Roger Ebert is probably the most famous film commentator in history. The only film critic ever to win a Pulitzer Prize, the affable Ebert is known not only through his Chicago Sun-Times column and his weekly television show, Ebert & Roeper & the Movies, but also through Roger Ebert’s Book of Film and his movie yearbooks. The Great Movies answers that perennial question: What are the greatest films in history? Ebert’s 100 choices, each elucidated in a short essay, range from serious masterpieces such as Citizen Kane and La Dolce Vita to slapstick classics like Duck Soup and This Is Spinal Tap. His nominations include silent films, family favorites such as E.T. and It’s a Wonderful Life, and more recent films such as Fargo, Hoop Dreams, and The Shawshank Redemption. Every DVD enthusiast should own a copy.
Culled from essays famed film critic Ebert has been writing biweekly for the last two years, the 100 pieces here tell us what's so great about Casablanca, The Seventh Seal, The Wizard of Oz, and more. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Reprints 100 essays published in the between 1996 and 2001. Revisiting classic films that have been largely forgotten as well as more recent masterpieces, Ebert breaks down each film's plot, its directorial style, and its place in film history. Black and white stills. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Longtime TV and newspaper reviewer Ebert (Roger Ebert's Book of Film, 1996, etc.) hosts a genial, dutiful Cook's Tour of 100 film masterpieces. The selections themselves-two-thirds Hollywood product, the rest mostly from Europe-are hard to quarrel with: Metropolis, Gone with the Wind, The Bicycle Thief, The Seven Samurai, Pulp Fiction. About the most offbeat choice is the very last alphabetical entry, Written on the Wind, and here Ebert's tone is largely apologetic, as if he were afraid to get caught with an original opinion. Generally eschewing interpretation, each entry-balancing appreciation, plot summary, and a lightly sketched overview of the director's other work-is a feast of the obvious; readers will probably enjoy these revelations in direct proportion to how little they already know about movies. Ebert never misses a chance to bolster his authority by pointing out that he was the only reviewer to hail Bonnie and Clyde when it first opened or by recalling all the films he's analyzed frame-by-frame on college campuses. But he never establishes his authority in the obvious way, by writing with the wit, economy, or passion of a reviewer like Pauline Kael (whom he often quotes, and who always sounds more savvy and unafraid than him). For every zinger Ebert gets off-"Louise Brooks regards us from the screen as if the screen were not there; she casts away the artifice of film and invites us to play with her"-there are pounds of blandly recycled filler: "Stanley Kubrick was a perfectionist who went to obsessive lengths in order to get everything in his films to work just right." Nor does it help when Ebert gets his facts wrong, as when he upgrades Eva Marie Saint's Best SupportingActress Oscar for On the Waterfront to Best Actress. A sad reminder of the current vacuum in American film reviewing. (100 b&w photos)
"This is a wonderful book, an appreciation of the greatest movies by the greatest movie enthusiast--and also the shrewdest, the most humane and clear-sighted. I read this book with pleasure, enlightenment, and a desire to see many of the movies again, because I had missed what Roger saw." -- Paul Theroux
From the Hardcover edition.