Five Favorite Films

Five Favorite Films with Joe Dante

The director of The Hole shares a handful of films that have impacted him.

by | October 22, 2012 | Comments

Joe Dante‘s movies root themselves into your psyche and refuse to let go. Those little guys with eating restrictions (Gremlins), watching movies during a national crisis (Matinee), having creepy neighbors (The ‘Burbs), and accidentally getting shrunk down and injected into someone (Innerspace) remain some of the most memorable of all time. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that his latest film, The Hole, is pretty much for kids, just not the ones who are faint of heart.

Here are the great films that inspired this fantastic filmmaker. Watching them is kind of like going to film school for free. You can send Joe a thank you card.

Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958; 95% Tomatometer)



This mesmerizingly brilliant film noir was Orson Welles’ last Hollywood movie. Dumped into second feature playdates, it’s finally become more popular than Citizen Kane. It was recut and reshot by the studio but a longer preview version surfaced a few years ago and is preferable to the well-meaning but bogus “reconstruction” edit which seems to be the extant version. Both are available on the dvd box set.

The Ballad of Cable Hogue (Sam Peckinpah, 1970; 92% Tomatometer)



Sam Peckinpah followed The Wild Bunch with a deeply personal, lyrical western love story which was promptly buried by its distributor. Its failure to find an audience nearly caused the director to abandon westerns altogether, but over the years its reputation has grown and it stands as one of Peckinpah’s finest.

The Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, 1935, 100% Tomatometer)



One of the premier examples of a sequel that bests the original. Director James Whale received carte blanche to make this quirky, stylish and mordantly funny follow up to what was probably the greatest horror film of its day. The amped-up creation scene is still one of the genre’s most memorable.

The Black Book (Anthony Mann, 1949; N/A Tomatometer)



Originally issued as Reign of Terror, Anthony Mann’s Classics-Illustrated-meets-film-noir treatment of the French revolution is one of the most striking low budget period pieces to come from Hollywood, abetted by graphic b/w imagery from the great d.p. John Alton and striking production design from the always reliable William Cameron Menzies. Plus it’s witty moves like lightning.

Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968; 98% Tomatometer)



Sergio Leone cashed in his Dollars chips to make the Euro western to end them all. Thematically rich and generally regarded as the greatest spaghetti western of them all, brilliantly choreographed to Ennio Morricone’s unforgettable music. Impressive set-pieces abound and, combined with iconic casting and eye-filling US locations, mark this as a dreamscape of an Old West about to be invaded by “progress”.


The Hole is in theaters and concurrently available on home video now.

Tag Cloud

war Martial Arts Freeform Comedy The Arrangement Hulu crime thriller Red Carpet Video Games TIFF Sundance Certified Fresh Polls and Games TruTV Winners Fantasy ABC FX Tomatazos Esquire VH1 CNN CBS Musicals Mary Tyler Moore Lifetime TV Land Writers Guild of America PBS Watching Series thriller discovery serial killer FXX Summer The CW BBC supernatural Country AMC social media 007 Logo Universal DC Comics aliens American Society of Cinematographers El Rey ITV Bravo Awards crime drama TNT Pop GIFs Super Bowl comiccon Starz 2016 Year in Review zombie Nickelodeon Star Wars RT History Cartoon Network 24 frames Kids & Family Comic Book TV travel ESPN Drama Interview NBC 2015 E! docudrama Music GLAAD Sci-Fi Nominations CBS All Access Rock History Superheroes police drama TCA 2017 FOX Set visit technology GoT Best and Worst Sneak Peek adventure Amazon SDCC politics Spring TV Schedule WGN Marathons Calendar cops SundanceTV Showtime Photos period drama Syfy PaleyFest based on movie sitcom Ghostbusters Nat Geo Countdown Pirates First Look Comedy Central Rocky harry potter Box Office OWN ABC Family Fox News Grammys Disney Channel Election Holidays Trailer vampires Premiere Dates cooking Character Guide Adult Swim boxoffice Winter TV Mystery IFC Rom-Com TBS VICE CMT sports 2017 Marvel diversity NYCC crime Lionsgate Masterpiece Food Network Toys President Emmys Oscars Disney Animation Star Trek DirecTV USA Teen Netflix biography Opinion Biopics Tumblr Action Reality Extras X-Men TCM TCA Horror singing competition MSNBC Infographic Thanksgiving Podcast Crackle BET BBC America Cosplay TLC dramedy Exclusive Video MTV Trivia HBO APB LGBTQ Reality Competition A&E Valentine's Day science fiction Fall TV cinemax psycho Dark Horse Comics