An Ava Film for Every Mood: What to Watch in Quarantine

By Beth Nevarez

While many of us are staying home to stop the spread of COVID-19, we are turning to our TV screens for comfort, distraction, and entertainment. If you’ve already binged all of the episodes of your favorite shows, caught up on your Netflix queue, and are looking for more suggestions, we’ve got you covered. Many of Ava’s films are available for rent or purchase on streaming platforms such as Amazon’s Prime Video and VUDU and several on Prime Video are included in Amazon Prime members’ subscriptions! We also have a selection of DVDs available for purchase in our gift shop, which you can shop safely online while supporting our mission to preserve and present Ava Gardner’s legacy.

Check out our suggestions below. Be sure to let us know what you think if you watch one of Ava’s films or if you have other recommendations!

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Grab a quarantine buddy, get comfy at home & get ready to movie!

For a Quarantine Date Night

Looking for a dramatic romance film to sweep you off your feet? Try Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951), a romance for the ages based on the legend of the Flying Dutchman, a man cursed to sail the seas until he finds a woman to love him. Surreal cinematography and Ava at her most beautiful thanks to the work of cinematographer Jack Cardiff.

Find it: Amazon Prime, AGM Gift Shop

For a Virtual Escape

For adventure seekers missing travel, watch Mogambo (1953) and explore the African safari with Ava Gardner, Clark Gable, and Grace Kelly. Ava earned an Academy Award nomination for her role as Eloise “Honey Bear” Kelly in this remake of Red Dust (1932).

Find it: Amazon Prime, Vudu, AGM Gift Shop

For an Epic Medieval Adventure

Love period dramas? Ava stars as the legendary Guinevere to Robert Taylor’s Sir Lancelot in The Knights of the Round Table (1953). Step back to medieval times in this action packed take on the epic tale.

knightsoftheroundtable

Find it: Amazon Prime, Vudu, AGM Gift Shop

For Disaster Film Fans

Enjoy edge-of-your-seat disaster films? Catch Ava in Earthquake (1974), a film about the effects of a devastating tremor on the city of Los Angeles. The film featured an innovative sound technique called Sensurround that recreated the sensation of an earthquake when viewed in theaters. It won an Oscar for Best Sound and was nominated for three other Academy Awards.

Find it: Amazon Prime, Vudu, AGM Gift Shop

For Brave Contagion Fans

Enjoy Contagion (2011) recently even in the midst of the pandemic? Try The Cassandra Crossing (1976). Ava stars in this underrated disaster film about train passengers who’ve been exposed to a deadly disease by terrorists. The film also stars Sophia Loren, Burt Lancaster, and Martin Sheen.

Find it: Amazon Prime*, Vudu, AGM Gift Shop

For a Sing Along

Fans of musicals will enjoy Ava in Show Boat, the 1951 film adaptation of the 1927 Broadway musical, based on Edna Ferber’s novel. Ava stars as a performer on a Mississippi river boat.

Find it: Amazon Prime, Vudu, AGM Gift Shop

For a Thrill

Looking for a good scare? Try The Sentinel (1977), in which Ava Gardner stars as a real estate agent for a house from hell.

sentinel

Find it: Amazon Prime, Vudu, AGM Gift Shop

For the Whole Family

An early film of Ava’s, Ghosts on the Loose (1943), is a family-friendly comedy about a haunted house featuring the East Side Kids and Bela Lugosi.

Find it: Amazon Prime*, Vudu, AGM Gift Shop

For Literary Lovers

Ava starred in a number of films adapted from literature, including several based on Ernest Hemingway’s works. Try The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952), an adventure romance film based on Hemingway’s short story of the same name.

snowsofkilimanjaro

Find it: Amazon Prime*, Vudu, AGM Gift Shop

For Film Noir Fans

While Ava’s best-known film noir role is in The Killers (1946), Whistle Stop (1946) is another good choice and a less often viewed crime drama featuring Ava as a femme fatale.

Find The Killers: Amazon Prime, Vudu

Find Whistle Stop: Amazon Prime*, Vudu, AGM Gift Shop

For Something Dark & Cynical

barefootcontessa

Looking for something that defies easy categorization? The sad, cynical story about the making of a star, The Barefoot Contessa (1954) is an intelligent, beautifully shot tragedy.

Find it: Amazon Prime*, Vudu, AGM Gift Shop

 

*You can watch free with a Prime membership.

About the Author

Beth Nevarez is the collections manager at the Ava Gardner Museum. She has a master’s degree in public history and nearly 10 years’ experience working in museums. A Wilson, North Carolina native, Beth attended UNC Chapel Hill and UNC Wilmington for her studies, focusing on American history. She now operates Beth Nevarez Historical Consulting and specializes in caring for historical collections and sharing history through collections outreach initiatives. 

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