10 (More) Free Movies I Love on Hulu
1. Stagecoach – 1939 John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine, John Carradine
Like a lot of women, I am not a huge fan of westerns, but Big D talked me into watching this one. I’m glad he did. This is not your average western because the story challenges the clichéd idea of “good guy/bad guy”.
There is no real star in this film, it is an ensemble piece. But it is the western that made a star out of John Wayne – and for good reason. Through his character’s eyes, we learn to root for the fugitive, doubt the gentleman, and love the prostitute.
2. McLintock! – 1963 John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Patrick Wayne, Stephanie Powers
Who can resist this duo? John (G.W.) and Maureen (Katherine) play an estranged married couple on their way to divorce. Confession: I HATE the ending of this movie. It’s unsatisfying, confusing, and kind of sexist.
But there is a powerful scene between G.W. and his daughter Becky (played by Stephanie Powers) that more than makes up for it. G.W. explains why his marriage to her mother is none of Becky’s business. He explains why her college-educated opinion of her mother doesn’t amount to much. He explains why he won’t be giving her much of an inheritance, “. . . because I love you.” And he explains “what happens between a man and a woman, with all that growing together” when a couple has nothing but each other. Mmmwahhh! Beautiful scene.
3. Weird Science – 1985 Anthony Michael Hall, Kelly LeBrock, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Bill Paxton, Robert Downey Jr.
I saw this for the first time this year. Anthony Michael Hall was so good at such a young age. Kelly LeBrock was gorgeous. The story was fun. But, honestly, there’s just one thing that springs to mind when I think of this film. Bill Paxton stars as . . . A Big Piece of Crap.
4. Personal Effects – 2009 Michelle Pfeiffer, Ashton Kutcher, Kathy Bates
Filmed in a constant blue-gray haze, this film shows us what remains of a person’s world after a violent loss. This is Ashton’s best work, and it is a joy to see him keep up with Kathy and Michelle.
5. Marie Antoinette – 2006 Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Judy Davis, Rip Torn
From the director of Lost in Translation, Sofia Coppola brings us orange marmalade, spun cotton candy, marshmallow cream, toasted coconut, salt water taffy, and marzipan candy for the eyes. The story is not meant to be a strict history lesson, thank goodness. But it will leave you hungry to learn more.
6. My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend – 2010 Christopher Gorham, Alyssa Milano, Michael Landes, Beau Bridges
Ethan (played by Christopher Gorham) is a writer. After his work gets rejected again, he meets Jesse (Alyssa Milano) in a coffee shop. She convinces him to keep writing and start dating her. There is a twist, but you’ll have to watch it if you want to know what it is. I’ll never tell.
This is a very satisfying, sweet love story.
7. Girl Fever aka 100 Women – 2002 Chad Donella, Jennifer Morrison, Erinn Bartlett
My guess is that the title was supposed to draw in the horny teenage crowd. It’s much more innocuous than the title suggests. In fact, the steamiest love scene involves doodling cute little cartoons on skin.
8. History Is Made at Night – 1937 Charles Boyer, Jean Arthur
Boyer and Arthur have chem . . . is . . . try. Rarely do you see a love story portrayed by two actors so evenly matched – in comedic, dramatic, and romantic timing.
Married to a hateful, unscrupulous and very wealthy man, Arthur’s character files for divorce from Bruce Vail. Mr. Vail refuses to accept the divorce and sets a trap: catch her in an affair, make the divorce null, and force her to come back. Enter our hero Boyer who rescues her . . . by kidnapping her and stealing her jewels.
Confused? Oh, it gets more convoluted than that.
Funny, tense, moving, and oh, so charming, you will root for this American/Parisian (Amerisian? Parisiacan?) couple to the very end.
9. Father’s Little Dividend – 1951 Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, Elizabeth Taylor
This is the original sequel (is that an oxymoron?) to Father of the Bride, later remade with Steve Martin. Spencer Tracy plays a dad who is ready to reclaim his life. His daughter is married, his two boys are busy, his work is on auto pilot, and his wife is still sexy. The trip to Honolulu is practically booked when he gets hit with a word he doesn’t like very much – grandfather. Saddled again, he works his way around to loving the little boy who turns his plans upside down.
10. Monsieur Verdoux – 1947 Charles Chaplin, Mady Correll
I’m cheating a little on this one. It’s only available to Hulu+ subscribers. I saw it for free because they were offering it for a limited time. It was the first time I heard Charles Chaplin’s speaking voice, and it really took me by surprise. This movie was not well received at the time. People didn’t like seeing The Tramp play a bluebeard.
– Anita, Noted in Nashville