With the season finale on the way next week and huge buzz coming off of last night's reveal that Jason Blossom's killer was [spoiler] all along, fans of the series are starting to think about what comes next -- becuase in a week there will be no more Riverdale until at least the fall.
Luckily for all involved, Riverdale has recommended viewing built right into it.
Each episode of the first season was named for a classic movie (some more classic than others), almost all of which were probably too old for Archie and the Riverdale gang to have seen.
We've seen (most of) them, though, and realized a while back that pulling the synopsis text off of Wikipedia or the back of a DVD might be a fun way to create a a playlist for fans about to lose their addictive new show.
Check 'em out...
More Riverdale news:
- Riverdale Recap With Spoilers: Chapter Twelve: Anatomy of a Murder
- Riverdale's Ashleigh Murray on Jason Blossom's Killer: "Our Town Is So F--ed Up"
- Pitch Officially Cancelled, Clearing the Way For Mark Consuelos to Move to Riverdale
- Riverdale: Who Should Play Sabrina the Teenage Witch?
The pilot episode of Riverdale wasn't actually titled "Pilot," as is common in TV.
In the film, teenage burnout Samson (Daniel Roebuck) has murdered his girlfriend and left her naked body lying on the bank of a river just outside their small California town. He not only doesn't run away, he brings his friends to gawk at her dead body. Speed freak Layne (Crispin Glover) tries to force the teens' silence to protect their friend, but conscience is gnawing at the others -- particularly Matt (Keanu Reeves) and Clarissa (Ione Skye Leitch), who want to go to the police.
needless to say, the idea of a body washing up on the shorein a small town is the visual that ties the two together...although the idea of Samson killing his girlfriend doesn't hold up here, unless one of the two girls (Cheryl Blossom and Polly Cooper) who believe themselves to be Jason's soulmate end up being the one to have done Jason in.
Touch of Evil is a 1958 film noir crime drama, written, directed by, and co-starring Orson Welles. The screenplay was loosely based on the novel Badge of Evil by Whit Masterson. Along with Welles, the cast includes Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Joseph Calleia, Akim Tamiroff, and Marlene Dietrich.
Given that the film is called "Touch of Evil" and the episode is titled "Chapter Two: A Touch of Evil," this is the first (but not the last) time that Riverdale took a little bit of liberty with the title formula. It's unlikely that the episode was named after the Judas Priest song with which it shares its name.
When a car bomb explodes on the American side of the U.S./Mexico border, Mexican drug enforcement agent Miguel Vargas (Charlton Heston) begins his investigation, along with American police captain Hank Quinlan (Orson Welles). When Vargas begins to suspect that Quinlan and his shady partner, Menzies (Joseph Calleia), are planting evidence to frame an innocent man, his investigations into their possible corruption quickly put himself and his new bride, Susie (Janet Leigh), in jeopardy.
This one comes from the title of a 1984 film by Carrie director Brian de Palma.
After losing an acting role and his girlfriend, Jake Scully (Craig Wasson) finally catches a break: he gets offered a gig house-sitting in the Hollywood Hills. While peering through the beautiful home's telescope one night, he spies a gorgeous blonde (Deborah Shelton) dancing in her window. But when he witnesses the girl's murder, it leads Scully through the netherworld of the adult entertainment industry on a search for answers -- with porn actress Holly Body (Melanie Griffith) as his guide.
This 1971 film from director Peter Bogdanovich is a pretty obvious parallel, since there was a literal last showing at the drive-in.
High school seniors and best friends, Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) and Duane (Jeff Bridges), live in a dying Texas town. The handsome Duane is dating local beauty, Jacy (Cybill Shepherd), while Sonny is having an affair with the coach's wife, Ruth (Cloris Leachman). As graduation nears, both boys contemplate their futures. While Duane eyes the army and Sonny takes over a local business, each boy struggles to figure out if he can escape this dead-end town and build a better life somewhere else.
This isn't the first time there's been an adaptation of Heart of Darkness, but that's neither here nor there.
We're going with the 1993 adaptation of Joseph Conrad's classic, in which Marlow (Tim Roth) takes a job with a Belgian shipping company to captain a boat along the Congo River in Africa. He has been dispatched to locate Kurtz (John Malkovich), a former German general who had previously been one of the company's best suppliers. Lately, however, his actions have been erratic, and his shipments have stopped. As Marlow gets deeper within the jungle, he starts to realize that Kurtz has been completely transformed.
Another one where teh Riverdale producers tweaked the title ever-so-slightly, this title comes from Russ Meyer's cult classic Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!!
The film follows sadistic go-go dancers Varla (Tura Satana), Rosie (Haji) and Billie (Lori Williams) as they break free from the nightclub where they perform and race out to the desert to stir up a little mayhem. After karate expert Varla kills an innocent man, the voluptuous trio takes his girlfriend (Susan Bernard) hostage as they attempt to wheedle a hidden fortune from a misogynistic old man (Paul Trinka) and his muscle-bound, brain-damaged son (Dennis Busch).
The 1950 feature film by Nicholas Ray is one of the most perfectly noir of all the movies on this list, making it oneo f the ones that best fits Riverdale's ideal aesthetic.
Hollywood screenwriter Dixon Steele (Humphrey Bogart) and his neighbor Laurel (Gloria Grahame) are just getting to know each other romantically when the police begin questioning Dixon about his involvement in the murder of a girl he met once. Certain her new love interest is innocent, Laurel stands by Dixon, but as the police continue pressing him, Dixon begins to act increasingly erratically. The blossoming love affair suffers as Laurel begins to wonder if Dixon really might be a killer.
In 1983, The Godfather's Francis Ford Coppola made a movie based on S.E. Hinton's young adult classic (no connection to the DC Comics team).
A teen gang in rural Oklahoma, the Greasers are perpetually at odds with the Socials, a rival group. When Greasers Ponyboy (C. Thomas Howell) and Johnny (Ralph Macchio) get into a brawl that ends in the death of a Social member, the boys are forced to go into hiding. Soon Ponyboy and Johnny, along with the intense Dallas (Matt Dillon) and their other Greaser buddies, must contend with the consequences of their violent lives. While some Greasers try to achieve redemption, others meet tragic ends.
Jean Renoir's 1937 anti-war classic seems like one of the oddest fits for this list, but of course the surreal visuals of the tree-tapping ceremony played into that.
A group of French soldiers, including the patrician Captain de Boeldieu (Pierre Fresnay) and the working-class Lieutenant Maréchal (Jean Gabin), grapple with their own class differences after being captured and held in a World War I German prison camp. When the men are transferred to a high-security fortress, they must concoct a plan to escape beneath the watchful eye of aristocratic German officer von Rauffenstein (Erich von Stroheim), who has formed an unexpected bond with de Boeldieu.
The Lost Weekend was a 1945 Billy Wilder film that followed an alcoholic through a four-day bender.
Writer Don Birnam (Ray Milland) is on the wagon. Sober for only a few days, Don is supposed to be spending the weekend with his brother, Wick (Phillip Terry), but, eager for a drink, Don convinces his girlfriend (Jane Wyman) to take Wick to a show. Don, meanwhile, heads to his local bar and misses the train out of town. After recounting to the bartender (Howard da Silva) how he developed a drinking problem, Don goes on a weekend-long bender that just might prove to be his last.
If "To Riverdale and Back Again" sounds like the one that's least likely to be a major motion picture, give yourself a pat on the back.
This 1990 TV movie featured an adult Archie preparing to leave Riverdale for the last time, engaged to marry a girl who wanted nothing to do with the town. Veronica and Jughead, who had already moved away, come back for a high school reunion weekend and Archie has to decide if he's really ready to live everything he's ever known behind -- and whether his new best girl can stand up to the allure of Betty and Veronica.
There was a comic book adaptation that came out at the same time, featuring a cover by John Byrne and two different styles of art for the flashback and modern day aspects of the story.
Above, you can listen to an in-depth breakdown of the TV movie (not the episode) on Archie Digest: A Riverdale Podcast.
The murderer was revealed on Riverdale -- and in an appropriately titled homage.
In the original 1959 Otto Preminger film, semi-retired Michigan lawyer Paul Biegler (James Stewart) takes the case of Army Lt. Manion (Ben Gazzara), who murdered a local innkeeper after his wife (Lee Remick) claimed that he raped her. Over the course of an extensive trial, Biegler parries with District Attorney Lodwick (Brooks West) and out-of-town prosecutor Claude Dancer (George C. Scott) to set his client free, but his case rests on the victim's mysterious business partner (Kathryn Grant), who's hiding a dark secret.
The fact that there are at least a few dark secrets lurking around, mostly having to do with Hiram Lodge's businesses, gives it some extra weight -- especially moving into a finale that promises Hiram's return and an exploration of the muder's motives.
Based on a 1991 novel by Russell Banks, the 2007 film came from director Atom Egoyan.
A small mountain community in Canada is devastated when a school bus accident leaves more than a dozen of its children dead. A big-city lawyer (Ian Holm) arrives to help the survivors' and victims' families prepare a class-action suit, but his efforts only seem to push the townspeople further apart. At the same time, one teenage survivor of the accident (Sarah Polley) has to reckon with the loss of innocence brought about by a different kind of damage.
The Sweet Hereafter stars Ian Holm, Sarah Polley and Bruce Greenwood.
You can see, even withouth having seen the episode, how the film and novel tie into Riverdale, which is about a small town that lost its innocence reshaped by the death of Jason Blossom.