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Filtering by Category: Hidden Gems

Hidden Gems #8



Hidden Gem #80: Rogue Cop (1954, U.S.A.)

Director: Roy Rowland


From the same writers who brought us 1953's The Big Heat (Sidney Boehm adapting William P. McGivern's source material) comes this far lesser known but just as potent film noir that replaces Glenn Ford's vengeful but clean cop Dave Bannion with Robert Taylor's conflicted but dirty cop Christopher Kelvaney.   






Hidden Gem #79: Hunger a.k.a. Sult (1966, Denmark/Norway/Sweden)

Director: Henning Carlsen

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The director, highly impressed with Nobel Prize winner Knut Hamsun's novel 'Sult', has provided this penetrating and emotionally consuming adaptation that delivers an equally unwavering performance from lead actor Per Oscarsson.







Hidden Gem #78: Between Time and Timbuktu (1972, U.S.A.)

Director: Fred Barzyk


This TV movie is a wildly creative sampling of writer Kurt Vonnegut's various literary works and deserves far more exposer and recognition than it has so far received.








Hidden Gem #77: Série noire (1979, France)

Director: Alain Corneau


An eccentric door-to-door salesman (a stunning performance from Patrick Dewaere) becomes progressively unhinged after encountering a teenager turned prostitute (pimped out by her money grubbing aunt) in Georges Perec and Alain Corneau’s bizarre but energised adaptation of noir writer Jim Thompson's novel.






Hidden Gem #76: He Was Her Man (1934, U.S.A.)

Director: Lloyd Bacon

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A little gem that once again pairs stars James Cagney and Joan Blondell, may have less of the snappy banter between them we've come to expect, but their romantic feelings for one another run deeper, and really hit home after witnessing the shocking finale, a conclusion only made possible during the film's pre-code time period. 






Hidden Gem #75: Adam at Six A.M. (1970, U.S.A.)

Director: Robert Scheerer


Adam at Six A.M. is a finely etched and subtle "coming of age" film with Michael Douglas in the starring role that was overshadowed by the same year's similarly themed and more dramatic Five Easy Pieces; still, this hidden gem deserves more attention especially for the remarkable character portrayal provided by Joe Don Baker.






Hidden Gem #74: If I Had a Million (1932, U.S.A.)

Directors: James Cruze ("Death Cell")
                 H. Bruce Humberstone ("The Forger")
                 Ernst Lubitsch ("The Clerk")
                 Norman Z. McLeod ("China Shop", "Road Hogs")
                 Lothar Mendes (unknown contribution)
                 Stephen Roberts ("Violet", "Grandma")
                 William A. Seiter ("The Three Marines")
                 Norman Taurog ("Prologue", "Epilogue") 


Eight different episodes concerning the surprised recipients of one million dollars comprise this delightful and enchanting pre-code gem with a stellar cast of rising stars.








Hidden Gem #73: Apartment Zero (1988, U.K.)

Director: Martin Donovan


This unique and compelling relationship/mystery-thriller has the admirable distinction of investing, rather than ignoring as many similarly themed films do, a well substantiated emotional centre in its main characters which not only heightens our engagement when the conflicts get out of hand, but provides impetus for pondering the events long after they occur.    





Hidden Gem #72: The Lost One a.k.a. Der Verlorene (1951, Germany)

Director: Peter Lorre


The celebrated actor returned to his native Germany to make his one directorial effort: a shockingly bold, deeply analytical and expressionistic character study about a research scientist living under the Nazi regime compelled to commit murder and its devastating aftereffects on his tortured soul.  





Hidden Gem #71: The Sea a.k.a. Il Mare (1963, Italy)

Director: Giuseppe Patroni Griffi


The director here, better known for his work in opera, emulates Antonioni in the way he captures, develops and exposes the nature of his three principal subjects' emotional dependencies in this little known Italian masterwork. 





Hidden Gems # 1 - 8 begin here.

Hidden Gems #7

Hidden Gem #70: Invasion of the Body Snatchers - The Director's Cut (1956, U.S.A.)

Director: Don Siegel

This very special cut of the film is without its "safety net", namely the studio imposed prologue and epilogue, and useless, irritatingly intrusive narration, so the previously recollected events are now much more immediately suspenseful and horrifying especially in the profound way they affect the characters psychologically and emotionally in the present, elevating this film to masterpiece status.





Hidden Gem #69: The Invitation a.k.a. L'invitation (1973, Switzerland/France)

Director: Claude Goretta

An insurance company man inherits a small fortune and throws a big party at his new lavish home in the country for his work colleagues, revealing insights into their true morals and vulnerabilities, as the liberally dispensed alcohol goes to work on inhibitions in this brilliant homage to the other masterful observers of human foibles and frailties - directors' Bergman (Smiles of a Summer Night) and Renoir (The Rules of the Game). 





Hidden Gem #68: Split Image (1982, Canada/U.S.A.)

Director: Ted Kotcheff

The sensational subject of a cult group's mind control of a young man is explored with precision by director Kotcheff who elicits strong performances from his ideal cast including James Woods as a confidently aggressive de-programmer, Brian Dennehy as the emotionally distraught father and a chillingly subdued Peter Fonda as the cult's leader. 





Hidden Gem #67: The Big Risk a.k.a. Classe Tous Risques (1960, France)

Director: Claude Sautet

One of the two gangsters on the run (Lino Ventura) has his family in tow but that doesn't stop him or anyone else from committing ruthless, violent acts in this ultra-realistic underworld expose' of loyalty, sacrifice and betrayal; its gritty and explosive narrative twists and turns are courtesy of ex-con Jose Giovanni's sourced novel and co-adaptation of the script. 





Hidden Gem #66: Monkey on My Back (1957, U.S.A.)

Director: Andre De Toth

Compared to all of the films about famous boxers (Somebody Up There Likes Me, Raging Bull) or drug addiction (A Hatful of Rain, The Man with the Golden Arm) this true story of Barney Ross with its magnificent performance by Cameron Mitchell and underrated director at the helm is practically unheard of, but more engaging than most of the films in either category.





Hidden Gem #65: Scandal Sheet (1952, U.S.A.)

Director: Phil Karlson

Its plot is similar to The Big Clock and The Man Who Cheated Himself but this little potboiler has the added dynamite of Broderick Crawford in the lead, creatively trying to hide his murderous guilt from protege John Derek in this lean and mean noir adapted from a novel by director Samuel Fuller. 






Hidden Gem #64: Never Take Candy (a.k.a. Sweets) from a Stranger (1960, U.K.)


Director: Cyril Frankel

This courageous, insightful, intelligently forthright story, which concerns a couple of young girls who fall victim to a pedophile, and the community's subsequent attempts to cover for the accused (since he's the town's rich, elderly benefactor), was shunned upon its release and has been unjustly neglected since.





Hidden Gem #63: Blonde Crazy (1931, U.S.A.)

Director: Roy Del Ruth

This little pre-code gem might as well have been titled "Slap Crazy" the way Joan Blondell dishes them out to James Cagney: a couple of cons who together sizzle like shrimp on the barbie. (More here).








Hidden Gem #62: Samurai Rebellion a.k.a. Rebellion a.k.a. Jôi-uchi: Hairyô tsuma shimatsu (1967, Japan)

Director: Masaki Kobayashi

This incredibly moving story pitting deeply felt emotional reason against an unjust higher authority is better known than some of the director's earlier works, but should still be held in higher regard especially as it's written by one of the finest screenwriters of all time, Shinobu Hashimoto (i.e. Ikiru, The Seven Samurai, Harakiri, Samurai Assassin et al).





Hidden Gem #61: The Landlord (1970, U.S.A.)

Director: Hal Ashby

One wouldn't expect a director's debut film about such important issues as wealth, class and racial divides in New York City to be so charming, funny and endearing but it is that and much more because the storytellers never shy away from the serious relationship problems depicted; instead they cleverly infuse them into a learning curve for our naive but loveable central character.



Hidden Gems #8 is here.  

Hidden Gems #6



Hidden Gem #60: The Steel Trap (1952, U.S.A.)

Director: Andrew L. Stone

This 'man on the run' caper packs an additional wallop of suspense by focusing on our main protagonist's continuously fascinating and unpredictable behaviour: One response will surprise us with an even riskier "second job" for him to complete. (More here).   






Hidden Gem #59: The Hill (1965, U.K.)

Director: Sydney Lumet

Far less known than Lumet's earlier play adaptation of 12 Angry Men, this pressure cooker of a story by Ray Rigby is expertly handled by its accomplished director, delivering intense characterisations and performances that burn right through us, including a career best by Sean Connery. (See: Inspecting a Hidden Gem).





Hidden Gem #58: Death Note a.k.a. Desu nôto (2006, Japan)

Director: Shusuke Kaneko

A live action translation of a very popular, ingenious Manga/Anime series that's packed with creative characters, wild story elements, sly humour and a dramatically charged battle of strategies, taking us on one hell of a genre-crossing ride.

(Out of 5 Treasure Chests)

(Out of 5 Treasure Chests)





Hidden Gem #57: Death Note II: The Last Name a.k.a. Desu nôto: The last name (2006, Japan)

Director: Shusuke Kaneko

This bold sequel picks up right where the first Death Note left off, introducing additional captivating story twists and exciting conflict resolutions.

(Out of 5 Treasure Chests)

(Out of 5 Treasure Chests)





Hidden Gem #56: Diamonds of the Night a.k.a. Démanty noci (1964, Czechoslovakia)

Director: Jan Nemec

Hallucinatory fantasy, brutal reality and 'Bunuelian' imagery are perfectly blended together in this groundbreaking nightmare of two young Jewish concentration camp escapees; from an under appreciated director who importantly formed part of the Czech new wave (including Ivan Passer and Milos Forman).





Hidden Gem #55: Your Three Minutes Are Up! (1973, U.S.A.)

Director: Douglas Schwartz

A highly enjoyable mixture of irreverent comedy with a serious examination of developing maturity, this gem contains a wealth of pleasantly engaging interactions between our two diverse lead performers.






Hidden Gem #54: Patterns (1956, U.S.A.)

Director: Fielder Cook

Personal ambition conflicts with the human values of a newly hired executive thrust into a world of ruthless big business practices, with Rod Serling's acidic dialogue being the fuse that ignites the explosive dramatic fireworks in this emotionally devastating cinematic gem. (More here).





Hidden Gem #53: The Holy Mountain (1973, Mexico/U.S.A.)

Director: Alexandro Jodorowsky

If you enjoy getting high, do so when seeing this expert satirist's abstract mosaic of absurd, grotesque imagery and sacrilegious symbolism which pokes fun at the idea that there is something meaningful to be made out of life or for that matter, this motion picture.  





Hidden Gem #52: Dark Hazard (1934, U.S.A.)

Director: Alfred E. Green

One wouldn't expect to find a compulsive gambler so endearing, but this character continuously exhibits such a distinctively warm human kindness, with the added bonus of being portrayed by the great Edward G. Robinson, that's precisely what happens in this little gem guaranteed to put a big grin on your face. (More here).





Hidden Gem #51: Straight Time (1978, U.S.A.)

Director: Ulu Grosbard

Just as Jose Giovanni (an ex-con turned screenwriter) introduced a sensational new perspective of gritty realism into the French crime genre, so did Edward Bunker for its American counterpart, not only writing Straight Time's source novel No Beast So Fierce while in prison, but also co-writing the screenplay and working as a consultant on this supremely made project. (More here).



Hidden Gems #7 is here.

Hidden Gems #5

Hidden Gem #50: Wake in Fright a.k.a. Outback (1971, Australia/U.S.A.)

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Director: Ted Kotcheff

A British bonded school teacher who dreams of life in the big city, receives the culture shock of a lifetime when a planned brief stopover in an Aussie mining town becomes a one way ticket to self-loathing hell and for us one of the most personally gripping horror stories ever witnessed.





Hidden Gem #49: Special Section a.k.a. Section spéciale (1975, France/Italy/West Germany)

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Director: Costa-Gavras

Less melodramatic than the director's better known Missing (1982) and Music Box (1989), this straightforwardly powerful account of judicial corruption is based on a true story that took place in Nazi occupied France during World War II.





Hidden Gem #48: Black Rain a.k.a. Kuroi ame (1989, Japan)

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The devastating after effects of the Hiroshima bombing are handled in a subdued and subtle fashion in Imamura's most tragic and moving cinematic story. 







Hidden Gem #47: The Stranger a.k.a. Lo straniero (1967, Italy/France/Algeria)

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Director: Luchino Visconti

Perfectly capturing the theme of existentialism is this provocative portrayal of a lost soul accused of murder in French occupied Algeria (based on the novel by Albert Camus).





Hidden Gem #46: Smog (1962, Italy)


Director: Franco Rossi

Like 1972's The Outside Man (See: Top 10 Guilty Treasures), this is a unique and absorbing outsider's view of life in Los Angeles, only instead of the French suspenseful intrigue we have this charming and quirky Italian perspective. 





Hidden Gem #45: Cry Danger (1951, U.S.A.)

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Director: Robert Parrish

This terrific little L.A. noir with Dick Powell at his cynical best has great heavies, sleazy locations, shady dames and wicked dialogue to burn - plus even Powell's best friend who sprung him from prison on a phoney alibi thinks he's guilty. (More here).





Hidden Gem #44: Ocean Men: Extreme Dive (2001, Germany)

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Director: Bob Talbot

A fascinating, totally unique documentary that looks at two extreme athletes who challenge each other not only in how long they can hold their breaths but in the authenticity of the chosen methods to do so, with the director's amazing underwater photography beautifully scored by composer Cliff Eidelman.

(Out of 5 Treasure Chests)

(Out of 5 Treasure Chests)

Hidden Gem #43: Four Nights of a Dreamer a.k.a. Quatre nuits d'un rêveur (1971, France)

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Director: Robert Bresson

A chance encounter in Paris between a painter and a possible suicide victim turns to dreamy, unrequited love in still another jewel from the great french director, this one rare and practically unknown.





Hidden Gem #42: Black Tuesday (1954, U.S.A.)

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Director: Hugo Fregonese

This brutally vicious prison escape thriller is one of the best of its type and contains a riveting performance by Edward G. Robinson, matched every step of the way by an equally brilliant (and surprisingly intense) turn from Peter Graves as a fellow convict, both of whom are about to be executed. 





Hidden Gem #41: Le Crabe Tambour (1977, France)

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Director: Pierre Schoendoerffer

A highly engrossing and intelligent film that combines adventure with historical drama and a strong sense of mystery surrounding the heroics of a former French war hero once betrayed, and now sought out, by a dying ship's captain.




Hidden Gems #6 is here.

Hidden Gems #4

Hidden Gem #40: Big Business (1929, U.S.A.)

Director: J. Wesley Horne (Supervising Director: Leo McCarey)


Laurel and Hardy, the "go to" specialists in hilarious tit for tat types of confrontations, were graced with a special distinction in this early silent short, namely the duo's innocent attempt at retrieving an unwanted Christmas tree (inadvertently caught in a potential customer's slammed door) that begins the slow buildup to its brilliantly staged Armageddon.


Hidden Gem #39: One Froggy Evening (1955, U.S.A.)


Director: Chuck Jones

Over half a century later this outrageously funny Warner Bros. classic is still the king of animation; plus it even manages to spread a profound message about greed over its 7 minute running time.






Hidden Gem #38: When a Woman Ascends the Stairs a.k.a. Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki (1960, Japan)


Director: Mikio Naruse

This surprisingly prolific director's name is hardly recognised compared to the other masters of a simple, more personal style of Japanese cinematic storytelling (namely Ozu, Kurosawa and Mizoguchi) yet this film alone, with its cumulative emotional impact derived from such a poignantly detailed character study, should place Naruse's name in equal standing with his peers.





Hidden Gem #37: Castle of Purity a.k.a. El castillo de la pureza (1973, Mexico)


Director: Arturo Ripstein

This very focused look into domestic life has a uniquely alarming premise of a man who keeps his family locked up inside their home ostensibly to shelter them from the evils of the outside world in this deeply felt, emotionally precise little gem of a film.





Hidden Gem #36: America: From Hitler to M-X (1982, U.S.A.)


Director: Joan Harvey

A once seen, never forgotten feature-length anti war documentary that not only hits hard, chronicling the devastating consequences of America's deliberate proliferation of nuclear arms, but also has the courage to expose with detailed evidence the same country's corporate ties to Nazi Germany before and during WW 2.





Hidden Gem #35: Cash on Demand (1962, U.K.)

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Director: Quentin Lawrence

This ingenious little psychological thriller from Hammer Studios is ripe with suspense, partly due to its claustrophobic, close-quarters setting, and fascinatingly ironic because the victim (a bank manager played by Peter Cushing, pictured at left) is an anal, bullish, stick-in-the-mud who's devilishly toyed with and subsequently terrorised by a clever, albeit sinister individual introduced as his superior officer (actor Andre Morell on the right).





Hidden Gem #34: Steppenwolf (1974, U.S.A./Switzerland/U.K./France/Italy)


Director: Fred Haines

Based on the novel by Herman Hesse, this remarkable existential voyage into the mind of a depressed, middle-aged intellectual (perfectly embodied by Max Von Sydow) who "drops out and turns on," contains one of cinema's thoroughly engrossing displays of a psychedelic drug trip (Performance and Easy Rider being a few others).





Hidden Gem #33: The Fire Within a.k.a. Le Fue Follet (1963, France)

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Director: Louis Malle

The "recovery" of a painfully depressed alcoholic might pertain to his alcoholism, but cannot do anything to alleviate his thoughts of suicide, so after being discharged from a clinic, our subject visits some "friends," desperately hoping to find a reason to go on living in cinema's greatest portrayal of an inevitable personal tragedy. (More here).





Hidden Gem #32: The Bedford Incident (1965, U.S.A.)

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Director: James B. Harris

The plot of a submarine hunt during the cold war, in this tension bursting thriller (expertly directed by Stanley Kubrick's one time producer) is so well connected to its characters' conflicting psychologies you'll be grasping your chair by the time it reaches its stunning climax. (More here).





Hidden Gem #31: Private Hell 36 (1954, U.S.A.)


Director: Don Siegel

Before he unleashed Dirty Harry, cinema's ultimate craftsman directed this tight little noir about a couple of cops who, when they find a bunch of stolen cash with no one around, decide to keep it for themselves, which in addition to its enthralling premise contains a tour de force performance by Steve Cochran as the "badder" of the two cops.



Hidden Gems #5 is here.

Hidden Gems #3

Hidden Gem #30: Boy a.k.a. Shonen (1969, Japan)


Director: Nagisa Oshima

Based on a shocking, true story about parents who travel the country coercing their 10 year old to fake traffic accidents so that his mother-in-law can extort money from the unsuspecting motorists; this gem derives considerable emotional impact from the way our title character seeks refuge from his harsh reality by retreating into a fantasy world of space aliens who he imagines (oddly enough) care for and look after one another. (More here).





Hidden Gem #29: Wanda (1970, U.S.A.)


Director: Barbara Loden

Like The Night of the Hunter and One Eyed Jacks, this highly accomplished directorial "one off" by an acting talent concerns a mentally challenged drifter (played by the director) who finds a brief emotional connection to a criminal who callously uses her to assist him in a highly dangerous bank robbery. (More here).





Hidden Gem #28: Goodnight My Love (1972, U.S.A.)

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Director: Peter Hyams

Richard Boone and Michael Dunn play down to their last dime private detective partners, the former a big, brutish soft-spoken guy, the latter a sharp witted dwarf in 1940's Los Angeles where film noir meets an even darker sense of humour in this highly atmospheric, engrossing and exceptionally well made for TV little gem.





Hidden Gem #27: The Aviator's Wife a.k.a. La femme de l'aviateur (1981, France)

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Director: Eric Rohmer

While spying on his stand-offish girlfriend a young male student gets temporarily distracted by an even younger but more mature and socially aware female student in this spontaneous and enlightened offering from a masterful creator of subtly engaging manners. 





Hidden Gem #26: El a.k.a. This Strange Passion (1953, Mexico)


Director: Luis Bunuel

Full of inspired and highly creative situations as a wealthy man's increasingly jealous determination to posses his new wife turns to madness in one of the great director's lesser known masterpieces that looks forward to the theme of "romantic" obsession in Vertigo from Alfred Hitchcock. 





Hidden Gem #25: The Lacemaker a.k.a. La dentellière (1977, France/Switzerland/West Germany)


Director: Claude Goretta

A compelling romance develops between a very reserved but caring young woman and a middle-class intellectual, then tragically unravels when his overly-taxed mind simply cannot reconcile with her simple and beautiful heart.





Hidden Gem #24: Try and Get Me! a.k.a. The Sound of Fury (1950, U.S.A.)

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Director: Cy Endfield

Brace yourself for a devastatingly confrontational first, second and final act knock-out culminating in this: the most horrifyingly honest and realistic depiction of the American dream transformed into an American nightmare the screen has ever produced and it's based on a true story. (See: Inspecting a Hidden Gem).





Hidden Gem #23: A Dirty Carnival a.k.a. Biyeolhan geori (2006, South Korea)

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Director: Ha Yoo

A riveting gangster film that wisely focuses on its central character's quest to rise in his gang's hierarchy while improving his personal relationship with those closest to him which includes a fascinating "conflict of interest" sub-plot whereby our protagonist tries to help an aspiring film maker make his gangster film more realistic.

(Out of 5 Treasure Chests)

(Out of 5 Treasure Chests)





Hidden Gem #22: It All Starts Today a.k.a. Ça commence aujourd'hui (1999, France)

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Director: Bertrand Tavernier

A kindergarten teacher in a poor coal-mining region of Northern France struggles valiantly to improve not only his community's welfare but his private life as well in this passionate and ultimately uplifting social drama which is due primarily to the children's heart warming resiliency brilliantly captured by one of France's most notable cinematic storytellers. 





Hidden Gem #21: Across the Bridge (1957, U.K.)

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Director: Ken Annakin

A terrific premise sets up this suspenseful "man on the run" thriller whereby our protagonist must change identities with a stranger on board a train in order to evade capture once arriving in Mexico... a plan that's complicated by a most ingenious story twist which also produces a profound character change during his already intriguing journey.  



Hidden Gems #4 is here.

Hidden Gems #2

Hidden Gem #20: The Pearl a.k.a. La perla (1947, Mexico)

Director: Emilio Fernandez

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Before he became "Mapache" (See: Opening Up A Treasure The Wild Bunch) this rather neglected, under appreciated director created this beautiful cinematic gem, truly inspired from the John Steinbeck novella whereby the famous novelist himself assisted in writing the screenplay. 





Hidden Gem #19: Devil's Doorway (1950, U.S.A.)

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Director: Anthony Mann

Credit goes to producer Nicholas Nayfack for giving us this courageous, under appreciated masterpiece (its director's first and finest western which is saying a lot) telling a very personal tragedy that exposes the hard truth about America's past treatment of its native inhabitants. (See: Inspecting a Hidden Gem).





Hidden Gem #18: Titicut Follies (1967, U.S.A.)

Director: Frederick Wiseman

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This gripping and shocking documentary that takes place inside a Massachusetts Correctional Institution for the criminally insane benefits most from its director's unique approach of quietly filming for endless hours so that his subjects practically forget he's there. 






Hidden Gem #17: The Matrimony a.k.a. Xin zhong you gui (2007, China)

Director: Hua-Tao Teng


A tragedy of lost love is creatively interwoven throughout this suspenseful and chilling ghost story. 

(Out of 5 Treasure Chests)

(Out of 5 Treasure Chests)





Hidden Gem #16: Orders to Kill (1958, U.K.)

Director: Anthony Asquith

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"To kill or not to kill" is the question for this protagonist since he not only doubts the guilt of a so called traitor to the French Resistance during WW2, he becomes rather fond of the guy he's ordered to eliminate in this underrated British gem deserving of its praise from noted film historian Peter Cowie. 





Hidden Gem #15: Mado (1976, France)


Director: Claude Sautet

This wonderful cinematic storyteller becomes so deeply absorbed in his characters he allows those with vision to do the same.  






Hidden Gem #14: The Seedling a.k.a. Ankur (1974, India)


Director: Shyam Benegal

This director's award winning first feature based on a true story resonates with emotion as it provides deep insight into India's troubled caste system.  






Hidden Gem #13: Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion a.k.a. Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto (1970, Italy)

Director: Elio Petri


This fascinating, ultra magnetic portrait of a power crazy (and just plain crazy) murderer who also happens to be a police chief is made absorptive due to its distinctive visual style perfectly matched with a lively and infectious Ennio Morricone score. (See: Treasured Appearances).





Hidden Gem #12: Malcolm (1986, Australia)


Director: Nadia Tass

Leave it to the Aussies (in this case Nadia Tass working with writer David Parker) to turn a crime film into such a quirky, inventively hilarious and ultimately endearing little gem.  







Hidden Gem #11: Forever Mary a.k.a Mery per sempre (1989, Italy)

Director: Marco Risi

A teacher gets deeply involved with his reform school students, and so do we.




Hidden Gems #3 is here.


Hidden Gems #1

Hidden Gem #10: They Won't Believe Me (1947, U.S.A.)

Director: Irving Pichel

This guy's a revelation: A real fish in a noir desert. (See: Inspecting a Hidden Gem).






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Hidden Gem #9: Amor Bandido a.k.a. Beloved Lover (1978, Brazil)

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 Director: Bruno Barreto

The streets are meaner than Scorsese's in this revved up melodrama where Romeo and Juliet meets A Short Film About Killing. (See: Inspecting a Hidden Gem).






Hidden Gem #8: Hunter in the Dark a.k.a. Yami no Karyudo (1979, Japan)


Director: Hideo Gosha

A one-eyed assassin with amnesia slices his way back to a haunted past in this exhilarating samurai gem.






Hidden Gem #7: The Fifth Seal a.k.a. Az ötödik pecsét (1976, Hungary)

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 Director: Zoltan Fabri

This devastating masterpiece begins like a Eugene O'Neill play, with some guys in a bar philosophising about torture, the relevancy of which hits us like a sledgehammer when later they are captured and tortured by the Nazis.





Hidden Gem #6: Hotel Pacific a.k.a Zaklete rewiry (1975, Poland/Czechoslovakia)


Director: Janusz Majewski

A diverse group of loveable characters converge at the Hotel Pacific's restaurant in this funny yet poignant little cinematic gem.








Hidden Gem #5: Police Python 357 (1976, France)


 Director: Alain Corneau

A twist on the intriguing The Big Clock premise sets up a French "Dirty Harry" in this absorbing neo-noir thriller. (More here).







Hidden Gem #4: Madchen in Uniform a.k.a. Maedchen in Uniform (1931, Germany)


Director: Leontine Sagan

Beautifully enacted and sensitive portrayal of a shy young girl sent to an all girls boarding school who becomes desperately enamored with one of her female teachers.






Hidden Gem #3: The Ascent a.k.a. Voskhoz hdeniye (1977, Soviet Union)


Director: Larisa Shepitko

A couple of Soviet soldiers fight for survival in this harrowing, religiously symbolic WW2 masterstroke full of indelible imagery. (More here).







Hidden Gem #2: Deep End (1970, UK/West Germany)

Director: Jerzy Skolimowski

A handsome young lad learns about obsessive and unrequited love the hard way in this unique and compelling retro coming of age gem.






Hidden Gem #1: The Swimmer (1968, U.S.A.)

Director: Frank Perry

 "You loved it!"... Well you better love it since this dreamer's captivating, one of a kind and ultimately tragic journey home via his friend's suburban pools is my favourite film of all time. (See: Inspecting a Hidden Gem).




Hidden Gems #2 is here.

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