Random Question: What movies you wish would get a theatrical re-release?

Hello everyone! Welcome to another collaborative post with my lovely friend Paula G! This time we each came up with five movies we wish we could see on the big screen (either a repeat viewing or for the first time).

Seems like almost every other week nowadays we hear news of previously-released films being shown again on the big screen for one reason or another. Of course Hollywood is all feverish now with the 3D hype so every darn thing is getting the 3D treatment that serves no purpose whatsoever! There’ve been reports that Star Wars, Titanic and The Lion King are all being converted to 3D for a re-release in the near future… apparently both George Lucas and James Cameron are running out of hundred-dollar bills to swim in.

Now, I do think some films are meant to be seen in its big screen glory and obviously there are many we missed out on, either because they’re out before we were born or we simply didn’t get a chance to see ’em during their theatrical run. I’m fine with digital remastering, just save the unnecessary 3D please, thank you very much!

So without further ado, here are our picks starting with …

Paula’s List:

1. Lawrence of Arabia  (1962)
I just saw David Lean’s Bridge On The River Kwai on a big screen here and I noticed a lot of things I’d missed when watching it on TV, so it’s only logical to choose Lawrence of Arabia, with its desert panoramas and perfect compositions. It’s stunning on a small screen and probably only more so when seen at its proper size.


2. Black Narcissus (1947)
One of my favorite films ever, by my favorite directing duo Powell & Pressburger. The radiant colors and intricate settings would look even better larger, and the denouement would be even more tragic. Possibly some of the visual effects might be more noticeably artificial but Jack Cardiff’s cinematography would thrive.

3. Atonement (2007)
Psst…confession time…I’ve never seen all of Atonement. You know the drill…All together now…”It’s in the queue” But I have seen the 5-minute marvel that is the Dunkirk tracking shot and it deeply affects me. I’ve been known to cry. Not seeing this at a proper cinema is one of my biggest movie-viewing regrets.


4. Valhalla Rising (2009)
OK, so, this film doesn’t have much dialogue. It’s about a one-eyed Viking who ends up on a ship headed for the New World. It’s paced slowly. There’s some nasty violence (though there’s way less than you’d think from watching the trailer) and some really weird stuff goes down. BUT Mads Mikkelsen plays the one-eyed Viking, and it is beautifully shot. It has gorgeous scenic vistas, both glowingly warm and gloomy cold. Between the visuals and the sound, it’s almost sensory overload on a small screen. I can only imagine what effect all of this would have on a big screen.

5. Children of Men (2006)
I have never seen this one on any screen. It may well resemble my nightmares too closely for me to ever see it. But what I have seen of it, including this 10-minute tracking shot below is disturbing and incredible. It was nominated for the Editing and Cinematography Academy Awards and it seems like it should have won.

Ruth’s List:

1. Ben-Hur  (1959)
It’s no secret that I love and greatly admire this film. The chariots scene alone is worth the price of admission, but there are lots to marvel in one of the best Hollywood epic ever. I don’t mind that it’s 3.5 hours long, I’ve seen this film multiple times and there’s not a single seen not worth watching.

2. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Cowboys & Aliens is out tomorrow, and seeing him wearing that Cowboy hat somehow reminds me of his iconic Fedora as Indiana Jones. I was only a toddler when this movie came out so I didn’t see it until perhaps a decade later with my two twin brothers. We all absolutely loved it, and upon several viewing later, it never lost its appeal. Oh how wonderful it’d be to see Indy’s classic adventures on the big screen.

3. The Rocketeer (1991)
Ok, I’m feeling nostalgic again… especially after seeing the Captain America. I actually saw this on the big screen and I remember discussing it in detail with one of my brothers on the way home. Director Joe Johnston certainly knows how to create a stylish yet authentic retro vibe in his movies, the 1930s Hollywood era he created was awesome, complete with Terry O’Quinn as Howard Hughes (way more fitting than Leo was in The Aviator) and Timothy Dalton as an Errol Flynn-like movie star Neville Sinclair. They did show it at El Capitan theater with the cast & crew for their 20th Anniversary celebration last April (per HeroComplex), oh how I wish I could’ve been there!

4. Superman: The Movie (1978)
Christopher Reeve was my first ever movie crush, I think some of your already known that. I was only 4-5 years old when I saw it playing at a local cinema next door back in my home country. It was pure magic and I remember renting Superman I and II so many times from the video store that my uncle finally bought me a copy. This Lois Lane chopper scene with that iconic John Williams score never ever fails to move me. Yes, I did believe a man could fly… in fact, I still do 🙂

5. L.A. Confidential (1997)
I guess I have a penchant for a retro vibe in movies and this noir thriller not only looks good but it’s got one of the best script and ensemble cast ever! It was nominated for 9 Oscars and won 2 (one of them for Best Adapted Screenplay) and I think both Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe each deserved a nod for their performance. It’s such a juicy, multi-layered story full of twists and witty dialog aplenty that would be such a treat to see in a dark theater. I shall dedicate a proper post for this film, perhaps in a couple of months to coincide with its anniversary date of release.

Well, now your turn folks. What movie(s) do YOU wish would get a theatrical re-release? Better yet, share your own top five!

64 thoughts on “Random Question: What movies you wish would get a theatrical re-release?

  1. Ted S.

    Good topic, since I saw both Children of Men and LA Confidential in theater, they’re off my list. Here the films I’d love to see come back to the big screen:

    1. Blade Runner
    2. Lawrence of Arabia (It was shot in 65mm so it’s going to look gorgeous on a big 70mm screen)
    3. Raiders of the Lost Ark
    4. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Also shot in 65mm)
    5. Baraka (One of the last films to have been shot entirely in 65mm)
    6. All of the older Bond films that came out before GoldenEye.

    Sorry I have to cheat and include a sixth one, I have never seen any of the older films in theater, GoldenEye was the first Bond film I saw in theater.

    1. Oh lucky you for seeing LA Confidential on the big screen! That’d have been more intense as you’re more focused when you see things in a dark theater. Glad you agree w/ Raiders, I really should watch LoA one of these days. Good call on those older Bond movies. I’d so love to see Living Daylights and Licence to Kill on the big screen [swoon] 😀

      1. Ted S.

        Yeah LA Confidential around the same time as Titanic and I remember I enjoyed LA Confidential way more than Titanic.

        I’m still waiting for Lawrence of Arabia to come out on Blu-ray, it’s a film that you have to have a lot of patience with, it’s quite slow pacing.

    2. Ted, i wish they still made 65mm movies!

      Hubby & I did see Blade Runner at an art house when it got re-cut, but I can’t remember if it was the real director’s cut or not. Look out for it, it was worth it 🙂

      1. Ted S.

        Yeah I wish more films would shoot in 65mm these days, unfortunately there aren’t many theater that can project 70mm. I know here in MN, there aren’t none at all, the torn all of them down for smaller theaters.

        Wow that’s awesome that you guys got to see Blade Runner on the big screen. I didn’t get a chance to see it when they re-released the final cut in theaters back in 2007.

  2. Cool Idea my flixy friends!!

    I would have to have The Goonies, The Lost Boys and (like Ted) Blade Runner.

    Also a guilty pleasure of mine….. The King and I (there goes all my man points)

    HAHA Have a great weekend my very best blogging mates, Ruth, Paula and Ted!!

    1. Oh The King & I with Yul Brynner as a Thai King? I’ve only seen clips of it, soo funny how Hollywood didn’t have an ethnic actor to play the part, but then again they still have the same problem these days. I mean, after all they cast a Scot to play a Mongolian Attila the Hun!! (Ok, I’m not really complaining about that one though, ahah)

      Have a great weekend to you & family, Custard!

  3. Great lists, Paula and Ruth. I have a lot of movies I haven’t been lucky enough to see in theatre:

    Fanny and Alexander (the most beautiful movie I’ve ever seen)
    Inland Empire (theatre is a necessity for this film)
    Persona (plays mind games with you that only work in the theatre)
    The Battleship Potemkin (with a live orchestra… pleeeeeeeeasssseee!!!)

    And a lot more but those most of all. They’re not very mainstream, I know, but they’re my choices! Great post!

    1. I expect you to list non-mainstream films, Tyler, and you didn’t disappoint 🙂 I saw your post about Inland Empire, I’m surprised you didn’t list Magnolia on here but you probably have seen it multiple times on the big screen, right?

      1. I actually haven’t seen Magnolia in a theatre (gasp!) However, my friend Stephen has a theatre room in his home which he has worked on for years and spent god knows how much on. Every two weeks we have a Movie Night at his place and I convinced him to show Magnolia, so in a manner of speaking, I have seen it on the big screen! Kind of…

  4. Hi, Ruth, Paula and company:

    Excellent list and a great topic!

    The more I thought about it, the more one name kind of rose to the fore.

    James Coburn.

    The Americanization of Emily: Blake Edwards’ brilliant comedic take on Navy Public Relations and the ‘Biggest Show on Earth’ (D-Day) told with excellent writing and a superb cast.

    Major Dundee: A prime example of a sprawling story told by a young director to the best of his ability. While revealing hints of much better things to come.

    Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round: One of the better big heist flicks of the 1960s with the focus on the build up instead of the pay off.

    The President’s Analyst: Off the rails, paranoid comedy with bureaucratic and Cold War overtones and a Telephone Company that everybody hates.

    Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid: Peckinpah’s fond farewell to the Western told with a slowed, fluid melancholy against glorious panoramic backdrops.

    1. Hi there Jack! I haven’t seen any of the movies you mentioned even on dvd. It’s nice to see what’s on everyone’s wish list as I’m sure we all have a few.

    2. FUNK

      Hi, Jack.
      I’ve been a Coburn fan since I was treated to a night at the movies when “The Magnificent Seven” came out. During the 60’s Major Dundee was and still is one of my favorites, and I remember buying the soundtrack and learning the lyrics of the title song. Mitch Miller and his gang did a good one on that..

    3. i have a giant gap in my viewing and these are all in it. I haven’t seen any of these…but I love finding out about them. & there’s even a heist picture on your list…thanks Jack 🙂

  5. Lawrence of Arabia is a great choice. It is so suited to seeing it on the big screen.

    I’d love to check out old favourites such as Aliens and The Goonies on the big screen. I’d also like to see The Exorcist get a re-release – I was too young to see it when it was re-released ten or so years ago.

    1. OMG, I think I’d collapse from cardiac arrest if I see Exorcist on the big screen, I’m already traumatized watching it on dvd.

  6. Great choices, especially Valhalla Rising and LA Confidential, both of whom I missed in theaters. Valhalla Rising was incredibly hypnotic to me even though it was incredibly slow and pretentious. On the big screen, it could have been incredible. As for LA Confidential, great film with a wonderful retro vibe as you said Ruth and one of my favorite film of all time. My personal choice would be Saving Private Ryan, which I will always regret missing in theaters.

    1. Yay Castor, I knew you’d agree w/ me on LA Confidential. I need to re-watch that again on Blu-ray, the story just never gets old, I’m still surprised by what happened to Spacey’s character!

      Oh boy, I don’t think I can handle SPR on the big screen, that opening scene alone would’ve been too much for me.

      1. LA Confidential….yes! i got dragged to it the last weekend and then went back, so i think i saw it twice in two days LOL

        SPR did look incredible, it was shot beautifully. But it was difficult for me to get through that opening scene, not just seeing it, but the sound the bullets made too, was really vivid. I remember actually flinching.

  7. Good list though I think you should experience “Children of Men” at least once! My local indy theater here in Denver will be playing “Flash Gordon” for their midnight madness. I’m a sucker for that campy classic and amazing music by Queen. I’d love to see that one get a major re-release……but sadly never going to happen.

    1. Oh my! How lucky for you to have Flash Gordon playing near you. My hubby and I love that one, it’d be a fun movie night to watch that. It is utterly campy and cheesy indeed, but who cares when you’ve got Prince Barin! 😉 I know for you Ornella Muti is your eye candy right? he..he..

  8. Great idea for a list, I go and see reissues whenever I get the chance.

    Paula, I have only seen Valhalla Rising on DVD but have seen all your other choices on the big screen, the place all movies should be seen. As for Powell & Pressburger I actually prefer The Red Shoes to Black Narcissus both as a movie and a visual spectacle and would go as far as to say it is the most stunning use of Technicolor in cinema.

    Ruth, I have seen all you movies but only one in the cinema, L.A. Confidential (1997). Glad to see The Rocketeer (1991) on the list, a much underrated movie.

    Here’s my list. All movies I love that I have only seen on the small screen. So far.
    The Red Shoes (1948)
    La Dolce Vita (1960)
    Doctor Zhivago (1965)
    Days of Heaven (1978)
    The Fall (2006)

    @ Ted and Custard, I saw “The Final Cut” of Blade Runner at the cinema a couple of years ago, best version and the best way to see it.

    @ Castor, I saw Saving Private Ryan in an older cinema that had just had a new THX sound system but still had the old metal framed reclining seats, the shook and rattled during the opening and closing battle scenes, it really added to the experience.

    1. Hi Andy, I should pay more attention to re-release schedule but they usually don’t announce them. I saw Top Gun was playing a month ago or so but only because I saw the easel poster at the theater as I’m paying to see a movie.

      Yay, another Rocketeer fan. Awesome!! I can’t believe there’s no Blu-ray release for that one, either. I’m hoping that w/ Capt. America success, Joe Johnston would have enough clout to get it done!

      I LOVE your list, I’d see all of them on the big screen. I was thisclose to put The Fall on my list, it’s visually spectacular! It’d have made my top ten for sure.

    2. i guess i better see this Rocketeer thing LOL

      I’ve seen The Red Shoes and Doctor Zhivago on TV, but none of these on the big screen. I saw part of The Fall, strangely enough it was on at 7:30 in the morning on a weekday and I had to stop watching and go to work.

  9. Personally, I’d like to see a lot of older movies that I never got a chance to see in the theaters. I’m 35 now, so movies from 1980 and before would be the main ones I’d like to see. Some of my favorite movie-going experiences were catching 2001, Alien, Raging Bull, and On the Waterfront on the big screen during re-releases. There are far too many to mention, but off the top of my head, I’d go with these:

    The Searchers (and other Ford westerns)
    The Shining
    Apocalypse Now
    Blade Runner (just before my time)

    1. Hey, I’m a year older than you so yeah, I’d love to catch up on some 80s flicks. Wow, lots of love for Blade Runner. I’ve just seen it on BD, the visual is quite arresting even by today’s standards.

    1. Hi TS, thanks for joining the discussion. Oh The Crow would’ve been interesting yet eerie to see on the big screen considering what happened to Brandon.

    2. Cool, i’ve never heard of a couple of these.

      The Apartment is a new favorite of mine, I just caught it on TCM a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been trying to see everything Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine and Billy Wilder ever made now LOL

  10. What a great idea – I think it really needs to be films with epic scenery, big bang or just look lovely.

    The Sound of Music (I know, they do the singalongs lots but maybe just a normal showing)
    The Great Escape
    Beauty and the Beast (maybe he won’t turn into the rubbish prince this time)
    Independence Day

    1. Hi Louise, oh I love that you picked Sound of Music. I too would love to see it properly on the big screen, that’s one of my first Hollywood movies I saw and it was magical. I’m afraid I’d be singing along when the songs came on though, I’d get weird looks from people around me, ahah.

      Beauty & The Beast would look sooo pretty, especially that dance scene in the ballroom. I think I saw ID4 on the big screen, I wouldn’t mind seeing that again.

      1. Hmm… I haven’t seen it playing anywhere around here, although I suppose it’s possible that it has made the rounds elsewhere. The local art house theatre had a midnight showing of A Clockwork Orange recently, so I am holding out hope that they will show more Kubrick.

        Also, I would love to see Pulp Fiction on the big screen. I was only eight when it came out, so it wasn’t really a possibility back then, heh.

    1. Ted S.

      Eric, I don’t where you are located at but do check out this site if you live somewhere in Europe:


      They usually shows older films in its original 70mm glory. I wish we have one here in MN, USA.

  11. 1) I second Paula’s pick for Black Narcissus. The colors would absolutely gorgeous further heightening the effects of the exoticness has on the nuns.

    2) Written on the Wind for the color only this time it would be Douglas Sirk’s use of it heightening the melodrama.

    3) In the Mood for Love. One of my favorite films ever and not just by Wong Kar Wai. Even though I saw it on the big screen in film history class, that doesn’t count for me.

    4) Notorious by Alfred Hitchcock. Another one of my favorite films and seeing the crane shot leading up to the close-up of the wine cellar key on the big screen would be awesome.

    5) Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock. I was bummed when my local museum theater was showing it and I couldn’t go due to my dad’s knee surgery.

    1. Interesting you mention Vertigo as I still haven’t seen that one from Netflix as it arrived just before we left for vacation. I still gotta see that Wong Kar Wai masterpiece (or so I’ve heard), looks really melancholy though, I prefer more um, energetic stuff to see in the theater for fear I’d fall asleep 🙂

    2. Thank you Sherry! as you say, it’s one of those that would make more sense on a bigger screen. 🙂

      I’ve seen Notorious & Vertigo but only on TV. Keep watching, even in Detroit here we get those every so often.

      Haven’t seen your other two, I will have to check those out.

      1. Paula, you’re from Detroit? So am I (well technically Allen Park but you know). I remember being all excited that Vertigo was part of DFT 101 series and making plans to go. I’m hoping that I will see a Hitchcock film on the big screen. Even if it has to be Torn Curtain (Love Paul Newman. Love Julie Andrews. But that film is awful for Hitchcock.)

        Ruth, you definitely need to be in the right frame of mind to watch “In the Mood for Love” as it is one of those films that doesn’t seem like anything is happening. But the beauty of the film is its subtlety. As for Vertigo, if you’re a Hitchcock fan, I think you will like it.

        1. Hi Sherry, yes I am from Detroit.

          I like to see Hitchcock on the big screen too. And yeah, Torn Curtain, possibly not his best work 🙂

          We’ll have to see what DFT has in store for us, their fall schedule is coming out soon. Also the Redford Theatre will be releasing theirs. You may want to keep an eye on my classics blog at examiner.com http://exm.nr/iozdFg
          I write about both just about every week 🙂

  12. FUNK

    Those are some great choices and a good idea, I sorta lean to the Lean movies myself so he has 3 in my top 5 and as a young lad saw them at all at the big screen. I also like Paula’s choice of Valhalla Rising, it’s still one of the strangest weird movies I’ve seen.
    1 .Bridge Over the River Kwai
    2. Lawrence of Arabia
    3. Doctor Zhivago
    4. It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World.
    5. The Fountain

    1. Funk, i love your description of Valhalla!

      Keep an eye out for Bridge on the River Kwai, it was just at our retro theatre here in June.

      I forgot about Mad World, that would be good. i might need an intermission though 😉

      1. FUNK

        HI ya.
        Would love to see Kwai again on the big screen, if I was back Stateside and in the home front area (central IL), I would drive to St. Louis or Chicago to see it.
        Yep, Mad World is long thats for sure, just watched it a few months back, there were times I was laughing so hard I had to pause it to leave to the room to settle down..

  13. I was a tad too young when Gladiator came out to a) know what was going on and b) get in to a 15 rated film, so I’d love to see that in the theatres.

    1. i wish i could say that LOL

      Gladiator was pretty cool in the proper cinema. I generally love the look of all of Ridley Scott’s work. You can really tell that he has an art/art history background.

  14. Great choices, girls 🙂
    I will second Children of Men (I want to see it but haven’t found it yet) and any Indy movies.

    I would love to see all Alien and Studio Ghibli animations in theater

    1. thanks Novroz 🙂

      here is where i fully admit i am a big-time wimp. i don’t think i’ve ever seen an Alien movie all the way through. This is why I phrased my comment above with “generally” LOL I dig everything Ridley does except I can’t handle those creepy aliens.

  15. Great lists. If it was up to me I would love to see every movie on the big screen 😉 So my dream is to one day have a room with a projector so I can have the feeling of watching them how they should be watched.

    I know of a small art house type of theater that regularly screens older movies. Always planning to go, but still have not done so.

  16. 1. Dr Zhivago
    2. Jaws (my local indie theatre played this last fall, I wasn’t smart enough to buy my tickets in advance. I wised up for The Birds).
    3. Raiders of the Lost Ark
    4. The Great Escape
    5. To Catch a Thief

    1. Hi Beth, nice choices! Jaws would’ve been fun to see on the big screen, but glad you got to see one of Hitchcock’s best films in the theater.

      1. Thanks! This was a fun list to think of.
        It was a blast! I’d love to see Psycho on the big screen as well. A special Mother’s Day rerelease.

  17. Pingback: The Open Bar: Off-Topic Discussion – August 5 — ANOMALOUS MATERIAL

  18. Hi Ruth and Paula,

    I was lucky enough to see the re-release of the restored Lawrence Of Arabia in ’89-’90. It was all that and more. Even had the original intro and intermission music restored. Yes there was an intermission. It was this viewing that sent me to film school. It didn’t pan out but I still have the ticket stub.

    Actually saw Koyaanisqatsi in the theater with Philip Glass performing the music live! Know of it?

    My top 5 that I’ve never seen in a theater:

    1. 2001: A Space Odyssey
    2. Blade Runner
    3. Brazil
    4. Apocalypse Now
    5. The Matrix

    1. hi 🙂

      That is the L of A re-release my hubby saw. He still has his ticket stub too. He saw it a long time before I met him.

      I don’t know of Koyaanisqatsi (how is that pronounced?) but i did see Nosferatu on the big screen with live music once which was very cool.

      I’ve seen 3 of your 5 in the proper cinema, Blade Runner, Apocalypse Now, & Matrix. I think The Matrix actually loses more, is less spectacular, when you watch it on TV, whereas Blade Runner & Apocalypse retain their brilliance somewhat more.

      1. Koyaanisquatsi ( koh-yawn-is-scots-ee)is a Hopi indian word meaning “life of moral corruption and turmoil” or “life out of balance. The film consists primarily of slow motion and time-lapse footage of cities and many natural landscapes across the United States. The visual tone poem contains neither dialogue nor a vocalized narration: its tone is set by the juxtaposition of images and music. It was the first film of its kind. It took 5 years to shoot and was shot in 16mm blown up to 35mm. The director Godfrey Reggio did a trilogy including Powaqqatsi and Naqoyqatsi. Coppola helped produce it after seeing a preview of it. It’s in the National Film Registry. The best word I can use to describe it is hypnotic. Highly recommended. Check out the trailer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PirH8PADDgQ

        Missed the boat on the Matrix the first time around. The blu-ray sounds amazing on my surrond sound.

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