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Williams College’s Hidden Gem

Streaming dominates the at-home movie-watching economy. But remember middle school, when you and your friends would gather round your friend’s TV on a sleepover to watch a movie and choose your night’s entertainment from the DVD cabinet instead of the seemingly infinite options of Hulu or Netflix? For a fun throwback this weekend, check out a DVD from Sawyer and invite your friends to join you in your common room for popcorn and a favorite flick.

How did I come across this veritable treasure trove of film on disc? Because I work at Sawyer (the school’s library) and had to shelve a few, otherwise I’d never have found it. Here are some of the options I’ve come across while shelving, and here’s to no-scratched discs:


If you could use a laugh:

  • The Birdcage

  • Blazing Saddles

  • But I’m a Cheerleader

  • Clueless

  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

  • Groundhog Day

  • Monty Python: The Holy Grail

  • Monty Python: The Life of Brian

  • Spinal Tap

  • Young Frankenstein


If you’re looking for a vintage vibe:

  • Back to the Future (the whole trilogy)

  • The Breakfast Club

  • Ghostbusters (the original, not the reboot)

  • His Girl Friday

  • My Fair Lady

  • Ninotchka

  • Thelma and Louise


If you want something a little scarier:

  • Alien (the entire “Quadtrilogy”)

  • A Clockwork Orange

  • Various Godzilla films (probably more than are strictly necessary)

  • Rear Window

  • The Silence of the Lambs

  • The Terminator

  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre


If you’re a sci-fi fan:

  • Gattaca

  • The Matrix

  • Star Wars (not sure if they have all 6, but worth a shot)

  • Time Bandits


If you like action:

  • James Bond, and lots of it (the collection spans at least four different Bonds)

  • Dirty Harry

  • Gladiator

  • Indiana Jones (at least 1-3)


If you’re always here for a sing-along:

  • Grease

  • Jesus Christ Superstar

  • Singin’ in the Rain

  • The Sound of Music


If you want a light kiddie flick:

  • Aladdin

  • Big Hero 6

  • LOTS of Miyazaki movies (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, you name it)

  • E.T.

  • The Incredibles

  • The Lion King

  • Pocahontas

  • Toy Story 1-3

  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (RIP Gene Wilder)


If you’re a serial binge-watcher:

  • Many seasons of Mad Men

  • Ditto for Arrested Development

  • And Naruto (there’s actually quite a lot of anime, if you’re into that)

  • And Star Trek: The Original Series

Sawyer has much more where all this came from, plus lots of foreign films, indie movies, and even Kama Sutra (yes, it has a plot, since it’s an epic, not just a book about sex), but I’d advise you to look at the online catalog before you check out the actual physical shelves, since the DVDs are ordered by call number instead of genre, title, etc. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go choose between The Social Network and Shakespeare in Love for my next movie night.

Lipstick enthusiast from Dallas, Texas. Hobbies include knitting, procrastination, and not getting enough sleep. Interests include feminism, politics, and oversized sweaters. Possible majors include Russian, art history, and international relations. Williams College class of 2019.
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