This new edition updates the older entries and adds 30 new ones: Darren Aronofsky, Emmanuelle Beart, Jerry Bruckheimer, Larry Clark, Jennifer Connelly, Chris Cooper, Sofia Coppola, Alfonso Cuaron, Richard Curtis, Sir Richard Eyre, Sir Michael Gambon, Christopher Guest, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Spike Jonze, Wong Kar-Wai, Laura Linney, Tobey Maguire, Michael Moore, Samantha Morton, Mike Myers, Christopher Nolan, Dennis Price, Adam Sandler, Kevin Smith, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlize Theron, Larry Wachowski and Andy Wachowski, Lew Wasserman, Naomi Watts, and Ray Winstone.
In all, the book includes more than 1300 entries, some of them just a pungent paragraph, some of them several thousand words long. In addition to the new “musts,” Thomson has added key figures from film history–lively anatomies of Graham Greene, Eddie Cantor, Pauline Kael, Abbott and Costello, Noël Coward, Hoagy Carmichael, Dorothy Gish, Rin Tin Tin, and more.
Here is a great, rare book, one that encompasses the chaos of art, entertainment, money, vulgarity, and nonsense that we call the movies. Personal, opinionated, funny, daring, provocative, and passionate, it is the one book that every filmmaker and film buff must own. Time Out named it one of the ten best books of the 1990s. Gavin Lambert recognized it as “a work of imagination in its own right.” Now better than ever–a masterwork by the man playwright David Hare called “the most stimulating and thoughtful film critic now writing.”
The Big Screen is not another history of the movies. Rather, it is a wide-ranging narrative about the movies and their signal role in modern life. At first, film was a waking dream, the gift of appearance delivered for a nickel to huddled masses sitting in the dark. But soon, and abruptly, movies began transforming our societies and our perceptions of the world. The celebrated film authority David Thomson takes us around the globe, through time, and across many media—moving from Eadweard Muybridge to Steve Jobs, from Sunrise to I Love Lucy, from John Wayne to George Clooney, from television commercials to streaming video—to tell the complex, gripping, paradoxical story of the movies. He tracks the ways we were initially enchanted by movies as imitations of life—the stories, the stars, the look—and how we allowed them to show us how to live. At the same time, movies, offering a seductive escape from everyday reality and its responsibilities, have made it possible for us to evade life altogether. The entranced audience has become a model for powerless and anxiety-ridden citizens trying to pursue happiness and dodge terror by sitting quietly in a dark room.
Does the big screen take us out into the world, or merely mesmerize us? That is Thomson's question in this grand adventure of a book. Books about the movies are often aimed at film buffs, but this passionate and provocative feat of storytelling is vital to anyone trying to make sense of the age of screens—the age that, more than ever, we are living in.
In The Moment of Psycho, film critic David Thomson situates Psycho in Alfred Hitchcock’s career, recreating the mood and time when the seminal film erupted onto film screens worldwide. Thomson shows that Psycho was not just a sensation in film: it altered the very nature of our desires. Sex, violence, and horror took on new life. Psycho, all of a sudden, represented all America wanted from a film—and, as Thomson brilliantly demonstrates, still does.
Now, thirty-three years later, we have the companion volume, a second book of more than 1,000 pages in one voice—that of our most provocative contemporary film critic and historian.
Juxtaposing the fanciful and the fabulous, the old favorites and the forgotten, this sweeping collection presents the films that Thomson offers in response to the question he gets asked most often—“What should I see?” This new book is a generous history of film and an enticing critical appraisal written with as much humor and passion as historical knowledge. Not content to choose his own top films (though they are here), Thomson has created a list that will surprise and delight you—and send you to your best movie rental service.
But he also probes the question: after one hundred years of film, which ones are the best, and why?
“Have You Seen . . . ?” suggests a true canon of cinema and one that’s almost completely accessible now, thanks to DVDs. This book is a must for anyone who loves the silver screen: the perfect confection to dip into at any point for a taste of controversy, little-known facts, and ideas about what to see. This is a volume you’ll want to return to again and again, like a dear but argumentative friend in the dark at the movies.
From the Hardcover edition.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Tall, Australian, one of the striking beauties of the world, Nicole Kidman is that rare modern phenomenon—an authentic movie star who is as happy and as creative throwing a seductive gaze from some magazine cover as she is being Virginia Woolf in The Hours. Here is the story of how this actress began her career, has grown through her roles, taken risks, made good choices and bad, and worried about money, aging, and image.
Here are the details of an actress’s life: her performances in To Die For, The Portrait of a Lady, Eyes Wide Shut, Moulin Rouge!, The Hours, and Birth, among other films; her high-visibility marriage to Tom Cruise; her intense working relationship with Stanley Kubrick and her collaborations with Anthony Minghella and Baz Luhrmann; her work with Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins, Renée Zellweger, and John Malkovich; her decisions concerning nudity, endorsements, and publicity.
And here are Thomson’s scintillating considerations of what celebrity means in the life of an actress like Kidman; of how the screen becomes both barrier and open sesame for her and for her audience; of what is required today of an actress of Kidman’s stature if she is to remain vital to the industry and to the audiences who made her a prime celebrity.
Impassioned, opinionated, dazzlingly original in its approach and ideas, Nicole Kidman is as alluring and as much fun as Nicole Kidman herself, and David Thomson’s most remarkable book yet.
Thomson’s exploration is at once a meditation on and a celebration of a unique and much beloved, often misunderstood, and occasionally derided art form. He argues that acting not only “matters” but is essential and inescapable, as well as dangerous, chronic, transformative, and exhilarating, be it on the theatrical stage, on the movie screen, or as part of our everyday lives.
He became a legend as "Bogie," the world-weary, wisecracking outsider, but in reality Humphrey Bogart was plagued by doubts and demons. He was born upper-class yet made his name playing mavericks, drank with the Rat Pack, and met four wives on set—including his great love, Lauren Bacall—yet always mistrusted stardom. Here David Thomson, one of film's most provocative writers, reveals the man behind cinema's greatest icon.
Adored by millions for her luminous beauty and elegance, at the height of her career Bergman commanded a love that has hardly ever been matched, until her marriage fell apart and created an international scandal. Here the renowned film writer David Thomson gives his own unique take on a woman who was constantly driven by her passions and by her need to act, even if it meant sacrificing everything.
Bette Davis was the commanding figure of the great era of Hollywood stardom, with a drive and energy that put her contemporaries in the shade. She played queens, jezebels, and bitches; she could out-talk any male costar; she warred with her studio, Warner Bros., worked like a demon, got through four husbands, was nominated for seven Oscars, and—no matter what—never gave up fighting. This is her story, from the acclaimed film critic David Thomson.
On screen Gary Cooper was the ultimate all-American hero: lean, laconic, and masculine, a lone sheriff battling his enemies in High Noon, or a tough individualist in The Fountainhead. Off-screen he bedded a host of leading ladies and carefully honed his image, making hundreds of movies and winning two Oscars in the process. The acclaimed film writer David Thomson explores the career and the contradictions of "Coop," the star who lived the dream in the golden age of Hollywood.
From the actor who somehow lived through it all, a “sharply detailed…funny book about a cinematic comedy of errors” (The New York Times): the making of the cult film phenomenon The Room.
In 2003, an independent film called The Room—starring and written, produced, and directed by a mysteriously wealthy social misfit named Tommy Wiseau—made its disastrous debut in Los Angeles. Described by one reviewer as “like getting stabbed in the head,” the $6 million film earned a grand total of $1,800 at the box office and closed after two weeks. Ten years later, it’s an international cult phenomenon, whose legions of fans attend screenings featuring costumes, audience rituals, merchandising, and thousands of plastic spoons.
Hailed by The Huffington Post as “possibly the most important piece of literature ever printed,” The Disaster Artist is the hilarious, behind-the-scenes story of a deliciously awful cinematic phenomenon as well as the story of an odd and inspiring Hollywood friendship. Greg Sestero, Tommy’s costar, recounts the film’s bizarre journey to infamy, explaining how the movie’s many nonsensical scenes and bits of dialogue came to be and unraveling the mystery of Tommy Wiseau himself. But more than just a riotously funny story about cinematic hubris, “The Disaster Artist is one of the most honest books about friendship I’ve read in years” (Los Angeles Times).
As the leading name in the world of horror, Fangoria magazine has been the source of information for fans of fright flicks for more than twenty years—covering feature films, video games, comic books, collectibles, and all aspects of horror entertainment. Working closely with Fangoria’s experts, including Editor in Chief Anthony Timpone, Adam Lukeman has compiled a must-have guide for casual horror fans and hardcore horror junkies with Fangoria’s 101 Best Horror Films You’ve Never Seen.
With a brief synopsis for each of the included films, lists of cast and crew, “Terror Trivia,” and little-known facts about these lesser-known but must-see gems, Fangoria’s 101 Best Horror Films You’ve Never Seen offers a feast of gruesome information. Featured here are flicks that were dumped by their distributors or were initially flops, like Cherry Falls, Manhunter, and Pumpkinhead, foreign winners such as Cronos, The Vanishing, and Funny Games, and straight-to-video sleepers waiting to be discovered, including Shadowbuilder, Jack Be Nimble, and Nomads. There are even surprise entries directed by industry giants—movies like George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead, Brian De Palma’s Sisters, or Dario Argento’s Opera—that are frequently overshadowed by the filmmakers’ other, better-known works but are worthy of further examination.
Entertaining and informative, Fangoria’s 101 Best Horror Movies You’ve Never Seen offers more than a hundred reasons to look beyond the often ho-hum Hollywood hype fests . . . when you’re really in the mood to feel your flesh crawl.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie is a collection of more than 200 of Ebert's most biting and entertaining reviews of films receiving a mere star or less from the only film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize. Ebert has no patience for these atrocious movies and minces no words in skewering the offenders.
Witness: Armageddon * (1998) --The movie is an assault on the eyes, the ears, the brain, common sense, and the human desire to be entertained. No matter what they're charging to get in, it's worth more to get out.
The Beverly Hillbillies* (1993)--Imagine the dumbest half-hour sitcom you've ever seen, spin it out to ninety-three minutes by making it even more thin and shallow, and you have this movie. It's appalling.
North no stars (1994)--I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it.
Police Academy no stars (1984)--It's so bad, maybe you should pool your money and draw straws and send one of the guys off to rent it so that in the future, whenever you think you're sitting through a bad comedy, he could shake his head, chuckle tolerantly, and explain that you don't know what bad is.
Dear God * (1996)--Dear God is the kind of movie where you walk out repeating the title, but not with a smile.
The movies reviewed within I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie are motion pictures you'll want to distance yourself from, but Roger Ebert's creative and comical musings on those films make for a book no movie fan should miss.
The Princess Bride has been a family favorite for close to three decades. Ranked by the American Film Institute as one of the top 100 Greatest Love Stories and by the Writers Guild of America as one of the top 100 screenplays of all time, The Princess Bride will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come.
Cary Elwes was inspired to share his memories and give fans an unprecedented look into the creation of the film while participating in the twenty-fifth anniversary cast reunion. In As You Wish he has created an enchanting experience; in addition to never-before seen photos and interviews with his fellow cast mates, there are plenty of set secrets and backstage stories.
With a foreword by Rob Reiner and a limited edition original poster by acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, As You Wish is a must-have for all fans of this beloved film.
Interstellar, from acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan, takes us on a fantastic voyage far beyond our solar system. Yet in The Science of Interstellar, Kip Thorne, the Nobel prize-winning physicist who assisted Nolan on the scientific aspects of Interstellar, shows us that the movie’s jaw-dropping events and stunning, never-before-attempted visuals are grounded in real science. Thorne shares his experiences working as the science adviser on the film and then moves on to the science itself. In chapters on wormholes, black holes, interstellar travel, and much more, Thorne’s scientific insights—many of them triggered during the actual scripting and shooting of Interstellar—describe the physical laws that govern our universe and the truly astounding phenomena that those laws make possible.
Interstellar and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s14).
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Mr. Murphy, known to legions of fans as Tom Servo on the legendary TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000, went to the movies every day for a year. That's every single day, people. For a whole fricken' year. And not only did he endure, he prevailed -- for this is the hilarious, poignant, fascinating journal of his adventures: the first book about the movies from the audience's point of view.
Kevin went to the multiplex, sure. But he didn't stop there. He found the world's smallest commercial movie theater. Another one made completely of ice. Checked out flicks in a tin-roofed hut in the South Pacific. Tooled across the desert from drive-in to drive-in in a groovy convertible. Lived for a week solely on theater food. Took six different women to the same date movie. Dressed up as a nun for the Sing-Along Sound of Music in London. Sneaked into the Cannes and Sundance film festivals. Smuggled an entire Thanksgiving dinner into a movie theater. And saw hundreds of films, from the Arctic Circle to the Equator, from the sublime to the unspeakable. Come along on a joyous global celebration of the cinema with a man on a mission -- to spend A Year at the Movies.
Here is the remarkable, untold story of how five major Hollywood directors—John Ford, George Stevens, John Huston, William Wyler, and Frank Capra—changed World War II, and how, in turn, the war changed them. In a move unheard of at the time, the U.S. government farmed out its war propaganda effort to Hollywood, allowing these directors the freedom to film in combat zones as never before. They were on the scene at almost every major moment of America’s war, shaping the public’s collective consciousness of what we’ve now come to call the good fight. The product of five years of scrupulous archival research, Five Came Back provides a revelatory new understanding of Hollywood’s role in the war through the life and work of these five men who chose to go, and who came back.
“Five Came Back . . . is one of the great works of film history of the decade.” --Slate
“A tough-minded, information-packed and irresistibly readable work of movie-minded cultural criticism. Like the best World War II films, it highlights marquee names in a familiar plot to explore some serious issues: the human cost of military service, the hypnotic power of cinema and the tension between artistic integrity and the exigencies of war.” --The New York Times
A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length collects more than 200 of his reviews since 2006 in which he gave movies two stars or fewer. Known for his fair-minded and well-written film reviews, Roger is at his razor-sharp humorous best when skewering bad movies. Consider this opener for the one-star Your Highness:
"Your Highness is a juvenile excrescence that feels like the work of 11-year-old boys in love with dungeons, dragons, warrior women, pot, boobs, and four-letter words. That this is the work of David Gordon Green beggars the imagination. One of its heroes wears the penis of a minotaur on a string around his neck. I hate it when that happens."
And finally, the inspiration for the title of this book, the one-star Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen:
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments. One of these involves a doglike robot humping the leg of the heroine. If you want to save yourself the ticket price go, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination."
Movie buffs and humor lovers alike will relish this treasury of movies so bad that you may just want to see them for a good laugh!
If you adore Sleepless in Seattle and Pride and Prejudice and The Avengers, then you want a movie guide aimed at women like you. Women who enjoy romances and more! You like both a good kiss and a good knockout and refuse to be categorized-but you wish someone like you would recommend movies.
Which brings Harlequin author and professional movie critic Heidi Rice to the rescue. Whether it's nonstop action with a little heart 'n' soul, sweetly adorable cartoons, a classic black-and-white screwball comedy or that under-the-radar flick that you never knew you were missing, Heidi Rice will lead you through her must-sees and why you will also enjoy them. From Ryan Gosling's six-pack to that iconic orgasm sandwich delivered by Meg Ryan, right up to the double whammy of hotties in Prisoners (Gyllenhaal and Jackman)—there's a little something for everyone.
And a little something for that teenager inside you who's ready to watch "nekkid" man-candy and spend two hours falling in love all over again….
– Bob Gale, co-creator, co-producer, and co-writer of the Back to the Future trilogy
A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the iconic Back to the Future trilogy
Long before Marty McFly and Doc Brown traveled through time in a flying DeLorean, director Robert Zemeckis, and his friend and writing partner Bob Gale, worked tirelessly to break into the industry with a hit. During their journey to realize their dream, they encountered unprecedented challenges and regularly took the difficult way out.
For the first time ever, the story of how these two young filmmakers struck lightning is being told by those who witnessed it. We Don’t Need Roads draws from over 500 hours of interviews, including original interviews with Zemeckis, Gale, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Huey Lewis, and over fifty others who contributed to one of the most popular and profitable film trilogies of all time. The book includes a 16-page color photo insert with behind-the-scenes pictures, concept art, and more.
With a focus not only on the movies, but also the lasting impact of the franchise and its fandom, We Don’t Need Roads is the ultimate read for anyone who has ever wanted to ride a Hoverboard, hang from the top of a clock tower, travel through the space-time continuum, or find out what really happened to Eric Stoltz after the first six weeks of filming. So, why don’t you make like a tree and get outta here – and start reading! We Don’t Need Roads is your density.
"What fun! Deeply researched and engagingly written … the book Back to the Future fans have been craving for decades. Geekily enthusiastic and chock full of never-before-heard tales of what went on both on and off the screen, We Don't Need Roads is a book worthy of the beloved trilogy itself." – Brian Jay Jones, author of the national bestseller Jim Henson: The Biography
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Beginning in the early 1930s, these films told compelling stories about ethnic urban lower-class desires to "make it" in an America dominated by Anglo-Saxon Protestant ideals and devastated by the Great Depression. By the late 1940s, however, their focus shifted to the problems of a culture maladjusting to a new peacetime sociopolitical order governed by corporate capitalism. The gangster no longer challenged the establishment; the issue was not "making it," but simply "making do."
Combining film analysis with archival material from the Production Code Administration (Hollywood's self-censoring authority), Munby shows how the industry circumvented censure, and how its altered gangsters (influenced by European filmmakers) fueled the infamous inquisitions of Hollywood in the postwar '40s and '50s by the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Ultimately, this provocative study suggests that we rethink our ideas about crime and violence in depictions of Americans fighting against the status quo.
In Hitchcock, film critic François Truffaut presents fifty hours of interviews with Alfred Hitchcock about the whole of his vast directorial career, from his silent movies in Great Britain to his color films in Hollywood. The result is a portrait of one of the greatest directors the world has ever known, an all-round specialist who masterminded everything, from the screenplay and the photography to the editing and the soundtrack. Hitchcock discusses the inspiration behind his films and the art of creating fear and suspense, as well as giving strikingly honest assessments of his achievements and failures, his doubts and hopes. This peek into the brain of one of cinema’s greats is a must-read for all film aficionados.
It's the mid-1960s, and westerns, war movies and blockbuster musicals-Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music-dominate the box office. The Hollywood studio system, with its cartels of talent and its production code, is hanging strong, or so it would seem. Meanwhile, Warren Beatty wonders why his career isn't blooming after the success of his debut in Splendor in the Grass; Mike Nichols wonders if he still has a career after breaking up with Elaine May; and even though Sidney Poitier has just made history by becoming the first black Best Actor winner, he's still feeling completely cut off from opportunities other than the same "noble black man" role. And a young actor named Dustin Hoffman struggles to find any work at all.
By the Oscar ceremonies of the spring of 1968, when In the Heat of the Night wins the 1967 Academy Award for Best Picture, a cultural revolution has hit Hollywood with the force of a tsunami. The unprecedented violence and nihilism of fellow nominee Bonnie and Clyde has shocked old-guard reviewers but helped catapult Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway into counterculture stardom and made the movie one of the year's biggest box-office successes. Just as unprecedented has been the run of nominee The Graduate, which launched first-time director Mike Nichols into a long and brilliant career in filmmaking, to say nothing of what it did for Dustin Hoffman, Simon and Garfunkel, and a generation of young people who knew that whatever their future was, it wasn't in plastics. Sidney Poitier has reprised the noble-black-man role, brilliantly, not once but twice, in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night, movies that showed in different ways both how far America had come on the subject of race in 1967 and how far it still had to go.
What City of Nets did for Hollywood in the 1940s and Easy Riders, Raging Bulls for the 1970s, Pictures at a Revolution does for Hollywood and the cultural revolution of the 1960s. As we follow the progress of these five movies, we see an entire industry change and struggle and collapse and grow-we see careers made and ruined, studios born and destroyed, and the landscape of possibility altered beyond all recognition. We see some outsized personalities staking the bets of their lives on a few films that became iconic works that defined the generation-and other outsized personalities making equally large wagers that didn't pan out at all.
The product of extraordinary and unprecedented access to the principals of all five films, married to twenty years' worth of insight covering the film industry and a bewitching storyteller's gift, Mark Harris's Pictures at a Revolution is a bravura accomplishment, and a work that feels iconic itself.
Brian de Palma's brash, bloody version of Scarface was trashed by critics when it came out twenty-five years ago and didn't do well at the box office, but has become a spectacular fan favorite and enduring pop culture classic since.
"Never underestimate the greed of the other guy."
What makes millions of people obsess over this movie? Why has Al Pacino's Tony Montana become the drug kingpin whose pugnacity and philosophy are revered in boardrooms and bedrooms across America? Who were the people that made the movie, influencing hip-hop style and swagger to this day?
"The world is yours."
Scarface Nation is Ken Tucker's homage to all things Scarface—from the stars that acted in it to the influence it's had on all of us, from facts, figures and stories about the making of the movie to a witty and comprehensive look at Scarface's traces in today's pop and political culture.
"Say hello to my li'l fren!"
You know you love the line. You know you've seen the movie more than once. Now dive into the ultimate book of Scarface—mounded as high as the pile of cocaine on Tony's desk with delicious details and stimulating observations.
"You know what capitalism is? F--- you!"
Summer blockbusters and independent sleepers; masterworks of Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, and Martin Scorsese; the timeless comedy of the Marx Brothers and Buster Keaton; animated classics from Walt Disney and Pixar; the finest foreign films ever made. This 2015 edition covers the modern era, from 1965 to the present, while including all the great older films you can’t afford to miss—and those you can—from box-office smashes to cult classics to forgotten gems to forgettable bombs, listed alphabetically, and complete with all the essential information you could ask for.
• Nearly 16,000 capsule movie reviews, with 300+ new entries
• More than 25,000 DVD and video listings
• Up-to-date list of mail-order and online sources for buying and renting DVDs and videos
• Official motion picture code ratings from G to NC-17
• Old and new theatrical and video releases rated **** to BOMB
• Exact running times—an invaluable guide for recording and for discovering which movies have been edited
• Reviews of little-known sleepers, foreign films, rarities, and classics
• Leonard’s personal list of Must-See Movies
• Date of release, running time, director, stars, MPAA ratings, color or black and white
• Concise summary, capsule review, and four-star-to-BOMB rating system
• Precise information on films shot in widescreen format
• Symbols for DVDs, videos, and laserdiscs
• Completely updated index of leading actors
Bette Davis's eyes, Joan Crawford's bitchy elegance, Stepin Fetchit's stereotype, Sidney Poitier's superhuman black man... These are the movie stars and the qualities that influenced James Baldwin... and now become part of his incisive look at racism in American movies.
Baldwin challenges the underlying assumptions in such films as In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and The Exorcist, offering us a vision of America's self-delusions and deceptions. Here are our loves and hates, biases and cruelties, fears and ignorance reflected by the films that have entertained us and shaped our consciousness. And here, too, is the stunning prose of a writer whose passion never diminished his struggle for equality, justice, and social change.
From The Birth of a Nation to The Exorcist--one of America's most important writers turns his critical eye to American film.
Whether nostalgic for the future or fast-forwarding to the present, The Sci-Fi Movie Guide: The Universe of Film from Alien to Zardoz covers the broad and widening range of science-fiction movies. From the trashy to the epic, from the classics to today's blockbusters, this cinefile’s guidebook reviews nearly 1,000 of the biggest, baddest, and brightest from every age and genre of cinematic and TV science fiction. You’ll find more than just Star Wars, Star Trek, and Transformers, with reviews on many overlooked and under-appreciated gems and genres, such as ...
• Monsters! Pacific Rim, Godzilla, The Thing, Creature from the Black Lagoon
• Superheroes: Thor, Iron Man, X-Men, The Amazing Spider-man, Superman
• Avant-garde masterpieces: Solaris, 2001, Brazil
• and many, many more categories and movies!!
Roger Ebert, the famed film writer and critic, wrote biweekly essays for a feature called "The Great Movies," in which he offered 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 enthusiasm–or perhaps to an avid first-time viewing.
Ebert’s 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 scholar’s erudition and depth of knowledge and a sure aesthetic sense. Wonderfully enhanced by stills selected by Mary Corliss, the 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 • Bonnie and Clyde • Casablanca • Citizen Kane • The Godfather • Jaws • La Dolce Vita • Metropolis • On the Waterfront • Psycho • The Seventh Seal • Sweet Smell of Success • Taxi Driver • The Third Man • The Wizard of Oz • and eighty-five more films.
Glenn Frankel, beginning in Hollywood and then returning to the origins of the story, creates a rich and nuanced anatomy of a timeless film and a quintessentially American myth. The dominant story that has emerged departs dramatically from documented history: it is of the inevitable triumph of white civilization, underpinned by anxiety about the sullying of white women by "savages." What makes John Ford's film so powerful, and so important, Frankel argues, is that it both upholds that myth and undermines it, baring the ambiguities surrounding race, sexuality, and violence in the settling of the West and the making of America.
Look up a movie in this guide, and chances are you'll find yourself reading on about the next movie and the next. Pauline Kael's reviews aren't just provocative---they're addictive.
These brief, informative reviews, written for the "Goings On About Town" section of The New Yorker, provide an immense range of listings---a masterly critical history of American and foreign film. This is probably the only movie guide you'll want to read for the sheer pleasure of it.
A six-foot-four poet fresh out of grad school with limited acting experience, Gunnar Hansen played the masked, chain-saw-wielding Leatherface. His terrifying portrayal and the inventive work of the cast and crew would give the film the authentic power of nightmare, even while the gritty, grueling, and often dangerous independent production would test everyone involved, and lay the foundations for myths surrounding the film that endure even today.
Critically-acclaimed author Hansen here tells the real story of the making of the film, its release, and reception, offering unknown behind-the-scenes details, a harrowingly entertaining account of the adventures of low-budget filmmaking, illuminating insights on the film's enduring and influential place in the horror genre and our culture, and a thoughtful meditation on why we love to be scared in the first place.
There's nothing we like more than finding a continuity error, a historical inaccuracy or a technical blunder. This third edition of the bestselling Movie Mistakes brings you over a thousand slip-ups to look out for.
• 27 minutes of rare behind-the-scenes video*
• 20 minutes of rare audio interviews with the cast and crew
• New bonus photos and artwork not found in the print edition
Just as Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi completed the most successful cinematic trilogy of its generation, perhaps of all time, this splendid thirtieth-anniversary tribute completes New York Times bestselling author J. W. Rinzler’s trio of fascinating behind-the-scenes books celebrating George Lucas’s classic films.
Once again, the author’s unprecedented access to the formidable Lucasfilm Archives has yielded a mother lode of extremely informative, vastly entertaining, and often unexpected stories, anecdotes, recollections, and revelations straight from the closely guarded set of a big-screen blockbuster in the making. Brimming with previously unpublished photos, production artwork, script excerpts, exclusive intel, vintage on-set interviews, and present-day commentary, The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi chronicles “how George Lucas and his crew of extroverted artists, misfits, and expert craftspeople roused themselves to great heights for a third time” to create the next unforgettable chapter in one of the most beloved sagas of all time. Get up close to the action and feel like a studio insider as
• creator George Lucas, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, and director Richard Marquand huddle in a script conference to debate the destinies of iconic Star Wars characters, as well as plot twists and turns for the epic final showdown between the Rebel Alliance and the Empire
• artists and craftspeople at the groundbreaking Industrial Light & Magic facility top their own revolutionary innovations—despite the infamous Black Friday—with boundary-pushing new analog visual effects
• a crack team of sculptors, puppeteers, actors, and “monster-makers” bring Jabba the Hutt and his cohorts to startling, slobbering life from the inside out
• a who’s who of heavyweight directors—from such films as Superman, Gremlins, Halloween, Dune, Scanners, and Time Bandits—are considered for the coveted job of bringing a new Star Wars adventure to the silver screen
• actors and crew race to the finish line at Elstree Studios, in a fiery desert, and beneath the trees of a dense redwood forest—before money runs out—to answer the questions that audiences had waited three years to find out: Is Darth Vader really Luke’s father, who is the “other”—and who or what is the Emperor?
Star Wars’ stars from both sides of the camera—including Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Alec Guinness, director Richard Marquand, producer Howard Kazanjian, Ralph McQuarrie, Joe Johnston, Dennis Muren, Phil Tippett, and mastermind George Lucas—weigh in with candid insights on everything from technical challenges, character design, Ewoks, the Empire’s galactic city planet, and the ultimate challenge of bringing the phenomenal space fantasy to a dramatic close. The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi gives a spectacular subject its just due, with more than five hundred images and many, many new interviews.
*Video may not play on all readers. Please check your user manual for details.
The son of a successful entrepreneur, Newman grew up in a prosperous Cleveland suburb. Despite fears that he would fail to live up to his father’s expectations, Newman bypassed the family sporting goods business to pursue an acting career. After struggling as a theater and television actor, Newman saw his star rise in a tragic twist of fate, landing the role of boxer Rocky Graziano in Somebody Up There Likes Me when James Dean was killed in a car accident. Though he would joke about instances of “Newman’s luck” throughout his career, he refused to coast on his stunning boyish looks and impish charm. Part of the original Actors Studio generation, Newman demanded a high level of rigor and clarity from every project. The artistic battles that nearly derailed his early movie career would pay off handsomely at the box office and earn him critical acclaim.
He applied that tenacity to every endeavor both on and off the set. The outspoken Newman used his celebrity to call attention to political causes dear to his heart, including civil rights and nuclear proliferation. Taking up auto racing in midlife, Newman became the oldest driver to ever win a major professional auto race. A food enthusiast who would dress his own salads in restaurants, he launched the Newman’s Own brand dedicated to fresh ingredients, a nonprofit juggernaut that has generated more than $250 million for charity.
In Paul Newman: A Life, film critic and pop culture historian Shawn Levy gives readers the ultimate behind-the-scenes examination of the actor’s life, from his merry pranks on the set to his lasting romance with Joanne Woodward to the devastating impact of his son’s death from a drug overdose. This definitive biography is a fascinating portrait of an extraordinarily gifted man who gave back as much as he got out of life and just happened to be one of the most celebrated movie stars of the twentieth century.
From the Hardcover edition.
Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert presents more than 500 full-length critical movie reviews, along with interviews, essays, tributes, journal entries, and Q and As from "Questions for the Movie Answer Man" inside Roger Ebert's Movie Yearbook 2011.
From Inglourious Basterds and Crazy Heart to Avatar, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and the South Korean sensation The Chaser, Roger Ebert's Movie Yearbook 2011. includes every movie review Ebert has written from January 2008 to July 2010.
Also included in the Yearbook are:
* In-depth interviews with newsmakers such as Muhammad Ali and Jason Reitman.
* Tributes to Eric Rohmer, Roy Disney, John Hughes, and Walter Cronkite.
* Essays on the Oscars, reports from the Cannes Film Festival, and entries into Ebert's Little Movie Glossary.
Landis provides his own fascinating and entertaining insights into the world of moviemaking, while conducting in-depth "conversations" with leading monster makers, including David Cronenberg, Christopher Lee, John Carpenter, and Sam Raimi- to discuss some of the most petrifying monsters ever seen. He also surveys the historical origins of the archetypal monsters, such as vampires, zombies, and werewolves, and takes you behind the scenes to discover the secrets of those special-effects wizards who created such legendary frighteners as King Kong, Dracula, and Halloween's Michael Myers. With more than 1000 stunning movie stills and posters, this book is sure to keep even the most intense fright-seekers at the edge of their seats for hours!
Nicolas Cage: leading man or character actor? Action hero or goofball comedian? Internet joke or one of the greatest actors of his generation? Beyond the gif bait and easy punchline, Nicolas Cage continually frustrates easy categorization or understanding. In National Treasure, pop culture writer Lindsay Gibb studies Nicolas Cage's acting style and makes sense of the trajectory of his eclectic career. In the process, Gibb debunks the common claim that Cage makes bad choices.
While his selection of roles is seemingly inscrutable, Cage challenges critics and audiences alike by refusing to be predictable or to conform to the Hollywood approach to acting. Much like one of his mentors, David Lynch, Cage aims for art in movie-making. Is there a method to his madness? Is he in on the joke? In this clear-eyed and well-argued volume of the Pop Classics series, Gibb answers both questions with a resounding hell yes.
Few books have altered the perception of a celebrity as much as Marilyn. Gloria Steinem reveals that behind the familiar sex symbol lay a tortured spirit with powerful charisma, intelligence, and complexity. The book delves into a topic many other writers have ignored—that of Norma Jeane, the young girl who grew up with an unstable mother, constant shuffling between foster homes, and abuse. Steinem evocatively recreates that world, connecting it to the fragile adult persona of Marilyn Monroe. Her compelling text draws on a long, private interview Monroe gave to photographer George Barris, part of an intended joint project begun during Monroe’s last summer. Steinem’s Marilyn also includes Barris’s extraordinary portraits of Monroe, taken just weeks before the star’s death.
In this official companion to the hit show, you can go behind the magic, discovering everything that goes into the making of the enchanting series. The show¡¯s stars, Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White/Mary Margaret Blanchard), Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan), Lana Parrilla (the Evil Queen/Regina Mills), Robert Carlyle (Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold), Josh Dallas (Prince Charming/David Nolan), Jared Gilmore (Henry Mills), Emilie de Ravin (Belle), Colin O¡¯Donoghue (Captain Hook), and Meghan Ory (Red Riding Hood/Ruby), talk about portraying characters who are both classic and new. Plus, the show¡¯s producers, writers and behind-the-scenes wizards share their secrets about creating the magical episodes you see on screen, including production art and sketches. Magic is coming!