- Hardcover: 544 pages
- Publisher: Broadway; Reprint edition (March 5, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 076791032X
- ISBN-13: 978-0767910323
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 110 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #610,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Great Movies Reprint Edition
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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From Americaâs most trusted and best-known film critic, one hundred brilliant essays on the films that define for him cinematic greatness.
For the past five years Roger Ebert, the famed film writer and critic, has been writing biweekly essays for a feature called "The Great Movies," in which he offers a fresh and fervent appreciation of a great film. The Great Movies collects one hundred of these essays, each one of them a gem of critical appreciation and an amalgam of love, analysis, and history that will send readers back to that film with a fresh set of eyes and renewed enthusiasmâor perhaps to an avid first-time viewing. Ebertâs selections range widely across genres, periods, and nationalities, and from the highest achievements in film art to justly beloved and wildly successful popular entertainments. Roger Ebert manages in these essays to combine a truly populist appreciation for our most important form of popular art with a scholarâs erudition and depth of knowledge and a sure aesthetic sense. Wonderfully enhanced by stills selected by Mary Corliss, film curator at the Museum of Modern Art, The Great Movies is a treasure trove for film lovers of all persuasions, an unrivaled guide for viewers, and a book to return to again and again.
The Great Movies includes: All About Eve â¢ Bonnie and Clyde â¢ Casablanca â¢ Citizen Kane â¢ The Godfather â¢ Jaws â¢ La Dolce Vita â¢ Metropolis â¢ On the Waterfront â¢ Psycho â¢ The Seventh Seal â¢ Sweet Smell of Success â¢ Taxi Driver â¢ The Third Man â¢ The Wizard of Oz â¢ and eighty-five more films.
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More than a few of these films are simply, boring things he loves and he couldn't convince me are tolerable.
However, what he says about the majority of these films is wonderful.
His insight about the parallel between the protagonists and story of "The Searchers" and "Taxi Driver" is brilliant and, as far as I know, original. His chapter about watching "E.T" with two grandchildren is moving and illuminating.
His appreciation of the truly great films is so visible that one can forgive him praising Bunuel and other purveyors of emptiness.
Roger Ebert first became a household name when he teamed up with fellow Chicago film critic Gene Siskel, and the two hosted the weekly syndicated show “Siskel and Ebert”. On the show, they would review three or four movies per week and gave each movie a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”. The show was so successful that there were many copycat shows that surfaced during the 80s and 90s, but Siskel and Ebert were the originals, and the best. Nothing was better advertising for a new movie that could bolster the moniker “Two Thumbs Up!” as part of its advertising.
As time went on, the astute learned that being a film critic wasn’t necessary a job that “anyone could do”. In the late 80s, Roger Ebert started releasing annual books of his reviews, and one learned that the man was very insightful when it came to distinguishing great works of art from cookie-cutter exploitation. Then, the internet came along, and one could basically read every Roger Ebert review ever printed by going to his website. His insights and commentary were indispensable to all and he quickly became the most well-known film critic. I was one who, every time I would watch a movie, jump on to his website and read about what he had to say about the film that I had just watched. Most of the time I agreed with him, and he always had the ability to look much deeper and find things and see things that I could not.
That seems to be what prompted him to do his “Great Movies” series. Unlike what many people might think, this book (and the two others that followed) aren’t actually reviews of these movies, but rather essays where Ebert goes a bit further and explains in more depth why these movies are, in fact, great. It should be pointed out that when Ebert actually reviewed a movie, he tried very hard not to include spoilers. When he writes these essays, however, he assumes that his audience has already viewed the films, or if they haven’t, would rather study such works and not really care that he often, gives away much of the plot.
This book of movies covers a lot of ground, and I’m sure Ebert had to be a bit selective when choosing what films to feature. Most of the obvious ones are here (Star Wars, Citizen Cane, Gone with the Wind), but he also includes some very bizarre choices that 99% of movie goers not only haven’t seen, not only haven’t heard of, but probably couldn’t view such a film because of its limited availability. A lot of old, silent, foreign, and/or documentaries are featured here as well the more familiar. Again, though, this really isn’t a drawback. I imagine someone who seriously loves films would take a significant amount of time to attempt to track down all of the works that are featured here and purchase them to study for themselves. Fortunately, things such as the internet makes such an arduous task a bit more manageable.
I really can’t think of anyone better than Roger Ebert to produce such a work as this, yet I must confess that the man’s devotion to the cinema could be rather frightening at times. As I read this book, I often thought “Did this man ever do anything in his life other than watch movies?” He would state things such as “I manage to go back and watch this film a couple of times per year”, or “I often study this movie with a film class, and we do a shot by shot analysis.” Sheesh. I really can’t imagine anyone devoting that much time to anything, let alone watching movies, but this was what made the man so respected in the industry.
As I mentioned, if one is a bit lazy, one doesn’t really need to purchase this book, as he includes his “great movies” series on his internet site. Since many people can now access the internet via a tablet or a Kindle, one could definitely take such an advantage. It was sort of nice, however, to have all of these narratives in one place, which was why I chose to purchase it (and the fact that Amazon was having a sale).
I’m sure I’ll not be the first person that will say this as I conclude this review, and it does sound a bit hokey, but here it goes: This book is a definite Thumbs Up. Thumbs way Up.
I particularly thought his responses to The Third Man were quite wonderful and brilliant. Worth it if you care deeply about all these films (and he covers many great ones) --and if it is on sale.
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I went to college with Roger, and he was a genius and a caring friend
and mentor.Read more