- Hardcover: 402 pages
- Publisher: Gramercy (October 6, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0517201852
- ISBN-13: 978-0517201855
- Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 9 x 11.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #939,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cult Movies: The Classics, the Sleepers, the Weird, and the Wonderful Hardcover – October 6, 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
Many film texts are dry treatises that absolutely drain the rollercoaster vicseral joy that a film can bring. Not so with Peary's excellent series. Peary manages to legitimately relate the true art that is cinema while at the same time exploring what makes so many great films live as a part of our very extistances.
I have read and re-read this book several times and each time, I have discovered a new insight into a favorite film or been directed to a new reference point. Peary is very careful to point to other film scholars and film titles that can enhance a film cutlists experience. In deconstructing each film, he also includes fascinating tidbits of information such as interviews with the film makers, insights into the creative process and backstory history.
Especially fine are his explorations on "It's a Wonderful Life", "King Kong", "Singin' in the Rain", "Rio Bravo" and "A Hard Day's Night". He successfully argues in all those cases that superb entertainment does make great art.
Do I agree with every one of Peary's opinions? Do I enjoy every single film included in these three books? Of course not! But Peary does give vallidation to all of us who could be classified as true film geeks. Since these books are as of this writing all out of print, I with the strongest terms possible urge you all to seek them out. You will not be dissapointed!
This review of 100 films was one of the firsts along with Jonathan Rosenbaum and J. Hoberman's "Midnight Madness" to delve into what makes a movie a "cult movie," and Peary does a spectacular job. Unlike some surveys which focus more on indescribable oddities such as David Lynch's "Eraserhead", Peary wonderfully widens the cult criteria to include a whole array of the film-watching experiences. From schlock like "Plan 9 From Outer Space" to high art like "The Red Shoes", Peary's understanding of popular culture is often brilliant and on the money. Every conceivable genre gets their due -comedies, westerns, horror, musicals, film noir thrillers, kung fu epics, and even 70's porn! Like them or not, all are made to seem wonderfully relevant and alive.
My copies of Peary's "Cult Movies 2" and "Cult Movies 3" are equally dog-eared. Get them all because this is film criticism as its best!
Mr. Peary's approach to cult movies is respectful- this in contrast to other books of the "Bad Movie catalog" bent. At the end of his comments about "Plan 9 From Outer Space", for example, he came to the defense of Ed Wood. He pointed out that Mr. Wood managed to get his message, critical of American nuclear build-up, past the censors and into the theaters. Most other filmmakers at that time just went with the political flow.
Thanks to Mr. Peary's tutelage, I sought out such diverse films as "Aguirre, the Wrath of God" (artsy, passionate), "El Topo" (bizarre, egotistical), "42nd Street" (musical... not my style, but I enjoyed it), "Kiss Me, Deadly" (pure noir), and "Behind the Green Door (`nuff said). If you want to put some excitement in your experience of cinema, this book is a great way to begin.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this book, and the author's writing style. I bought this and the whole series in the 1980s. It's as entertaining as the movies that are reviewed.Published 15 months ago by jrex3000
I picked up this book from a sale counter years ago on a whim. At the time I was not able to watch many of the movies contained within, as many of the films were not in... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Privacy, Please
I recently had lunch with my best friend, and after exchanging the usual pleasantries, we fell right into our favorite topic--what movies we had seen. Read morePublished on December 10, 2013 by Matthew Krause
I cannot recall precisely when I bought the first of the three Cult Movies books, but it was efore I had access to see any of the films discussed within. Read morePublished on February 27, 2013 by SLAPPYWAG1
A complete reference for fans of cult movies : insightful comments, photos and, sometimes, humour makes its consultation easy and fascinating. Read morePublished on September 25, 2011 by C. Lahaie
I have all 3 volumes of the series and have devoured every word over the years. I still like to pull them out whenevere I watch one of the covered movies. Read morePublished on January 3, 2011 by D. Webb
"Cult Movies" was one of the first film books I devoured, when I was first getting serious about the medium in the late 1980s. Read morePublished on November 20, 2010 by Muzzlehatch
Have been waiting for this item for well over a month and it has not yet arrived.Published on June 24, 2009 by DV Don't