The Dawson Leery Movie List: Season 1

If you’ve known me for more than ten seconds, you know I love popular culture. I’m a trivia buff, I’m a TV/movie fanatic, and I also hold on very dearly to things that had an impact on me when I was young. Which means if you’ve known me for more than thirty seconds, you probably know my lifelong (well, since 1998) commitment to Dawson’s Creek.

Dawson’s Creek is finally streaming on both Hulu and Netflix, so my hope is that everyone who loved it as much as I did is enjoying a rewatch or two, and that everyone who missed it the first time around for whatever reason can finally join the rest of us in Capeside. I’m rewatching it for the (no, I’m not actually going to count, but I promise the number is high)-nth time and I’m surprised by the ways it still holds up 20+ years later. I’m not surprised by the ways it doesn’t hold up, but that’s a story for a different blog series…

What this blog series is going to kick off is The Dawson Leery Movie List. Now, fans of another WB/CW show know that the Rory Gilmore Reading List (a list of all books mentioned on the show Gilmore Girls) has been documented countless times. There are even BuzzFeed challenges about it! But as much as Rory loved books, Dawson loved movies. And – at least from my Google attempts to find it – it doesn’t seem like anyone bothered to make a list of those. So, I’m gonna do it. I feel like I owe it to Dawson. Plus it makes me feel better about rewatching the show for the (seriously, it’s definitely higher than 20)th time.

Here’s how I’m doing it: I’m going through season by season, episode by episode marking down any movies that are mentioned. Mentions include: saying the name of the title, making a reference/quoting the movie, and/or having the poster hanging visibly in a shot.

I’m going to attempt to mention/include each movie only once. Like, they talk about E.T. in basically every episode, and Kevin Williamson hung a Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer poster in an unreasonable amount of shots; they each only get one mention. If I mess up, I mess up, but I’m trying.

Now, in Season One, Dawson and Pacey both worked at the video store and there are LOT of boxes on the shelves on screen. I didn’t freeze frame to write down all of those titles. Posters, yes; boxes, no.

I’m also doing this on my own, which means there is a chance I might miss something, especially if it’s a quote or reference from a movie I’m not familiar with. I’m generally pretty good, but I’m no Dawson (or, you know, the Creek’s full writing staff). If as I post these blogs you notice something I’ve missed, please comment with which episode it’s found in and I’ll be sure to add it!

This is an ongoing project. I’ll post an update every time I finish a rewatch of a season and have a new list to share.

So, without further ado, here’s The Dawson Leery Movie List: Season 1!

Episode 1: “Pilot”
1941
Always
The Color Purple
Donnie Brasco
E.T.
Fargo
Forrest Gump
Gandhi
The Graduate
I Know What You Did Last Summer
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Jaws
Jurassic Park
Psycho
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Schindler’s List
Summer of ’42
Waiting for Guffman

Episode 2: “Dance”
Grease
Ordinary People
Saturday Night Fever
Stayin’ Alive
Scream

Episode 3: “Kiss”
From Here to Eternity
The Karate Kid
Rocky
The Way We Were

Episode 4: “Discovery”
None – only Dawson’s movie he’s filming with his friends is mentioned.

Episode 5: “Hurricane”
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Hook
It’s a Wonderful Life
The Lost World
Misery
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Pocket Full of Miracles
The Poseidon Adventure
The Towering Inferno
Twister
West Side Story

Episode 6: “Baby”
There’s a black and white movie playing on Dawson’s TV at the start of the episode. It’s literally just the “The End” slate. I couldn’t identify it. If anyone can, please comment or tweet me!
No other movie mentions or new posters

Episode 7: “Detention”
SIDE NOTE – this episode remains one of my all-time favorites. It’s like those duck movies; it’s classic. So funny.
American Graffiti
The Breakfast Club
D2
D3
The Mighty Ducks
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Episode 8: “Boyfriend”
The English Patient
Meet John Doe (1941)

Episode 9: “Road Trip”
Deliverance
Rain Man
Sid and Nancy

Episode 10: “Double Date”
No new mentions that I caught. Did I miss one? Put it in the comments!

Episode 11: “The Scare”
Friday the 13th
Halloween
Jerry Maguire
The Ten Commandments

Episode 12: “Beauty Contest”
Braveheart
Cinderella

Episode 13: “Decisions”
No new mentions, but lots of “Spielberg” talk.

Once I get through all six seasons, I’ll compile one big long alphabetical list in case, like me, you want to try and watch them all at some point.

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Writer who loves dogs, wine, and pop culture. First novel in process. She/her.