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1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die 2nd Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0764159077
ISBN-10: 0764159070
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Film lovers seeking critical guidance more discerning than daily newspaper reviews but less daunting than scholarly journal articles depend on a handful of critics who write about rarefied films for a general audience. 1001 Movies You Must See before You Die puts a user-friendly mask on the serious thought animating its effort to create a roster of indispensable films and rather belies the erudition of its well-qualified contributors. The chosen 1,001 are chronologically listed, from the surreal sf short A Trip to the Moon (1902) to Russian Ark and chicago (both 2002). This list has been compiled with an eye to historical importance and popular acclaim, which explains the presence of such critically suspect crowd-pleasers as Saturday Night Fever, Top Gun, and E.T. Since Chantal Akerman's nearly four-hour Jeanne Dielman and the Czech psychedelic farce Sedmikrasky (Daisies) also appear, it can't, however, be accused of pandering to popular taste. Attractive design, incorporating stills from most chosen titles, makes the volume a browser's delight as well as a useful guide for casual viewers and film buffs alike. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"We at Gotham love, love, love our movies. So when we received 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die…we started taking notes for our next Netflix order. 1001 Movies is a cinephile's dream: From the silents (The Birth of a Nation) to 1940s film noir (The Maltese Falcon) to the first of the independents (Cassavetes' Shadows) to 2004's Oscar-winning Million Dollar Baby, the book gives an extensive history of each film, with most entries accompanied by stills. We found plenty of little-seen gems, too, like Japanese director Kon Ichikawa's The Burmese Harp from 1956."


Gotham





"This gargantuan volume is the perfect tip sheet for cinephiles, and includes everything from 1920's A Trip to the Moon to last year's Million Dollar Baby. Its balanced diet of indisputable classics (The Godfather), cult flicks (Eraserhead), and obscurities (The Ear) oughta keep you and your DVD player busy for many, many years…or until Ben Affleck makes a movie worthy of inclusion."


Scene



"…terrifically useful. You can reacquaint yourself with old favorites you haven't seen for years and remind yourself of what to pick up for home viewing. Editor Steven Jay Schneider and his team deliver succinct plot summaries and smart comment."


Houston Chronicle

“1001 MOVIES You Must See Before You Die ... a great motivating guide to cinema. After reading one of its engaging, often profound entries on a missed film, you want to run out and rent it.” —Dallas Morning News

“If you’re constantly wondering what to pop into the VCR or DVD player, get this book!” —The Star

“An excellent new film anthology...1001 Movies will serve as one of your ultimate movie guides. It presents everything you need to know about the must-see films...” —The Wave Channel Guide

“Instead of simply summarizing the plot, Schneider and his team of experts briefly explain why each film is a must see.... Schneider’s choices are irrefutable. Highly recommended...” —Library Journal

“... a browser’s delight as well as a useful guide for casual viewers and film buffs alike” —Booklist

“...Schneider’s sources are solid...” —Buffalo News
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series; 2 edition (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764159070
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764159077
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.9 x 2.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,659,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Although this book provided an acceptably organized compilation of movie classics, I was bugged by the fact that reviews/thoughts included spoilers, or revelations of the movies' endings.

I purchased this book in order to discover movies I knew not of previously or had heard of and was interested in seeing. The occasional spoilers are given without warning and made me read with caution to those movies that I did not yet know the outcome of, which was quite tedious.

Overall, the reviews were convincing and thoughtful when not completely blatant, but do proceed with caution.
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Format: Hardcover
As soon as I saw this book on the shelf I knew it was for my ever-expanding collection of cinema sources & the selection contained herein did not disappoint. Except maybe for the alarming number of errors I found. ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN did not win best picture in 1976; as the next page testifies, ROCKY did. THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW was not narrated by Dr. Everett Scott; it was narrated by The Narrator(Charles Gray). DANGEROUS LIAISONS did not win Best Picture in 1988; a few pages later it states,correctly,that RAINMAN did. In the piece on Charles Chaplin's brilliant MONSIEUR VERDOUX, the end result of his work & the sentiments expressed in his film made him the target of the political right which led to his permanent departure from the United States in 1952. He returned in 1971 & was presented with a lifetime achievement award at The Academy Awards.
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Format: Hardcover
1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die could be a great film guide. It is loaded with both well-known and obscure films, many of which I have sought out and enjoyed after reading about them in the book. I've really started to enjoy noir films because of this book's recommendations.

The fatal flaw in 1001 Movies is that they frequently give away the endings! For example, they often tell you when an important character dies at the end of the movie -- what is the point of that? Look for a different guide that doesn't spoil the endings.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With the amount of junk that Hollywood feeds us these days, you need a source to help you find the good stuff. This book helps in the search for quality. It simply and briefly lets you know why these films are worth seeing. I have found many films from years past that I would've never seen if I hadn't read about them here first. Just about every great film from the silent era to the present is in here. Hopefully, more people will start paying attention to the good films of the past. Once you start watching these films you'll notice just how bad most of the the current blockbuster studio releases are. If we keep paying to see bad movies, the studios will keep making them.
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Format: Hardcover
For the casual film fan this book provides an excellent overview of the cinema for the past century. In order to fit in the large number of mini reviews and commentaries for the selected entries the editors had to omit a good number of films that many would have deemed worthy of inclusion. The most egregious omissions were of silent films, of which only a relatively small number were included from the many years before the beginning of sound films. Film buffs may argue with some of the selections, but the inclusion of "small" and cult films alongside the well-known Academy Award winners is to be applauded. The editors, though, were often sloppy with the sidebar award section, giving a film credit for an Oscar win when only a nomination was received. There are several instances when at least two films from the same year were cited as winning the same Oscar. For those like myself who can recite year-by-year the Oscar award winners and nominees, the sidebar errors detracted from the scholarship of the work.
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Format: Hardcover
The issue with this book isn't that there are factual errors or that its list of movies isn't what you would pick. The big problem with this book is that the writers frequently spoil the movie for the reader. The most blatant example I've found is the review of "Don't Look Now", where the third paragraph recounts what is probably the entire last five minutes of the film. The writer then has the audacity to add, "It is no exaggeration to say that few scenes in the history of cinema have proven as effective at sending chills up the spines of viewers as this one." Also, I recently watched "Oldboy" and followed it up by reading the review in this book. The second sentence of the first paragraph, if fresh in a person's mind, would definitely have given away an important plot development. I'm glad I didn't read it before watching the movie.

Please, do yourself a favor and don't buy this book. Or if you feel you still want to, watch the movie before reading the review.
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Format: Hardcover
I think this is a great book and I really enjoy reading through it's pages, but that is not the main point of my review. I want to clear up what I see as a misconception of the book that I see in a lot of reviews. This is not the "1001 Greatest Movies Ever Made" or "1001 Most Important Movies Ever Made"; it's 1001 movies you should (must) see to get a very well rounded sense of movies and their history. Some movies in the book are included just because they are great, others because of their historical niche in movie makeing, some because they illustrate a certain style, and some for pure entertainment they give. Movies with different types of animation are included and well as a broad spectrum of foreign movies. Think of this book as a watch list for a very in depth cinema appreciation class. Some of these films may not be great, some may not even be entertaining, but all are important, or illustrate an important part of cinema history.
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