Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
The B List: The National ... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Used: Acceptable | Details
Sold by giggil
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: An ex-library book with markings, many stickers or residue, and has some writing or highlighting.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The B List: The National Society of Film Critics on the Low-Budget Beauties, Genre-Bending Mavericks, and Cult Classics We Love Paperback – October 7, 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$16.59
$2.85 $0.01

Books with Buzz
Discover the latest buzz-worthy books, from mysteries and romance to humor and nonfiction. Explore more
$16.59 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • The B List: The National Society of Film Critics on  the Low-Budget Beauties, Genre-Bending Mavericks, and Cult Classics We Love
  • +
  • The Battle for the Bs: 1950s Hollywood and the Rebirth of Low-Budget Cinema
Total price: $45.03
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this collection of essays by members of the National Society of Film Critics, the "B movie" is defined, classically, as "the Hollywood stepchild, the underbelly of the double feature." What B movies have become is a question the book answers only partially-movie fans will certainly debate whether newer films like Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs actually deserve a place next to proven genre classics like Gun Crazy and Crime Wave. Among dozens of pieces, highlights include Charles Taylor's appreciation of 1967's Point Blank and its embattled director, John Boorman, who mixed French New Wave styling and pulp-novel nihilism to inspirational effect (he also discusses Mel Gibson's remake and Steven Soderbergh's open tribute in The Limey). Roger Ebert's knowledgeable contributions don't disappoint; having himself penned the absurd B classic Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, he champions outliers Peeping Tom, May and Pink Flamingos. Rob Nelson includes the gonzo 1989 Nicolas Cage film Vampire's Kiss, for which the actor ate a live cockroach on-screen. Other titles include Detour, The Conversation, Vanishing Point, Videodrome, Eraserhead and last year's Grindhouse; though the collection's breadth undermines any attempt to pin down the modern B picture, these brief essays celebrate well the reckless streak that runs through Hollywood.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Editors Guild
“A tome that will set nicely on the shelf beside your movie collection and provide rewarding reading as a supplement to the film viewing experience.”


Kirkus Reviews, Reference Special Issue, 2008
“Downright fun…Diversity can be found here aplenty, with fan favorites like The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Reservoir Dogs, to stalwarts like The Son of Kong. They’ve also included some questionable picks like The Rage: Carrie 2 that will likely spark debate among film enthusiasts. The surprises, however, are the beauty of The B List.”


Augusta Metro Spirit, 10/15/08
“The National Society of Film Critics come together for an amazing array of sub-mainstream memory in The B List…The list of contributors is enough to make a movie fan’s mouth water…Some of the most knowledgeable people in the movie field provide an outstanding collection of memories, opinions, and even analysis…The writers in this volume offer an expansive view of where the film world has been and where it seems to go when the mainstream isn’t quite ready…Collected with an intricate knowledge of B-movie production and complete with viewer guides and arguments for each of the movies selected, The B List is a welcome companion to the book collection of any movie fan who sometimes steps beyond the simplicity of the mainstream theater.”


Total Film, November 2008
“A few questionable choices in the National Society of Film Critics’ round-up of B-movie ‘beauties,’ but they’re argued with authority and panache. Besides, it doesn’t hurt to have a couple of curveballs alongside all the usual cult suspects.”


Filmbill, October 2008
“Perhaps The B List is at its best when it makes a real genre film like The Rage: Carrie 2 seem legitimate, while showing that a cult classic like Pink Flamingos may not be as good as its reputation might suggest. Such are the delights of this collection, which truly offers something for everyone.”


Santa Fe New Mexican, 10/10/08
“[An] entertaining compilation of essays.”


Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 10/26/08
“The writing is generally good, often excellent. Editors David Sterritt and John Anderson have done a good job of selecting essayists with an interesting variety of viewpoints and styles…[A] worthwhile book.”


Baltimore City Paper, 10/29/08
“The book’s most compelling essays make you rethink old favorites or point you in the direction of movies that even those of us who grew up tethered to our VCRs may have missed…If you’re looking for a guide through film’s funkier tributaries, this is intellectual criticism written with the urgency of a fan juiced to share some odd object of infatuation with a world that likely missed it the first time around.”
 


Curled Up with a Good Book, 10/08
“One of the most quotable books I've read in a long time…[An] amusing and thought-inducing collection.”
 


The Associated Press, 11/7/08
“The literary version of having a movie-critic friend intent on convincing you that there's a movie of which you've never heard but must see, The B List offers up mostly irresistible essays by the National Society of Film Critics about their favorite guilty pleasures…These movies may never make "best-of" lists, but they're all memorable, and most essays convey the giddy pleasure involved in watching a movie that is engrossing even though it doesn't ostensibly matter…The book's broad scope adds to its charm…The strength of the book lies in the fact that even if readers never see the movies discussed, it is still fun to read about them. And many essays showcased here will either pique readers' interest or reacquaint them with forgotten favorites…I challenge anyone to finish it without a Netflix queue full of previously unheard of movies they're excited to check out.”
 


NPR.org’s “Blog of the Nation,” 10/20
“A delicious critical collection of these low-brow treats.”
 


Publishers Weekly, 11/10/08
“These brief essays celebrate well the reckless streak that runs through Hollywood.”
 


InfoDad.com, 11/13/08
“Fun for fans of films that, in most cases, never quite made the A list because they wouldn’t be caught dead there.”
 


BookPage, December 2008
“Reminds us why it’s OK to love movies that have never made a ’10 best’ list.”
 


Buffalo News, 11/23/08
“Much more fun, though, by far, is The B List, in which members of the National Society of Film Critics belie their organization’s stuffy title and rummage around in the glorious seamy cellars that all art forms need for growth and health…You’ve got a lot of very merry film critics in The B List celebrating with you the joys of cinematic junk—even if so much of it has a weird tendency to last so much longer than so much ‘respectable’ fare.”
 


Bookgasm.com
“The book makes some interesting arguments.”
 


GloriousNoise.com, 12/1/08
“[An] eclectically focused selection of essays…There is an abundance of good writing in The B List, writing about movies that you are familiar with and about movies that you may not have even heard about…The B List should be—to make a movie blurb-like crack at this—on your A List.”
 


Curled Up with a Good Book, 11/28/08
“If you are a movie fan at all, you should definitely take a look…It's a nice tour through the bottom level of film history, looking for some gems that almost nobody has seen…The essays about these movies actually do force the reader to examine what may very well be a familiar movie in different ways than they have before…Readers will find many ideas for movies to rent the next time they are at the video store…An excellent collection of film commentary. The love for these movies shines through in almost every essay.”
 


Skyscraper, Winter 08
“An engaging, lively read for die-hard B movie fans or those interested in knowing what to watch for at local DVD rental stores or on late-night television.”
 


Magill Book Reviews
"With a good mixture of familiar and obscure titles, the critics provide acute observations...The essays are insightful and entertaining. The best make the writers' enthusiasms infectious."
 


Word blog, 12/29/08
"The films in The B List are offbeat, unpredictable, and decidedly idiosyncratic. That's why we love them. That's why we love this book. A great collection of essays."


Bitch, 1/09
“Cover[s] a diverse set of films…Offers the cinephile a pleasant enough way to while away a few hours…May even alert readers to movies they’ve missed.”


SLUG (Salt Lake Underground)
"A good read…It throws caution to the wind and zooms in on films whose conception, lurid upbringings and dubious character traits would drive most people away. This is a fantastic resource for cult film buffs the world over.”


Atlanta Daily Report, 12/19/08
“There are some terrific pieces by all kinds of movie critics you’ve heard about, usually writing about movies you’ve never heard about.”


Film International, Issue 38, 2009
“Books like this often bring out the best in film critics, and The B List brings out the best in many of the best film critics in America…[They] don’t snipe or sneer, show off or oversell: they simply make well-informed and well-founded appeals for us to (re)consider the lowbrow barnstormers they believe to be worthy of the remastering and revivals usually lavished on films by a Bergman, Renoir or Welles. The resultant essays are short, taut, punchy and impassioned, and fuelled by infectious enthusiasm for B movies of bravery, vitality and invention.”

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 1st edition (October 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306815664
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306815669
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,317,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Are you a fan of movies? Not just any movies, but those cult classics, such as Rocky Horror Picture Show, or the low-budget movies that are showcased in Grindhouse? If you are a movie fan at all, you should definitely take a look at a new book called The B List. Edited by David Sterritt and John Anderson, this book consists of a series of short essays on various films, B movies in which the authors find some value and quality. It's also a nice tour through the bottom level of film's history looking for some gems that almost nobody has seen.

The book is divided into a number of categories, from film noir to "neo-noir" to sci-fi classics and road movies and many more. Thus, we get an eclectic mix of movie recommendations (the only one that's really not a recommendation is Roger Ebert's essay on Pink Flamingos, which he originally did not give a rating to and explains that he did not because "stars seem not to apply. It should be considered not as a film but as a fact. Or perhaps as an object."). These are movies that, despite the fact that many have fallen by the wayside, the authors feel deserve recognition.

I've been a fan of Roger Ebert's for a long time, so it was a pleasure to see that he contributed five essays to the book. However, the rest of the entries in the book are also very good. As is usual with any book that has many contributors, some articles are better than others, but I can honestly say that there wasn't one that I found badly written. All of the authors are noted film critics, and all of them have presented thoughtful treatises on the pictures on question. Readers of The B List will find many ideas for movies to rent the next time they are at the video store.

However, you will have to do a lot of the research yourself.
Read more ›
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
David Sterritt and John Anderson (editors): The B List
Da Capo Press (2008)

>>>What kind of collection could possibly find common ground among The Son of Kong, Platoon, and Pink Flamingos? What kind of fevered minds could conceive of such a list? What are the unheard-of qualities that tie them all together? The answers: This book. The National Society of Film Critics. And the far-reaching enticements of the B movie itself. Once the B movie was the Hollywood stepchild, the underbelly of the double feature. Today it is a more inclusive category, embracing films that fall outside the mainstream by dint of their budgets, their visions, their grit, and occasionally--sometimes essentially--their lack of what the culture cops call "good taste". The films in The B List are offbeat, unpredictable, and decidedly idiosyncratic. And that's why we love them. press release

A book I wanted to review a few weeks ago already, but rather than writing the review, I continued reading. The press release above is no exaggeration. And the book's authors - US film critics - not only all write well, but also seem to have an ingrained sense of humour. No haha laughter, but an amusing read. I started out by reading about two films I had recently seen again - John Huston's Beat the Devil (1953) and Monte Hellman Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), both were spot on. So the rest I am reading for pure pleasure, in some cases happy I had not seen the film...

fbus 94 - Sterritt and Anderson (editors) The B List -B plus Da Capo Press (2008) - 13/5/2013
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Sequelitis struck books long before it began to strike movies, but books about movies seem particularly prone to follow-ups; a condition, perhaps, of cinema's perpetual status as a work in progress. (Never mind digital video, when do we get the holographic porn?)

A few years ago, the National Society of Film Critics compiled THE A LIST (Da Capo, 2002), a collection of rah-rah essays in praise of "100 essential films." By way of answering the question, "what does it mean to call a film 'essential'?", the canonical directors were given an essay or two apiece: Kubrick, Ozu, Ford, Murnau, Godard, Scorsese, Kiarostami, et cetera; but hip as alternative newsweekly film critics tend to be, their A list already included plenty of B movie landmarks, including an Anthony Mann western, a Douglas Sirk melodrama, George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" (the only film awarded two essays, one in each book), and the big screen debuts of pop culture icons Bruce Lee and Elvis Presley.

The editors of the present volume take hipness as their starting point. No budget is too shoestring, no story too derivative of earlier movies, no hero too ambivalent towards (or contemptuous of) authority for the National Society, whose members, collectively defining the term "film snob", are at their best when reading politics, preferably anti-establishment, into the bottom half of a double bill; at their weakest when claiming to find echoes of Shakespearean romance in "Son of Kong" (1933). (If you're hungry for political film criticism, don't miss Peter Biskind's classic book "Seeing Is Believing: How Hollywood Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Fifties".) They wear their enthusiasms on their scruffy sleeves.
Read more ›
1 Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The B List: The National Society of Film Critics on  the Low-Budget Beauties, Genre-Bending Mavericks, and Cult Classics We Love
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The B List: The National Society of Film Critics on the Low-Budget Beauties, Genre-Bending Mavericks, and Cult Classics We Love