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Moments That Made the Movies 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0500516416
ISBN-10: 0500516413
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Our memories of movies tend to be dreamlike impressions. Often they involve “the look, the pace, the movement, the texture, the context,” a scene, or an image of a film. Film critic Thomson (The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, 2003) presents us with his selection of idiosyncratic moments, chronologically arranged, that are guaranteed to pique our interest and prompt us to revisit films or add others to our movie queue. Thomson, sensitive to film’s innate eroticism, begins in 1887 with Eadweard Muybridge’s One Woman Standing, Another Sitting and Crossing Legs, less film than experiment, featuring the titular women in the nude, before moving on to more contemporary films, such as Sunrise, Pandora’s Box, and the famous lovemaking scene in Don’t Look Now. Moments with Jack Nicholson are featured five times, with four films by Hitchcock, three by Antonioni, and two starring Meg Ryan (really). Thomson is authoritative, yet personal, and includes anecdotes, little-known facts, juicy gossip, and a number of surprise selections (see Ryan, above), especially from the past 20 years. Accompanied by wonderfully evocative stills, this eminently browsable book is certain to delight film lovers. --Ben Segedin

Review

“A coffee-table book with a brain... Thomson is arguably the best American film critic since Pauline Kael, and almost everything he has to say in “Moments” is savvy and stimulating.” (The Washington Post)

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)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; 1 edition (October 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500516413
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500516416
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.3 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #462,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mike O'Connor TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Very often in a movie, there is a moment, a scene that leaps out and captivates a viewer, creating a treasured memory that lingers. Film critic David Thomson highlights and examines key, select moments from 72 classic films in MOMENTS THAT MADE MOVIES, a 2013 Thames & Hudson release.

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.
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A superb and highly creative approach to learning to appreciate magic moments in great films and why special moments did, indeed, make the cited movies as great as they are.
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This is a beautiful book, coffee-table size and printed on thick, glossy paper. An outstanding moment from each of a selection of films is described and illustrated with still photos. Makes the reader want to go back and review some of the old movies cited. I spent hours with this book before I could bring myself to wrap it as a gift!
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I was shocked to read some of this coffee-table book. It doesn't serve any purpose at all. David Thomson says, in the introduction. that it's personal. OK, but he doesn't even mention what moments he regards as memorable in the films. He childishly says " Oh, I'm not going to tell you." An self-negating idea or an oxymoron. NOTHING would attract you to spend time & energy to find something which you don't know. David tries to outline the plot in a weird way again. An example is "Celine & Julie Go Boating". As I remember, a lot happens in a boat ridden by the two girls. Thomson says : ... and there's a boat. That's it. There'a boat. Go find out. It's extremely frustrating. Why to write such a nonsense. A few pictures are good. That's all. Don't buy it. It's a total waste.
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Format: Hardcover
David Thomson presents his reader with 72 films, 72 scenes that have made a movie memorable and fixed in our minds as if drawn in indelible ink. Whether black and white or in glorious technicolor or whether they illicit shock or laughter, they are legend.
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.
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I gave this book to by boy friend for Christmas. As he is a Turner Classic Movie buff and loves movie trivia , it was the perfect gift. It has given him the incentive to read more about movies. Thank you.
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Book exceeded my expectation. Engaging , intelligent and fun to read and recall many forgotten moments and movies. A good gift for movie lovers
MD
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I bought this book as a gift for my son who loves the cinema. He graduated with a degree in Film Studies. I'm certain he loved the book. He ignored his mother and me so he could read the book when we together for Christmas. When he left, he said it was a huge book and that he was excited to have it.

Hopefully, he'll share it with me sometime this year.
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