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The Great Movies III [Paperback]

Roger Ebert
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 12.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

7 Oct 2011
Roger Ebert has been writing film reviews for "The Chicago Sun-Times" for over four decades now, and his biweekly essays on great movies have been featured there since 1996. As Ebert noted in the introduction to the first collection of those pieces, "They are not the greatest films of all time, because all lists of great movies are a foolish attempt to codify works which must stand alone. But it's fair to say: if you want to take a tour of the landmarks of the first century of cinema, start here." Enter "The Great Movies III", Ebert's third collection of essays on the creme de la creme of the silver screen, each one a model of critical appreciation and a blend of love and analysis that will send readers back to the films with a fresh set of eyes and renewed enthusiasm - or maybe even lead to a first-time viewing. From "The Godfather: Part II" to "Groundhog Day", from "The Last Picture Show" to "Last Tango in Paris", the hundred pieces gathered here display a welcome balance between the familiar and the esoteric, spanning Hollywood blockbusters and hidden gems, independent works and foreign language films alike.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (7 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226182096
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226182094
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.4 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 328,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Roger Ebert's take-no-prisoners essays packed with insidery insights will send movie lovers back to the sofa for a second look at old favorites like Cool Hand Luke and My Fair Lady while introducing more offbeat picks like Sansho the Bailiff and Pixote." (Parade) "Ebert offers informed critical appraisals, as well as background on the movie's making and significance, that make these pieces rewarding for film buffs and ideal introductions for first-time viewers." (Booklist) "No one has done as much as Ebert to connect the creators of movies with their consumers. He has immense power, and he's used it for good, as an apostle of the cinema." (Richard Corliss, Time)"

About the Author

Roger Ebert is the Pulitzer Prize - winning film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times. He is the author of numerous books on film, including The Great Movies, The Great Movies II, Awake in the Dark: The Best of Roger Ebert, and Scorsese by Ebert, the latter two titles published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, Really Good, and Important Lousy Movies 4 Sep 2010
By Roochak
Format:Hardcover
As Roger Ebert makes clear in this volume, "great" doesn't always mean "enjoyable." Take Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi propaganda picture, TRIUMPH OF THE WILL: "It is a terrible film, paralyzingly dull, simpleminded, overlong, and not even 'manipulative' because it is too clumsy to manipulate anyone but a true believer." Or Bruce Robinson's scabrous comedy, WITHNAIL & I: "Conveys the experience of being drunk so well that the only way I could improve upon it would be to stand behind you and hammer your head with two-pound bags of frozen peas."

Ebert's conversational prose style could almost fool one into thinking that writing film criticism is easy. Reading him is like listening to a learned and entertaining friend (who, perhaps, provides commentary tracks for DVDs), a thinker who long ago chose to avoid the snobbishness of an aesthete, the pseudoscientific language of a film theorist, and the aesthetic imbecility of a consumer guide. His designation of a film as "great" is a rhetorical tool used to nudge readers out of their cinematic comfort zones and into something new. This includes Ebert himself, who finally gets around to reviewing three of the canonical texts of American animation ("Duck Amuck," "What's Opera, Doc?" and "One Froggy Evening").

While he's written, in his review of Ingmar Bergman's WINTER LIGHT, a magnificently quotable line ("It is the portrait of a man who thought he was God, and failed himself"), his insights into a film tend to be less overtly poetic than that. He credits Nino Rota's music with provoking the image of THE GODFATHER PART II as a Mafioso CITIZEN KANE (but an inferior gangster picture to Brian DePalma's 1983 SCARFACE).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Third Volume of an Excellent Series 11 Jan 2012
Format:Paperback
This really follows on from the the other two volumes but is a lot slimmer. Great insight into a variety of films but a little short.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, Really Good, and Important Lousy Movies 18 Aug 2010
By Roochak - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As Roger Ebert makes clear in this volume, "great" doesn't always mean "enjoyable." Take Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi propaganda picture, TRIUMPH OF THE WILL: "It is a terrible film, paralyzingly dull, simpleminded, overlong, and not even 'manipulative' because it is too clumsy to manipulate anyone but a true believer." Or Bruce Robinson's scabrous comedy, WITHNAIL & I: "Conveys the experience of being drunk so well that the only way I could improve upon it would be to stand behind you and hammer your head with two-pound bags of frozen peas."

Ebert's conversational prose style could almost fool one into thinking that writing film criticism is easy. Reading him is like listening to a learned and entertaining friend (who, perhaps, provides commentary tracks for DVDs), a thinker who long ago chose to avoid the snobbishness of an aesthete, the pseudoscientific language of a film theorist, and the aesthetic imbecility of a consumer guide. His designation of a film as "great" is a rhetorical tool used to nudge readers out of their cinematic comfort zones and into something new. This includes Ebert himself, who finally gets around to reviewing three of the canonical texts of American animation ("Duck Amuck," "What's Opera, Doc?" and "One Froggy Evening").

While he's written, in his review of Ingmar Bergman's WINTER LIGHT, a magnificently quotable line ("It is the portrait of a man who thought he was God, and failed himself"), his insights into a film tend to be less overtly poetic than that. He credits Nino Rota's music with provoking the image of THE GODFATHER PART II as a Mafioso CITIZEN KANE (but an inferior gangster picture to Brian DePalma's 1983 SCARFACE). FITZCARRALDO, the story of a madman's obsession brought to the screen by an obsessed director and a possibly mad actor, is both a visual spectacle (a real steamboat is slowly dragged uphill through a real jungle) and a case study in human folly, behind the camera as well as in front of it. THE SHINING is less a ghost story than a puzzle film about three unreliable observers who seem to descend into madness together; LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD with a fireaxe. There's plenty to disagree with in this book -- my examples will differ from yours -- but civilized disagreement is fun, educational, and often necessary.

What the book lacks, though they're icing rather than the cake, are the beautiful film stills, selected by archivist Mary Corliss, that illustrated THE GREAT MOVIES I and II. The Film Stills Archive of the Museum of Modern Art presumably remains in cold storage, and inaccessible, in Hamlin, Pennsylvania; the Photofest stock image agency seems not to've been an option this time around, either.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movies III a Valuable Resource for Movie Lovers 16 Dec 2010
By Glenn Gallagher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Without Roger Ebert's advice on Great Movies, it's fair to say that I would have never seen many, many, wonderfully entertaining and thought-provoking films that deserve to be called Great.

Roger continues where he left off in Great Movies I and II with another batch of 100 great films and fantastic commentary on the basics of what the film is about and why it is so great. Because of Roger's Great Movies books, I have discovered the films of Kieslowski, Bergman, Renoir, Powell-Pressburger, Herzog, Kurosawa, Jodorowski, and so many other foreign film-makers that do not fit into the Hollywood mold. Roger has taught me to view films as a high art form, not just low entertainment, and for that, I thank him.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost as good as volumes I and II 25 Sep 2010
By Trish - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Wonderful in-depth reviews and information, as usual. However, this time there are no photographs! For senior citizens like me, the photos help us remember movies we've seen and give us a reference point.
24 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essays #201-300 5 Aug 2010
By Magnolia 12883 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
3 WOMEN; ACE IN THE HOLE; ADAPTATION.; AFTER DARK, MY SWEET; AFTER HOURS; THE AGE OF INNOCENCE; ARMY OF SHADOWS; ATLANTIC CITY; AU REVOIR, LES ENFANTS; BABEL; THE BAND WAGON; BARAKA; THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES; THE BIG RED ONE; BLADE RUNNER: THE FINAL CUT; CABIRIA; CAT PEOPLE; CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT; CHUCK JONES: THREE CARTOONS; COOL HAND LUKE; CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS; CRUMB; DARK CITY; DAY FOR NIGHT; THE DEAD; DIVA; DOG DAY AFTERNOON; THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE; EL NORTE; EL TOPO; THE ENIGMA OF KASPAR HAUSER; EXOTICA; FANNY AND ALEXANDER; FAUST; FITZCARRALDO; FORBIDDEN GAMES; THE GODFATHER: PART II; THE GREAT DICTATOR; GROUNDHOG DAY; HOWARDS END; INHERIT THE WIND; JOHNNY GUITAR; JULIET OF THE SPIRITS; KILLER OF SHEEP; L.A. CONFIDENTIAL; THE LAST PICTURE SHOW; LAST TANGO IN PARIS; THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST; LATE SPRING; LEOLO; THE RIVER; THE LONG GOODBYE; MAGNOLIA; MEPHISTO; MISHIMA; MON ONCLE ANTOINE; MOOLAADE; MY FAIR LADY; MY MAN GODFREY; NANOOK OF THE NORTH; NIGHT MOVES; ORDET; OUT OF THE PAST; PAN'S LABYRINTH; PATHS OF GLORY; THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA; PIXOTE; PLAYTIME; A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION; REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE; THE RED SHOES; RIO BRAVO; RIPLEY'S GAME; ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS; SAFETY LAST; SAMURAI REBELLION; SANSHO THE BAILIFF; SANTA SANGRE; THE SCARLET EMPRESS; SECRETS & LIES; THE SHINING; THE SILENCE; THE TERRORIST; THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY; TOP HAT; TRIUMPH OF THE WILL; VENGEANCE IS MINE; WAKING LIFE; WERCKMEISTER HARMONIES; WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?; WINTER LIGHT; WITHNAIL & I; A WOMAN'S TALE; WOODSTOCK; WR--MYSTERIES OF THE ORGANISM; A YEAR OF THE QUIET SUN; YELLOW SUBMARINE; YOJIMBO... not sure what 2 I'm missing that should make it into this edition but can't wait! :)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great guide to great movies 23 Jun 2011
By Dr. John K. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There are so many movies out there on DVD... how to know which ones are worth the time of watching? The answer: The Great Movies series by Roger Ebert. Having read, and then chosen, movies based on Ebert's reviews in The Great Movies I & II, it was natural for me to order and now be watching movies based on the reviews of The Great Movies III.
Ebert doesn't believe in "listing" movies, as in "The Ten Best Adventure Movies of All Time." He realizes that people have taste in movies like they have taste in other art forms, so my "best movie" may not be appreciated by you at all. What Ebert does is review movies that display the best in what makes movies an art form... story, filming techniques, acting, and originality.
I read every one of his reviews with relish, because Ebert is both a great writer and an insightful life philosopher. His reviews open my mind to think about life, not just about the movies that reflect life. I probably only watch half of the movies he writes about... his reviews let me know if its a movie I would find worth watching or not. I know that because of his reviews I have watched hundreds of movies I would never even have known existed, and am glad for it.
I love movies. I suspect you do to, or you wouldn't be reading this. There are lots of reviewers out there, but I have found that the most insightful and balanced of them all is Roger Ebert. I wish he was still with us to write The Great Movies IV, V, and VI at least, but we lost Ebert to cancer at age 70 in April, 2013.
His words two days before his death, "So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I'll see you at the movies."
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