Maybe it’s because The Godfather 2 seems to be playing on cable TV in a loop for all eternity–but I realized the other day that I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard Michael Corleone say to his brother, “I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart.” Not that I mind: There’s a profound comfort in re-watching a movie you love, even though (or maybe because) the scenes have worn grooves in your consciousness. My list of most-watched titles includes Casablanca, Citizen Kane, All About Eve, the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup, and, for reasons I can’t fathom but just accept, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. And Fellini’s Amarcord. Hmm, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. And Truly, Madly, Deeply, of course, even though some of my more austere critic friends roll their eyes when I say so.
That’s the thing about rewatching movies: Many of them are good, but it almost doesn’t matter if they aren’t–there’s just something intensely pleasing about their familiarity, and the satisfaction with which we anticipate what we already know is going to happen, or what we’re going to see, or what Michael is going to say to Fredo, Neurologist-author Oliver Sacks could write a great article about what’s going on at a molecular level as we anticipate a stunning scene or even a beloved dumb one.
This is not a Deep Critic Thought, just a statement and an invitation: I can’t get enough of some movies. (And once in a lifetime is enough for others–Antichrist, I’m talking to you.) So tell me what you watch over and over again, and why.
Photo credit: Everett Collection