Greatest Movies Ever: The Ultimate Ranked List of the 101 Best Films of All Time! Paperback – Oct 1 2008
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From the Back Cover
From a century of great comedies, dramas, musicals, romances and more, Kinn and Piazza have selected and ranked the top 101 films worldwide and provided insightful commentary, facts and figures, behind-the-scenes info, and lush photographs that bring each film to life on the page. Call it a celebration of movies, a peerless guide to the best of the best or call it the best checklist ever compiled for movie lovers. (How many have you seen?) The Greatest Movies Ever is a must-have for film buffs of every age and taste.
About the Author
Gail Kinn has conceived and edited a wide range of film books, including Screwball: The Great Romantic Comedies, Hollywood at Home: The Photographs of Sid Avery, and The Scorsese Picture. She lives in New York City.
Jim Piazza is an essayist, screenwriter, and playwright whose personal essays and writings about the media have appeared in The Village Voice and Out magazine. He has been a script analyst for Columbia, Fox, and Paramount Pictures. With Gail Kinn, he is the coauthor of The Greatest Movies Ever (BD&L). He lives in New York City.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
-The authors say that The Graduate was Mike Nichols' directorial debut, when in fact he directed the (hardly obscure) Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf the year before
-The authors talk about how the characters in The African Queen are worried about alligators. Alligators live in America and China, Crocodiles live in Africa.
-The authors say that Jean Renoir made Rules of the Game "having grown disturbed by France's complacency over the German occupation." Obviously untrue if you consider the fact that the movie was released in 1939 and the occupation didn't begin until 1940
-In the entry for Chinatown the authors state that Rosemary's Baby was released in 1963, a full five years away from its actual 1968 release date. Additionally, they attribute the famous "Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown" quote to Lt. Escobar when in fact Walsh says it.
-The authors state that The Last Picture show was released in 1968, when in fact it was released in 1971
-For some reason the authors write that Elia Kazan "made a comeback, after years of inactivity" with Reversal of Fortune when he did absolutely no such thing--Barbet Schroeder directed that film.
I watch a ton of movies, but I'm not getting paid to write about them--Gail Kinn and Jim Piazza are. Most of these errors are incredibly easy to avoid (just by plugging them into IMDB you can get your release year). I mean, anyone who knows the slightest detail about WWII would realize that a movie released in 1939 couldnt possibly be made to describe the French occupation by Germany. These authors' job is to write about movies; they should not be making half a dozen errors that I easily notice in the SECOND EDITION of their work. Other that that, though, as I mentioned before, it's a worthy read.
- The Plot: one paragraph summary of the film's general story
- The Cast: a list of the key characters and the actors who played them
- The Director: brief director bio with filmography
- Notable Quotes: not from the film, but from the cast and crew about the film
- The Great Scene: the scene which the authors believe best defines the film
- Academy Awards: Oscar nominations and wins that the film received
- Behind the Screen: a few behind-the-scenes facts about the making of the film
One other interesting feature in the book is called "The Other Lists". Each film is compared to the greatest movies list by other publications/organizations, including the American Film Institute, film critic Roger Ebert, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and IMDb to name a few. By comparing lists, the authors acknowledge that there is no right or wrong list and that each person will form his/her own opinion about which films deserve to be on the "greatest list".
Many of the films you'd expect to be on anyone's greatest movie list are here: "The Godfather", "Citizen Kane", "Star Wars", "Blade Runner", "The Wizard of Oz", "Jaws", etc. The greatest omission by the authors here is "12 Angry Men". Also, the cover of the book claims that this is a revised and updated version. Yet despite being published in 2008, only two films after the year 2000 make the list, and many great 1990s films are missing as well. No "Fight Club", "The Matrix", "Lord of the Rings", or "Toy Story" (in fact, no Pixar film makes the list).
I should also mention that the book includes 3-4 images from each film, although the image choice and quality is not particularly great. I would say that the layout of this book and the design of the pages is just average.
Again, these lists are subjective - I agree of many of the authors' choices but disagree in some areas. But if you're looking for great films, this book provides quite a few good recommendations.
--Book lists 1968 as the year of release of The Last Picture Show. It was released in 1971.
Annoying, but if you don't rely on the book for reference, it's a good read otherwise.
Personal tastes aside, no way around the fact that the book is riddled with many indisputable factual errors that never should have gotten past a proof-reader: Henry Fonda did NOT win an Oscar for Grapes Of Wrath, Sunset Boulevard was NOT Erich von Stroheim's last film, and so on. And many goofs pointed out in earlier editions were not even corrected for later printings. Despite glossy lay-out which suggests a high-end coffee table book, flat-out sloppiness is more reminiscent of literary version of Sanka.