I switched on The Turner Classic Movie channel last night and "In the Heat of the Night" was on. I'd missed about a quarter of it but watched the rest while juggling some computer work.
It is one of those films that I rarely walk away from. "Get Shorty" is another. Soo too are most of the Harry Potter films. "Friendly Persuasion," "High Noon," and "To Kill a Mockingbird" also qualify. If a portion is playing, they've got me. A certain magnetism is at work.
This is not directly linked to quality. In my book, "The Third Man" is the greatest film ever made, but I can walk away from it.
What is it about certain films that exerts this claim on our attention?.