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“Moments That Made the Movies, is cinema history cloaked as a coffee-table showpiece. It comes at 70 individual films―usual suspects and irregulars alike― by way of a defining sequence. Whichever his approach, this most offbeat of cinephiles and spot-on of writers shows how the part represents the whole. The consistent delight of Moments, which samples both the thin crust (When Harry Met Sally . . .) and the deep dish (The Passenger), is how Thomson makes the reader see how often the microcosm is both macro and cosmic.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“A marvelous wordsmith with a keen eye, Thomson . . . somehow manages to illustrate his many moments in films both obscure . . . and legendary.” (The Boston Herald)
“The Brit transplant's long experience with writing accessible, entertaining, idiosyncratic, erudite and enlightening movie books led him to the most delightful one of all: Moments that Made the Movies. . . . This is a keeper.” (IndieWire.com)
“Explores iconic scenes in both classic and contemporary films that were not only enjoyable, but in some way groundbreaking.” (The Huffington Post)
“Moments That Made the Movies is full of assured declarations, chatty asides and free-associative essays. . . . both fun and not a little feverish. . . . Moment by moment, each statement is certainly worth considering, made as it is by a highly respected critic who is appreciated exactly for such a garrulous parade of this-not-that explications.” (New York Times Book Review)
“If your imagination is captured by freeze frames . . . movie history might be summed up in film historian David Thomson's Moments That Made the Movies. Films are often encapsulated by single scenes ― consider the boulder pursuing Indiana Jones or Joseph Cotten's endless wait at the end of The Third Man―and the ever-sharp Thomson picks several dozen to tell the story of cinema.” (CNN.com)
“The idea here is to focus on a series of moments in seventy-two films of particular significance and accompany them with wonderful stills representing those moments.” (The Nation)
“Accompanied by wonderfully evocative stills, this eminently browsable book is certain to delight film lovers.” (Booklist/American Library Association)
“[A] film-lover's treasure. . . . The book's effect is undeniable, as the reader feels determined to hit the nearest theater.” (Publishers Weekly)
“It is fascinating to read why such moments as the airplane scene in North by Northwest, the initiation of Michael Corleone into the family business in The Godfather, the noir mood of the pool scene in Sunset Boulevard, and the café scene in Bonnie and Clyde . . . are important in the history of film. . . . Highly recommended.”” (Library Journal)
“Unafraid to stump for lesser-known and lowbrow movies . . . may inspire you to look at the whole medium anew.” (The Week)
“Thomson’s . . . moments are captured in a few pages each, with 250 glorious stills accompanying the brief analyses.” (Shelf Awareness)
“A visually thrilling tour of the magic of the movies, one special moment at a time.” (American Profile)
“This book is both a visual delight and a valuable tool for anyone who enjoys a good movie.
” (Lifestyle Mirror)
“Film critic David Thomson is an artist who paints pictures with words. ... What makes Moments special is Thomson’s choices. He doesn’t spotlight the obvious moments. ... In doing so, Thomson reveals unique and telling moments in film history that viewers may have overlooked. Moments That Made the Movies is a treasure-trove that highlights and helps etch many of these films into the minds of cinephiles.” (Lafayette Journal & Courier)
“[Thomson’s] basic premise in this beautifully illustrated book is sound―that it is the moments from movies that we retain rather than the whole thing.” (The Buffalo News)
“A real treasure.” (Woman Around Town)
“Tells of many an incredible filmed moment.” (Short and Sweet NYC)
“A lovely visual and written pairing that will be perfect for any film or arts library.” (The Midwest Book Review)
“Remarkable. . . . Thomson remains acutely sensitive to the motion picture’s birthplace in the world of still imagery.” (Rangefinder)
Top Customer Reviews
Thomson's coverage ranges over a 100-year span, including such films as THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC, MOROCCO, M, 2,000 YEARS IN SING SING, BRINGING UP BABY, THE LADY EVE, THE BIG SLEEP, THE RED SHOES, THE THIRD MAN, TOKYO STORY, LOLA MONTES, HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR, PSYCHO, PIERROT LE FOU, BONNIE AND CLYDE, THE GODFATHER, THE RIGHT STUFF, HOFFA, BIRTH and BURN AFTER READING. Each flick gets a two-three page write-up with accompanying photographs which illustrate the magic moment in question.
MOMENTS THAT MADE MOVIES is a fun read. You can read it cover to cover, pick a page at random or look for a favorite film. For instance, who doesn't remember that classic moment in WHITE HEAT where Jimmy Cagney goes beserk after being told his mother is dead? Or the biplane chasing Cary Grant scene from NORTH BY NORTHWEST? Or when John Wayne's character picks up his long-lost niece in THE SEARCHERS and says 'Let's go home, Debbie?' . And on and on.
Movie buffs should enjoy MOMENTS THAT MADE MOVIES tremendously. I know I did. Highly recommended.
While there are the Hitchcock moments which are high on shock value, there are also some scenes that are memorably absurd such as the classic Bringing Up Baby or just plain memorable as The Searchers with John Wayne's classic one liner.
You'll be surprised possibly by some of the choices chosen, but the intriguing aspect to this book is that every choice mentioned brought great visuals to mind. Thomson's narrative is clear and concise and makes a compelling argument as to why these snippets are always associated with the overall picture. Best of all, this is a terrific premise for a book that is well executed and focused throughout.
Hopefully, he'll share it with me sometime this year.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting and informative. Quite a few surprises too!Published 17 months ago by Donna Shorkey
Thomson's writing, apart from being ungrammatical, is obscure. In his effort to be cute, he sometimes makes it hard to distinguish between actors and characters. Read morePublished on April 14, 2014 by Mr. James R.C. Adams
I enjoyed reading the book. even movies that i had seen were up dated by his review and I shall see them again. It is a great reference book when you are ordering DVD.Published on April 3, 2014 by Suzanne fieldman
This is a great book for any movie buff. It was a gift and the person really, really enjoyed it.Published on March 30, 2014 by Joanne Dioio
Hubby loves it. Every chance he gets, he will read. He interrupts me with the great information. Sometimes I just have to tell him I have things to do!Published on January 17, 2014 by Paulette Davidson (snowbyrd)