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#1
Old 01-16-2017, 11:51 AM
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What are your favorite "background" movies?

In the "Arrival" thread, one of the posters mentioned that "Contact" is a movie they like a lot, and often have running in the background while doing chores. That got me to thinking, because I have several of these: movies I love so much and know so well that I can (and do) put them on in the background while taking care of other tedious tasks, and still be able to easily keep up with what's going on even if I get involved in the task and miss big chunks of them.

Mine are:

- Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
- Jurassic Park
- Hotel Transylvania (1 and 2)
- Zootopia
- Fright Night (the one with David Tennant)
- The Stephen King TV movies "Rose Red," "The Langoliers," and "It" (I have them all on DVD)
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

What are yours?

For the purposes of this thread, please limit your list to movies you actually do/have done this with, not just ones you think you might.
#2
Old 01-16-2017, 06:07 PM
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As a kid I would often times (like 4 or 5 nights out of 7) fall asleep watching 1977 The Hobbit on Betamax.
#3
Old 01-16-2017, 06:39 PM
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I like the Moroder version to Metropolis as well as the newest longer reconstructed version, I will also play M, and both trilogies of Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. I have also been known to do Intolerence and Heavy Metal.
#4
Old 01-16-2017, 06:53 PM
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Branagh's Henry V
Jose Ferrer's Cyrano De Bergerac
Metropolitan
#5
Old 01-16-2017, 06:59 PM
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For me, it would be one of the LOTR movies or any episode of new Dr. Who.

Back in the VHS days, I had a college roommate who recorded The Princess Bride three times on a single tape (back to back to back) so that he could have it on for six hours straight while he studied, ate, whatever...

I spent a lot of time in my room that semester.
#6
Old 01-16-2017, 07:41 PM
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Total Recall (the original Schwarzenegger version). "GIVE DESE PEOPLE AY-UH!"
Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. Not much of a plot, so it doesn't demand to be followed.
The Jerk. Even less of a plot.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (or, as I call it, "The Motionless Picture"). A quiet, restful film that murmurs softly in the background without distracting me.

Citizen Kane used to be one of my background movies, but I kept paying attention to it instead of doing the stuff I should have been doing.
#7
Old 01-16-2017, 07:47 PM
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I've seen Casablanca and The Great Escape so many times I can easily visualize what's happening on the screen while I'm working in the kitchen (I live in a basement efficiency apartment).
#8
Old 01-16-2017, 07:49 PM
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"Umbrellas of Cherbourg"

"Marat/Sade"

Both are great music.
#9
Old 01-16-2017, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erysichthon View Post
[I]Citizen Kane used to be one of my background movies, but I kept paying attention to it instead of doing the stuff I should have been doing.
After countless viewings - still no way I could do anything else.

Eons ago for parties we'd set up:

Tesuo
THX1138
Zardoz
Santa Sangre
Alien

bunch of others I can't remember


By MILES the best, though, was Kamikaze '89. Especially as you got more fucked up, and occasionally looking at it, and maybe seeing a stringy-haired Fassbinder - in that incredible leopard skin suit - trying to brandish a gun, or his hapless sidekick indignantly driving away in that insane three-wheeled chopper, or the whacked-out lady with the vertically shifting diorama nature panels in her basement, or the Combine-sponsored Laughing Contest, apparently watched by almost all of Germany.
#10
Old 01-16-2017, 08:39 PM
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Predator
The Naked Gun
Blues Brothers
O Brother, where art thou?
Big Lebowski

TV - Futurama
#11
Old 01-16-2017, 08:54 PM
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My Favorite Wife especially, but practically anything with Irene Dunne, except Penny Serenade, which is too sad to ever watch again.
Return of the Secaucus 7
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
My Brilliant Career
made-for-TV-movie Sybil
Any Universal monster movie, especially the originals, especially with commentary track. Also RKO's King Kong, and either the 1931 (Paramount) or the 1941 (MGM) Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Especially with commentary.
Several Hammer horror films.
Cool Runnings
Alien
The original Planet of The Apes
The movie that came out in 1977 under the name Star Wars
The Wizard of Oz
Also, endless reruns of L&O: TOS.

ETA: I have lots of foreign films and silents I have watched multiple times, but they require visual attention, so they don't count.

Last edited by RivkahChaya; 01-16-2017 at 08:56 PM.
#12
Old 01-16-2017, 10:13 PM
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Oh--I forgot The Birdcage for my list.
#13
Old 01-17-2017, 09:38 AM
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Pretty much any of the big blockbusters from the mid-1980s until the early 2000s. To name a few of my favorites:

Sixteen Candles
Terminator
The Breakfast Club
Terminator II
Top Gun
Uncle Buck
Aliens
Predator
True Lies
Alien3
Alien Resurrection
Lord of the Rings (all three)
The Italian Job

I've seen them all (either straight through or in snippet form) so many times that I can usually recite any given line word for word a few seconds before the character does.
#14
Old 01-17-2017, 09:50 AM
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I cordially dislike the idea of a "background" movie. Waste of electricity if you asked me. If I'm going to watch a movie, I'll sit down and watch it while focusing on the story and imagery. If it's background mood I'm after, then music is the preferred means to achieve that end.
#15
Old 01-17-2017, 10:08 AM
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A Few Good Men
Legally Blonde
Miss Congeniality
My Cousin Vinny
Sister Act
Forest Gump


These are just a handful of those that are in constant rotation on cable. I know them so well it's like having old friends in the house with me. I know exactly where my favorite parts are and will stop and watch them and then go back to whatever I'm working on.
#16
Old 01-17-2017, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardigan
I cordially dislike the idea of a "background" movie. Waste of electricity if you asked me. If I'm going to watch a movie, I'll sit down and watch it while focusing on the story and imagery. If it's background mood I'm after, then music is the preferred means to achieve that end.
Different strokes, I guess. I like music when I'm writing, but when I'm doing something tedious, I need a bit more of a narrative. Plus something to look at occasionally. I pay the electric bill, so I'm allowed.

Last edited by Infovore; 01-17-2017 at 10:11 AM.
#17
Old 01-17-2017, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardigan View Post
I cordially dislike the idea of a "background" movie. Waste of electricity if you asked me. If I'm going to watch a movie, I'll sit down and watch it while focusing on the story and imagery. If it's background mood I'm after, then music is the preferred means to achieve that end.
Do you live alone? Not that anyone has to justify their choices but for me it's a habit ingrained in me since I grew up a poor latch key kid (just kidding; I was alone a lot as a kid but I didn't mind it at all). Since I've lived most of my life alone the habit has stayed with me. I definitely turn on the jams for certain chores though, so I can understand that.
#18
Old 01-17-2017, 01:08 PM
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The Fifth Element
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Any Alien movie (yes, even Alien3 or Resurrection)
Any Lord of the Rings movie
#19
Old 01-18-2017, 05:00 AM
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Four Weddings and A Funeral, My Family and Other Animals, Harry Potter series.
#20
Old 01-18-2017, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WOOKINPANUB View Post
Do you live alone? Not that anyone has to justify their choices but for me it's a habit ingrained in me since I grew up a poor latch key kid (just kidding; I was alone a lot as a kid but I didn't mind it at all). Since I've lived most of my life alone the habit has stayed with me. I definitely turn on the jams for certain chores though, so I can understand that.
Not currently, but I did live alone for several years. I'm something of an introvert and I guess I like to be alone with my thoughts. Quiet is nice (but certainly can be overdone)
#21
Old 01-18-2017, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WOOKINPANUB View Post
Do you live alone? Not that anyone has to justify their choices but for me it's a habit ingrained in me since I grew up a poor latch key kid (just kidding; I was alone a lot as a kid but I didn't mind it at all). Since I've lived most of my life alone the habit has stayed with me. I definitely turn on the jams for certain chores though, so I can understand that.
Count me as one who lives alone and can't abide background noise. I dislike noise for noise's sake, but I also can't *not* focus on something entirely. If I'm watching a show/movie, that's all I'm doing.

My son is a background noise person, so I get it, I just don't like it for myself.
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