Many of us have been cooped up for at least of week, and with Gov Greg Abbot having declared a public health disaster, it seems like we're going to be here for a while. Since you're probably already missing life beyond your house/apartment's four walls, here are five films with Houston connections (and Bayou City sights and sounds) to help you remember what the outside world looks like. Too extreme?
While in no way a comprehensive roundup, this list hits a variety of genres and decades while also covering a wide swath of Houston geography. So pop that popcorn, dim your lights, and cuddle under the covers 'cause it's movie time, yall.
Urban Cowboy (1980)
When you think about Houston movies, you think about Urban Cowboy. The film starring John Travolta and Debra Winger has a simple plot, but its role in putting Houston and cowboy culture on the national (and international) stage was massive.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime, Google Play, Redbox, Apple TV
Terms of Endearment (1983)
This Academy Award winner for Best Picture (as well as a slew of other awards) features a tour de force cast in Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson, Jeff Daniels, Danny DeVito, and John Lithgow. It was also filmed in and set in Houston. The Waldo Mansion, which served as Aurora Greenway’s house in the movie, sold for $2.85 million in 2014.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime, Pluto TV
Apollo 13 (1995)
You knew this space classic had to make our list. I mean, it features one of Time’s top movie catchphrases of all time (even if they did get the line wrong). Plus, it’s got a stacked cast with Tom Hanks—whose portrayal of Jim Lovell earned him an asteroid (seriously, they named an asteroid after him)—Kevin Bacon, and Bill Paxton as the crew well as Gary Sinise and Ed Harris as Mission Control. Bonus points if you can spot Lovell, who played an extra in the film.
Where to watch: Starz, Sling, Google Play, Apple TV, Redbox
Filmed by Richard Linklater over a 12-year period, this coming of age story depicts the real ups and downs of an American family. Many have said Houston even acts as an additional cast member alongside Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette in this love letter to Texas. And that scene where Mason Sr. takes Mason Jr. to a game at Minute Maid Park? It was actually filmed during an Astros game at Minute Maid Park.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime, VUDU, Google Play, Apple TV
Anything by Wes Anderson
Ok, that’s not actually a specific movie recommendation, but the famed director grew up in Houston before going on to find success behind the camera with such films as The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom, and Fantastic Mr. Fox. If you’re looking for a specific Houston-y film from Anderson, then check out Rushmore (above photo), which was partly filmed at his high school alma mater, St. John’s School, as well as several other Houston locales. Need more of a reason? This 1997 film is credited with launching Jason Schwartman’s career and Bill Murray’s jump to indie films.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime, Google Play, Apple TV (for Rushmore)