As the elder statesmen of stoner movies, a reputation achieved across a dozen films (including the classic
Up in Smoke), Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong have found remarkable endurance, their pothead alter egos now spanning decades in popularity. After a long hiatus, the two reunited last year for a massive comedy tour, captured on film as
Cheech and Chong’s Hey Watch This. Out promoting the release of this documentary (released today in limited release, DVD & Blu-Ray, and video-on-demand channels), Rotten Tomatoes sat down with the legendary duo for their Five Favorite Films.
Cheech Marin: My favorite film of all time is A Hard Day’s
Night. With the Beatles. First of all, it’s the Beatles. I’ve seen it 30
Tommy Chong: My favorite is still Badlands. It was
Charlie Sheen’s dad, Martin Sheen. It was his first movie, I think. Terry Malick
is the director; Sissy Spacek, who was a young, 14-year-old girl.
CM: Yeah, and she looked 12. That’s the part that really got
TC: Warren Oates played the father. The most artistic, haunting
study of a serial killer that I’ve ever seen; you felt empathy for this guy who
was killing people. It was phenomenal. It didn’t do anything at the box office.
Rotten Tomatoes: It’s a classic now.
CM: That and a quarter will get you 25 cents.
CM: Chinatown. It’s the quintessential LA story and it
explains how the Department of Water and Power got into place. It’s just all
these dark themes with such great period nostalgia. It haunts you. It’s become
part of the lexicon.
TC: Let’s see, for me… The trouble with me is that I see films,
but I can never remember them. I can describe for you who was in it.
CM: Did it have black guys shooting guns? I like the one where
the black guys were shooting guns.
TC: Annie Hall. Diane Keaton was amazing.
CM: Yeah, it was the first white girl he ever wanted to f–k.
That was amazing right there. Of all the white girls, her?
CM: The Godfather. But you can’t say The Godfather
I or II or III. You gotta take them all together,
because, you know, they’re all of a piece. So, Godfather. Those are
probably the most memorized dialogue of any film ever made. You could say any
line from any of those three pictures — well, two and a half, anyway — and
people would know what you’re referring to.
TC: Pulp Fiction.
CM: Pulp Fiction is yours? [claps] How current.
TC: Pulp Fiction.You know what time it was on the
clocks in Pulp Fiction? It was 4:20 every time you saw a clock.
TC: Yeah. That’s pop culture lexicon. It’s always 4:20 in Pulp
CM: I like Hannah and Her Sisters. I’m a really big
Woody Allen fan. I love all his stuff except for the crap.
Ironically, I always wanted to be in a Woody Allen movie, and I was, but it was
a movie he just acted in, Picking up the Pieces. It was the worst movie
I was ever in. Everybody in it was a big star, was some name, Alfonso Arau was
the director, Vittorio Storaro was the DP. It was like all the world’s best
ingredients mixed in a cup full of vomit. I couldn’t even watch me, that’s how
bad it was.
But Hannah and Her Sisters. I just love the multiple storylines going
on, and then Woody Allen gets soft at the end, and it becomes sentimental. But
the thing I really liked was the piano score, the acoustic piano score that runs
throughout. It’s really the thing that ties it together, emotionally. I thought
that was one of his best movies.
TC: The Shawshank Redemption. The title threw me at
first. Before I went to jail, I started watching [every jail movie]. That was
one of them.
I was trying to write a book, and I was having trouble. You know, I didn’t have
the right publisher; they just wanted a book. I hooked up with this writer, a
ghost writer, and he wrote a script for me, like, overnight. It was my story,
but told from a bong’s point of view, and the bong gets put in federal prison. A
week later the feds come in. There was some weird cosmic thing going on.
CM: I think I like The Seven Samurai. I went back and
saw it. Interesting soundtrack. Saxophones.
RT: Do you pay a lot of attention to sound in movies?
CM: I do. We’re all musicians.
TC: Kill Bill? I don’t remember seeing it all the way
through. I don’t know what I was doing.
CM: There’s two of them.
TC: I’ve never seen either one of them. I think that’s because
my wife has control of the remote. I’m too lazy to look for it.