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The Great Movies III Hardcover – October 15, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Ebert, indisputably the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic, returns with a third collection of brief essays on 100 movies worthy of further examination. As before, he balances his selection among classics from Hollywood’s golden age (Top Hat, The Band Wagon) and modern era (Godfather: Part II, Groundhog Day), silent movies (Phantom of the Opera, Safety Last), foreign masterworks (Fanny and Alexander, Late Spring), and a smattering of documentaries (Crumb) and animation (three Chuck Jones cartoons). In every case, Ebert offers informed critical appraisals, as well as background on the movie’s making and significance, that make these pieces rewarding for film buffs and ideal introductions for first-time viewers. Ebert views his role as one of education and enlightenment: Citing readers who accused him of snobbery when he disparaged the Transformers sequel, he wagers in his introduction that no one could start out loving that misbegotten effort, “experience the films in this book, and end by loving it.” While few might share his belief that today’s moviegoers can be steered away from Michael Bay and toward Béla Tarr, his populist-based optimism is commendable. High-Demand Backstory: Ebert is the most popular movie critic for the average Jane and Joe Citizen, and public libraries need to stock his collected reviews. --Gordon Flagg

Review

“In every [essay], Ebert offers informed critical appraisals, as well as background on the movie’s making and significance, that make these pieces rewarding for film buffs and ideal introductions for first-time viewers.”

(Booklist)

 “Roger Ebert’s take-no-prisoners essays packed with insidery insights will send movie lovers back to the sofa for a second look at old favorites like Cool Hand Luke and My Fair Lady while introducing more offbeat picks like Sansho the Bailiff and Pixote.

(Parade)

“The lively text and subject matter is a winning combination. VERDICT For all movie fans as well as anyone looking for a good film to watch. An essential addition, especially for those owning Ebert's first two collections.”

(Library Journal)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 440 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (October 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226182088
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226182087
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #463,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As Roger Ebert makes clear in this volume, "great" doesn't always mean "enjoyable." Take Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi propaganda picture, TRIUMPH OF THE WILL: "It is a terrible film, paralyzingly dull, simpleminded, overlong, and not even 'manipulative' because it is too clumsy to manipulate anyone but a true believer." Or Bruce Robinson's scabrous comedy, WITHNAIL & I: "Conveys the experience of being drunk so well that the only way I could improve upon it would be to stand behind you and hammer your head with two-pound bags of frozen peas."

Ebert's conversational prose style could almost fool one into thinking that writing film criticism is easy. Reading him is like listening to a learned and entertaining friend (who, perhaps, provides commentary tracks for DVDs), a thinker who long ago chose to avoid the snobbishness of an aesthete, the pseudoscientific language of a film theorist, and the aesthetic imbecility of a consumer guide. His designation of a film as "great" is a rhetorical tool used to nudge readers out of their cinematic comfort zones and into something new. This includes Ebert himself, who finally gets around to reviewing three of the canonical texts of American animation ("Duck Amuck," "What's Opera, Doc?" and "One Froggy Evening").

While he's written, in his review of Ingmar Bergman's WINTER LIGHT, a magnificently quotable line ("It is the portrait of a man who thought he was God, and failed himself"), his insights into a film tend to be less overtly poetic than that. He credits Nino Rota's music with provoking the image of THE GODFATHER PART II as a Mafioso CITIZEN KANE (but an inferior gangster picture to Brian DePalma's 1983 SCARFACE).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Without Roger Ebert's advice on Great Movies, it's fair to say that I would have never seen many, many, wonderfully entertaining and thought-provoking films that deserve to be called Great.

Roger continues where he left off in Great Movies I and II with another batch of 100 great films and fantastic commentary on the basics of what the film is about and why it is so great. Because of Roger's Great Movies books, I have discovered the films of Kieslowski, Bergman, Renoir, Powell-Pressburger, Herzog, Kurosawa, Jodorowski, and so many other foreign film-makers that do not fit into the Hollywood mold. Roger has taught me to view films as a high art form, not just low entertainment, and for that, I thank him.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful in-depth reviews and information, as usual. However, this time there are no photographs! For senior citizens like me, the photos help us remember movies we've seen and give us a reference point.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are so many movies out there on DVD... how to know which ones are worth the time of watching? The answer: The Great Movies series by Roger Ebert. Having read, and then chosen, movies based on Ebert's reviews in The Great Movies I & II, it was natural for me to order and now be watching movies based on the reviews of The Great Movies III.
Ebert doesn't believe in "listing" movies, as in "The Ten Best Adventure Movies of All Time." He realizes that people have taste in movies like they have taste in other art forms, so my "best movie" may not be appreciated by you at all. What Ebert does is review movies that display the best in what makes movies an art form... story, filming techniques, acting, and originality.
I read every one of his reviews with relish, because Ebert is both a great writer and an insightful life philosopher. His reviews open my mind to think about life, not just about the movies that reflect life. I probably only watch half of the movies he writes about... his reviews let me know if its a movie I would find worth watching or not. I know that because of his reviews I have watched hundreds of movies I would never even have known existed, and am glad for it.
I love movies. I suspect you do to, or you wouldn't be reading this. There are lots of reviewers out there, but I have found that the most insightful and balanced of them all is Roger Ebert. I wish he was still with us to write The Great Movies IV, V, and VI at least, but we lost Ebert to cancer at age 70 in April, 2013.
His words two days before his death, "So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I'll see you at the movies."
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Format: Hardcover
3 WOMEN; ACE IN THE HOLE; ADAPTATION.; AFTER DARK, MY SWEET; AFTER HOURS; THE AGE OF INNOCENCE; ARMY OF SHADOWS; ATLANTIC CITY; AU REVOIR, LES ENFANTS; BABEL; THE BAND WAGON; BARAKA; THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES; THE BIG RED ONE; BLADE RUNNER: THE FINAL CUT; CABIRIA; CAT PEOPLE; CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT; CHUCK JONES: THREE CARTOONS; COOL HAND LUKE; CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS; CRUMB; DARK CITY; DAY FOR NIGHT; THE DEAD; DIVA; DOG DAY AFTERNOON; THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE; EL NORTE; EL TOPO; THE ENIGMA OF KASPAR HAUSER; EXOTICA; FANNY AND ALEXANDER; FAUST; FITZCARRALDO; FORBIDDEN GAMES; THE GODFATHER: PART II; THE GREAT DICTATOR; GROUNDHOG DAY; HOWARDS END; INHERIT THE WIND; JOHNNY GUITAR; JULIET OF THE SPIRITS; KILLER OF SHEEP; L.A. CONFIDENTIAL; THE LAST PICTURE SHOW; LAST TANGO IN PARIS; THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST; LATE SPRING; LEOLO; THE RIVER; THE LONG GOODBYE; MAGNOLIA; MEPHISTO; MISHIMA; MON ONCLE ANTOINE; MOOLAADE; MY FAIR LADY; MY MAN GODFREY; NANOOK OF THE NORTH; NIGHT MOVES; ORDET; OUT OF THE PAST; PAN'S LABYRINTH; PATHS OF GLORY; THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA; PIXOTE; PLAYTIME; A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION; REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE; THE RED SHOES; RIO BRAVO; RIPLEY'S GAME; ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS; SAFETY LAST; SAMURAI REBELLION; SANSHO THE BAILIFF; SANTA SANGRE; THE SCARLET EMPRESS; SECRETS & LIES; THE SHINING; THE SILENCE; THE TERRORIST; THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY; TOP HAT; TRIUMPH OF THE WILL; VENGEANCE IS MINE; WAKING LIFE; WERCKMEISTER HARMONIES; WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?; WINTER LIGHT; WITHNAIL & I; A WOMAN'S TALE; WOODSTOCK; WR--MYSTERIES OF THE ORGANISM; A YEAR OF THE QUIET SUN; YELLOW SUBMARINE; YOJIMBO... not sure what 2 I'm missing that should make it into this edition but can't wait! :)
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