- Hardcover: 116 pages
- Publisher: Andrews Mcmeel Pub; 1St Edition edition (November 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0836280717
- ISBN-13: 978-0836280715
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.2 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,608,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ebert's Little Movie Glossary: A Compendium of Movie Cliches, Stereotypes, Obligatory Scenes, Hackneyed Formulas, Shopworn Conventions, and Outdated Archetypes Hardcover – November, 1994
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Top Customer Reviews
It's also useful across the board. While it usually rips into the more standardized genres (like slasher flicks or action movies), it also chainsaws such common cliches as "The Pet Homosexual" ("he can talk endlessly about sex, provided he never has any himself", most recent offender: "The Next Best Thing" and "Will and Grace"), "Baked Potato People" (the gentle lunatics in the asylum that show the outside world is crazy; most recent offender: "K-PAX"), and more subtle ones like the Fat Guy rule; if a group of men are planning an escape, the fat one usually can't be trusted.
This is a very funny book, but it's also very true, and if we made everybody currently making movies sit down and read the damn thing, we'd have better movies, or at least different cliches. Fun for the armchair film freak, but absolutely crucial for the filmmaker.
Only around a third of the entries cite more than one example. Some don't cite any. I would like to know where these particular cliches are found, especially if I don't recognize them.
I felt as if the publishers were trying to fill up space. The font is rather large, and there is quite a bit of space between entries. Plus, some strange, irrelevant pictures scattered here and there. And (in more than a few cases), the EXACT SAME IDEA is repeated under different titles.
It's almost as if the publishers downloaded their text from the Internet, didn't bother to edit for content, then slapped Roger Ebert's name on the cover. The whole thing has a very unprofessional feel to it.
It reminded me very much of those glossy #3.50-type books one finds in supermarkets.
Roger Ebert has been noticing these things, too. And he’s noticed a lot of them, organized them into a list, and even explained a few of them. Ebert has gathered recurring movie clichés from his fans (two thirds of the entries in the book are credited to others) and listed them along with his own gems. And he gives each of them a cute name. Some will seem quite familiar; others may prompt you to watch your favorite movies with a new eye.
Here are ten that stood out to me:
- “As Long as You’re Up, Get Me a 2 × 4.” When a fight in a bar breaks out, nearly everyone in the place begins fighting, spontaneously and without cause— even with people they have been sitting next to for some time.
- Bathroom Rule. No one ever goes into a movie toilet to perform a natural function. Instead characters use the bathroom to take illegal drugs, commit suicide, have sex, smoke, get killed, exchange money, or sneak out through the bathroom window.
- Climbing Villain. Villains being chased at the end of a movie inevitably disregard all common sense and begin climbing up something— a staircase, a church tower, a mountain— thereby trapping themselves at the top.
- Female Voice of Destruction.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Most not written by Ebert. Another web scraping rush job. Disappointed.Published 29 days ago by Jeffrey L. Beddow
A spot-on guide to movie cliches, some of which I hadn't even noticed until Ebert's contributors pointed them out. Read morePublished 8 months ago by steamduck43
This is fun as a quick read. It gives name to all sorts of commonplace movie clichés-- which is a lot of fun.Published 15 months ago by Mark M
I enjoyed this, and the short snippet format makes it a quick, easy read. But I was less impressed by most of the reader contributions than Ebert apparently was.Published 23 months ago by Jessica Glanville
This is a collection of observed tropes in movies, basically. Most of them are submitted by readers of Ebert's columns. Maybe a fifth of them are from Ebert himself. Read morePublished on February 14, 2014 by Bryan B
Everything you've ever wanted to know about the movies is in this handy book. Every cliché (and Hollywood has a lot of them), every nuance, every tried-and-true gimmick... Read morePublished on November 20, 2013 by Eric Norton
I love this book. It's more of a skim read then a book you'll sit down and read cover-to-cover, since it is a glossary. Read morePublished on November 15, 2013 by Jay S
There will never be another reviewer like Roger Ebert. He will be missed. And this book is one of the reasons.Published on September 1, 2013 by James A. West