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Danny Peary

My intention is to get movie fans to seek out particular stars and show why others are so devoted to them.’ His mini-essays succeed at this, communicating a real enthusiasm for cultural icons and obscure exploitation stars alike.

Related: cult films - film - film criticism

Cult Movie Stars (1991) - Danny Peary [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]


Danny Peary is an American film critic who writes about baseball too. In the film world he is know for his list of cult movies and cult movie stars. [Nov 2005]

Cult movie checklist

This is a checklist of all the films in Danny Peary's books Cult Movies, vol. I-III. Since the last volume was published in 1988 some obvious choices (Reservoir Dogs, Heathers, etc.) are missing.


Based on Danny Peary's CULT MOVIES, vol. I-III

                                        Director                Year
        Cult Movies vol. 1 (1981)       --------                ----

__ Aquirre, the Wrath of God            Werner Herzog           1972
__ All About Eve                        Joseph L. Mankievicz    1950
__ Andy Warhol's Bad                    Jed Johnson             1977
__ Badlands                             Terrence Malick         1974
__ Beauty and the Beast                 Jean Cocteau            1946
__ Bedtime for Bonzo                    Frederick de Cordova    1951
__ Behind the Green Door                Jim and Art Mitchell    1972
__ Beyond the Valley of the Dolls       Russ Meyer              1970
__ Billy Jack                           T. C. Frank             1971
__ Black Sunday                         Mario Bava              1960
__ Brood, The                           David Cronenberg        1979
__ Burn!                                Gillo Pontecorvo        1970
__ Caged Heat                           Jonathan Demme          1974
__ Casablanca                           Michael Curtiz          1942
__ Citizen Cane                         Orson Welles            1941
__ Conqueror Worm, The                  Michael Reeves          1968
__ Dance, Girl, Dance                   Dorothy Arzner          1940
__ Deep End                             Jerzy Skolimowski       1971
__ Detour                               Edgar J. Ulmer          1946
__ Duck Soup                            Leo McCarey             1933
__ El Topo                              Alexandro Jodorowsky    1971
__ Emmanuelle                           Just Jaeckin            1974
__ Enter the Dragon                     Robert Clouse           1973
__ Eraserhead                           David Lynch             1978
__ Fantasia                             Walt Disney (producer)  1940
__ Forbidden Planet                     Fred McLeod Wilcox      1956
__ Force of Evil                        Abraham Polonsky        1948
__ 42nd Street                          Lloyd Bacon             1933
__ Freaks                               Tod Browning            1932
__ Girl Can't Help It, The              Frank Tashlin           1956
__ Greetings                            Brian De Palma          1968
__ Gun Crazy (aka Deadly is the Female) Joseph H. Lewis         1949
__ Halloween                            John Carpenter          1978
__ Hard Day's Night, A                  Richard Lester          1964
__ Harder They Come, The                Perry Henzel            1973
__ Harold and Maude                     Hal Ashby               1971
__ Honeymoon Killers, The               Leonard Kastle          1970
__ House of Wax                         Andre de Toth           1953
__ I Married a Monster from Outer Space Gene Fowler, Jr.        1958
__ I Walked With a Zombie               Jacques Tourneur        1943
__ Invasion of the Body Snatchers       Don Siegel              1956
__ It's a Gift                          Norman Z. McLeod        1934
__ It's a Wonderful Life                Frank Capra             1946
__ Jason and the Argonauts              Don Chaffey             1963
__ Johnny Guitar                        Nicholas Ray            1954
__ Killing, The                         Stanley Kubrick         1956
__ King Kong                            Cooper/Schoedsack       1933
__ King of Hearts                       Philippe de Broca       1967
__ Kiss Me, Deadly                      Robert Aldrich          1955
__ La Cage aux Folles                   Edouard Molinaro        1979
__ Land of the Pharaos                  Howard Hawks            1955
__ Laura                                Otto Preminger          1944
__ Little Shop of Horrors, The          Roger Corman            1960
__ Lola Montis                          Max Ophuls              1955
__ Long Goodbye, The                    Robert Altman           1973
__ Mad Max                              Geroge Miller           1979
__ Maltese Falcon, The                  John Huston             1941
__ Man of the West                      Anthony Mann            1958
__ Night of the Living Dead             George A. Romero        1968
__ Nutty Professor, The                 Jerry Lewis             1963
__ Once Upon a Time in the West         Sergio Leone            1969
__ Out of the Past                      Jacques Tourneur        1947
__ Outrageous!                          Richard Benner          1977
__ Pandora's Box                        G. W. Pabst             1929
__ Peeping Tom                          Michael Powell          1960
__ Performance                          Cammell/Roeg            1970
__ Petulia                              Richard Lester          1968
__ Pink Flamingos                       John Waters             1973
__ Plan 9 from Outer Space              Edward D. Wood, Jr.     1956
__ Pretty Poison                        Noel Black              1968
__ Producers, The                       Mel Brooks              1968
__ Rain People, The                     Francis Ford Coppola    1969
__ Rebel Without a Cause                Nicholas Ray            1955
__ Red Shoes, The                       Powell/Pressburger      1948
__ Reefer Madness                       Louis Gasnier           1936
__ Rio Bravo                            Howard Hawks            1959
__ Rock'n'Roll High School              Allan Arkush            1979
__ Rocky Horror Picture Show, The       Jim Sharman             1975
__ Scarlet Empress, The                 Josef von Sternberg     1934
__ Searchers, The                       John Ford               1956
__ Shock Corridor                       Samuel Fuller           1963
__ Shooting, The                        Monte Hellman           1967
__ Singin' in the Rain                  Kelly/Donen             1952
__ Sunset Boulevard                     Billy Wilder            1950
__ Sylvia Scarlett                      George Cukor            1936
__ Tall T, The                          Budd Boetticher         1957
__ Targets                              Peter Bogdanovich       1968
__ Tarzan and his Mate                  Cedric Gibbons          1934
__ Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The        Tobe Hooper             1974
__ Top Hat                              Mark Sandrich           1935
__ Trash                                Paul Morrisey           1970
__ Two for the Road                     Stanley Donen           1967
__ Two-Lane Blacktop                    Monte Hellman           1971
__ 2001: A Space Oddysey                Stanley Kubrick         1968
__ Up in Smoke                          Lou Adler               1978
__ Vertigo                              Alfred Hitchcock        1958
__ Warriors, The                        Walter Hill             1979
__ Where's Poppa?                       Carl Reiner             1970
__ Wild Bunch, The                      Sam Peckinpah           1969
__ Wizard of Oz, The                    Victor Fleming          1939

        Cult Movies vol. 2 (1983)

__ Altered States                       Ken Russell             1980
__ American Friend, The                 Wim Wenders             1977
__ Barbarella                           Roger Vadim             1968
__ Basket Case                          Frank Henelotter        1982
__ Beat the Devil                       John Huston             1954
__ Bedazzled                            Stanley Donen           1967
__ Big Heat, The                        Fritz Lang              1953
__ Blood Feast                          Herschell G. Lewis      1963
__ Blood Money                          Rowland Brown           1933
__ Boy and his Dog, A                   L. Q. Jones             1975
__ Breathless                           Jean-Luc Godard         1959
__ Bride of Frankenstein, The           James Whale             1935
__ Children of Paradise                 Marcel Carni            1954
__ Clockwork Orange, A                  Stanley Kubrick         1971
__ Cutter's Way                         Ivan Passer             1981
__ Dark Star                            John Carpenter          1975
__ Daughters of Darkness                Harry Kumel             1971
__ First Nudie Musical, The             Haggard/Kimmel          1976
__ Godzilla, King of the Monsters       Honda/Morse (US vers.)  1956
__ Great Texas Dynamite Chase, The      Michael Pressman        1977
__ High School Confidential             Jack Arnold             1958
__ His Girl Friday                      Howard Hawks            1940
__ Last Tango in Paris                  Bernardo Bertolucci     1973
__ Man Who Fell to Earth, The           Nicolas Roeg            1976
__ Marnie                               Alfred Hitchcock        1964
__ Massacre at Central High             Renee Dalder            1976
__ Mommie Dearest                       Frank Perry             1981
__ Monty Python and the Holy Grail      Gilliam/Jones           1974
__ Morgan!                              Karel Reisz             1966
__ Ms. 45 (aka Angel of Vengeance)      Abel Ferrara            1981
__ My Darling Clementine                John Ford               1946
__ Night of the Demon                   Jacques Tourneur        1957
__ Nightmare Alley                      Edmund Goulding         1947
__ Parallax View, The                   Alan Pakula             1974
__ Phantom of the Paradise              Brian De Palma          1974
__ Picnic at a Hanging Rock             Peter Weir              1975
__ Pretty Baby                          Louis Malle             1978
__ Quadrophenia                         Frank Roddam            1979
__ Salt of the Earth                    Herbert Biberman        1954
__ Seventh Seal, The                    Ingmar Bergman          1956
__ Some Like it Hot                     Billy Wilder            1959
__ Sullivan's Travels                   Preston Sturges         1941
__ Taxi Driver                          Martin Scorsese         1976
__ To Be or Not To Be                   Ernst Lubitsch          1942
__ Vanishing Point                      Richard C. Sarafian     1971
__ White Heat                           Raoul Walsh             1949
__ Wicker Man, The                      Robin Hardy             1973
__ Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory  Mel Stuart              1971
__ Wuthering Heights                    William Wyler           1939
__ Zardoz                               John Boorman            1974

        Cult Movies vol. 3 (1988)

__ American Werewolf in London, An      John Landis             1981
__ Annie Hall                           Woody Allen             1977
__ Black Cat, The                       Edgar J. Ulmer          1934
__ Blade Runner                         Ridley Scott            1982
__ Blue Velvet                          David Lynch             1986
__ Body Heat                            Lawrence Kasdan         1981
__ Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The         Robert Wiene            1919
__ Cafi Flesh                           Rinse Dream             1982
__ Chilly Scenes of Winter              Joan Micklin Silver     1982
__ Choose Me                            Alan Rudolph            1984
__ Diva                                 Jean-Jaqcues Beinex     1982
__ Dr. Strangelove                      Stanley Kubrick         1964
__ Easy Rider                           Dennis Hopper           1969
__ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!        Russ Meyer              1966
__ Five Million Years to Earth          Roy Ward Baker          1968
__ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes             Howard Hawks            1953
__ Glen or Glenda?                      Edward D. Wood, Jr.     1952
__ God Must Be Crazy, The               Jamie Uys               1980
__ Imitation of Life                    Douglas Sirk            1959
__ In a Lonely Place                    Nicholas Ray            1950
__ It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World      Stanley Kramer          1963
__ Liquid Sky                           Slava Tsukerman         1983
__ Martin                               Geroge A. Romero        1978
__ Miracle on 34th Street               George Seaton           1947
__ Monsieur Verdoux                     Charles Chaplin         1947
__ Naked Kiss, The                      Samule Fuller           1964
__ Napoleon                             Abel Gance              1927
__ New York, New York                   Martin Scorsese         1977
__ Night of the Hunter                  Charles Laughton        1955
__ Now, Voyager                         Irving Rapper           1942
__ Los Olvidados                        Luis Bunuel             1950
__ On Her Majesty's Secret Service      Peter Hunt              1969
__ One-Eyed Jacks                       Marlon Brando           1961
__ Over the Edge                        Jonathan Kaplan         1979
__ Psycho                               Alfred Hitchcock        1060
__ Quiet Man, The                       John Ford               1952
__ Ride the High Country                Sam Peckinpah           1962
__ Road Warrior, The                    Geroge Miller           1981
__ Seconds                              John Frankenheimer      1966
__ Sons of the Desert                   William A. Seiter       1933
__ Star is Born, A                      Geroge Cukor            1954
__ Stunt Man, The                       Richard Rush            1980
__ Terminator, The                      James Cameron           1984
__ That Hamilton Woman                  Alexander Korda         1941
__ Thief of Bagdad, The                 Berger/Powell/Whelan    1940
__ Thing from Another World, The        Christian Nyby          1951
__ Touch of Evil                        Orson Welles            1958
__ Walkabout                            Nicholas Roeg           1971
__ Wanderers, The                       Philip Kaufman          1979
__ Where the Boys Are                   Henry Levin             1960


        - Lars Erik Holmquist
The Hong Kong movies WWW-page:


  1. Cult Movies: The Classics, the Sleepers, the Weird, and the Wonderful - Danny Peary [Amazon US]
    Danny Peary, a film fanatic himself, in these series of three books (I'm only dealing with the first in this review) gleefully, critically and passionately celebrates what makes film going the sheer pleasure that it is. In a series of well written, insightful, often humourous and always celebratory essays, Peary explores many classic, weird and wonderful films that raise the pulses of fans.

    Many film texts are dry treatises that absolutely drain the rollercoaster vicseral joy that a film can bring. Not so with Peary's excellent series. Peary manages to legitimately relate the true art that is cinema while at the same time exploring what makes so many great films live as a part of our very extistances.

    I have read and re-read this book several times and each time, I have discovered a new insight into a favorite film or been directed to a new reference point. Peary is very careful to point to other film scholars and film titles that can enhance a film cutlists experience. In deconstructing each film, he also includes fascinating tidbits of information such as interviews with the film makers, insights into the creative process and backstory history.

    Especially fine are his explorations on "It's a Wonderful Life", "King Kong", "Singin' in the Rain", "Rio Bravo" and "A Hard Day's Night". He successfully argues in all those cases that superb entertainment does make great art.

    Do I agree with every one of Peary's opinions? Do I enjoy every single film included in these three books? Of course not! But Peary does give vallidation to all of us who could be classified as true film geeks. Since these books are as of this writing all out of print, I with the strongest terms possible urge you all to seek them out. You will not be dissapointed! --John Remington, Amazon.com

    Cult Movie Stars (1991) - Danny Peary [...]

    Cult Movies Stars (1991) - Danny Peary [Amazon.com]

    We could do with more critics like Danny Peary. His three Cult Movies collections are among the most enjoyable film books available: readable without being fatuous, clever without being pretentious, and personal without being self-indulgent. As an editor, his Close-Ups anthology about movie stars combines the appeal of fan literature with some intelligent anti-auteurist analysis.

    Cult Movie Stars sounds like a publisher's idea for a follow-up to Peary's best known books, but if it isn't in the same league as those, it's certainly worth owning. Peary deals with 750 performers, ranging from major stars like Dietrich, Davis and Bogart, to horror actors, skin-flick starlets and even British comedians (at last an American book which recognises the Sid James phenomenon, even if it does mistakenly say he was in Carry On Nurse). Certainly one can quibble about the selection criteria (De Niro is included but not Pacino; I looked in vain for Mariana Hill; and to bring the book up to date, perhaps the likes of Winona Ryder and Christian Slater should have been present) - but that would be to miss the point. This does not attempt to be a definitive reference book but an appealing dip into the world of cult stars - hence there is no attempt to provide complete filmographies, just a smattering of the stars' most interesting output.

    Peary writes: ‘My intention is to get movie fans to seek out particular stars and show why others are so devoted to them.’ His mini-essays succeed at this, communicating a real enthusiasm for cultural icons and obscure exploitation stars alike. His criticism is concise and full of insight - and he has a talent for useful subjective writing. Of Natalie Wood, he writes: ‘It's such a relief when Santa gets her the home she dreams about in Miracle on 34th Street, when James Dean loves her in Rebel Without a Cause ...I just wish someone was there for her in Splendor in the Grass. She was my favourite actress and, like many, I get chills when, in that picture, she almost drowns.’
    Darren Slade

    [Book that got me started in being interested in offbeat cinema: About movie stars and their films who developed a cult audience. Riveting read. Limited availability.]

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