It is one of the most enduring of all American films - Danny Peary

3. Bad (1977)

X | 105 min | Comedy, Crime, Horror

Hazel runs a beauty salon out of her house, but makes extra money by providing ruthless women to do hit jobs. K.T. is a parasite, and contacts Hazel looking for work when he runs out of ... See full summary »

Director: Jed Johnson | Stars: Cyrinda Foxe, Matthew Anton, Cathy Roskam, Carroll Baker

Votes: 620

Andy Warhol's Bad is not for everyone. It is made to be a cult movie - Danny Peary

4. Badlands (1973)

PG | 94 min | Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

An impressionable teenage girl from a dead-end town and her older greaser boyfriend embark on a killing spree in the South Dakota badlands.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Warren Oates, Ramon Bieri

Votes: 54,244

Badlands was the surprise hit of the New York Film Festival in 1973 and made almost every critics Top Ten list the following year and still flop at the box office - Danny Peary

5. Beauty and the Beast (1946)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

92 Metascore

A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.

Directors: Jean Cocteau, René Clément | Stars: Jean Marais, Josette Day, Mila Parély, Nane Germon

Votes: 21,057 | Gross: $0.30M

Cocteau's first feature is the cinema's most poetic work - Danny Peary

6. Bedtime for Bonzo (1951)

Not Rated | 83 min | Comedy, Family, Romance

College prof Peter Boyd tries to salvage his professional and personal reputation by using a lab chimp to prove that environment trumps heredity in behavioral development.

Director: Frederick De Cordova | Stars: Ronald Reagan, Diana Lynn, Walter Slezak, Lucille Barkley

Votes: 773

Reagan proves to be an adequate screen partner for Bonzo - Danny Peary

7. Behind the Green Door (1972)

X | 72 min | Adult, Drama

A beautiful woman is abducted and initiated into a live sex act on a private stage, participating in lesbianism, interracial sex and a public orgy.

Directors: Artie Mitchell, Jim Mitchell | Stars: Marilyn Chambers, George S. McDonald, Johnnie Keyes, Elizabeth Knowles

Votes: 1,729 | Gross: $50.00M

8. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)

NC-17 | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

Three girls come to Hollywood to make it big, but find only sex, drugs and sleaze.

Director: Russ Meyer | Stars: Dolly Read, Cynthia Myers, Marcia McBroom, John Lazar

Votes: 8,567 | Gross: $9.00M

To many moviegoers who hadn't seen a Russ Meyer film, BVD was a revelation - a film that they (mostly college students) considered to be on their own farout wave length - Danny Peary

9. Billy Jack (1971)

GP | 114 min | Action, Drama

Ex-Green Beret hapkido expert saves wild horses from being slaughtered for dog food and helps protect a desert "freedom school" for runaway.

Director: Tom Laughlin | Stars: Tom Laughlin, Delores Taylor, Clark Howat, Victor Izay

Votes: 4,842 | Gross: $98.00M

One of the weirdest success stories in modern history - Danny Peary

10. Black Sunday (1960)

Not Rated | 87 min | Horror

A vengeful witch and her fiendish servant return from the grave and begin a bloody campaign to possess the body of the witch's beautiful look-alike descendant, with only the girl's brother and a handsome doctor standing in her way.

Director: Mario Bava | Stars: Barbara Steele, John Richardson, Andrea Checchi, Ivo Garrani

Votes: 11,083

It is because of Steele, probably even more than Bava, that Black Sunday, in which her screen persona was established, remains a cult favorite - Danny Peary

11. The Brood (1979)

R | 92 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A man tries to uncover an unconventional psychologist's therapy techniques on his institutionalized wife, amidst a series of brutal murders.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Art Hindle, Henry Beckman

Votes: 20,861

The Brood is Cronenberg's best film, his one good film - Danny Peary 1981

12. Burn! (1969)

GP | 112 min | Action, Drama

72 Metascore

The professional mercenary Sir William Walker instigates a slave revolt on the Caribbean island of Queimada in order to help improve the British sugar trade. Years later he is sent again to... See full summary »

Director: Gillo Pontecorvo | Stars: Marlon Brando, Evaristo Márquez, Renato Salvatori, Dana Ghia

Votes: 3,730

Marlon Brando returned home after filming Burn! swearing he would kill Pontecorvo (director) if he ever saw him again - Danny Peary

13. Caged Heat (1974)

R | 83 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

In a women's prison, a group of inmates band together to combat the repressive and abusive policies of the warden.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Juanita Brown, Erica Gavin, Roberta Collins, Ella Reid

Votes: 1,660

Caged Heat turns out to have a truly talented cast, headed by Barbara Steele, the classy cult favorite - Danny Peary

14. Casablanca (1942)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War

100 Metascore

A cynical nightclub owner protects an old flame and her husband from Nazis in Morocco.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Votes: 443,896 | Gross: $1.02M

Casablanca is that rare lucky film where everything came together, clicked, and there was perfection - Danny Peary

15. Citizen Kane (1941)

PG | 119 min | Drama, Mystery

100 Metascore

Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead

Votes: 340,342 | Gross: $1.59M

No one will dispute that Kane is still regarded as Welles' most important film - Danny Peary

16. Witchfinder General (1968)

Unrated | 86 min | Biography, Drama, Horror

A young soldier seeks to put an end to the evils caused by a vicious witch hunter.

Director: Michael Reeves | Stars: Vincent Price, Ian Ogilvy, Rupert Davies, Hilary Heath

Votes: 7,368

The audience never gets a chance to relax. By the end of the film it is if you have just run a gauntlet - Danny Peary

17. Dance, Girl, Dance (1940)

Approved | 90 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

Judy O'Brien is an aspiring ballerina in a dance troupe. Also in the company is Bubbles, a brash mantrap who leaves the struggling troupe for a career in burlesque. When the company ... See full summary »

Directors: Dorothy Arzner, Roy Del Ruth | Stars: Maureen O'Hara, Louis Hayward, Lucille Ball, Virginia Field

Votes: 1,493

Dance Girl dance is Arzner's cult film, the most enthusiastically received and widely written-about of her pictures - Danny Peary

18. Deep End (1970)

R | 88 min | Drama, Romance

15-year-old dropout Mike takes a job at Newford Baths, where inappropriate sexual behaviour abounds, and becomes obsessed with his coworker Susan.

Director: Jerzy Skolimowski | Stars: Jane Asher, John Moulder-Brown, Karl Michael Vogler, Christopher Sandford

Votes: 4,161

There is much to admire in Deep End - Danny Peary

19. Detour (1945)

Not Rated | 68 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Chance events trap hitch-hiker Al Roberts in a tightening net of film noir trouble.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer | Stars: Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake, Edmund MacDonald

Votes: 11,285

Charles Flynn and Todd McCarthy cite Edgar G. Ulmer's Detour as probably the greatest B film ever made - Danny Peary

20. Duck Soup (1933)

Not Rated | 68 min | Comedy, Musical, War

Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale.

Director: Leo McCarey | Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Zeppo Marx

Votes: 50,334

Duck Soup juggles logic and defies gravity, it is outrageous, it is ridiculous, it is funny, it is savage, it is silly. It is s symphony in gagtime, composed by an army and orchestrated by one man, Leo McCarey - Danny Peary

21. El Topo (1970)

Not Rated | 125 min | Drama, Western

A mysterious black-clad gunfighter wanders a mystical Western landscape encountering multiple bizarre characters.

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky | Stars: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Brontis Jodorowsky, José Legarreta, Alfonso Arau

Votes: 21,215

Significantly, El Topo became the first major Midnight Movie - Danny Peary

22. Emmanuelle (1974)

Unrated | 95 min | Drama

The wife of a French diplomat in Bangkok, Emmanuelle embarks on a voyage of sexual discovery.

Director: Just Jaeckin | Stars: Sylvia Kristel, Alain Cuny, Marika Green, Daniel Sarky

Votes: 8,183 | Gross: $8.72M

Emmanuell is certainly the best soft-core sex film ever made - Danny Peary

23. Enter the Dragon (1973)

R | 102 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A martial artist agrees to spy on a reclusive crime lord using his invitation to a tournament there as cover.

Director: Robert Clouse | Stars: Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Jim Kelly, Ahna Capri

Votes: 84,285 | Gross: $25.00M

The one and only Bruce Lee, at his remarkable best - Danny Peary

24. Eraserhead (1977)

Not Rated | 89 min | Horror

Henry Spencer tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend, and the unbearable screams of his newly born mutant child.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Allen Joseph, Jeanne Bates

Votes: 83,087 | Gross: $7.00M

This is one strange movie - Danny Peary

25. Fantasia (1940)

G | 125 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

A collection of animated interpretations of great works of Western classical music.

Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, Ford Beebe Jr., Norman Ferguson, David Hand, Jim Handley, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor, Corey Burton, Walt Disney

Votes: 78,240 | Gross: $76.41M

The most ambitious of the Disney features - Danny Peary

26. Forbidden Planet (1956)

G | 98 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

A starship crew goes to investigate the silence of a planet's colony only to find two survivors and a deadly secret that one of them has.

Director: Fred M. Wilcox | Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Warren Stevens

Votes: 38,664 | Gross: $3.00M

I have long been baffled as to why there is such a strong loyal cult following to Forbidden Planet - Danny Peary

27. Force of Evil (1948)

Not Rated | 79 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

An unethical lawyer, with an older brother he wants to help, becomes a partner with a client in the numbers racket.

Director: Abraham Polonsky | Stars: John Garfield, Thomas Gomez, Marie Windsor, Howland Chamberlain

Votes: 4,783

Polonsky's film is the darkest, seediest, most claustrophobic entry to film noir - Danny Peary

28. 42nd Street (1933)

Unrated | 89 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A director puts on what may be his last Broadway show and, at the last moment, a naive newcomer has to replace the star.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels, George Brent, Ruby Keeler

Votes: 8,939 | Gross: $2.30M

It has elements of camp, but it has unmatched vitality, a strong sense of unity among its characters, and - most important because of the period in which it was made - a great deal of honesty - Danny Peary

29. Freaks (1932)

Not Rated | 64 min | Drama, Horror

A circus' beautiful trapeze artist agrees to marry the leader of side-show performers, but his deformed friends discover she is only marrying him for his inheritance.

Director: Tod Browning | Stars: Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova, Roscoe Ates

Votes: 36,045

Freaks is moving, harsh, poetic, and genuinelt tender, writes critic Penelope Gilliatt

30. The Girl Can't Help It (1956)

Approved | 99 min | Comedy, Music

A gangster hires a down-and-out press agent to make his airheaded girlfriend a singing star.

Director: Frank Tashlin | Stars: Tom Ewell, Jayne Mansfield, Edmond O'Brien, Julie London

Votes: 2,607

As a rock 'n' roll movie, it is far and away the best of the many made during the rockin' fifties - Danny Peary

31. Greetings (1968)

X | 88 min | Comedy, Drama

An offbeat, episodic film about three friends, Paul, a shy love-seeker, Lloyd, a vibrant conspiracy nut, and Jon, an aspiring filmmaker and peeping tom. The film satirizes free-love, the ... See full summary »

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Jonathan Warden, Robert De Niro, Gerrit Graham, Richard Hamilton

Votes: 2,504

What makes Greetings so special is that it is the rare film which is made for filmmakers and film students as much as it is for the young, alienated, angry generation - Danny Peary

32. Gun Crazy (1950)

Passed | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A well meaning crack shot husband is pressured by his beautiful marksman wife to go on an interstate robbery spree, where he finds out just how depraved and deadly she really is.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis | Stars: John Dall, Peggy Cummins, Berry Kroeger, Morris Carnovsky

Votes: 9,306

aka Gun Crazy has been the object of cult adulation - Danny Peary

33. Halloween (1978)

R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller

78 Metascore

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran, Nancy Kyes

Votes: 180,069 | Gross: $47.00M

Halloween ranks as the most profitable independently made feature of all time - Danny Peary (Eman: That was until Blair Witch Project)

34. A Hard Day's Night (1964)

G | 87 min | Comedy, Music, Musical

96 Metascore

A "typical" day in the life of The Beatles, including many of their famous songs.

Director: Richard Lester | Stars: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr

Votes: 34,767 | Gross: $13.78M

A real treasure - Danny Peary

35. The Harder They Come (1972)

R | 120 min | Crime, Drama, Music

Wishing to become a successful Reggae singer, a young Jamaican man finds himself tied to corrupt record producers and drug pushers.

Director: Perry Henzell | Stars: Jimmy Cliff, Janet Bartley, Carl Bradshaw, Ras Daniel Hartman

Votes: 4,621

Jamaica's stunning first feature - Danny Peary

36. Harold and Maude (1971)

PG | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Young, rich, and obsessed with death, Harold finds himself changed forever when he meets lively septuagenarian Maude at a funeral.

Director: Hal Ashby | Stars: Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles, Cyril Cusack

Votes: 62,245

One of the runaway cult favorites of the seventies - Danny Peary

37. The Honeymoon Killers (1970)

R | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

An obese, embittered nurse doesn't mind if her toupee-wearing boyfriend romances and fleeces other women, as long as he takes her along on his con jobs.

Directors: Leonard Kastle, Donald Volkman | Stars: Shirley Stoler, Tony Lo Bianco, Mary Jane Higby, Doris Roberts

Votes: 3,582

A strangely captivating, cleverly scripted B-movie-like thriller full of odd yet interesting characters, all wonderfully acted - Danny Peary

38. House of Wax (1953)

GP | 88 min | Horror

An associate burns down a wax museum with the owner inside, but he survives only to become vengeful and murderous.

Director: André De Toth | Stars: Vincent Price, Frank Lovejoy, Phyllis Kirk, Carolyn Jones

Votes: 13,324 | Gross: $23.75M

House of Wax is by no means a great film, but even in the flat two-dimensional version shown on TV it is great fun - Danny Peary

39. I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958)

Not Rated | 78 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

Aliens arrive on Earth to possess the bodies of humans. One of their first victims is a young man, whose new wife soon realizes something is wrong with him.

Director: Gene Fowler Jr. | Stars: Tom Tryon, Gloria Talbott, Peter Baldwin, Robert Ivers

Votes: 2,097

Horror and science fiction fans come to realize that the outrageous title is totally unsuited for what is basically an intelligent, atmospheric, subtly made sci-fi thriller - Danny Peary

40. I Walked with a Zombie (1943)

Approved | 69 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A Canadian nurse is hired to care for the wife of a sugar plantation owner, who has been acting strangely, on a Caribbean island.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Frances Dee, Tom Conway, James Ellison, Edith Barrett

Votes: 9,004

More than any other Lewton film, I Walked With A Zombie relies on atmosphere to transmit fright - Danny Peary

41. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Not Rated | 80 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

A small-town doctor learns that the population of his community is being replaced by emotionless alien duplicates.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Larry Gates, King Donovan

Votes: 38,321

The best of an SF subgenre which deals with aliens taking over the bodies of everyone in a particular community - Danny Peary

42. It's a Gift (1934)

Passed | 68 min | Comedy

A henpecked New Jersey grocer makes plans to move to California to grow oranges, despite the resistance of his overbearing wife.

Director: Norman Z. McLeod | Stars: W.C. Fields, Kathleen Howard, Jean Rouverol, Julian Madison

Votes: 4,193

Considered one of Field's lesser comedies when released, but Field's cultist now consider it the equal of The Bank Dink - Danny Peary

43. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

PG | 130 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

89 Metascore

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 327,079 | Gross: $7.27M

For many television viewers the film has become as much a tradition of a joyful Christmas season - Danny Peary

44. Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

G | 104 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

The legendary Greek hero leads a team of intrepid adventurers in a perilous quest for the legendary Golden Fleece.

Director: Don Chaffey | Stars: Todd Armstrong, Nancy Kovack, Gary Raymond, Laurence Naismith

Votes: 19,557

But forget the flaws. Jason is a truly glorious fantasy-adventure film - Danny Peary

45. Johnny Guitar (1954)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Western

83 Metascore

After helping a wounded gang member, a strong-willed female saloon owner is wrongly suspected of murder and bank robbery by a lynch mob.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden, Mercedes McCambridge, Scott Brady

Votes: 12,761

A serious indictment of McCarthyite mob hysteria and bigotry, controversial because Ray (director) and screenwriters dared attack the reactionary American political climate of 1954 by subverting what had always been a politically conservative genre - Danny Peary

46. The Killing (1956)

Not Rated | 85 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Crooks plan and execute a daring race-track robbery.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards, Jay C. Flippen

Votes: 69,094

One of the best caper films: a taut, fast-paced thriller made by a clever director - Danny Peary

47. King Kong (1933)

Not Rated | 100 min | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.

Directors: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack | Stars: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot, Frank Reicher

Votes: 70,443 | Gross: $10.00M

An irreplaceable part of the twentieth-century American horror-fantasy film ever made - Danny Peary

48. King of Hearts (1966)

Unrated | 102 min | Drama, Comedy, War

During the latter part of World War I, Private Charles Plumpick is chosen to go into the French town of Marville and disconnect a bomb that the German army has planted. However, Charles is ... See full summary »

Director: Philippe de Broca | Stars: Alan Bates, Geneviève Bujold, Pierre Brasseur, Jean-Claude Brialy

Votes: 3,055 | Gross: $0.02M

One of the most popular cult films of the late sixties and early seventies - Danny Peary

49. Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

Not Rated | 106 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

A doomed female hitchhiker pulls Mike Hammer into a deadly whirlpool of intrigue, revolving around a mysterious "great whatsit".

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Paul Stewart, Juano Hernandez

Votes: 15,619

One of the dazzling works of the fifties, as swiftly paced, thrilling, precipitous, and jolting to the senses as a ride on a broken roller coaster - Danny Peary