NETFLIX HIDDEN GEMS: 80 Minutes Or Less

The theme of this month’s list is self-explanatory, but based on discussions I’ve had with many different people it’s also long overdue. We’re well aware that this post is by no means comprehensive—apologies for the thin number of contributions but that’s how it goes sometimes—so please do all of us a favor and take us up on the offer to contribute your very own picks/lists in the comments section below so that it can become even fuller and more helpful for everyone.

NETFLIX HIDDEN GEMS: 80 Minutes Or Less

Who Am I This Time? (1982) — Jonathan Demme directs Susan Sarandon and Christopher Walken. The setting is a small town community theater (Walken’s character plays Stanley Kowalski). There’s enough romance and fun energy to last for a few weeks, but it comes in at 53 minutes. Great music. Adapted from a short story by Kurt Vonnegut. (Noah Buschel) ***STREAM IT NOW***

The Wild Blue Yonder (2005) — Werner Herzog’s audacious follow-up to the mega successful Grizzly Man baffled both new and long-time fans of the director’s work. But make no mistake: The Wild Blue Yonder is not only one of Herzog’s boldest movies, it is also one of his best. Brad Dourif stars as an alien stranded in the desert after his plans to start a mall on planet Earth fell through. Herzog alternates Dourif’s bravura solo performance with jaw-droppingly beautiful footage shot beneath the Antarctic (which doubles for a mysterious water planet in the Andromeda galaxy). The Wild Blue Yonder glows with the director’s boundless creativity. (Cullen Gallagher)

The Blood of Jesus (1941) — If you haven’t heard of him, hip yourself to the work of Spencer Williams immediately, and I don’t just mean Amos ‘n’ Andy. While Go Down, Death and Junk Joint are gems, The Blood of Jesus is his masterwork, an exemplar of early Black Spiritual Horror, a genre that’s never really existed, but ought to. Shot in a rural corner of Texas with a cast of non-actors and the Reverend R.L. Robinson’s Heavenly Choir, it screened at spiritual revivals, midnight rambles and church basements across the South for years. A sermon brought to visceral, occasionally animated life in which the Devil drives a pickup trunk and sinners bump and grind to pre-Muddy Rivers delta blues, it has no parallel in the annals of black cinema or any other kind for that matter. (Brandon Harris)

Babies (2010) — Have you had a bad day or a bad year? Considering anti-depressants or a drinking binge to drown your sorrows? Wait! Stop! Before you do any of those things please follow my instructions: 1. Have your best friend or lover over 2. Order takeout 3. Lay in bed 4. Stream Babies on Netflix Instant. Do. It. 79 minutes of pure, simple joy. (Alexandra Roxo) ***STREAM IT NOW***

The GoodTimesKid (2005) — I dare you not to fall in heavy crush with Azazel Jacobs’s charming gem, which was proudly shot on stolen 35mm celluloid. Starring Jacobs, his adorable girlfriend Sara Diaz, and the equally adorable Gerardo Naranjo (director of I’m Gonna Explode and Drama/Mex), this offbeat love triangle is light on its feet but full of soul. And it’s only 77 minutes long! (Michael Tully)

Other 80 Minutes Or Less Titles:

Clean, Shaven (1997) 80 minutes
The Order of Myths (2008) 77 minutes
Soft For Digging (2001) 74 minutes
The Pleasure of Being Robbed (2008) 70 minutes ***STREAM IT NOW***
Old Joy (2006) 76 minutes ***STREAM IT NOW***
Wendy and Lucy (2008) 80 minutes ***STREAM IT NOW***

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE CONTRIBUTE YOUR OWN FAVORITE “80 MINUTES OR LESS FILMS” IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW TO MAKE THIS POST AS COMPLETE AS POSSIBLE! FOREIGN FILMS, HOLLYWOOD CLASSICS, B-MOVIES, ALL ARE WELCOME. THANKS VERY MUCH!

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9 Responses to “NETFLIX HIDDEN GEMS: 80 Minutes Or Less”

  1. Edgar P. Says:

    Ariel (1988) 74 minutes

  2. Leo Goldsmith Says:

    I know, I know: There’s Herzog up the wazoo on the old Netflix. But while most people are familiar with his 70s narrative work or his more recent documentaries, I MUCH prefer his early short documentaries. “How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck?” documents a cattle-calling championship in rural PA — a bizarrely meditative 44 minutes of 70s western fashion, droning auctioneer’s patois, and huffing heifers, with none of Herzog’s now-familiar voiceover musings. You can stream it now to your heart’s content. Or until your brain explodes.

  3. Gelgud Says:

    WC Fields’ greatest vehicle IT’S A GIFT, directed by Norman Z. McLeod, has a scene with a stack of front porches that reminds me of something out of TOUT VA BIEN and a picnic-blanket semantic argument that Godard would appreciate, a blind-man-in-a-store sequence as good as anything in CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, hilarious depictions of the debasements of the world of retail better than CLERKS, plenty of political stuff to chew on, and it all clocks in at under 70 minutes. Oh and it’s also a road movie.

  4. John Lichman Says:

    FRED: THE MOVIE (2010)

    What should be immediately skipped as a kitsch movie based on “the times we live in” actually must be seen. Fred is a hyperactive, annoying single-child who lives with a recovering alcoholic mother that has no control over him. Fred is in love with his neighbor Judy and this means he wants to express his love by “harmonizing” with her. Fred is tortured by Kevin, a break-dancing bully who also wishes to sing with Judy. All three live in a cul-de-sac whose homes are connected. Fred has never met his father but assumes he is WWE Wrestler John Cena, who appears every so often to provide inspirational words and non sequiturs.

    There are so many questions to be raised by this film. First off, this is a character (FRED) created by three children to comment on YouTube vloggers that spawned itself into a tween-marketing campaign. Judy is played by a British pop tartlet and never explains nor loses her accent. It is heavily implied Fred’s mother is a constant drunk. It is heavily implied another character’s mother is beaten by her husband. There are two gay pet store owners. Fred is unaware of how public transportation and language works–Fred also is prone to spastic fits of rage.

    There are also four musical numbers. This film is one of the most important things you have to watch this year. It is technically 83 minutes, but that is due to 5 minutes of credits. It is on Instant. You really have to watch this film. It’s amazing.

  5. Jay le Tee Says:

    Another Woman- Woody Allen (1988). Just discovered this one recently- another gem in his 80s golden period. Gena Rowlands is old-school class, modern hollywood flakes have a lot to learn.

  6. Woodworking Project Plans Says:

    You really have to watch this film. It’s amazing.

  7. Jason Klorfein Says:

    Shockproof (1949, 80 minutes) – This Sam Fuller / Douglas Sirk Collaboration is pretty fierce.

    Bad Girls Go To Hell (1965, 63 minutes) AND Another Day, Another Man (1966, 71 minutes) – BAD GIRLS is a dreamlike sexploitation that calls to mind John Cassavettes for some reason – probably the association with early 60’s cinema-verite like photography.

  8. Cullen Gallagher Says:

    These two movies seriously rule.

  9. Guest Says:

    Hmmm, I don’t know how many are 80 minutes or less, but there are a lot of hidden gems on this blog: http://www.NetflixStreaming.blogspot.com

    I’ll look through to see if I can find any that fit your time limit.

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