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

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