Five Favorite Films

Owen Wilson's Five Favorite Films

The star of Marry Me chats about the movies that made a mark, from a gem he introduced to Wes Anderson in college to an action staple that blew him and his brothers away.

by | February 10, 2022 | Comments

Owen Wilson

(Photo by Jason LaVeris/Getty Images)

“God, I wish now that I’d had a chance to prepare because I’ve seen this on Rotten Tomatoes,” Owen Wilson tells us when we blindside him by asking for his desert-island films. “I like seeing people’s five favorite movies, seeing what they had.” But he takes a moment to think and rolls with it. “There are a few movies in my life that I saw on consecutive days,” he clarifies, then cooks up a list of memorable ’80s releases that fit that bill on the fly, a list that has envelope-pushing indie fare ranked smack dab next to the first installment in a Sylvester Stallone franchise. That breadth of sensibilities makes sense for the actor, who first came on the scene in Bottle Rocket, an endearing, offbeat, and basically ignored-at the-time film he co-wrote with Wes Anderson that we dubbed his funniest performance, and went onto become a household name, starring in huge movies opposite huge stars.

The latest of those (and the reason for our chat) is Marry Me, an odd-couple romantic comedy that opens on February 11th, in which Wilson shares the marquee with none other than Jennifer Lopez. In the movie, Wilson plays a mild-mannered math teacher who, during a sort of improvised publicity stunt, ends up getting hitched to a social-media-addicted pop star (Lopez) at one of her concerts. Before the film hits theaters on Friday, take a look at just a few of the movies that left an impression on Wilson before he entered the spotlight.

Owen Wilson’s Five Favorite Films

First Blood (1982)


First Blood, when that came out, I remember going to see it with my brothers and a friend and we loved it so much we went back the next day and saw it. I think it was just incredible. I mean, there’s an incredible action thing where he kind of jumps off a cliff and he’s kind of falling through these trees, and it had kind of a great sort of beginning with Brian Dennehy. He kind of picks up Stallone, Rambo, and he’s like, “Here, let me give you a ride to the edge of town.” And Rambo’s like, “I’m not bothering anybody. I’m just walking.” He goes, “Yeah, we don’t want any trouble here, and let me just give you a ride and we’ll just drop you off here.” And he drops him off and then is turning and he’s driving back, and he’s looks in the rearview mirror, and there’s Rambo’s turned and walking back into town. It’s just a great kind of existential hero because why couldn’t he have just walked through that town? Why did that sheriff have to pick him up and kick him out of town, because he wasn’t bothering anybody?

And then I remember Richard Crenna, who’s also great in The Flamingo Kid. I don’t know if I can say that I that’s a movie I loved; I don’t know if it’s one of my five favorites. But anyway, he’s sort of Rambo’s captain that they kind of bring in to talk to John Rambo. John Rambo explains to him, “They drew first blood, not me.” There’s some kind of cut that he gets on his arm that he has to kind of stitch up himself. But it also had a great look to it kind of there in the Pacific Northwest. But yeah, that’s a great story.

Drugstore Cowboy (1989)


Drugstore Cowboy. That’s another movie that I saw on consecutive days. I remember I saw that in Boston, and I just loved the movie and Gus Van Sant. And then I remember working later with Matt Dillon on You, Me and Dupree, and telling him how much I loved the movie and loved it so much that I knew every line from the movie. And Matt was kind of like, “Oh, that’s nice.” And then I go, “Here, say a line from the movie and I’ll be able to say the next line.” I don’t think he really wanted to do it. I was just, “No, really just say a line. Any line.” And he said a line and then I didn’t know the next line.

But there was also a line that he says in that, that I remember Wes and I would always say. I don’t know if I ever used it in another movie, but “We played a game you could never win, and we played it to the utmost.” I always loved that line from Drugstore Cowboy. And I also love the scene with… Well, I don’t know. I just love the whole look of the movie and the jacket that Matt Dillon was wearing. I thought was really cool.

Then I think Sex, Lies, and Videotape I saw on consecutive days. I just thought that that was just a great movie. I’m here in New Orleans working, and so I was thinking about the movie because I think it took place in Louisiana. That made me think of the movie. And then I was explaining it to someone who hadn’t seen it and trying to explain the James Spader character, and is it Peter Gallagher? And then Andie MacDowell. But Peter Gallagher’s character is really funny; he was a great character. And then James Spader’s great.

And then my friend, Steve Brill, is actually in it. He does a Brando imitation in the bar scene where James Spader is in. You remember the actress that plays Andie MacDowell’s sister? She’s great. So Steve does a Brando imitation from Apocalypse Now: “I’m just a grocer. You’re a grocer. You’re a clerk sent by a grocer to collect a bill.” That was really good.

Breathless (1983)


Another one would be… I’ll say I love Richard Gere in Breathless. I thought he was great in that, and An Officer and a Gentleman. So maybe we’ll have both of those together.

Breaker Morant (1980)


And then for my fifth one, I’ll say Breaker Morant. That’s an Australian movie. That’s a movie that I went to as a kid with my parents. And then I remember when I roomed with Wes in college, he’d never seen it. I think he really liked the movie, and there’s some great lines in it and great performances.

Marry Me opens in theaters and streams on Peacock on Friday, February 11, 2022.

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Thumbnail images by: ©Orion, ©Artisan Entertainment, Miramax Films, ©MGM, and Everett Collection

Tag Cloud

OneApp casting Thanksgiving based on movie 99% Tags: Comedy binge Native TV Land Pride Month Universal Pictures Ghostbusters medical drama The Academy talk show Awards hist black football dc AMC Plus romantic comedy Amazon Studios Song of Ice and Fire toy story DirecTV VOD comic book movies debate Starz MCU thriller 2018 USA Network Toys Captain marvel zero dark thirty Pixar critics cancelled scene in color indie Winter TV Holidays godzilla Nominations Chernobyl Country spain streaming jurassic park Disney Plus rotten posters Family stand-up comedy ratings free movies docuseries Discovery Channel suspense TCA Winter 2020 composers RT21 PlayStation Star Wars Celebration boxoffice interviews high school A24 Showtime gangster Dark Horse Comics Vudu Focus Features BET Awards spy thriller worst movies Film DC Universe Bravo spinoff comic ViacomCBS AMC rt labs critics edition LGBTQ E3 Sundance Now basketball comic books renewed TV shows golden globe awards ITV strong female leads TNT Oscars 2019 History Comic Book crime thriller 1990s Sci-Fi directors comic book movie name the review mission: impossible scene in color series dark TV Food Network Netflix Christmas movies sitcom Schedule obituary scorecard Stephen King VH1 Emmys doctor who leaderboard Best Actress popular werewolf fresh Spring TV police drama hidden camera adaptation Endgame 45 Marvel live event TIFF screen actors guild Polls and Games italian Creative Arts Emmys Biopics quibi 007 aapi Video Games children's TV psycho Countdown Syfy 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Logo Travel Channel New York Comic Con X-Men wonder woman blockbusters GoT worst Super Bowl First Reviews docudrama scary movies cinemax mutant Kids & Family dceu PaleyFest Avengers 24 frames Geeked Week vampires marvel comics GLAAD versus robots blaxploitation DGA Spectrum Originals Cannes Emmy Nominations San Diego Comic-Con Academy Awards Baby Yoda BBC summer TV Broadway cartoon scene in color film series political drama comedies movie TCA Character Guide emmy awards award winner Sony Pictures Set visit Sneak Peek young adult Disney rom-coms Arrowverse action-comedy Tubi Writers Guild of America reviews biopic serial killer President laika social media MTV singing competition Comedy Ovation latino Amazon Prime Video Adult Swim facebook a nightmare on elm street stop motion E! batman Trivia psychological thriller Paramount Pictures crossover RT History Lionsgate Election Acorn TV summer preview superman Comedy Central critic resources festival Best Director Cartoon Network Brie Larson Chilling Adventures of Sabrina HBO Max TCA Awards Hulu archives Certified Fresh Amazon sports See It Skip It witnail TV One CMT biography cancelled TV shows pirates of the caribbean Alien blockbuster telelvision films TCM black comedy 90s foreign Best Picture legend Nat Geo El Rey adventure aliens miniseries independent TLC ABC Family universal monsters teaser SXSW 2022 Fall TV Apple TV+ Drama The CW rt archives razzies deadpool international women SundanceTV Paramount Network twilight all-time kaiju theme song canceled TV shows mockumentary cults remakes comiccon Exclusive Video documentaries Mary Poppins Returns toronto monster movies cats American Society of Cinematographers spanish halloween tv CW Seed 71st Emmy Awards movies A&E CNN true crime halloween harry potter Marathons Marvel Television hollywood Anna Paquin Reality Competition NBA art house Lucasfilm Freeform diversity richard e. Grant Tarantino The Arrangement Film Festival die hard DC Comics target scene in color Tokyo Olympics ESPN Classic Film dragons NBC Sundance Universal BAFTA Rock Spike Epix crime drama genre WGN child's play Neflix politics TV movies sequels disaster Esquire The Purge supernatural Disney+ Disney Plus new zealand Superheroes Fantasy Mindy Kaling fast and furious BBC One Sundance TV Fox News YouTube Red Television Academy Infographic Disney Channel South by Southwest Film Festival WarnerMedia TruTV Pacific Islander Wes Anderson VICE Superheroe USA spanish language prank know your critic heist movie Crunchyroll TV renewals travel The Witch Nickelodeon Black Mirror cooking cancelled TV series FX on Hulu live action Western CBS All Access Prime Video 2020 First Look Paramount Pop TV Musical Comic-Con@Home 2021 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt trailers Red Carpet 4/20 stoner Rocky SXSW Mary Tyler Moore unscripted Crackle Awards Tour indiana jones zombies Extras IFC Films 2017 Fargo king arthur animated scary Box Office Mudbound Reality Rom-Com jamie lee curtis TBS kong trophy what to watch 93rd Oscars asian-american ghosts Columbia Pictures Indigenous Legendary Music cops Horror classics discovery YouTube HFPA news streaming movies HBO Marvel Studios period drama Apple TV Plus Martial Arts green book Summer 72 Emmy Awards National Geographic Mystery finale reboot historical drama IFC APB adenture kids NYCC zombie Britbox The Walking Dead feel good spider-verse Photos Elton John japan Animation sopranos nfl Tomatazos joker Oscar 94th Oscars Black History Month nature Shudder Funimation BBC America elevated horror Sony Grammys series boxing 2016 mcc Image Comics Mary poppins broadcast science fiction Hallmark 2015 Ellie Kemper anthology Turner Classic Movies PBS LGBT Best and Worst Quiz revenge Christmas Musicals Peacock Shondaland Holiday mob Trophy Talk concert south america rotten movies we love new star wars movies ID lord of the rings olympics 79th Golden Globes Awards ABC Signature Star Trek 2021 breaking bad book Best Actor french best hispanic war Star Wars canceled Fox Searchlight Heroines Watching Series new york rt labs natural history Hear Us Out Comics on TV dexter Lifetime Christmas movies FX MSNBC justice league Interview The Walt Disney Company Pet Sematary Binge Guide Hallmark Christmas movies dreamworks Women's History Month royal family cancelled television BET tv talk Year in Review Turner Hollywood Foreign Press Association Tumblr Masterpiece Walt Disney Pictures dramedy venice FOX spider-man FXX dogs obi wan target Opinion hispanic heritage month 73rd Emmy Awards OWN 20th Century Fox ABC game of thrones transformers video slasher Warner Bros. HBO Go king kong Rocketman Winners television Valentine's Day comics criterion Lifetime anime game show 21st Century Fox Teen slashers DC streaming service SDCC summer TV preview technology IMDb TV parents TCA 2017 cars franchise chucky YouTube Premium vs. video on demand Instagram Live sequel YA Netflix crime Podcast james bond documentary marvel cinematic universe streamig Calendar Pop australia Premiere Dates golden globes romance festivals space Amazon Prime satire screenings nbcuniversal Disney streaming service superhero Action Pirates christmas movies Apple sag awards Cosplay saw japanese MGM Paramount Plus GIFs book adaptation CBS Television Critics Association Trailer