What are your fav “Off Hollywood” films

I thought I'd ask other's here to share their thoughts on flicks they've found to be outstanding, or even their own personal favs… aside from those which Hollywood has promoted to the hilt and everyone already knows about unless they’ve benn living on Saturn.

So if you can think of those ‘non main stream’ efforts, or those films which either didn’t get their due, or only a few likely know about, but are indeed, very good to great film experiences, please share your thoughts here. This would be kind of like an indi list of movies so to speak.

So…. What are your fav non block buster flicks?

Here are some of my favs in no particular order:

1 Lonestar State of Mind
2 Thursday
3 A Bronx Tale
4 Clay Pigeons
5 Palmetto
6 Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead
7 Prophecy (any of the first 3)
8 Hollow Point
9 Ice harvest
10 Take the Money and Run

If you have to include a mainstreamer or two go ahead. I’m curious to see as esoteric as many of us are with audio, what’s up with our tastes in film, and hopefully broaden some perspectives there.

Have fun, and thanks very much
I found Fargo brilliant, seen it a dozen times it always makes me laugh.
yep. That's a good one.
All "marty" movies before "Color of Money"....

Nearly all "pre code" films..

All PT Anderson flics..


The Sweet Hearafter
The Ice Strom
Barton Fink
Save Us All
Body Double
Red October

and on and on....

I think the roblem is defining "Hollywood" movies...

Good thread, but, I could list thousands, John
the lindsey anderson trilogy of 'if', 'oh lucky man', and 'britainia hospital'........'crime wave'(pre hollywood sam raimi, the cohens, etc)......alan rudolph's'remember my name'(alberta hunter soundtrack)......and a thousand more as well.....
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - R Downey Jr/ Val Kilmer
Dirty Filthy Love - Brit
Down in the Vally - Edward Norton indy
Pretty Persuasion - It aint Clueless
Repo Man - 80s cult love it
Sexy Beast - he's no Gandhi
Shallow Grave - Brit
Hard Times - Bronson overlooked w/James Coburn, Strother Martin
Freeway - Illegally Blond, Reese kills, so does Kiefer!
Infernal Affairs - Chinise film Scorcese made into "The Departed"
Hobson's Choice - Charles Laughton, John Mills, Brenda de Banzie sweet wonderful forgotten classic
Just a few that pop into my head, I love film, On the Waterfront is on, got to go...
"KOYAANISQATSI" Is one of the most mesmorizing films I've ever seen.
87 minutes of nonstop music and visual imagery. No dialog. No actors.
Only watch it when you have time to see it from beginning to end.

I suppose defining non Hollywood films is like the difference between commercial lable driven music, and that which is fueled by the artist (s) & director. Excellent can and is had, in each arena.

I've found many main stream films, enjoyable, provocative, and worth spedning my money on. here, though I sought more to cast light onto those which aren't usually mentioned in casual passing conversations regarding film. Personally, I could not mention thousands of worthwhile celluloid products as my favs. Doubtless though, there likely are even more than that waiting to be discovered.

It would be good to hear more titles to investigate though... eclectic or main stream if one feels the need.

Any Film Noir candidates out there?
I love film, and I hate most of the stuff that comes out of Hollywood, so I could go on and on, but these are all at the top of my list:

Wings of Desire
Secrets and Lies
Everything is Illuminated
I Like Killing Flies
Berlin Alexanderplatz
City of Lost Children
The Remains of the Day
Lovely and Amazing
The Professional
Amores Perros
Sex and Lucia
Things Change
Blue Velvet

Thanks... I have the one about the hit man and the little girl. "The Professional" I'll look into the rest

The Kite Runner

The Rabbit Proof Fence

Das Boot


Across the Universe


Stop Making Sense

The Commitments
Thanks... I have the one about the hit man and the little girl. "The Professional" I'll look into the rest

If you like Gary Oldman's over the top performance as the bad cop in that film, also check out Nicholas Roeg's film, "Track 29" which is another strange and brilliant performance by Oldman (one of my favorite actors) - largely wasted in his Hollywood performances). Track 29 is a very odd film - not for everyone for sure.
There is an "uncut international" version of Leon the professional. Its 24 min longer and most of the additional is the relationship between Leon and the girl. In both versions they resist injecting any sexual tone to Leon's attitude, but the precocious young Portman does suggest it ever so subtly in her character. Shes remarkable.
In both versions they resist injecting any sexual tone to Leon's attitude, but the precocious young Portman does suggest it ever so subtly in her character. Shes remarkable.

Agreed! If you like Portman here, DEFINITELY check out the film from around the same period titled, "Beautiful Girls". Absolutely outstanding performance on her part. Damn good film too. My favorite recent roll of hers is in "Closer". I'm surprised Albert hasn't joined in here...Don't get him started on Natalie!
I like Gary O... He's one of the few I usually can't pick out in a film right off...even by his voice.

Got the Commitments, and a couple others named here. I'm becoming awed by these titles. i don't subscribe to international films... i've found too few flicks which are worth me spending a couple extra hours to view as the subtitles are more so an issue as of late... I gave up on doing Babel, and some others because of it. I might as well just get the book instead. But I keep trying like with Tommy Lee Jones’ Missing, and 3 Funerals for m Estrada, which I really enjoyed… and bought.

Saw a couple Jimmy Stewart films lately which were good. One by Hitchcock, Rope… the other by Preminger, “Anatomy of a Murder”… Otto did a fine job with that one given when it was filmed. Very cutting edge that one.
Agreed! If you like Portman here, DEFINITELY check out the film from around the same period titled, "Beautiful Girls". Absolutely outstanding performance on her part. Damn good film too. My favorite recent roll of hers is in "Closer". I'm surprised Albert hasn't joined in here...Don't get him started on Natalie!

Is there any way to post photo's of Natalie here at Audiogon?

posting pics.... uh, there's always that 'virtual systems' area I suppose... Could she be labeled as a 'vital component'?
She belongs in the category: "Perfect System."

Music for the eyes and intelligent too. This from USA Today, 2002

The 20-year-old actress is a junior at Harvard, a straight-A student (she reportedly aced her SATs while appearing on Broadway in "The Diary of Anne Frank") who sprinkles her conversation with phrases such as "social Darwinism" and "interdependent sense of self" and knows more about Kant than Cannes. But she's cool enough in between exams to hang with her friend Moby, attend Britney Spears' birthday party and dye her hair bright "Run Lola Run" red for Halloween.

Straddling the line between celebrity and normalcy, no small feat for anyone, is even more daunting for adolescents. Rehab centers are littered with former juvenile actors. Heartbreak, unscrupulous agents and legal tussles with family members are footnotes to many a career. But if anyone can keep her wits, it's Portman, even as her face graces billboards for the latest "Star Wars" summer blockbuster, in which she reprises her role in 1999's "Phantom Menace" as Amidala.

Here, in her "bubble," as she calls it, Portman is just another highly accomplished, fiercely smart student who has a cellphone in her pocket, is multilingual (she speaks Hebrew, French and Japanese), likes to make lists, says she's "not good with boys," has Ernest Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms" on her night table and says her favorite movie of last year was the sweet French farce "Amélie."

Her petite stature (she's just over 5 feet tall) and nubile, almost luminescent beauty give her a vulnerable quality.

"You should have checked me out when I was 13," Portman says, laughing. "I was locking myself in the bathroom, threatening to kill myself -- being so mean to my mom and fighting with her all the time. Girls are horrible. I hope I have boys."

She was 13 when she played Mathilda in the film, "Leon" across from Jean Reno, an assassin who takes her under his wing. This is one of my all time favorite movies.

Natalie and Jodie Foster both hold a special place in my heart,
Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios (Pedro Almodóvar)
The Big Lebowski (Ethan & Joel Coen)
Diva (Jean-Jacques Beineix)
Pret-à-Porter (Robert Altman)
Wasabi (Gérard Krawczyk / Luc Besson)
Subway (Luc Besson)
Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (Guy Ritchie)
Snatch (Guy Ritchie)
Fargo (Ethan & Joel Coen)
The 5th Element (Luc Besson)
Ouch! I wanted to stick to ten, but this one has to be in there as well (so make that an ex-aequo somewhere)

Tampopo (Juzo Itami)
Waiting for Guffman
The Ice Storm
The Sweet Hereafter
Big Lebowski
Full Monty
Rabbit Proof Fence
Royal Tannebaums
Life is Beautful
For another incredible child performance remember Tatum O'neil in Paper Moon. She and her dad Ryan were both superb, great film.

Just watched William H Macy in a strange, violent movie called Edmund. You think he was a good in Fargo? Not for the squeamish.

Oldman as Dracula?
Anyone remember Gary Oldman in dreads in the movie True Romance? There is also a classic scene between Dennis Hopper and Chris Walken in that flic.

Ever wonder if Eric Roberts or Mickey Rourke could really act? The Pope of Greenwich Village clears that up and you get scantily clad young Daryl Hannah for no extra charge. "artificial insinuation"

Once again I recommend Freeway. Be surprised by Reese Witherspoon playing a less sympathetic trashy character, she is brilliant in this black comedy. The scene when Kiefer Sutherland enters the coutroom is priceless.
Thanks. I'll put them onto my short (well sort of now) list. I'm a big fan of C Walken. the 'Prophecy' series, Pool Hall Junkies, Suicide Kings, King of the city, Deer Hunter (most of all), and I loved the Pope flick too.

Roarke also played in a Skip Woods flick "Thursday" which will always remain in my top ten list as one of the best dark, violent comedies I've seen. Although I came by it on VHS instead of DVD. The prices for the DVD just blew me away as many simply overvalue this particular product. I've seen it being asked for as much as $200. it's good, but it's not that good.

Although I'm not a fan of children playing roles of lowly reputed women, does anyone recall "Pretty Baby"?
Pretty Baby was controversial in its time, dont think they could make it now, even after the peak of the PC movement. We just got to the point where Leno can joke about weed on late night tv.
I cant remember the names of the actors (kids) in To Kill a Mockingbird or The Innocents, and Little Liz Taylor was precious in National Velvet. Great child acting all round in Stand by Me. Our Mother's House features a family of kids who bury their deceased mother in the garden in order to keep the house (brit 1967).

If you like Blue Velvet try Lynch's Wild at Heart. William Duefoe's teeth should get separate billing. I have Inland Empire but have not watched it yet.

Classic Bogart? Few people remember Beat the Devil. Bogart, Robert Morley. Peter Lorre, Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollobrigida. Daily rewrites by Truman Capote turns the novel into a satire with the usual outstanding band of character actors and some big stars supporting Bogart as he does light parody of himself. Audience didnt get it so it flopped. Fun to watch.

Sorry, I realize Im going on and on. I think I should get out more.
Great suggestions here from Blkadr and Audiofeil, and others.

Blkadr - enjoyed Wild at Heart and didn't take to Inland Empire at all. I liked Lost Highway as well, and even was a big fan of Eraserhead back in the 80's. There's a good documentary about Lynch called Pretty as a Picture: The Art of David Lynch that's well worth seeing. In the realm of the child-actor theme and bouncing off of "To Kill a Mockingbird" (yes, the kids were great in that) - Also check out Robert Mitchum in "The Night of the Hunter" - kind of hokey dialogue, but outstanding sets, lighting and cinemaphotography...just beautiful visual style. I believe it was Charles Laughton's only directorial effort.

Audiofeil - Nice group of suggestions; I loved many of those films. I'd add "Best in Show" for another hilarious Christopher Guest effort. I also love Atom Egoyan's other films way back to "Speaking Parts" and "Family Viewing".

There are films that come out of Hollywood that defy the typical dreck you may come to expect from that meat grinder. Here are a few that come to mind:
In the Bedroom
3:10 to Yuma (that reminds me - check out Bale in "The Machinist")
...oh, and another really brilliant actor: Ryan Gosling - check him out in, "The Believer" for shades of over-the-top Oldman and early Ed Norton ala "American History X". I also enjoyed Gosling in "United States of Leland"
Love the earlier stuff by Jarmusch - check out Benigni and Tom Waits in "Down by Law"

OK, gotta get some work done. Albert, I can't argue with you there, she belongs in "Perfect Systems" for sure!
Big Lebowski
The Dude abides.

It figures that many audiophiles are also film buffs. I love to see a director as brilliant and underrated as Atom Egoyan getting his props here. "The Sweet Hereafter" is stunning. I think "Exotica" is just as good, and perhaps more challenging. As for Lynch, although I love him, I couldn't get into "Inland Empire" either. On the other hand, I like "Mulholland Drive" as much as any movie I've seen in the last twenty years. Just a mind blowing movie.

How about a couple of great older "out of Hollywood" films? "Night of the Hunter" and "Out of the Past," both starring the great Robert Mitchum, turned out to be very influential, but still were far from typical Hollywood fare in their day. "Night of the Hunter" is especially original, and maintains its eerie surrealism fifty years later.

And then, just to keep the list going, here are a handful of nominations chosen absolutely at random.

Picnic At Hanging Rock
You Can Count On Me
Five Easy Pieces
Half Nelson
Away From Her
Red Rock West
Music Of Chance
Heavenly Creatures
The Whale and the Squid
In The Company Of Men
My Dinner With Andre
House Of Games

By the way, now that the Coens have won Oscars for best director, screenplay, and picture, can they still be considered "outside of Hollywood"?
Walter - Some brilliant pics in there that I hadn't thought of and unusual to boot. I'm going to have to check out the very few that I have not seen (I think there are only two: Election and Away from Her) - Man, I didn't think anyone else bothered with "Music of Chance" which I thought was just brilliant and thought provoking in an Egoyan (read slow and quiet) kind of way. I loved that film...how could I have forgotten!

If you liked Whale and Squid, check out "The Savages" recently released on DVD - another all-time favorite actor in that one; Phillip Seymore Hoffman!!! For more great diverse rolls with him check out "Punch Drunk Love" (small roll - but so brilliantly played - worth it for that one single scene in the matress store), "Flawless" with Deniro, and "Boogie Nights". "Capote" of course, but there's Hollywood written all over that. And back to Whale and Squid - the same director did "Margot at the Wedding" with Jack Black, not as good as W&S, but worth watching if you liked the first.
I held back mentioning “Out of the Past” but am glad Albert did. Mitchum always has been a big deal for me. With an immense filmography to his credit, I especially liked The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Eldorado, and Five Card Stud, just to name a few. I’ll look into finding ”The Hunter” next.

Other’s RM did which are timeless contain, Cape Fear, (it’s better than the Deniro remake), Thunder Road, Home from the Hill, and The Yakuza..

Mitchum also did a movie whose name escapes me wherein he is in the Navy and his ship goes down during WW II and he finds himself on an island with a nun… and doesn’t want to return to active duty.

On that same shipwrecked premise, Nick Nolte made what I believe is one of if not his best role, in “Farewell To The King”. A similarly set yet far more intricate and violent film.

As for Bogie, To Have and Have Not, Sahara, and The Harder They Fall were and still are among my Favs… The Big Sleep, one Mitchum redid as well, is a worthwhile view. Anyone remember Bogie in a film with the Dead End (Bowery boys) Kids? Naturally, The Harder They Fall is a super film as well. I didn’t care for Key Largo quite as much as many others have seem to though. The Maltese Falcon & African Queen are I feel his best efforts… along with Have and Have Not.

Of so many remarkable actors and actresses, I’ve yet to find a Deniro Flick I couldn’t stand to watch yet. Two films many aren’t aware of are, “A Bronx Tale, & Stardust ” the former is definitely worth seeking out, the latter is a humorous fantasy that’s well put together and RD has a minor but integral role nearing the end of the flick. Check it out, I think you will be glad you did… and likely quite suprized at the role he is cast into.

From an actor known for his comedic efforts, “The House of D” puts Robin Williams in perhaps his best non comedic role as an emotionally & mentally challenged man. The pic shows the growing up process of two people, himself and his best friend. Everyone I loan this DVD out to likes it a lot.

Speaking of ‘Rock’ movies… Bad Day At Black Rock stands out as one I recently got, along with “Red Rock West” an interesting fast paced thrill ride of poor circumstances becoming much worse, and fast. Nick Cage & Dennis Hopper. Great flick.

“Hollow Point” is a star studded action comedy worth seeing, starring .Donald Southerland, John Lithgow, and the bad pony tail wearing sensei, from the Karate Kid films. Another darkly quirky comedy is one with Joe Peshy, “Eight Heads In a Duffle Bag”.

Anyone here a fan of Hitchcock?
Hitchcock, Mitcum, Bogart...all classics, but mostly not what I'd consider "off Hollywood" though certainly they are immortals. Love Hitchcock though - you mentioned Rope, which I think is one of his more innovative films - "Rear Window" and "North by Northwest" would be two other favorites, but that's big-time Hollywood IMO.

There's a whole other category that fits in that mold that few have mentioned: Documentaries! There are some truly wonderful documentaries that have been made entirely outside of the Hollywood machine. Top of my list would be:

I Like Killing Flies (I mentioned that one already)
Grey Gardens
Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. (anything by Errol Morris for that matter)
Deliver us From Evil
Lake of Fire
Why We Fight
Who Killed the Electric Car

A couple of other films that popped to mind, albeit some of these are Hollywood efforts -

Being John Malkovich
American Beauty
10 Items or Less
Broken Flowers
Basquiat (brilliant performance by Jeffrey Wright)

What about films so bizarre that they are rendered tolerable only by the hard-core, and even then test the limits. I can think of one in particular, which I wonder if anyone else here as seen. Named by Time Magazine as one of the most important films of the 20th century:

Begotten - this film makes "Eraserhead" and "Tetsuo: The Iron Man" seem like Saturday morning children's cartoons.

A very strange and beautiful film that I CAN recomend, however: Jan Svankmejer's gorgeous animated film called "Alice" (based upon Alice in Wonderland)
Not really a square eyed film buff,

Withnail and I.
Lock Stock and two smoking Barrels.
Breaking Glass.
Girl on a Motorcycle.
The Motorcycle Diaries.
Das Boot
Seven Samurai
yeah. Some were, but I'm pretty far removed from thaeir eras so the Hollywood bounce didn't hit me as squarely when I thought of them... they weren't from my generation. Well the Humphrey ones anyways. The Hitch flicks were I suppose, but again, not now. Now they all seem more to me as classics for sure, but off the beaten path picks... because of age.

They sure ain't in hot demand at Blockbuster lately! hell, I don't think BB even stocks many of them. Via Netflicks, it took so long to get film noir, or classics, I stopped my subscription.
I like mustard on my biscuits...Mmmm..

I never used no hatchet that I remember. Mmm.

Some folks call it a sling blade, I call it a kaiser blade
Eating Raul
Lars and the Single Girl
Local Hero
Comfort and Joy
Princess Caribou
Reservoir Dogs

"Hollywood" but still cool:
Fifth Element
Blade Runner
No Way Out
Reservoir Dogs is awesome.

A few others:

American History X
One Hour Photo
Small Time Crooks
Usual Suspects
I loved One Hour Photo


Raising Arizona
Harold & Maude
Big Fish
Lars and the Single Girl

Should be: Lars and the REAL Girl
If not only American movies to be listed, here is what I liked:

Everything is Illuminated
Death at a Funeral
In Bruges
You Kill Me
A Love Song for Bobby Long
Holy Smoke
The Dog Problem
Reign Over Me
Legend of 1900
The Inheritance
Beyond Silence
Facing Windows
The Last Kiss
Mostly Martha
Star Maker
Little Fish
Gloomy Sunday
Amores Perros
The Station Agent
The Princess and the Warrior
The Third Man, Paths of Glory, Red Rocks West, 12 Angry Men, American Psyco, 24 Hour Party People.
Sweet Hereafter
Wings of Desire
Royal Tannenbaums
Down By Law (Tom waits! Roberto Benigni! John Lurie!)
Ghost Dog
Groundhog Day
Life Aquatic
Tony Takitani
Waiting for Guffman
Usual Suspects
A Scanner Darkly
Some excellent suggestions, but no mention of my favourite director, Kurosowa. OK some mentioned Seven Samurai. The best 2 though, I thought were:
Kagemusha, the opening shot of a warrior running down a castle, lasts about 8 minutes and stopped me dead in my tracks.
Ran, his version of Macbeth, very suitable for the era of cruelty and deception in the time of the Shoguns
In no particular order...
Tideland (Terry Gilliam)
The Big Lebowski (Joel & Ethan Coen)
Asylum (David Mackenzie)
La Cité des Enfants Perdus (Jean-Pierre Jeunet & Marc Caro)
Das Wahre Leben (Alain Gsponer)
Dancer In The Dark (Lars von Trier)
The Visitor (Thomas McCarthy)
Man In The Chair (Michael Schroeder)
The White Countess (James Ivory)
Fargo (Joel & Ethan Coen)
...there are so many more, but I guess this'll do for now :)
The Life & Times of Judge Roy Bean
Goin' South
Ruggles of Red Gap
The Razors Edge (w/Bill Murray)
House of Games
Things Change
Run Lola Run
The Favor, the Watch and the Very Big Fish
Manon of the Spring
Cinema Paridisio
Babettes Feast
its impossible to find any film that 'hollywood' money didn't go into sooner or later....including all mentioned...If you mean, off the beaten trail however, my favorite trilogy is IF, OH LUCKY MAN, BRITANIA HOSPITAL
Time Bandits
The Dish
My Left Foot

Everything the Coen Brothers make (even though they are "Hollywood")
my definition of "off hollywood" - either not made by the top studios, OR made by the top studios but not acknowledged by the masses.

The Dark Backwards - the best film Judd Nelson has ever made.

Barton Fink - John Turturro

Irreversible - French...watch it. Not for the squemish

Naked Lunch - wierd but entertaining

Birdy - one of a FEW movies worth a damn that Nick Cage and Matthew Modine have done.

The Thing - 80's version. story, special effects are awesome

Man Bites Dog - French...freaking hillarious and shocking.

Blair Witch Project - for what it cost vs. originality...excellent.

Re-Animator - one of the BEST B movies ever made. For many reasons.

The Descent - British...one of a few all female movies where everything works.

Subject Two - very interesting plot concept.

Evil Dead - another worthy B movie.

Jabberwocky - British...Pythonesque

Mulholland Dr - acting, plot, directing is just simply amazing

Repo Man - classic

Sunshine - one of the best sci-fi's in decades.

Il Postino (The Postman) - Italian

Tree's Lounge
"From Dusk Till Dawn" classic Rodriquez/Tarantino
and a great soundtrack Juliette Lewis steals the show.
So many,

The Hidden, sci fi horror / comedy, "B" flick with a good story line for sci fi, not seen anything like it past or present....I need the key's...

The re-make of the Blob, The Thing, re-make

Happy Birthday Wanda June, certainly differant, dark humour ,a good laugh....sick

Angle Heart, Mickey Rourke and Robert Deniro as the Devil.

Brazil, Time Bandits, The meaning of Life, The Holy Grail, non Hollywood,

Snatch, non Hollywood

American Beauty

Up in Smoke

Heaven Can Wait

Down By Law

Miami Blues

Paper Moon


Mid Night Express

Taxi Driver

True Grit

Dead Wood

OutLaw Josey Whales

Concrete Jungle

The Best Years of Our Lives.

Modern day, Guy Richie and most of Quinton Terintino's films and yes the Cohen brothers including some off beat foreign films.
Blood Simple - Coen Brothers
The Spanish Prisoner - David Mamet
If I had to live on an island with only 10-
In no particular order.

Sideways- Paul Giamatti

The Player- Robt Altman directs Tim Robbins

Short Cuts- Robt Altman

Boiler Room-

Das Boot-

Blame It On Rio-


Jackie Brown-

Four Rooms-

Sin City-

That should keep you entertained for awhile.