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

Mystery Calendar FOX NYCC MTV TCM DC Universe Valentine's Day TBS Nat Geo dramedy Hulu Photos E! politics boxoffice APB hist Food Network MSNBC Mindy Kaling DC Comics Tumblr Sundance Now Spring TV ITV docudrama Masterpiece E3 IFC Films finale Trivia Disney Channel Rocky Writers Guild of America TCA 2017 TV GoT 24 frames Set visit First Look Rock cinemax Spike Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Western binge Character Guide romance FX SXSW Fox News TruTV BBC vampires Horror talk show Emmys medical drama Super Bowl Kids & Family Winners Premiere Dates Reality spy thriller Marathons Music supernatural VH1 USA Network political drama sitcom GLAAD Thanksgiving zombie travel BET WGN Showtime Adult Swim See It Skip It Comedy Central Comic Book OWN The Arrangement 20th Century Fox Biopics Sundance RT History DC streaming service IFC Superheroe SundanceTV 007 CW Seed Bravo Pop Best and Worst 2017 cats Acorn TV Mary Tyler Moore dc Extras Opinion Paramount Network police drama VICE Lifetime Shondaland Infographic History cults CBS social media aliens historical drama transformers Warner Bros. Nominations Awards Oscars what to watch Superheroes psycho Year in Review Pirates SDCC PaleyFest FXX CMT technology Christmas festivals Fall TV crime thriller Ellie Kemper Starz composers Marvel BBC America Universal Watching Series TLC Syfy ABC Family Cosplay Musical crime TCA Creative Arts Emmys Netflix Teen Box Office Star Wars based on movie golden globes Freeform Countdown Tomatazos Toys crime drama Pixar USA Ghostbusters HBO Holidays Video Games TV Land National Geographic robots discovery diversity Action Lucasfilm thriller Cartoon Network El Rey GIFs unscripted sports Fantasy comiccon President Amazon YouTube Red Comedy A&E Country ABC Martial Arts Podcast NBC Lionsgate Sony Pictures Election harry potter Musicals biography Reality Competition ESPN Paramount X-Men TIFF 2016 YA Winter TV Esquire American Society of Cinematographers Red Carpet singing competition period drama ratings The CW AMC LGBTQ Dark Horse Comics Sci-Fi Rom-Com adventure war 45 2015 CBS All Access Sneak Peek Star Trek PBS serial killer cops Logo crossover Polls and Games Certified Fresh dceu Summer Animation 21st Century Fox Drama DirecTV zombies Interview Nickelodeon Schedule Disney Trailer cooking Crackle CNN science fiction Grammys Britbox justice league TNT