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1001 Movies You Must See Before You Dieby Steven Jay Schneider
Synopses & Reviews
"You played it for her, Sam. Now, play it for me." Everybody loves a good movie, and Casablanca is just one of the classics described in this, the ultimate book about movies!
This volume's expert team of authors spans a full century of production, concisely describing 1001 of the best films from around the world. The listings are dramatically aug-mented with memorable photos, both in color and black and white. The book is a chronological survey covering the best cinematic dramas, comedies, westerns, musicals, suspense and horror films, gangster classics, films noir, sci-fi epics, documentaries, and adaptations of novels and stage plays.
Starting in 1902 with the French production, Le voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon) and the famous 1903 American short, The Great Train Robbery, this immensely enjoyable read moves forward chronologically. Film fans review the 1920s silent classics of D. W. Griffith and the comedies of Chaplin and Keaton, then go on to the era of sound films, beginning in 1927 with Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer. Soon to follow were von Sternberg's 1931 classic with Marlene Dietrich, Der Blaue Engel (The Blue Angel), the Bela Lugosi portrayal of Dracula, and the inimitable King Kong. Other highlights from the 1930s include screwball comedies like It Happened One Night and Bringing Up Baby, the elegant song-and-dance fests that paired Astaire and Rogers, the crazy antics of the Marx Brothers, and the classic Warner Brothers gangster films where James Cagney, George Raft, and Edward G. Robinson were brought to justice in the final reel.
In the 1940s, The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca made Humphrey Bogart a household name — and spanning nearly a half-century, from the 1930s to the '80s, Alfred Hitchcock's suspense classics thrilled millions. Also well represented are the post-World War II European New Wave directors, including Pasolini, Fellini, and Antonioni from Italy, Resnais and Truffaut from France, and many others. Here too in words and photos are the classic westerns, from epics starring John Wayne and Gary Cooper to those in which Clint Eastwood shot it out with the bad and the ugly. And certainly not to be overlooked are the great musicals, from Singin' in the Rain to Chicago.
Readers who open this book to any page will find a major film described with a complete list of credits, an essay summarizing its story line and screen-history, and still shots of some of the film's memorable scenes. At the back of the book, both an alphabetical index and a genre index will help readers find any film they're looking for in a hurry. Collectors of DVDs and video tapes will find this volume a must for their book-shelf, but even casual moviegoers will enjoy browsing through this big, entertaining reference book. For students of cinema, for discerning film buffs, for general movie-goers, and for readers who enjoy reminiscing over unforgettable lines of dialogue, here's the best place to start.
Book News Annotation:
Acknowledging that it would have been easier to select 1001 movies to avoid and that they left out some favorites, Schneider (philosophy, Harvard U., cinematic studies, New York U.) heads a team of 60 film critics. Independent and mainstream films are listed in chronological order from A Trip to the Moon (France, 1902) to Chicago (2002). Entries include creative credits, award nominations, a brief essay, and in many cases, a photo. The guide is indexed by genre, director, and film title.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
"We at Gotham love, love, love our movies. So when we received 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die'we started taking notes for our next Netflix order. 1001 Movies is a cinephile's dream: From the silents (The Birth of a Nation) to 1940s film noir (The Maltese Falcon) to the first of the independents (Cassavetes' Shadows) to 2004's Oscar-winning Million Dollar Baby, the book gives an extensive history of each film, with most entries accompanied by stills. We found plenty of little-seen gems, too, like Japanese director Kon Ichikawa's The Burmese Harp from 1956."
"This gargantuan volume is the perfect tip sheet for cinephiles, and includes everything from 1920's A Trip to the Moon to last year's Million Dollar Baby. Its balanced diet of indisputable classics (The Godfather), cult flicks (Eraserhead), and obscurities (The Ear) oughta keep you and your DVD player busy for many, many years'or until Ben Affleck makes a movie worthy of inclusion."
"'terrifically useful. You can reacquaint yourself with old favorites you haven't seen for years and remind yourself of what to pick up for home viewing. Editor Steven Jay Schneider and his team deliver succinct plot summaries and smart comment."
Updated with brand-new entries to describe the most recent major motion pictures, this critically-acclaimed volume spans more than a century of moviemaking, concisely describing 1001 of the best films from around the world. New in this edition are entries to describe such film hits as Lord of the Rings, Mystic River, Farenheit 9/11, and Million Dollar Baby. But in fact, this volume's team of critics goes back to 1902, describing such films as The Great Train Robbery, and progressing chronologically across the decades to cover the best cinematic dramas, comedies, westerns, musicals, suspense and horror films, gangster classics, films noir, sci-fi epics, documentaries, and adaptations of novels and stage plays made by filmmakers around the world. Each entry includes a full list of cast and credits, awards won by the film, an essay summarizing the story line and screen-history, and still shots of the film's memorable scenes. At the back of the book, both an alphabetical index and a genre index will help readers find any film they're looking for. Movie fans will find descriptions of great musicals like Singing in the Rain, westerns like High Noon, science-fiction classics like Star Wars, dramas like Chinatown and Schindler's List, and international classics from master directors who include Fellini, Antonioni, Resnais, Truffaut, Eisenstein, Kurosawa, and many others. Here is a volume that belongs in the personal library of film buffs, movie reviewers, collectors of DVDs-and every reader who enjoys reminiscing over great movies of the past and present. Hundreds of movie still shots in color and black and white. "... a great motivating guide to cinema. After reading one of its engaging, often profound entries on a missed film, you want to ... rent it. Best of all, it includes international, silent, animated, and recent films."
--Dallas Morning News
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