Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating and Enlightening Read, June 8, 2012
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This review is from: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (Hardcover)
I bought this book for the same reason I bought Tom Moon's "1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die." I am fascinated by the topic and this book has exposed me to films I might not otherwise have ever been aware of.

The first movie I remember seeing in a theater was "The Absent-Minded Professor" in 1961. I was nine. So my knowledge of the first fifty-plus years of film making is a bit sketchy. Of course I'm familiar with (and own) copies of such titles as Chaplin's "The Gold Rush" (1925), Buster Keaton's "The General" (1927), as well as most of the domestically available films of the Marx Brothers, Laurel & Hardy, and W.C. Fields.

However, this book has intrigued me to look deeper into the silent film era, and there are no fewer than forty silent films listed. Of special interest to me are the two earliest entries: French director George Melies 1902 film "Le Voyage Dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon)," 14 minutes; and what most regard as the first western, 1903's "The Great Train Robbery," 12 minutes, which was made by the Edison Company.

The author makes no attempts to rank the films included, and please note that nowhere does the title suggest that these are the 1,001 "best" films. Sure, many are great films. However, some are included mainly because of their historical or cultural significance. Bottom line, this is fascinating reading, and will certainly make for spirited debate around the office water cooler. If you approach this book with an open mind, you will not only be entertained but you might learn something as well. [Note: This is the 2011 updated edition. The final eight films are all from 2010; the most recent being "True Grit," which was released in December of that year.] RECOMMENDED
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 1, 2012 5:09:15 PM PDT
I thought the new version of "True Grit" sucked; in no way would it be something you MUST see before you die.

I'd rather see "War of the Colossal Beast" again for the 7,000th time!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 4, 2012 1:37:16 PM PDT
Steve Vrana says:
Like I said, everyone is going to have two lists. One will be the what-the-heck-is-this-film-doing-in-this-book list. The other will be the why-isn't-this-film-in-the-book list. If everyone agreed with what makes a great film, Adam Sandler wouldn't have a career.

I'm not accepting this book as gospel, but it is exposing me to films I might have otherwise ignored. It's best to approach this book with a grain of salt.
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Steve Vrana
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