As I’ve discussed here before, I have a small (read as: MAJOR) DVD addiction. I can’t resist cheap DVDs. Used, new, ex-library… if I find it and it’s under $5 I’m very likely to buy it, whether it’s a film I love or one that I’ve never even heard of. This has led to many a blind purchase over the years — some of which have turned out great for me, and some of which I’ve ended up re-selling. The following are ten of my blind purchases that have turned out well, counted down in order of preference!
10. Children of the Corn – I went through a phase of horror film obsession in my teen years, and it was all kicked off by this all at once disturbing and hilarious classic of the ’80s. I found this for $2 at K-Mart, of all places, while on a camping trip. It remains one of my favorite horror/cheese flicks and has become part of the traditional late-October spook fest that I subject myself to every year.
9. Random Harvest– Some people consider this one of the most romantic films of all time. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that, but it is a very enjoyable film. I ordered it from the TCM Shop when they had it on sale for $5.99 in April, partially because I love Greer Garson and partially because I had heard good things about it. I recently posted a full review of the film, giving it a rating of 4/5 stars for the wonderful talents of Garson and the film’s ability to be all at once heart-breaking and heart-warming.
8. Alfie – This is one of those remakes that I constantly heard about but was extremely reluctant to watch. I had seen the 1966 film and couldn’t picture Jude Law in the role, much less carrying the film. But I was proved wrong! It’s a very solid remake.
7. Tempest – I had never even heard of this film when I stumbled upon it in a bargain bin at Best Buy, but I knew I had to buy it as soon as a I saw the cast. John Cassavetes! Gena Rowlands! Molly Ringwald! Susan Sarandon! The cast and the film as a whole did not disappoint. It’s a bit of a crazy piece of work and it won’t become the type of favorite that I re-watch once a month, but I’m definitely happy to have found it.
6. The Fountainhead – I bought this film through the TCM Shop. They were having a $5.99 sale (the same sale through which I bought Random Harvest), and I’d been wanting to watch this film since reading the book for comparison. It did not disappoint! Big drama, great performances. I posted a full review yesterday in honor of Gary Cooper’s birthday, so you can read my thoughts on the film there.
5. Love Story – I fell in love with the book version of this ’70s classic after stumbling upon it randomly at the library a few years ago, having no clue at all that a film version existed. I ended up finding the DVD for a very good price (I believe it was $3.99) at FYE one day, snapped it up because I loved the book… and then proceeded to let it sit on my shelf for way too long. After finally giving it a watch, I was impressed (and may or may not have shed a few tears by the end. Yes, I’m a sentimental sap!). I will always love the book version more, but I’m glad to have both of them to enjoy.
4. Happy Accidents – After attempting to watch this film on Netflix Instant while we were having network problems, I caved and bought a cheap copy at a local record store that sells used DVDs so I could finish watching it. I’m so glad that I did. I was impressed by the beginning of the film, which is why I went on the hunt for it instead of just forgetting it or waiting for the internet to become functional, but I still didn’t expect to enjoy it quite as much as I did. It’s such an underrated film, and I’m glad to own it!
3. The Long, Long Trailer – This was another impulse buy from the TCM Shop’s recent $5.99 sale and is definitely my favorite purchase from that haul! I was a bit disappointed when it arrived, because it comes in a very thin case that looks like it was taken out of a box set (and doesn’t look as good as a full size DVD case on my shelf). But packaging issue aside, I was still very excited to watch the film and it ended up being absolutely delightful. You just can’t beat Lucy & Desi! Read my full review of The Long, Long Trailer here, and view screen captures that I took from the film on tumblr.
2. Doris Day/Rock Hudson Collection – How, in all of my years of watching films, had I never seen a Day/Hudson film until I bought this collection in early 2012? It is quite possible that I was living under a rock, and I give every single reader permission to virtually slap me for this one. However, now that I have watched them, the three films included in this collection – Send Me No Flowers, Pillow Talk and Lover Come Back – have become serious favorites of mine. I bought this set around the same time that I bought It Happened to Jane, which also stars Doris, and effectively kicked off my obsession with her films.
1. Auntie Mame – This is, by far, the very best blind purchase I’ve ever made. Amazon was having a huge sale on classics, so I ordered it along with a few favorites that had been sitting on my wish list for eons. I actually had never heard of it before, despite the fact that Roz Russell is a favorite of mine. I somehow got it in my head that it was a musical – probably since I’d ordered it with three musicals – so I was both highly surprised and very pleased with what it turned out to be, which is a complete riot of a comedy. I simply could not be happier that I discovered Auntie Mame. It is, without a doubt, one of the funniest films I’ve ever seen.