If you have a liking for “hang-out” films, consider a view that Fred Zinnemann‘s The Sundowners (’60), which isn’t even available via HD streaming, is one of the better ones.

Nicely shot by Jack Hildyard (The Bridge on the River Kwai) and running 141 minutes, it’s about a family of itinerant Australian sheep drovers (Robert Mitchum, Deborah Kerr, Peter Ustinov, Michael Anderson, Jr.) driving a large herd to market.

It’s a hang-out film because it’s leisurely, laid-back and pretty much plotless — it just ambles along from one episode to another. Okay, there’s a third-act focus on possibly buying a home and settling down, but there’s never much urgency about this.

In hang-out films dramatic conflicts, second-act pivots and third-act crescendos barely poke through and are otherwise subordinate to the ebb and flow of relationships between the main characters. A focus on mood, flavor, attitude and atmosphere (be it laid-back or existential).

In the latter sense you could almost call Michelangelo Antonioni‘s L’Avventura (’60), L’Eclisse (’62) and La Notte (’63) hang-out films.

One of my personal faves is Jim Jarmusch‘s Only Lovers Left Alive — actually half of a hang-out film and half of a “distressed bohemian” interior-design trip.

In 2014 Quentin Tarantino was quoted saying that Howard HawksRio Bravo (’59) was his favorite hang-out movie.

Five years later his own Once Upon A Time in Hollywood mirrored Rio Bravo‘s aesthetic.

There’s a noteworthy difference between Rio Bravo and The Sundowners, which were made a year apart. The hang aspect in Zinnemann’s film emanates naturally from the laid-back, take-it-as-it-comes attitude of Mitchum’s (and to a lesser extent Kerr’s) character. The hang mood stems from the fact that Mitchum and Kerr (as well as second-banana Ustinov) are hang-type people.

Rio Bravo‘s hang attitude has nothing to do with the real, authentic Old West — it’s an imposed Howard Hawks aesthetic (movie-set camaraderie, casual play-acting between peers with guns and rifles and jail cells and cowboy gear, discussions about whether this or that character is “good enough” or not).

The Sundowners, by the way, was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, Best Actress (Kerr) and Best Supporting Actress (Glynis Johns).