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The 50 Greatest Movies Never Made Paperback – July 30, 1999

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (July 30, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031220082X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312200824
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,671,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a business that produces over 40,000 spec scripts each year, of which only 3000 are optioned, and a mere 50 made, a project that never sees the light of day isn't a failureAit's the norm. In the spirit of Film ThreatAGore's alternative movie glossyAthis book celebrates the most remarkable of aborted projects: "they might not have turned into great films," he writes, "but as ideas they were truly great." Many of these jettisoned movies are already Hollywood legends, and Gore's descriptions of the surviving material are full of promise: potential classics by Hitchcock and Wells, Garbo's comeback film, a Walt Disney/Salvador Dali collaboration called Destino. Among the star turns we'll never see are Frank Sinatra in The Jimmy Durante Story and Marilyn Monroe in Something's Gotta Give. Other ideas are intriguingly demented: Howard Stern's superhero parody Fartman, or a gangster movie about a Mafia don made out of ice cream. For some of these projects, there's still hope. The major players are still alive and the ideas are still film-ready, as is the case with The Betty Page Story, which Variety recently announced was slated to feature Liv Tyler. But as Gore demonstrates, casting the lead is merely a beginning, and a beginning doesn't get you far in Hollywood. This archive of stillborn pictures attests to the great feats of development and persuasion necessary to get a major film off the ground, and to the countless projects that crashed and burned along the way. (July)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Chris Gore has been called "a pit bull of journalism" and the "Gen-X Leonard Maltin." He founded Film Threat magazine in 1985 and the popular magazine gave him access to scores of unfinished, underground, and cult films. He lives in Los Angeles

Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Steven Bailey on July 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
Did you ever see the Marx Brothers comedy A Day at the U.N.? How about the Roger Rabbit sequel where it turns out that Bugs Bunny is Roger's father? If you never saw these movies, don't worry--nobody else has, either. However, they are (or were) legitimate movie projects, well-chronicled in Chris Gore's book, The 50 Greatest Movies Never Made.
The book lovingly details 50 films which never got beyond the planning stages for various reasons. Many of them involved heavy Hollywood hitters, from Steven Spielberg (who helped to get the first ROGER RABBIT off the ground), to DOUBLE INDEMNITY director Billy Wilder (who brainstormed the aborted Marx Brothers film as well as a Laurel & Hardy comedy), to Alfred Hitchcock (who proposed a movie about a blind pianist whose sight is restored).
While the book is a fast-paced, popcornish read, the book's not-so-subtle point is to make film purists gnash their teeth at the thought of these potential film classics never getting made. For me, the book's only surprise was that they left out many of my favorites, including Buster Keaton's proposed take-off of Grand Hotel, Charlie Chaplin's The Freak (about a girl who sprouts wings), and an aborted Western starring The Beatles.
It's easy to cry about potential film masterpieces that never got beyond the planning stage. The trouble is that, like many real lost films that come to light after being re-discovered, they often turn out to be classics only if they remain lost. And considering some of the awful ideas which do make it to the light of a movie theater--as witness the recent bomb AT FIRST SIGHT, starring Val Kilmer as (shades of Hitchcock) a blind artist who regains his sight--maybe these movies have rotted in Development Limbo for some very good reasons.
That said, the book will be an eye-opener to novices who have never heard the term "turn-around," and brain candy for those who have seen awful ideas that *did* get made into movies.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
Chris Gore was at his journalistic peak when writing and editing "Film Threat" Magazine. Then he sold out to Larry Flint. I believe that if Chris attempted this book a few years earlier it might be more of an honest endeavor. THE 50 GREATEST MOVIES NEVER MADE reads like tabloid journalism, and offers no serious or insightful cinematic commentary. Chris spends too much time talking about the stories behind the screenplays instead of addressing what makes them great. They are not presented chronologically, which might have helped his presentation. He could have grouped them by decades, prefacing his discussion of the screenplays with background information on the climate in Hollywood then. He rarely presents material from these unproduced screenplays, nor offers much insight in the form of quotations or interviews. The nature of his commentary leads me to question whether he actually read many screenplays he discusses. Further, several of his facts were not current. What should have been interesting quickly became boring and repetitive. Almost every chapter ends with an attempt at negative sarcasm on the film industry. I have no idea who the audience for this book is. Many people who would purchase a copy already know the stories, and probably have most of these screenplays in their collection. In addition, there are numerous free sites on the Internet that contain similar, if not more detailed and current, information on these projects. What should have been a memorable film book is reduced to a waste of paper in the age of the Internet.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Ellis on May 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
Chris Gore's The 50 Greatest Movies Ever Made is wildly uneven, frequently enjoyable, occasionally insightful, and at times kinda annoying. It's also a pretty cool idea that was long overdue and if Gore's book doesn't quite take advantage of the full potential of his concept, its still an idea that was long overdue. Content-wise, this book would probably rate three stars (whatever that actually means) but it deserves that one extra star for being the first of its kind. Hopefully, should someone decide to write a follow-up on other great films that were never made, they'll keep a copy of this book so that they may learn from not only the book's flaws but its strengths as well.
Every film fanatic has a few cherished projects that they learned about while they lingered in Hollywood's development limbo. These were the movies that you looked forward to saying, that you found yourself checking up on whenever you got a spare moment, and these are the movies that either vanished all together or died right when they were on the verge of actually being made. These are the movies that we regret we'll never get a chance to see. Chris Gore's book details fifty of these film projects that, for various reasons, never actually made it to postproduction. In Gore's opinion (and if Chris Gore has anything, its opinions), these fifty films would have all been classics of the cinema and, film-by-film, he details not only why the films were never made but why he believes we should mourn their loss.
Obviously, this is a highly subjective enterprise and Gore is often found defending a film's lost greatness on the basis of little more than his gut instinct. As a result, I doubt there's a reader out there who will agree with all of Gore's choices.
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More About the Author

Chris Gore is a writer, comedian, author and television personality who has built a solid reputation as a hilariously outspoken voice in the entertainment world.

As a teenager, Chris founded the brutally honest magazine Film Threat, which began as a fanzine while he was a college student in Detroit. As Film Threat evolved into a respected national magazine, he relocated to Los Angeles. The print magazine was retired in 1997 when it was re-launched as a web site. found a huge audience online and was named one of the top five movie web sites by the Wall Street Journal. Chris sold Film Threat at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival to former editor Mark Bell.

Chris has appeared as a film expert on MSNBC, E!, CNN, Travel Channel, and Reelz Channel. Chis has also hosted shows on FX, Starz, and IFC. Chis is currently a host on G4TV's Attack of the Show where he is the show's film expert. His weekly movie review segment DVDuesday is among the most popular on G4. Chris also appears in sketches and comedic segments and occasionally guest co-hosts Attack of the Show.

Chris is also an author, having written The 50 Greatest Movies Never Made (St. Martin's Press) and The Complete DVD Book (Michael Wiese Publications). His book The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide (Random House) is considered the bible of the industry and is required reading at film school. A 4th edition was recently released along with a companion web site As a writer, his opinionated stories have appeared in magazines, online and in trades such as The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Video Business, Total Movie, Spin, Details, Suicide Girls, and

Chris is well-respected in the festival world, serving on several festival advisory boards. He was also named one of the 25 most influential people in independent film by Film Festival Today magazine. Chris began his own independent filmmaking career with the cult short Red starring Lawrence Tierney from Reservoir Dogs. Chris wrote and produced the feature comedy My Big Fat Independent Movie.

Though his career spans a diverse spectrum of jobs affiliated with the world of movies, Chris prefers to describe himself as a "Nerdlebrity." He lives in Los Angeles but his home on the web can be found at