In case you haven't noticed — and how could you not? — it's been a bit on the sweltering side in Oklahoma lately.
Sure, August in the Sooner State is usually obnoxiously hot, but the weather has been downright ridiculous lately. And there's not much you can do when it's 113 degrees outside except hole up somewhere inside and hope the air conditioning doesn't fail you.
If you're stuck indoors waiting out the record-setting heat wave, you might as well pass the time with an appropriately atmospheric movie. Here are 10 DVD recommendations that might make the summer heat seem a bit more bearable:
1. “Rear Window” (1954): In Alfred Hitchcock's masterful thriller, Jimmy Stewart plays a photographer laid up with a broken leg passing the time spying on his neighbors, who are keeping their windows open during a vicious heat wave. In the midst of his snooping, Stewart's L.B. Jeffries becomes convinced that one of his fellow apartment dwellers (Raymond Burr) has committed a murder.
Hey, at least you have the AC and don't have to rely on open windows when the weather gets oppressive. But your life doesn't co-star Grace Kelly, so it isn't that cool despite certain modern conveniences.
2. “12 Angry Men” (1957): The late, great Sidney Lumet often examined people under pressure with his movies. The five-time Academy Award-nominated director's classic courthouse drama wasn't his only movie to ramp up the temperature along with the stakes — see also 1975's “Dog Day Afternoon” — but you'll practically feel the sweat trickling down your own temple as tempers flare among the jurors tasked with deciding the fate of a teenager accused of murder.
3. “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962): It must be hotter in the Nafud Desert than here, right? After all, Omar Sharif's Sherif Ali warns “From here until we reach the other side, no water but what we carry with us. For the camels, no water at all. If the camels die, we die. And in 20 days they will start to die.” To which Peter O'Toole's T.E. Lawrence coolly replies “There's no time to waste, then, is there?”
Director David Lean's epic won seven Oscars, but sadly, O'Toole didn't receive an Academy Award for his compelling turn as the controversial British military man — or with any of his seven other nominations. The honorary Oscar winner, who turned 80 on Aug. 2, recently announced that he was retiring from acting.
4. “Body Heat” (1981): A sizzling Florida heat wave's got nothing on Kathleen Turner's scorching big-screen debut in writer-director Lawrence Kasdan's neo noir thriller loosely based on the 1944 classic “Double Indemnity.”
5. “Finding Nemo” (2003): If it's too blistering hot for fun on land, plunge into an animated undersea adventure with this Pixar Oscar winner, which is getting a 3-D theatrical rerelease Sept. 14 and a recently announced sequel in 2016.
6. “The Little Mermaid” (1989): Same rationale as with “Nemo,” but with a little extra encouragement from its Academy Award-honored song “Under the Sea”: “Up on the shore they work all day/Out in the sun they slave away/While we devotin'/Full time to floatin'/Under the sea.”
7. “Jaws” (1975): What if you're roasting in the Amity Island summer, but it's suddenly not safe to go in the water? Cue John Williams' iconic, Oscar-winning score and Robert Shaw's dire, drawled warning, “This shark, swallow you whole.” Da dum.
8. “Cujo” (1983): Sure, you risk suffering heatstroke and dehydration if you venture out carelessly into this kind of cruel summer, but at least you're not trapped in a Ford Pinto with a rabid St. Bernard making those unpleasant heat-related ailments look like the lesser of two nasty Stephen King-conjured evils.
9. “The Shining” (1980): Let's make another reference to the Stephen King filmography for a bit of weather-related reverse psychology: At least you're not snowbound at a remote, haunted inn with a crazed Jack Nicholson. There, suddenly, triple digits don't seem so bad, huh?
10. “March of the Penguins” (2005): Again, it's not like extreme cold is any better than extreme heat, as evidenced by this Oscar-winning French documentary about arduous journey the Emperor penguins of Antarctica must make annually to ensure the continuation of their species. Still, the penguins are inspiring, family friendly and much, much cuter than an axe-wielding Jack Nicholson.