Hank’s Flicks

Patterson film snap [via Wikipedia] Hankie bigfootus pattersonii| ©2014 HouseofHank.me

Two movies changed Hank’s life.*

The first is Star Wars. Hank was a mere pup in 1977 when Star Wars blasted into his life and made up a little for disco.  The second is Jaws. Hank was an even merer pup when Jaws was released in 1975. He wasn’t allowed to see it. As if that mattered: the mechanical menace and the wave it rode in on made his relationship to deep water…different. Both films impacted Hank’s small brain, alongside numerous other hand-held grainy marvels such as the Patterson film and uncountable In Search Of… episodes on the Loch Ness Monster, UFOs, the Pyramids, etc. The `70s were tough like that.

Hank has seen a lot of movies since then and he’s seen many of them many times over. Following is a list of the ones he really likes. (If you want to see important, quality films, check out the National Film Registry. This is not that kind of list):

House of Hank Classics

  • What’s Up, Doc? (True: The Most Perfect Comedy Ever, Steve)
  • Caddyshack (True: Wildly imperfect)
  • Young Frankenstein
  • Blazing Saddles (True: Hank’s great Aunts saw this in theater at release, expecting a Western. Hank still wonders: at which point did they realize their error?)
  • Foul Play
  • Seems Like Old Times (True: Chevy, Goldie, Charles) 
  • The Three Amigos (True: Hank in a dicey fishing bar. A bunch of crab fishermen get up and sing “My Little Buttercup” a capella. Hank nearly falls off his stool. Fortunately he’s already on the floor.)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Stand by Me
  • Silver Streak
  • Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure
  • Escape to Witch Mountain (True: Pure 1970’s Winnebago nostalgia)
  • Heaven Can Wait
  • The Breakfast Club (True)
  • Better off Dead
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • Say Anything
  • All of Me
  • Silverado
  • sex, lies and videotape
  • Moonstruck
  • The Commitments
  • So I Married an Axe Murderer
  • Zoolander
  • Raising Arizona
  • The Life of Brian
  • Airplane!
  • The Princess Bride
  • A Fish Called Wanda
  • 9 to 5
  • Local Hero (True: Hank calls home from that phone and no one answers)
  • Always
  • Night Shift
  • Pink Panther
  • A Christmas Story
  • Room With a View
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind (True: Hank has a story about this but he can’t tell you)
  • Beverly Hills Cop
  • Back to the Future (True: Hank roams Aspen hoping to trigger DeLorean flux capacitors)
  • Election
  • Don Juan de Marco
  • Lars and the Real Girl
  • Angel-A
  • Rocknrolla
  • Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
  • Stardust
  • Toy Story 1,2,3
  • Bottle Rocket
  • Crimes of the Heart
  • Rushmore
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Harold and Maude
  • Whale Rider
  • Party Girl
  • Elf
  • The Full Monty
  • Danny Deckchair
  • Strictly Ballroom
  • Office Space
  • To Be or Not to Be
  • Napoleon Dynamite
  • Whiskey Galore
  • Being There
  • Trois Couleurs: Bleu (True: Hank sees premiere in Paris)
  • Waiting for Guffman
  • Saving Grace
  • Gosford Park
  • Henry Poole is Here
  • L’Arnacoeur/ Heartbreaker (True: the only references to Dirty Dancing or George Michael that are OK with Hank)
  • Walk the Line
  • Star Trek (2010)
  • Atonement
  • Ocean’s Eleven
  • Shaun of the Dead
  • Big Trouble
  • Once Were WarriorsThat Lady's a Selkie
  • Henry V
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • The Secret of Roan Inish
  • The Queen
  • Billy Elliott
  • Fried Green Tomatoes
  • Smoke Signals
  • Dance Me Outside (True: the best movie you’ve never seen)
  • Cinema Paradiso
  • Efter brylluppet/After the Wedding
  • Field of Dreams
  • Adams Applen /Adam’s Apples
  • Män som hatar kvinnor/The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (True:  Hollywood remakes=mistakes)
  • Valhalla Rising (True: Don’t ask)
  • Bernie


  • The Changeling (True: Most Shivery)
  • El orfanato / The Orphanage
  • Fallen
  • Pan’s Labyrinth
  • Nosferatu
  • Låt den rätte komma in / Let the Right One In


  • Step into Liquid
  • Riding Giants
  • Baraka
  • The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
  • The Eyes of Tammy Faye
  • Coasts [BBC]
  • The Blue Planet / Planet Earth [BBC]
  • Koyaanisqatsi
  • Grey Gardens
  • Butte, America
  • A History of Scotland [BBC]

For Puppies

  • My Neighbor Totoro
  • Up (True: Magic)
  • The Muppet Movie
  • The Black Stallion
  • National Velvet (True: Hank still wants a pony)
  • The Incredibles
  • Flushed Away
  • Ice Age
  • Mary Poppins
  • Finding Nemo
  • Walt Disney’s Robin Hood (True: One of Hank’s Very Favorite People had a deeply sincere crush on Robin Hood—the fox—and probably still does. This may be wrong, but crushes are like that.)

Actual Classics

  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Funny Face
  • Auntie Mame
  • Philadelphia Story
  • Roman Holiday
  • Grand Hotel
  • It Happened One Night
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  • The Quiet Man
  • Rebecca
  • City Lights
  • A Hard Day’s Night
  • Casablanca


  • Strangers With Candy (True: Sick puppy)
  • Pushing Daisies
  • Absolutely Fabulous 
  • The Carol Burnett Show
  • Cosmos
  • WKRP in Cincinnati
  • Reno 911!
  • (True: Hank doesn’t own a TV)
  • Foyle’s War
  • Downton Abbey (True: Hank really, really loves Mrs. Patmore. And Isis’ butt.)



There’s one movie that Hank thinks challenges everyone’s ability to be reasonable, and that is Ishtar.

Fact: There are only five (5) people in the world that have actually seen Ishtar.  Three of them are related to Hank. What do you think this means? Hank thinks it means that the folks who grimace and whinge when Ishtar is mentioned NEVER SAW IT.  Now, all caps usually implies an author barking at a reader, and Hank usually tries to avoid this indelicacy. BUT THIS ISHTAR HATING MUST STOP, PLEASE!

Yes, Ishtar is a silly, silly movie that cost far too much money to make. Which apparently isn’t true of everything else Hollywood cranks out. The thing is, Ishtar is so goofy that it will make you smile—the songs alone are worth the proverbial price of admission, which at this point isn’t much. It’s Paul Williams and Elaine May we’re talking about here! Plus. Charles Grodin.

Ah. But there’s the little issue of finding it. The Ishtar-hating and bad press means no one’s released it on U.S. format DVD.

Thanks, haters. No biscuit.

Hank has his treasured copy though, so if you wanna loaner, let him know. He’s good that way.

Watch it, willya? Oh, Willa.


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