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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2011
This is a great book for film students (I bought it for my daughter who is a film major at Syracuse University), film buffs and for us folks who love to watch movies!
As General Editor of this book, Steven Jay Schneider (who also wrote 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)aptly summarizes, "This book is a love letter to those men and women who have changed our lives as a result of their celluloid dreams." Sit back and imagine the movies you have seen and how they impacted your life... perhaps prompted you to some action whether of the heart or for society? Moved you to tears or laughter? A great director's fine tuning of a writer's vision onto a screen does just that.

This book has colored tabs on the side of the pages for the director's birth year decade - beginning with the man who invented movies, George Melies, born in the 1860's in Paris, France, right through to David Gordon Green, born in the 1970's, writer and director of Southern Gothic coming of age dramas. The first pages of the book is a solid Table of Contents A-Z of all 501 of these great directors. Each director's page(s) has a photo of the director and some have movie stills from his or her films. Some of the diectors included in this great compendium are Alexander Korda (who helped put the British film industry on the map); John Ford (a titan in the industry who even influenced Spielberg when Steven was a runner on the 20th Century studio lot! Steven went into Ford's office and Ford 'taught' Spielberg to really "look at" his landmark sweeping vista shots carefully...'what do you see?'); George Cukor (Dinner at Eight, Grand Hotel, My Fair Lady); George Stevens (who, as the book states, had "A legendary sharp eye for detail that enhanced visual storytelling; rapport with actors produced memorable performances from Hollywood greats." and other such greats as Federico Fellini, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Margarethe von Trotta and Kathryn Bigelow.

The "Top Takes..." of each director's body of work are listed to the right of each director's description of his/her piece in film history including their backgrounds, their influences...what led them to their signature styles.

My particular book came with no cover which was a disappointment as I really admire Steven Spielberg, but the inside history is 100% readable and enjoyable....and moves me to want to read more about my favority directors and to see works I have not yet screened!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed this guide as well as Jay's 1001 movies guide and was curious if anyone knew whether or not an updated edition was being worked on (a la the improved 5th anniversary edition of the 1001 movies guide)? There's definitely a couple of errors, and I'm sure he's gotten feedback on how to make this guide even more thorough, informative and relevant. Thanks!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2013
This is a really well-done, thorough, concise overview of the movie directors who have given up amazing cathartic cinematic thrills and tears and laughter over the last 100 years or so. A great source for quick mental note-taking about these pioneers and visionaries.
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on May 12, 2015
I’m a bit of a fan of ‘titbit’ books that you can pick up; gain something useful from by way of inspiration, information, motivation and probably any other of a hundred other words ending in –ion; and put down without worrying about losing your place!

This book certainly fulfils that criterion. This gives the reader a taster of some famous and not so famous movie directors from Georges Melies to David Gordon Green.

For a small book in terms of size it’s a truly weighty tome in terms of the amount of information it contains and should prove a very useful adjunct to anyone’s viewing experience whether you tend to agree with each reviewer’s view or not. All the ‘greats’ are, as you would expect, here, with their appearance, in terms of page number, dictated by their birth dates. This, I have to admit, seems a bit odd to me as I would have thought they might appear in order of their first appearance on the movie scene as a credited director.

But that’s a minor quibble. Each entry provides a list of their most prominent work (‘Top Takes’), a concise biography and an understandably brief critique of their work and motivation under a ‘tag line’ indicating their ‘directorial style’, which, again, I could quibble with since I think that is something of a misnomer.

All in all, for the price, makes for an excellent read!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2012
a nice effort by multiple authors...some inclusions are ridiculous..Riccardo Freda???..a real crappy Italian director who could not finish films!!! and exclusions like John Cromwell and Mitchell Leisen...cone on!!! the authors are somewhat knowledgeable about film...no grotesque errors found!!
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on November 8, 2014
The Service is great. I will buy again.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2013
I bought this as a gift & my husband can't seem to put it down. It is a great reference for movie buffs!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2013
Like it very much, it is the only easy to use and read handbook I could buy, not anything like this is available in Brasil!
Missing this book in .pdf and .xls format to be more util.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
You'll have your work cut out for you after reading this book... lots of great movies to check out.
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6 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2008
This book is summarising all of the successfull and talented directors all around the world with best informations and photos. This is a journey to the amazing minds of movie inventors from past to present.
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