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Screen Savers: 40 Remarkable Movies Awaiting Rediscovery + Screen Savers II: My Grab Bag of Classic Movies + 100 Great Film Performances You Should Remember - But Probably Don't
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Hansen Publishing Group; 1st edition (November 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601826540
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601826541
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,154,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

My favorite of John DiLeo's books...he makes you want to take a second look at a movie to see if there might possibly be something you missed the first time. --Ivan G. Shreve, Jr., Thrilling Days of Yesteryear, June 19, 2013

About the Author

John DiLeo's first book was And You Thought You Knew Classic Movies (St. Martin's, 1999), hailed by Pauline Kael as "the smartest movie quiz book I've ever seen." His second book was 100 Great Film Performances You Should Remember - But Probably Don't (Limelight Editions, 2002), which Adolph Green called "a valuable and touching work." TCM host Robert Osborne said, in the Hollywood Reporter, that the book "delightfully throws the spotlight on some remarkable film work," and the Washington Post's reaction was, "Not only is this helpful criticism, but 100 Great Film Performances can serve as balm for anyone who has ever been disgruntled by the Academy's choices on Oscar night."

John has been a contributing book reviewer for the Washington Post's Book World and currently writes DVD and film-book reviews in three monthly columns, appearing in Milford Magazine (PA), Allegany Magazine (MD) and Central Voice (Harrisburg, PA). He frequently hosts classic-film series, appears on radio programs, conducts film-history seminars, and has been an annual participant in the Black Bear Film Festival in the Poconos where he interviewed Farley Granger (2005) and Arlene Dahl (2006) on the festival's stage.

Born in 1961 in Brooklyn, John was raised on Long Island and graduated from Ithaca College in 1982 with a B.F.A. His web site is johndileo.com.

Customer Reviews

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A book to cherish--one that you'll want to read from cover to cover and then keep on that book shelf of accessible, available books.
Mark A. Greenwald
Intelligently written, fun, insightful, full of surprises and will make you want to view each of the 40 films that Mr. DiLeo thoroughly examines.
Michael DiGioia
After reading this book I made a list of the movies I plan to rent in 2008 that I have never seen and some that he has made me want to see again.
Ronnie Renee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Keith LaPan on January 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
I saw Seven Brides for Seven Brothers for the first time after reading about it in John DiLeo's Screen Savers. I would not have bothered to see it had I not first read DiLeo's analysis and insights regarding this underappreciated film. His essay led me to a much fuller understanding of its beauty, craft and surprising depth, making me want to see what I had previously considered an old-fashioned and uninteresting musical. Upon completing each chapter, I find myself scanning the upcoming programming for Turner Classic Movies, hoping they will soon be showing one of DiLeo's selections, so that I can use my new "behind the scenes" information while watching the film. It is clear that the movies the author selects for rediscovery are on a personal list of favorites, they moved or inspired him. But while he clearly loves movies, the tone never sinks to that of a fawning fan. He backs up his choices with detailed analyses and thorough research, convincing the reader of their rightful rank among films that should be reexamined. The joy of this book is that he educates the reader while imparting some of his obvious infatuation and love for his subject. And like any satisfyingly juicy critical discussion, the author allows a dialogue to develop with his reader. You may even find yourself disagreeing with him about a favorite star or director (c'mon, Lana Turner wasn't that untalented) and that is part of the fun. This book has rekindled in this reader a new enthusiasm for older and "gently used" movies. I can't wait for my first viewings of The Man Who Laughs and The Iron Giant.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Standard on December 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because I've enjoyed John DiLeo's other books for their informed, but casual, approach to movie love. At a time when so many movie books are either earnestly academic (you know, political readings of gender performance in Nikkatsu gangster movies of the 60s,) or infinitely culty-geeky (do I really need the whole history of Philippine horror movies?), DiLeo assumes the existence of a readership that is, like him, informed and serious, but not obsessive-compulsive, and in it for the entertainment.
The book is divided into eight chapters, each devoted to a separate genre. (For the record, the eight genres are "Musicals Written Directly For The Screen," "Film Noir and Variations," "Love Stories," "Westerns," "Fantasy and Horror," "War," "Vintage Comedy," and the vague catch-all "Life and Times in America," which basically means "drama." The focus is exclusively American, but the time frame is from the silent era to the present. The presumption is that you've already seen the rote classics, and he therefore offers five movies in each genre that he feels have received insufficient attention, and that you therefore might have reasonably overlooked.
You can agree or disagree with the choices, but none are eccentric, deliberately provocative, or contrived to display mere cleverness. The real joy of this book, though, is in the wealth of background information. DiLeo will, for example, in describing "Comanche Station," give an overview of Randolph Scott's career, the placement of his "amiability and lean beauty" in two decades worth of decent but unnoteworthy roles in diverse genres, as a way of positioning the surprise of his late-career flowering in the films of Budd Boetticher, and their collaboration on seven morally complex westerns.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. S. Hood on November 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought Screen Savers for some leads on renting CD's which would be more interesting than the contemporary horror, blockbusters, and animated movies. When I began to read Screen Savers, I found the whole book so enjoyable that I read it from cover to cover. John DiLeo has an amazing grasp of each actor's career, each director and producer's complete works and how they developed, and what was going on in Hollywood and America at the time the original film was made. He writes so well that he slips you into the context of each film without putting you off with too much erudition. I not only loved reading the book, but I am now renting each of the 40 movies. It's well organized in categories like musicals, film noir, love stories, westerns, vintage comedies, and life and times in America so you can mine whatever vein is most appealing.

I found that the book really enriches the experience of watching old films because I know more about the actors and the circumstances under which they were made. Just as we appreciate great literature and art much more when we know when, where, and how it was made, we can better experience old movies when we know more about their context. DiLeo is brilliant at making these movies live again for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Randy Buck VINE VOICE on November 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
John DiLeo's a friend (and fellow film fanatic) who, IMHO, is one of today's best writers on classic Hollywood. His passion for these pictures, coupled with lucid criticism and a terrific prose style, make his books must-haves for those of us whose idea of heaven is a rainy Saturday night, a bowl of popcorn, and some long-elusive rarity on TCM. SCREEN SAVERS, John's latest, is a real treat. John's candidates for rediscovery, all worthy, include some films you probably know (TWO FOR THE ROAD), and several you probably don't (DEVIL'S DOORWAY, THE HALF-NAKED TRUTH). In either case, the DiLeo take on these films makes for compulsive reading, and is guaranteed to send you racing to Netflicks or your DVR (included is a helpful appendix listed availablity for these titles). The perfect gift for movie-lovers in your life. I devoured this book, and could cheerfully gulp down six subsequent installments of the same. More, please, John!
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More About the Author

John DiLeo is the author of five books about classic movies: AND YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW CLASSIC MOVIES (1999, reissued in 2013), 100 GREAT FILM PERFORMANCES YOU SHOULD REMEMBER BUT PROBABLY DON'T (2002), SCREEN SAVERS: 40 REMARKABLE MOVIES AWAITING REDISCOVERY (2007), TENNESSEE WILLIAMS AND COMPANY: HIS ESSENTIAL SCREEN ACTORS (2010), and SCREEN SAVERS II: MY GRAB BAG OF CLASSIC MOVIES (2012).

Born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, John currently resides in Milford, PA, with his partner of 31 years. He went to Ithaca College and received a B.F.A. in Theatre Arts. After thirteen years of on-and-off stage acting, and one film credit (the abominable "comedy" THE JERKY BOYS), he switched to writing about film.

His website is www.johndileo.com, his Twitter handle is @JOHNDiLEO.

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Screen Savers: 40 Remarkable Movies Awaiting Rediscovery
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