It happens to me all the time. I tell myself that I am actually going to get to bed before midnight and then sure enough, two and a half hours later, I am still up. How did this happen? Why would I stay up into the wee hours of the morning on a Sunday night by myself? Easy, some movie that I have already seen about a thousand times and which I actually already own decided to come on TV. For whatever reason, instead of deciding to watch the movie on my own time at a more convenient hour of the day in the future, I decide to sit through the drawn out, commercial filled, terribly edited version that the TV station is showing. No, I swear, I am not a loser.
For this blog post I am going to count down my top five favorite movies that are shown on TV on stations like TNT, TBS, USA, etc., over and over and over. Enjoy!
5. Varsity Blues
This is my all-time favorite football movie. This is because I can relate to it. No, my football talents did not lead me to a collegiate career but I did have three years on my high school’s varsity team and “Varsity Blues” captured so much of my experience and the experience of thousands of other prep football players. “Varsity Blues” portrayed high school football in Texas years before “Friday Night Lights” and the explosion of the nation’s obsession with prep football in the Lonestar state. I think people forget that sometime. The movie is colorful, it is funny, and it is real. It is also shown on TV over and over. In fact, I watched it last night on TNT and it served as my inspiration to write this post tonight.
Second Favorite Scene: How can you not love the strip club scene where the players go to the dirty club and see their hot teacher perform? Billy Bob has some great lines and every guy has had that experience where you go into a place like that at nighttime and then you leave the place when the sun is starting to rise and you just feel like the biggest pile ever. Love it.
Favorite Scene: Favorite scene is the second half of the last game in which Nox leads the team to victory while Paul Walker’s character coaches them as the team had revolted against Coach Kilmer during halftime. Everything ends on a happy note and everything is tied together by Nox’s narration at the end.
This movie is so funny because there is really no reason why it should be shown on TV. It set some sort of record for having the most F bombs said in it and the violence in it is out of this world. For whatever reason though, stations like AMC love to play it over and over. It really is a great movie though. With an amazing cast and a subject matter that is so intriguing (The Mob), it is my all-time favorite gangster movie and believe me I have seen them all.
Second Favorite Scene: I laugh so hard everytime the scene with De Niro, Liotta, and Pesci go to Pesci’s elderly mom’s house late at night after they had killed that “made man” at the bar. The mom makes them eat dinner and they all sit uncomfortably while the body of the dead guy (who is actually still hanging on to life) is in the car. The awkward situation starts to ease up a little bit as the dialogue between the three gangsters and the oblivious mom turns absolutely hilarious. De Niro, Liotta, and Pesci then lose it when the mom shows a painting that depicted a guy who looked like the person they had in the back of their trunk.
Favorite Scene: For this movie, I love the early scene in the gansters’ hangout bar where Liotta’s character is narrating and he introduces us to all of the various goodfellas. It is as if you are in the movie and each gangster is personally introducing himself to you. The narration is so funny and clever and it always reminds me of various members of my large Italian family back when I was young and we would go to these big parties and dinners and all of my great uncles and great great uncles would come up to me and talk. I swear some of those guys could have had roles in “Goodfellas”.
3. Shawshank Redemption
I think this movie might be the one that is replayed on TV the most. You turn on your TV late at night and there is probably a 50/50 chance that it is going to be on. I can quote the whole movie in my sleep. But I still love it. The acting and the narration in it are superb and I think people are just fascinated with prison life in the first place.
Second Favorite Scene: I always cheer for Tim Robbins’ character, Andy Dufrense, when he proves himself to the other inmates. They are all doing labor when Andy overhears the head guard talking about a tax issue involving an inheritance he was going to receive. Andy butts in and says there is a way around it. After nearly getting the crap beat out of him, the head guard hears him out and agrees to let Andy help him. Andy’s only request in exchange for his help is that his work crew gets a couple rounds of beer.
Favorite Scene: I know it is kind of gloomy, but I love the fall of Shawshank. Andy has anonymously mailed in the documents exposing the warden’s scheme and the scene starts with a front page headline telling of the corruption at the prison. A long procession of police invade the prison and arrest all the top officials before finally making it up to the warden’s office to take him away. Of course the warden kills himself. This set up one of my favorite movie lines ever, as said by Red (Morgan Free): I’d like to think that the last thing that went through his head, other than that bullet, was to wonder how the hell Andy Dufresne ever got the best of me.”
“Varsity Blues” is my favorite football movie only because I do not consider “Rudy” a football movie. I consider it a movie about life and inspiration. I cry every single time I watch this movie. Obviously, this movie has made me cry a lot because it is on TV constantly. The movie “Rudy” played a large part in making me a huge Notre Dame fan. I believe the movie does an amazing job of capturing the unique spirit and tradition of Notre Dame while also telling a great story. The movie also has what I believe to be the best musical score ever. “Rudy” captures what sports are all about while also teaching us all about facing adversity and never giving up. One of my favorite movies of all time.
Second Favorite Scene: I always get goosebumps watching the tryout scene where the assistant coach runs the walk on players through drills, telling them that they have no prayer of walking through the players tunnel on Saturdays but that they might have a chance to make the scout team. The coach is truthful with them but you can tell he has respect for what the players are doing. As the coach takes them through various drills, the powerful instrumental theme of the movie is played for the first time.
Favorite Scene – Tie: One of the parts of the movie where I always lose it is when the players one-by-one march into the coach’s office to turn in their jersey so Rudy can take his spot and suit up for the last game of the season (despite a promise from the old coach, Rudy was not on the dress list). “For Rudy coach.” It is the ultimate show of solidarity and respect for a guy who had given his team everything he possibly had.
Favorite Scene – Tie: Of course my other favorite scene is the final game in which Rudy gets to play in and which ends the movie. All of Rudy’s family and friends are in attendance for the game. They all know Rudy really has no chance to play but they all promised him they would attend the game if he suited up. The movie shows parts of the game from kickoff to the end of the game. The football scenes are very, very good. No fake looking plays, no fake looking scenery, no cheesy moments. It is Notre Dame football at its finest. Towards the end of the game, it looks as if the game is all but locked up. One of the players starts a Rudy chant and the whole crowd joins in. Notre Dame is on offense and Rudy’s best friend, a backup quarterback who is now in the game, knows Rudy will not get in unless they score. Instead of taking a knee like the coach has instructed him to, the quarterback calls for a trick play and the Irish score. The coach then puts Rudy into the game on the kickoff team. As Rudy runs onto the field the instrumental hits its powerful chorus and the crowd goes crazy. The kickoff ends but there is time for one more play. They tell Rudy to stay on the field and play defense. He records a game ending sack and is carried off the field. One of the best scenes ever in film. INSPIRATION.
1. Forrest Gump
This movie is always on TV and is shown by maybe perhaps the most different channels. It is on the networks, it is on TNT, it is on AMC, it is on USA. Just like “Rudy”, “Forrest Gump” is one of my all-time favorite movies. It is so unique because you can tune in anytime during the duration of the movie and be instantly hooked. It will go down as an American classic. Adding to its legitimacy as a great movie, it is also one of the most quotable movies in American pop culture.
Second Favorite Scene: I am very partial to the scene where Gump is in D.C. at the Reflecting Pool and he is about to give his impromptu speech at the peace rally. The government officials then mess up the cords so no one in the audience can hear but everyone on stage has been moved to tears. Right when the peace activists get the cords working again, he concludes his speech. Forrest then sees Jenny and he runs to her as the crowd looks on.
Favorite Scene: My favorite scene in Forrest Gump is when Lieutenant Dan meets back up with Forrest years later at Forrest’s and Jennie’s wedding at their house. Lieutenant Dan now has prosthetic legs and he is engaged to a Vietnamese woman. Lieutenant Dan and Jennie meet for the first time ever, noting to each other that they had heard so much about the other. Lieutenant Dan had turned his whole life around, thanks to Forrest. Jennie, likewise, turned her whole life around because of Forrest. I tear up just writing about this scene right now. It is beyond touching.
So there is my list. I would love it if you would tell me your favorite movies that live on by way of television. Even though I have seen all of these movies over and over, I can assure you that the next time I flip to one of them on TV, no matter the time, I will be watching. Don’t Blink.