The Avengers and Expendables 2 are two of the summer's biggest movies, and they share a common theme: a band of heroes trying to save the day.
Film buff Murray Horwitz — with some help from Talk of the Nation listeners — suggests alternative movies to watch at home if you like that theme, but don't want to stand in long lines at the box office.
The Magnificent Seven
"What a cast this movie has: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn ... Eli Wallach, Charles Bronson. It's just a wonderful movie. We have to say — every time we mention The Magnificent Seven — based ... on the masterpiece by Akira Kurosawa, The Magnificent Seven, with Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura, simply one of the greatest movies ever made."
"Watchmen is a really good movie, and it's an ensemble cast, and it really works. And the only person you've really heard of — well, I shouldn't say that. I insult other actors. But the only person I recognized off the bat was Billy Crudup."
"[My favorite is] a film that was very important to me in my adolescent years, The Professionals, directed by Richard Brooks. Listen to this cast: Burt Lancaster, Woody Strode, Claudia Cardinale — never more beautiful — Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, Jack Palance. It's amazing."
Support the news
More NPR or Explore Audio.